Paul StanleyRock | 2006
Paul Stanley was born Stanley Harvey Eisen in Queens in 1952. Through a mutual friend of musician Gene Simmons, Stanley joined Simmons’ band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s. The band recorded an album in 1971 but disbanded when they couldn’t get the group a proper deal. Due to contractual obligations, Stanley and Simmons could not fire the other members. So they quit and formed KISS with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley shortly thereafter. Looking for an interesting angle, the KISS members adopted unique personas—Stanley was “Starchild”—and began experimenting with stage make-up. After an apprenticeship playing clubs around Queens and Manhattan, KISS landed a deal with the newly formed Casablanca Records and released their self-titled debut album in February 1974. Stanley, KISS’s guitarist and vocalist, wrote or co-write many of the band’s highest-charting hits, including “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “Hard Luck Woman,” “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” and “Forever.” KISS’s original four members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.