Stanley performing with KISS at Hellfest in 2013
|Birth name||Stanley Bert Eisen|
|Also known as||"The Starchild"|
|Born||January 20, 1952|
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Origin||Queens, New York, U.S.|
Paul Stanley (born January 20, 1952 as Stanley Bert Eisen) is an American singer, songwriter and painter, best known for being the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Kiss. He is the writer or co-writer of many of the band's highest-charting hits. Stanley established The Starchild character for his Kiss persona and is known for his distinctive, wide-ranging voice.
Hit Parader ranked him 18th on their list of the Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.A Gibson.com readers' poll also named him 13th on their list of Top 25 Frontmen.
Stanley Bert Eisen was born January 20, 1952, in upper Manhattan, New York City, near 211th St. and Broadway; the Inwood neighborhood near Inwood Hill Park. Both of his parents are Jewish. He was the second of two children; his older sister Juliawas born two years earlier. Their mother came from a family that fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and then to New York City. His father's parents were from Poland. Stanley was raised Jewish, although he did not consider his family very observant and did not celebrate his bar mitzvah. His parents listened to classical music and light opera; Stanley was greatly moved by Beethoven's works.
Stanley's right ear was misshapen from a birth defect called microtia until having reconstructive surgery at the age of 30; he was unable to hear on that side, he found it difficult to determine the direction of a sound, and he could not understand speech in a noisy environment.Attending PS 98, he was taunted by other children for his deformed ear.
Despite his hearing problem, Stanley enjoyed listening to music, and he watched American Bandstand on television. His favorite musical artists included Eddie Cochran, Dion and the Belmonts, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Stanley learned to sing harmony with his family, and he was given a child's guitar at age seven.
Stanley's family relocated to the Kew Gardens neighborhood in Queens in 1960.He listened to a lot of doo-wop music, but when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones played on U.S. television he was inspired by the performance aspect, which he thought was not out of his reach. Stanley received his first real guitar at age 13, an acoustic one that he would have preferred to be electric. He played tunes by Bob Dylan, the Byrds, the Lovin' Spoonful and more.
All through his childhood Stanley had been recognized for his talent at graphic arts, so he attended the High School of Music & Art in New York City, graduating in 1970. [ citation needed ]Despite his skill as a graphic artist, he abandoned that as a career, and instead played in bands.
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Before Kiss, Stanley was in a local band, Rainbow (not the Ritchie Blackmore band Rainbow)and was a member of Uncle Joe and Post War Baby Boom. Through a mutual friend of Gene Simmons, Stanley joined Simmons' band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s. The band recorded an album in 1972, but it was never officially released (although songs from the album appeared on Kiss's 2001 box set). Wicked Lester fell apart and Stanley and Simmons answered Peter Criss's advertisement in Rolling Stone (August 31, 1972): "Expd. Rock & Roll drummer looking for orig. grp. doing soft & hard music." Soon after recruiting Criss, they held auditions for a lead guitarist, with Stanley placing an ad in the Village Voice (December 14, 1972). Despite what Stanley, Criss, and Simmons admit was a shaky first impression, Ace Frehley won the group over with his playing, which all admit was nearly a perfect fit to the group's sound, and with his style, showing up to the audition wearing Converse shoes in two different colors (one red, one orange). Kiss released their self-titled debut album in February 1974.
At this point, Stanley had the idea of changing his name not only for marketing purposes but also the fact he had always hated his birth name. Inspired by Paul McCartney and Paul Rodgers, he legally changed his name to Paul Stanley.
Stanley's persona in Kiss is "The Starchild" displaying one star over his right eye. For a brief time, Stanley tried out a new character "The Bandit", with a "Lone Ranger" style mask design make-up pattern. This make-up design was used during a few 1973–74 shows and photo-shoots, some of which he was photographed with both designs in the same session. "I even tried painting my face all red," he admitted. "I looked like a longhaired tomato! Before settling on the star, I'd just paint a black ring around my eye… Each of us wears something that reflects who we are. I always loved stars and always identified with them – so, when it came time to put something on my face, I knew it would be a star."
In his book Sex Money Kiss, Gene Simmons says Stanley was the driving force for KISS during the period in the 1980s when the band performed without makeup. Those years, Stanley noted, "were fine for me. I found them very satisfying because I got a chance to be out there without makeup, which I craved at that point. I think it was easier for me [than Simmons] because my persona was one that wasn't really defined by the makeup… The makeup was just reinforcing what you were seeing and who I was."
In 2006, Stanley resumed[ further explanation needed ] his association with Washburn Guitars, using the Washburn PS2000. Previously, he has had four signature guitars made by Silvertone, and tweaked the Ibanez Iceman to his specifications, calling it the PS10.[ citation needed ]
In 2007 (prior to the final show of the Hit 'n Run Tour on July 27), Stanley was hospitalized with tachycardia. In his absence, Kiss performed live as a trio for the first time in decades. The concert was the first Kiss performance Stanley missed.
In September 2007, Stanley took part as a guest star (for the second time) in Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City.[ citation needed ]
In 2009 he recorded three voice ads for the charity Kars4Kids. Stanley continues to tour with Kiss; the KISS 2010 The Hottest Show on Earth Tour (a continuation of the Sonic Boom Over Europe Tour, itself a continuation of the Alive 35 World Tour) which started March 2010 and ended at Verona, New York in July 2011.
Stanley released a solo album Paul Stanley as part of the four simultaneously released Kiss solo albums, but he has rarely recorded or performed outside of Kiss. He wrote and recorded material for another album in 1987–88, but it was shelved in favor of the Kiss compilation Smashes, Thrashes & Hits . While never officially released, songs such as "Don't Let Go" and "When Two Hearts Collide" have circulated as bootleg recordings. One song from the project, "Time Traveler", was released as part of Kiss' 2001 box set.[ citation needed ]
In 1989, Stanley embarked on a brief club tour. His touring band included guitarist Bob Kulick and future Kiss drummer Eric Singer. The same year, Stanley sang lead on the title track for the soundtrack of the Wes Craven horror film Shocker.
Twenty-eight years after releasing his first solo album, Stanley released a second album, Live to Win , on October 24, 2006. Its title song "Live to Win" appears in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft". In October and November 2006, Stanley embarked on a theater tour in support of Live to Win. His touring band was the house band from the CBS TV show Rock Star , composed of Paul Mirkovich (keyboards), Jim McGorman (guitar), Rafael Moreira (lead guitar), Nate Morton (drums), and Sasha Krivtsov (bass). In April 2007, Stanley extended the tour to include Australia, playing in Coolangatta, Wollongong, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. Portions of the tour were filmed for a documentary titled Paul Stanley: Live to Dream by the Chicago-based Film Foetus.The band's performance at the House of Blues in Chicago was captured on film and released in 2008 on DVD and digital audio download formats as One Live Kiss .
In 2008, Stanley sang a duet with Sarah Brightman, "I Will Be with You", on her Symphony album. In 2016, he guested in Ace Frehley's covers album Origins, Vol. 1 , singing "Fire and Water" by Free.
Possessing a tenor vocal range, Stanley tends to sing in the high registers and is known for his far reaching falsetto .
In 1999, Stanley starred in a Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera , in which he played the role of the Phantom. He appeared in the musical from May 25 to August 1, and again that year from September 30 to October 31, 1999. Stanley made his debut as a painter in 2006, exhibiting and selling original works of art. Stanley collaborated with Boston-based power pop group Click Five on their hit single, "Angel To You (Devil To Me)".
In the past, Stanley has been asked to produce albums for Poison but he was never able to commit due to his work on Kiss projects.[ citation needed ] However, Stanley did produce a debut album for the band New England. Their first single from that album in 1978 "Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya" reached the Top 40 in 1979.
On August 15, 2013, Stanley, Gene Simmons and manager Doc McGhee became a part of the ownership group that created the L.A. Kiss Arena Football League team, which plays their home games at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The team folded in 2016.
In April 2014, Stanley published his memoir, Face the Music: A Life Exposed ( ISBN 978-0-06-211404-4). In the memoir, Stanley, who is Jewish, accused former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss of antisemitism.
In 2012, Stanley partnered with Gene Simmons and three other investors to form the restaurant franchise Rock & Brews.
In 2001, Stanley's first wife, actress Pamela Bowen, filed for divorce after nine years of marriage. They have one son, Evan Shane Stanley, born on June 6, 1994. On November 19, 2005, Stanley married longtime girlfriend Erin Sutton at the Ritz-Carlton, Huntington in Pasadena, California. Their first child, Colin Michael Stanley, was born on September 6, 2006. The couple’s second child, Sarah Brianna, was born on January 28, 2009, in Los Angeles.On August 9, 2011, their third child, Emily Grace, was born.
When he was 30 years old, Stanley had reconstructive surgery for his right ear done by Frederic Rueckert, who had been performing the procedure primarily on children. The new ear was formed from cartilage from one of the singer's ribs, with skin grafts put over it. Stanley said the surgery had given him "a new lease on life" and was so grateful to Rueckert that he gave the doctor a Rolex watch upon his retirement.Because of his birth defect of microtia, Stanley is an ambassador for the charitable organization AboutFace, an organization that provides support and information to people with facial differences. He has appeared at fundraising events and in videos to raise awareness.
Stanley has had two hip-replacement surgeries: one after the "Rock the Nation" tour in October 2004, and a second in December 2004 after complications arose from the first surgery. He has announced in 2005 that he will require a third hip surgery in the future. He regards the degeneration of his left hip as partly the product of thousands of shows performed in platform boots since the early 1970s.[ citation needed ]
In October 2011, Stanley had surgery on his vocal cords. He said, "I hold myself to a higher standard than others do. With that in mind, I wanted to remedy a few minor issues that come with 40 years of preaching rock 'n' roll."
Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with its elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons being the only members to feature in every lineup. The original and best-known lineup consists of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss
George Peter John Criscuola, better known by his stage name Peter Criss, is a retired American musician and actor, best known as a co-founder, original drummer, and vocalist of the hard rock band Kiss. Criss established the Catman character for his Kiss persona. Criss possesses a powerful, raspy voice. In 2014, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Kiss.
Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is an American musician and songwriter best known as the original lead guitarist, occasional lead vocalist and co-founding member of the rock band Kiss. He invented the persona of The Spaceman and played with the group from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarked on a solo career, which was put on hold when he rejoined Kiss in 1996 for a highly successful reunion tour.
Paul Charles Caravello, better known by his stage name Eric Carr, was an American musician and multi-instrumentalist who was the drummer for the rock band Kiss from 1980 to 1991. Caravello was selected as the new Kiss drummer after Peter Criss departed, when he chose the stage name "Eric Carr" and took up The Fox persona. He remained a member of Kiss until his death from heart cancer on November 24, 1991, at the age of 41.
Kiss is the debut studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on February 18, 1974. Much of the material on the album was written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, as members of their pre-Kiss band Wicked Lester. Simmons estimated that the entire process of recording and mixing took three weeks, while co-producer Richie Wise has stated it took just 13 days.
Rock and Roll Over is the fifth studio album by American rock band Kiss, released in 1976. It was recorded at the Star Theatre in Nanuet, New York.
Love Gun is the sixth studio album by American hard rock band Kiss, released on June 30, 1977. Casablanca Record and FilmWorks shipped 1,000,000 copies of the album on this date. It was certified platinum and became the band's first top 5 album on the Billboard 200. The album was remastered in 1997 and again in 2014.
Dynasty is the seventh studio album by the American rock band Kiss, produced by Vini Poncia and released by Casablanca Records on May 23, 1979. It was the first time that the four original members of Kiss did not all appear together for the entire album.
Creatures of the Night is the 10th studio album by American rock band Kiss, released in 1982. It was the band's last for Casablanca Records, the only label for which Kiss had recorded up to that point. The album was dedicated to the memory of Casablanca founder and early Kiss supporter Neil Bogart, who had died of cancer during the recording sessions. It is also the band's last album recorded with Ace Frehley credited as an official member and their first album with Vinnie Vincent as the initially-uncredited lead guitarist. It was also Kiss' last album to feature the band with their trademark makeup until the 1998 release, Psycho Circus.
Psycho Circus is the eighteenth studio album by American rock band Kiss and the first to involve all four original members since 1979's Dynasty. It is also the first album since 1982's Creatures of the Night to feature the band with their trademark makeup. Some pressings featured a lenticular cover that alternates between a black Kiss logo and the album title with pictures of a clown and the band members, while the Japan initial first pressing featured a pop-up cover which had three foam spring-loaded panels of a clown face and two others with band members faces that popped out when the doors were opened. "You Wanted the Best" is the only Kiss song in which lead vocals are shared by the entire lineup.
"Rock and Roll All Nite" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, originally released on their 1975 album Dressed to Kill. It was released as the A-side of their fifth single, with the album track "Getaway". The studio version of the song peaked at No. 69 on the Billboard singles chart, besting the band's previous charting single, "Kissin' Time" (#89). A subsequent live version, released as a single in October 1975, eventually reached No. 12 in early 1976, the first of six Top 20 songs for Kiss in the 1970s. "Rock and Roll All Nite" became Kiss's signature song and has served as the group's closing concert number in almost every concert since 1976. In 2008, it was named the 16th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
Kiss Unplugged is an MTV Unplugged album by American rock band Kiss. On August 9, 1995, the band performed on MTV Unplugged. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons contacted former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and invited them to participate. Fan reaction to Criss and Frehley at the show was so positive that, in 1996, the original lineup of Kiss reunited, with all four original members together for the first time since 1979. It is the first live album by the band that is not part of the Alive series.
"Deuce" is a song by the American hard rock band Kiss, written by bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons. The song appeared on Kiss' eponymous 1974 debut album. In addition to being one of the band's most popular and most-covered songs, "Deuce" is a traditional concert opener. The song has appeared on many Kiss live and compilation albums.
Action figures have been an important and integral staple of the vast merchandising empire created around popular American rock band, Kiss. Kiss merchandising currently includes more than 2,000 product categories, and the limited availability of many products means that is a popular area of interest with collectors.
The Kiss Farewell Tour was a concert tour performed by the American group Kiss, four years after they reunited the group's original lineup for a record-breaking Reunion Tour in 1996, "Kiss Alive Worldwide". A follow-up tour in 1998 in support of their then recent release, Psycho Circus, saw lower ticket sales in the United States but did better overseas. Two years after this, the "Farewell Tour" was announced. This trek was more successful than the Psycho Circus World Tour and it covered the entire North American region and was brought overseas as well.
The Dynasty Tour was a concert tour by the rock band Kiss. It was their first tour since the Alive II Tour ended on April 2, 1978 in Japan.
"Firehouse" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1974 on their eponymous debut album. The track was written by the bands' rhythm guitarist and vocalist Paul Stanley. During live performances, bassist Gene Simmons has breathed fire, with red lights flashing and sirens sounding. "Firehouse" has remained a concert staple and is regarded as one of the band's classic songs. With its fan-favorite status, the song is one of the most played songs in the Kiss catalog, having been played more than 1,400 times as of June 2014.
"Parasite" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1974 on their second studio album, Hotter Than Hell. The song is one of three songs featured on the album written by lead guitarist Ace Frehley. As one of the album's heaviest songs, "Parasite" was performed on the following tour, but Kiss dropped it from the setlist for the Destroyer Tour and did not play it again until the Revenge Tour in 1992. "Parasite" was performed most recently during the End of the Road World Tour. As Frehley was insecure about his singing ability, he passed that duty to Gene Simmons.
"Talk to Me" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1980 on their eighth studio album Unmasked. The song, never released as a single in the US, was released as a single worldwide on November 1, 1980. The song broke the top 40 in several countries, reaching the highest position in Switzerland, at #10. "Talk to Me" was played only when Ace Frehley was a member of the band.
My family lit candles and observed Jewish holidays in some vague ways, but we weren't very observant. I was never bar mitzvahed. . . . sure, I felt Jewish, but I didn't want to subject myself to being around any more people.
I was born with an ear deformity called microtia, in which the outer ear cartilage fails to form properly and, to varying degrees of severity, leaves you with just a crumpled mass of cartilage. . . . That left me unable to tell the direction of sound, and more importantly, made it incredibly difficult for me to understand people when there was any kind of background noise or conversation.
I'm Jewish and I believe in God, but I don't picture God as an old man with a beard and a robe sitting in heaven judging us.
Baptizing Emily in church. Baptism for Colin, Sarah, and Emily was important to Erin so it was important to me. Evan was bar mitzvah'd and the rest will be too. There is room for it all.