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Interview: Peter Criss Talks with The Rock Pit About His Final Show Downunder

(from The Rock Pit) Over the years Peter Criss put out some fine music, wrote the best (auto) biography by a Kiss member, took up acting and survived cancer. Now he’s decided to retire from performing and one of his very last dates is here in Australia in May. He’s also got a new Hard Rocking album on the way! I just caught up with one of my childhood heroes and found out he’s a very cool guy indeed…

Peter: Hello Mark

The Rockpit: Hello Peter I hope you’re well. Thank you for taking the time to talk to the Rockpit today, as an ex member of the Kiss army as a kid it’s an honour to finally get to speak with you.

Peter: Oh I’m doing alright; this is my last interview so I’m getting ready to grab my milk and an Oreo cookie and settle down to watch a good movie.

The Rockpit: That sounds pretty good to me, you’re relaxing at the end of the day and on this side of the world we’re just waking up.

Peter: Yeah, I know and I’ll be going through the same thing soon. That plane ride oh it’s murder! But I’m looking forward to playing I’m very excited, that’s for sure.

The Rockpit: And you’re playing with some musicians from our great State of Western Australia – Sisters Doll?

Peter: Yes I am and I’m looking forward to playing with them as Bruce Kulick – he has a ball playing with them. I was concerned as I’ve got some pretty cool cats I’ve been playing with over here, but he convinced me. And when I’m over it’ll be with my lead guitar player of 25 years so that made me feel a lot better. And then we’ve got a bunch of surprises too.

The Rockpit: That sounds great. The last ever show you will play in Australia takes place on 12th may just before you appear at the Kiss Convention on 13th and 14th. It’s been a long and wonderful career, not just with Kiss; you’ve also got a string of great solo releases behind you too. Why did you decide that 2017 would be the year you’d call it a day for ‘live’ performances? Are you moving on to do other things?

Peter: You know what, I’m seventy one, that scares me when I say that (laughs), but if you’re around me I’m like a fifteen year old kid, I really am. But I’ve had an amazing career in music; I was around in the 60’s and 70’s which was about the best time to be a musician. I actually saw Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and The Beatles when I was young. I’ve seen the greatest of the greats perform; I grew up at a time when music was so cool. There was Bob Dylan, and things were changing – things were becoming amazing for musicians in the world. So I played clubs for 15 years, then I started the band with the guys.

Peter: I’m a big Bee Gee fan, I was watching the salute to Barry (Gibb, the last surviving Bee Gee), I’ve been a big fan since they started and I love that he got up there and performed and I see now all these guys from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and we’re all in our 70’s now, and I hate to say it but were dying out and that’s so real, there’s less Rock and Roll in the world. Less music in the world and it’s kinda sad. So I’m 71 I’m in the best health I’ve been in for a while and I thought if I’m gonna do it I gotta do it now. I had male breast cancer and I beat it and that’s really changed my life, and my wife also beat cancer too, so I went out I signed autographs, I wrote a book and the fans man, and you don’t get this up on stage in front of 70,000 people it’s just thank you, goodnight and you’re gone, so you never really hear from the fans at that level, so when I connected again I got to hear their stories and they’d ask me if I’d play again or sing again, there was so much love. And when I looked around everyone was slowing down or retiring like Eric Clapton, and I wondered what I has left. I think there are a couple of books, maybe a comedy, and I have an album I’ve been sitting on for nine years now! And I want to finish that properly.

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