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Face the Music: A Life Exposed | [Paul Stanley]

Face the Music: A Life Exposed

In Face the Music, Paul Stanley - the co-founder and famous "Starchild" frontman of KISS - reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize. Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army.
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Publisher's Summary

In Face the Music, Paul Stanley - the co-founder and famous "Starchild" frontman of KISS - reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band.

Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize. Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to his childhood in the 1950s and '60s, a traumatic time made more painful thanks to a physical deformity.

Born with a condition called microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of pursuits: Music. Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and pyrotechnics on and off the stage.

Raw and confessional, Stanley offers candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes out unscathed - including Stanley himself. "People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this audiobook, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing it." (Paul Stanley)

©2014 Paul Stanley (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

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  •  
    Zachary K. Brown southeastern USA 04-17-14
    Zachary K. Brown southeastern USA 04-17-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Book That Every KISS Fan Need Experience"
    Where does Face the Music rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Easily near the top. Although never destined to be considered great literature, it is a book that held my rapt attention. Being narrated by the author was a must. It simply could not have conveyed the pathos of a life exposed told by anyone else.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The book has given me insight into a person I have long admired. At times that insight came with a price that was uncomfortable to pay. It revealed personal struggles that I simply had no idea he encountered and overcame. It gave me greater understanding and empathy, and ultimately, greater appreciation for a personal hero. A hero with self admitted flaws and faults, it is true, but a hero nonetheless.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    In many ways Paul was the member of KISS most difficult to know. He was never as self aggrandizing, or as self destructive, as the others, thereby rendering himself less accessible to the average fan. His book, in great detail, explains why. He lays bare many painful and poignant secrets that make him who he is.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Very little. There were rare instances when I thought the moment he was recounting was told in an emotionally flat tone, but that could have come as a result of his needing to get through the memory without losing composure.


    Any additional comments?

    July 23, 1976. My first concert. My first KISS concert. I caught a glimpse of the limo pulling into the venue (venerable Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL) and I caught a briefer glimpse of Paul peering out of the limo window. That night became indelibly stamped into my memory and my imagination. Often I daydreamed if I could be any other person in the world, for just one day, I would have chosen to be Paul Stanley on the day of a KISS concert. I could not imagine anything, or anyone, cooler. Face The Music allowed me a backstage pass into the world and life of a bona fide rock god and personal hero. It was rarely what I expected and occasionally not what I wanted to hear, but it was always enthralling. I found I didn't want the book to end and felt a little saddened when it had. I will be forever grateful to Paul. Grateful for many wonderful memories involving his band, a band that would have ceased to exist long ago if not for his perseverance and dedication. Grateful, too, for allowing us to see the man behind the mask.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 04-19-14
    Stephanie 04-19-14
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    "Honest, upfront reflection - well worth your time"
    Would you listen to Face the Music again? Why?

    Absolutely. I did't know much about the band of Paul and was very impressed with his ability to tell his story candidly and in a fun, interesting way


    What about Paul Stanley’s performance did you like?

    My favorite books are those written and read by the authors and this one did not disappoint. Others that are good include Ann & Nancy Wilson (of Heart) and Rosie Perez


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I liked understanding about his childhood and the challenges he faced


    Any additional comments?

    Very well done book and I am quite impressed with Paul Stanley. He has learned a lot about himself (both positives and negatives) and taken steps to improve himself and focus on the people/things that are important. He has so many varied interests and is MUCH deeper that what you might think is on the surface.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guitar Freek Florida, USA 04-16-14
    Guitar Freek Florida, USA 04-16-14 Member Since 2011
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    "THE most well-written of the KISS memoirs"
    Would you listen to Face the Music again? Why?

    I would absolutely listen to Face the Music again! Paul's narration of his own story is so very well done, as a LONG-time KISS fan, it's exciting to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Paul's narration is definitely my favorite part of this audio book. At times, it felt as though I was sitting at a table with one of my life-long heroes, having a conversation about his life. The colorful tapestry that he weaves about his younger days, his trials and tribulations as an insecure youth, the creation of one of the greatest rock bands in history and the turmoil within make for an outstanding listening experience.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There's a point when the band begins to realize that the public wants to know their opinions on topics such as politics and world events. I believe the quote is: "Love Gun wasn't about guns or gun control...it was a song about my dick"! Priceless...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed at numerous anecdotes and revelations throughout the book. Nothing was really shocking, although the story of Paul's family's lack of compassion was pretty sad.


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you're not a fan of KISS, Face the Music is an outstanding true story of strength and perseverance and achieving success against a great many obstacles! And while Paul dishes a LOT of dirt about himself, his family and his band-mates (Ace and Peter take quite a beating...and probably deservedly so!), you get the impression that he's held a lot back, too. This is a man that didn't wallow in the negatives that life presented. He pulled himself up and met his challenges head-on. His reward? He's the front-man of the Hottest Band in the World!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. York Arab, AL United States 04-27-14
    J. York Arab, AL United States 04-27-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Part 6 Could Stand Strongly on Its Own Content"
    Would you listen to Face the Music again? Why?

    I've already started the second listening experience.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The honesty and sincerity of a man who seems to have finally found the correct road to carry him toward his life's destination gives this book a triumphant personal tone much more so than the chronology of a bank we have all loved for years.


    What does Paul Stanley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was like a 12 hour Paul Stanley interview, leaving no question unanswered.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was, and I almost did.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been a KISS fan for many years, and I remember the date since I was listening to my first KISS song as I watched the helicopter leaving with President Nixon after his resignation. Since day 1, Paul was my favorite, and as I've aged from that young boy and now near middle age, I have marveled at how underappreciated Paul has been. He writes, he sings, he plays, he creates, he dances, and he, along with Gene, have kept this KISS concept together into their fifth decade. Paul is the true modern day William Shakespeare and Beethoven combined; don't be surprised if 200 years from now he doesn't have his own spot in history books with these other two geniuses. So when I started listening to the book, I wasn't surprised at all when I was totally pulled into the bands 40 year history and found it hard to quite listening when I needed to.

    But what I was totally surprised at was Part 6 of his book. This final section of an otherwise brilliantly written book took it to a whole new level. The honesty, sincerity, and openness, along with life lessons he learned the hard way, transformed simple words on pages into some most golden advice any husband or father could even hear. The way he speaks of his wife, his children, and his parents after the stormy seas he survived for many years is heart tugging. Anyone, and I mean anyone, should read Part 6, whether you are a KISS fan or not. You will not regret it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 04-25-14
    David 04-25-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Incredibly Intimate - I could not stop listening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you were ever interested in KISS you have to listen to this book. It delivers from start to finish. He holds NOTHING back, and you see why this book is so good. Paul Stanley has integrity. I've always thought of him as one of the best (if not THE best) front men in Rock, but now I respect him as a person, father, and husband.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Face the Music?

    Listening to someone who is a millionaire describe how it was weird to have everything you want and still not be happy. Also, the fact that it starts off talking about his hear issues really knocked me of my feet (I own many albums and had no idea). This was not likely easy to talk about so there is an immediate intimacy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Listening to what an idiot Peter Criss is.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I want to find him, and thank him for all of his hard work as a musician, and now as an author. Every musician should read this book.


    Any additional comments?

    While it won't be for many years to come, I will cry when this man eventually leaves the earth. I haven't seen Kiss since their first "fairwell" tour, and plan on seeing them this Summer. God bless you and your family Paul. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 11-10-14
    Catherine LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 11-10-14 Member Since 2011

    I love to read!

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    "Unexpectedly a great book !"
    If you could sum up Face the Music in three words, what would they be?

    A read you will not forget.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The humor. I laughed a lot. Being from New York and very familiar with Jewish culture, I really "got it".


    What about Paul Stanley’s performance did you like?

    He came across as very curious and interested in other people, you "get it" with the read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I have never gone to a Kiss concert and couldn't have told you what any of their songs were before I read this book. I just like to hear people's stories. I wasn't expecting to hear great stories told with this depth of honesty and sincerity. I had never heard of Paul Stanley. He is obviously hugely talented, creative and intelligent. Could probably be successful at anything. Really, I just didn't want to stop listening to him talk to me. It is well worth anybodies time and is actually a great book. He could write a lot more! He is a great communicator. Unique. Really glad for his contribution with this book to other artists and musicians. He had high standards and sets a good example for other artists. May the red carpet continue to roll out for him. I think I will listen to this book again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    prism 10-26-14
    prism 10-26-14
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    "FASCINATING!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Face the Music to be better than the print version?

    Part of the joy of this book is based on the fact that Paul Stanley narrates it himself. Any other narrator could not do justice to hearing the real guy reading his own story (at least, in this case)


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Face the Music?

    Even if you're not a KISS fan, you may very well find yourself riveted by this book. I even downloaded some older KISS songs off of itunes in between listening to chapters of the book. I had a new found appreciation of some of those songs thanks to this audiobook.I also learned things I never knew before; Paul Stanley was born with only one ear and played a large part in his emotional insecurities. He's now involved in a group called "ABOUT FACE" dedicated to helping children with facial abnormalities deal with their challenges, etc.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Stanley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've never been a big Kiss fan. I liked "Rock And Roll All Night" and such, but that was about it. But after hearing Paul Stanley being interviewed on Joe Rogan's podcast, I was deeply moved to buy Paul's audiobook. It is a very fascinating, surprisingly emotional book. I usually skip around from book to book without reading straight through one book at a time. But I listened to this book all the way through. It had my thorough, undivided attention.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This is not just another rock and roll bio. It struck an emotional chord with me. I even felt like shedding a tear or too at some points. There's just so much content here - The many ups and downs for Paul and the band, Paul's new found meaning and joy with his wife and children, etc. - All I can say is give it a try. You'll be entertained to say the least.


    Any additional comments?

    I am aware that Paul Stanley's book is his side of the story and that the other members have their sides of the story. I'm not naive, But Paul's book is DEFINITELY worth hearing. It's certainly worth the price of admission!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Skaggs United States 10-21-14
    B. Skaggs United States 10-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I don't read/listen to Autobiographies...but WOW!!"
    Would you listen to Face the Music again? Why?

    I would definitely listen to it again..and again...it is inspirational...and it a great story of a character that found what life is all about...after facing trial and tribulations of stardom.


    What does Paul Stanley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It is like he is reading the story/memories to you..phenomenal


    Any additional comments?

    If you are KISS fan this is a must...if you are Paul Stanley fan this is a must...if you like great stories...about real life...then give this a try and you won't be sorry. Thank you Paul.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane A. Salter 09-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Wow what a surprise!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I had no idea that this book would be so informative and surprisingly motivational. You can't not listen to this and not think Wow I had no idea that Paul Stanley was so deep!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Face the Music?

    Learning that Paul was born deaf, and without a ear. How he over came that and what he does to contribute to others because of that. He's a Rock Star literally, but also because of who he is as a man!


    What does Paul Stanley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His feelings, you have no question that what he wrote is real. It felt like he was telling the story not reading from his book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I listened whenever I could and did not change books back in forth like I usually do. I usually listen to two or three books at a time jumping around depending on my mood. Not this time. And then I would think about it a lot when I wasn't listening to it. Loved it!


    Any additional comments?

    Plan to be surprised!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Peoria, IL United States 07-25-14
    Amazon Customer Peoria, IL United States 07-25-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Rock Star Who is a Human Being"
    Would you listen to Face the Music again? Why?

    Yes I would. Very enjoyable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Face the Music?

    When Paul came to a certain age and was able to correlate things in his life with past family experiences and learn from them.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Stanley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I have not; but I would listen to others.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A few moments having to do with his children. He sounds like a wonderful father.


    Any additional comments?

    OH Gene, Gene, Gene. What a web we weave....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Sarah
    6/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You wanted the best you got the best"
    What made the experience of listening to Face the Music the most enjoyable?

    Read with true feeling by the author


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a true insight of the man & the band from the beginning


    Have you listened to any of Paul Stanley’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This is the first book he has done so I cannot compare


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I wanted to keep listen whenever I could.


    Any additional comments?

    A full and honest account of a true rock god!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Johnston
    South East England
    6/24/14
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    "Riveting and insightful"
    What made the experience of listening to Face the Music the most enjoyable?

    Paul is very frank and holds little back


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The fact hat Paul narrate his own story


    Which character – as performed by Paul Stanley – was your favourite?

    Not applicable


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Hold your attention


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Glammyboy75
    6/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "STARCHILD"
    What did you like most about Face the Music?

    Many stories and facts of the great man himself. Been a fan for many years and still the best of the original member in my eyes. I found out lots of things I didn't know about him in this Autobiography and it's awesome to hear the man himself read it to you. Enjoy!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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