Peter CrissRock | 2006
George Peter Criscuola—best known as Peter Criss—is a founding member and original drummer for the rock ’n roll supergroup KISS. In addition to playing drums in the band, Criss, who donned a “Catman” persona, also provided lead vocals for a number KISS’ most popular songs including “Beth,” which he co-wrote. “Beth” became KISS’ highest-charting single, landing at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and was awarded a People’s Choice Award. Despite a youth spent as a tough Brooklyn gang member, Criss was also an avid art student and swing aficionado. While playing with bandleader Joey Greco, he ended up studying under his idol, Gene Krupa, at the Metropole Club in New York. In late 1970, Criss joined the group Chelsea, which released a self-titled album. When that association fizzled, he famously placed an ad in Rolling Stone magazine to find a band that needed a drummer. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley responded, and the roots of KISS were in place. Criss was with KISS from 1973 to 1980 (they reunited briefly from 1995 to 2000), after which he left to begin a solo career. He released three albums over the next 15 years. KISS’ original four members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.