Peter Criss is best known by his full stage name Peter Criss. He is a former American musician and singer, most notably, as a founding member, and singer of the extremely popular hard rock band Kiss. Criss created the character of “Catman” for his role as a drummer in Kiss’s band. Criss also played keyboards and guitar for the band; he also sang background vocals.
Criss was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to immigrant parents who came from Czech. His family later moved to North Carolina. He had a younger sister called Beth, who was also a famous singer and actress. His most notable childhood memory was visiting his grandparents in Czech at age six, where he was fascinated with dancing. After that, Peter Criss was inspiring to begin playing an acoustic guitar.
After performing with bands such as Velvet Revolver and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Peter Criss started to focus on his vocals and guitar work. This led him to meeting and working with Kiss lead singer, Gene Simmons, in the early seventies. As part of the songwriting group Kiss, Criss sang with the band until Simmons left the group in the early eighties. Criss then went to Los Angeles to work with vocalist and composer Neil Young, who were popular for creating songs like “Where Has My Heart Been,” “My Old School”, and “All I Really Need”. Young and his four band members quit the group soon after. Among the talents he learned while in Los Angeles were drumming and guitar.
Peter Criss Measurements
|5′ 9″/ 1.75 m
|155 lbs/ 70 kg
During this period, Peter Criss appeared at a few rock and roll parties. It was rumored that he may have tried to get into the band Led Zeppelin, but the group manager rejected Criss’ application. He then appeared in a handful of tracks, most notably on Cream’s hit song, “Bodhisattva”. When Kiss finally signed him to their record label, the group’s first album failed to sell. However, his presence showed that someone was willing to risk signing him to a record label, and that some rock musicians were willing to risk their reputations by singing his songs.
As the rest of the group broke up, Kiss decided to give Peter Criss a chance. He had previously appeared in a German music video with a German rock band called Neu Lipkin, so he had become known in the European music scene. The band gave Criss a chance to show off his rock talent, and they liked his contributions, even going so far as to offer him a regular role on their next album. This appearance, which appeared in December of 1985’s Christmas With The Krabs, marked the beginning of an iconic career for Peter Criss.
A few months after Christmas, Criss was part of a group that included three former Catman: drummers Eddy Cox and Tommy Lee, and bassist John Cale. After Cale was diagnosed with cancer, this new line-up decided to go on a European tour with Kiss. During their visit, they were stopped in London by a member of the crowd named Paul McCartneys. This man, who appeared to be a fan of both bands, asked them to sign autographs. One of the other members of the crowd, named John Renbourn, managed to steal a kiss from Peter Criss moments later.