Face the Music

KISStory can take different forms depending on which member you talk to. Paul Stanley is the final member of the original four to pen an autobiography, and it’s easily the most introspective. Face the Music: A Life Exposed features plenty about the Starchild’s life in KISS, but fans who crave the behind-the-scenes minutia might be disappointed. Instead you get a sense of who Stanley Eisen is. The book covers his early childhood getting bullied for being born without a right ear, and having no support system at home, before segueing into his years fronting the hottest band in the world. Things get interesting during the band’s low points in the 1980s, as Stanley grapples with keeping KISS (his “life raft”) afloat as Gene Simmons’ attention is diverted by Hollywood, while dealing with his own loneliness (Stanley recalls playing shows to thousands, only to leave the stadium with nowhere to go). A son, a tumultuous KISS reunion, and a divorce from his first wife come next. Essentially, it took Stanley until his 50s to find true happiness. And to finally grow up. Such is rock ’n’ roll. While many rock memoirs celebrate the lifestyle, Stanley’s seems content seeing it in the rearview.