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George Peter John Criscuola, better known as Peter Criss, was the original drummer for the rock band Kiss. Born towards the end of World War II in Brooklyn, he joined the band and took on the persona of Catman, with his stage makeup resembling a large cat. Besides drumming duties, Criss also sang lead on several songs and wrote several of the band's hits, including the smash power ballad "Beth", which was one of the group's most commercial successes, hitting the top ten on Billboard

The band was named Kiss the month after Criss joined in December 1972. He had plenty of drumming and singing experience with his prior bands, Chelsea and Lips. When those groups broke up, he advertised in the east coast edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and connected with Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Paul Stanley. The rest, as they say, is history.

Criss was injured in a car accident in 1978. He was barely able to play drums on one song for the next Kiss album. Anton Fig sat in as a session drummer for the next two albums and Criss was finally dropped from the band in 1980. Kiss brought in Eric Carr, also a Brooklynite, as the permanent replacement.

Iron Noder 2017

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