Episode 40 – Peter Criss Discussion w/Lydia Criss

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Welcome to KISSMAS in JULY here at Decibel Geek headquarters! We’re always looking for new excuses to do KISS-themed material and doing a full month of KISS stuff in July just seemed like a logical choice.

We kick off the month-o-KISS with an in-depth conversation we recently had with Lydia Criss. Formerly the wife of original KISS catman Peter Criss, Lydia entered the KISS Army’s consciousness in 1976 when she accepted the award for ‘Beth’ being the #1 single of 1976 at the People’s Choice Awards. What was the reason for Lydia accepting the award? Listen to our discussion to find out.

A few years ago, Lydia published a coffee table memoir of her life entitled Sealed with a KISS. Jam packed with tons of photos never before seen of KISS and Peter Criss from their earliest days as a struggling band rehearsing in a frigid loft in downtown Manhattan, their apex of popularity in being named the most popular band in America according to a Gallup poll, and beyond. The book also gives a rare glimpse into Lydia’s personal life as the wife to a rising star in the music world.

In this conversation, Lydia, Chris, and Aaron pick some of their favorite Peter Criss-sung songs and Lydia shares her memories of the stories behind the making of the songs including the drama that would arise between band members.

Peter Criss’ 1978 KISS solo album included quite a few songs about the end of a relationship. This mirrored reality as it was around this time that Peter’s marriage to Lydia was ending. Lydia recalls the experience of hearing these songs and the effect they had on her at a tumultuous time in her life.

Also in this discussion are Lydia’s memories of accepting KISS’ People’s Choice Award and the conversation with Gene Simmons that led to her accepting the award on the band’s behalf. The story of how Beth came to be has been told from numerous different angles and Lydia tells her side of the story and it’s probably something you haven’t heard before.

While this conversation includes some great inside information from a person that was right in the middle of the rise of the Hottest Band in the Land, you will get WAY more great stuff like this if you purchase a copy of the 2nd printing of Sealed With a KISS. Included in this new printing are over 20 new photos as well more content including a listing of tons of gigs that Peter performed before joining KISS.

If you are a KISS fan and don’t own this book, you are truly missing out. It’s totally worth the money and you don’t have to mortgage your house to afford it. Check it out!

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