Peter “Catman” Criss Retires from Live Performances

September 7, 2017 - By 
 The original “Catman”, Peter Criss, is retiring from performing. The legendary drummer and founding member of KISShas decided to call it a career. June 17, 2017 marks the final live performance by the 71-year-old icon. Criss takes the stage at The Cutting Room in New York City for one last show.

Peter Criss left KISS under difficult circumstances in 1980. In the late 1990’s, Criss returned to reunite with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley for a tremendously successful reunion tour. Although different incarnations of KISS recorded albums and toured after Criss’ — and, later, Frehley’s departure, fans always clamored to see the original lineup again.

Things eventually ended up not working out between Criss and fellow founding members Simmons and Stanley. Criss had difficulty playing on stage largely due to the physically taxing nature of the performances. Criss would leave KISS when his contract was not renewed.

Criss did write an intriguing autobiography and continued to perform club dates and special performances. Fans of “The Catman” did embrace his projects with enthusiasm.

Criss might be retired from performing, but he has no intention of taking it easy. Retiring from live performances does not means he is completely retiring. Criss plans on finishing up a new live album, one he has been working on for several years.

Criss also has plans for a children’s book and a comedy screenplay. No, Criss won’t be slowing down and this is a good thing. A person with Criss’ talents should never really stop.

KISS may soon be curtailing live performances as well. Gene Simmons noted the end may be near for the band.

KISS debuted in 1973 and found success to be very elusive until 1975 when the album ALIVE! was released. DESTROYER was released in 1976 and was not charting well. The original 45 release had tremendous trouble charting even though the A-side song, “Detroit Rock City”, was outstanding.

In a rare turn of events, DJs chose to play the B-side song. That song was Criss’ ballad “Beth.” The song was a hit and helped DESTROYER go platinum. The back-to-back success of ALIVE! and DESTROYER helped turn KISS into 1970’s mega band. Had it not been for Criss’ song, the history of KISS would have turned out quite differently.

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