In it, he returns fire at past members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss for their scathing tell-alls, but also points the finger at himself, without pulling punches. “I shut myself off from people for decades… until I came to grips with the idea of helping others,” recalls Stanley.
KISS gave Stanley money and women, but it didn’t provide him happiness; his depression masked by excess. His childhood was scarred by bullying stemming from his Microtia: a congenital deformity that prevented his right ear from developing. The Star Child also suffered from deafness in one ear, adding to the torment he received.
“Regardless of whether you become famous or not, if you’re a person walking the streets you realize that you have insecurities, and you have doubts about yourself, and you have secrets,” says Stanley. “It doesn’t mean anybody else has to know them to know that you have to struggle with them.”
In time, Stanley — whose memoir is set to debut at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list — found meaning and enjoyment in his life by focusing his efforts in a different direction.
“The best thing you can do is open up your life, open up your heart, give to other people; the more you give to other people, the more you’ll feel great about yourself,” he says.
Face the Music: A Life Exposed was released on April 8 by HarperOne and is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Listen to his full interview with Scott Shannon below.
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