Criss, Peter

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Criss, Peter Gender: M
George Peter John Criscuola
born on 20 December 1945 at 13:30 (= 1:30 PM )
Place Brooklyn (Kings County), New York, 40n38, 73w56
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating DD
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 28°32' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 21°10 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 07°09'

Peter Criss
photo: Steven Hoffmaster, license cc-by-sa-3.0


American musician, singer and drummer, who became famous as a member of the theatrical heavy metal rock group "Kiss." The outlandishly costumed Kiss was hugely popular as a concert attraction, employing gross stage effects such as fire breathing, explosions, fireworks, dry-ice fog and mock blood vomiting, and the members never appeared in public without their makeup.

Criss was born Peter George Criscoula, the oldest of five children. His parents owned an antique shop in Brooklyn, New York. A Golden Glove Boxer during high school, Peter formed a street corner doo-wop singing group called "The Stars" when he was 13, and began playing the drums. Interested in painting, he attended art school as a teenager.

His big break came after he placed an ad in a music paper, stating "Drummer with 11 Years Experience, Willing to Do Anything." Eisen and Klein, soon to be known as Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, answered his ad, and Kiss was on its way to the top. He changed his name to Peter Criss soon after he joined the band, and when prompted to choose a character to portray, he picked a cat. Kiss signed with Casablanca Records in 1973, and with the release of "Alive!" they became one of the most popular and immediately identifiable hard rock acts ever. Although attacked by critics as being barely competent and over-loud with their guitar-based front line, the momentum continued to build.

Fame took its toll, and Criss developed a drug problem. His behavior grew more and more unpredictable, and in 1978, he was involved in a serious car accident. That same year, there was a simultaneous release of solo albums from all the members of Kiss, accompanied by the largest ad campaign in music history. Each of the albums went platinum. Criss released another solo album, "By Myself," in September 1980. With rumors of a full-scale breakup pending, he left Kiss that year, and launched a solo career.

Through the ’80s, he tried to make it as a solo act as well as with various bands, and worked on a "tell-all" book about his life; it was never published. It wasn’t until 1994, however, that he resurfaced with the release of "Criss Cat #1." Criss reunited with Stanley and Simmons to tape MTV’s "Unplugged," which led to a full-scale reunion and the 1996-97’s highly successful "Alive Worldwide Tour."

In the beginning of 2001, Criss left the group to be replaced by former Kiss drummer Eric Singer, who played with the others from 1991 to 1996.

In 1972, he married Lydia Di Leonardo; they divorced in 1979. His second wife, Debra Svensky, was a model and Playboy centerfold; they had one daughter, Jenilee. He married a third time, to model Gigi Cross.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Delaney, Sean (born 8 January 1945). Notes: Music collaborators
  • business associate/partner relationship with Bogart, Neil (born 3 February 1943)
  • business associate/partner relationship with Simmons, Gene (born 25 August 1949). Notes: Band mates in Kiss


  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 18 February 1974 ("Kiss", self-titled debut LP released)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 10 September 1975 ("Alive", hit concert LP released)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 15 March 1976 ("Destroyer", fourth studio LP released)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 18 September 1978 (Each member of band published solo album)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 17 May 1980 (Officially quit Kiss to launch solo career)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Criss quoted in his autobiography, "Makeup to Breakup: My Life in Kiss" (2012), at the beginning of chapter one: "I entered the world on December 20, 1945, feet first, ass backward, a breech baby." No time given. Data downgraded from "A" to "DD", because the time quoted by Criss at an earlier date was given at the same time as the erroneous birth year.

Previously, Steinbrecher quoted J. Swartzberg, from Criss over the radio for 13:30, 20 December 1947. The "Almanac of Famous People gives 1947 as do many other written sources.


  • Traits : Personality : Attention seeking (Stage make-up and outlandish special effects)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Group/ Duo (KISS)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Guitar)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection