• Face the Music

  • A Life Exposed
  • By: Paul Stanley
  • Narrated by: Paul Stanley
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,043 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Face the Music

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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.

13 people found this helpful

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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!

8 people found this helpful

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Intriguing and Insightful

I was never a great KISS fan but have found Paul Stanley to be an interesting and engaging person. By their nature autobiographies are, of course, self indulgent and this is no exception. Learning of Paul’s early life and the struggles from his physical disability show a very personal and deep element to the challenges he faced as a young boy growing up in NY and the effect this had on him throughout the vast majority of his life. Of course a book of Paul Stanley’s life is going to be in large part a book about KISS and in this area he pulls no punches, indeed in all areas of the book he is not shy about saying exactly what he feels about people and events that have had happened. At some points I was erring to the side of thinking that maybe he is a bit of a jerk who seemed unable to say much positive about people too often. Then again to be in the arena of work he is, does take a very self focussed drive. In general it did not, however, detract from my positive impression of Mr Stanley. The real interesting part of the story is how he eventually found happiness within himself off stage and not just as the Starchild persona.

As a performance I really enjoyed the recording. I generally prefer to have British narrators on audio books as I find their vocal tone easier to follow, especially on long recordings. In this case, as with Michelle Obama’s book, it was just perfect being read by the author.

I recommend the title wholeheartedly on all levels.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book

Highly recommended- Paul Stanley’s story is both motivating and inspiring! I’m a fan of “read by the author” audio books, and this ranks in my top five! Do yourself a favor and dive in to Paul’s life story of dreams, hard work and perseverance. Well done Mr Stanley!

4 people found this helpful

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Painful at best

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I really AM a fan of Paul Stanley, I was super excited to listen to this book. Sadly you can honestly tell he's reading, he shows very little enthusiasm as he reads. It's almost like he's bored of his own story. Sometimes he rushes through parts and it sounds like a parent just trying to get to the end of the book so their kid will go to sleep.

He spends much too much time on his childhood - I'm on chapter 15 and we are just NOW getting to the part about starting a band with Gene. I'm forcing myself to listen to the book in whole, since I purchased it. But as of now, it's been painful and I rarely turn it on.

Would you ever listen to anything by Paul Stanley again?

No

What didn’t you like about Paul Stanley’s performance?

See above comment

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Face the Music?

There is a lot of ramble about childhood - I would have shortened this to 5 chapters vs 15.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Read!

What made the experience of listening to Face the Music the most enjoyable?

I used to listen to Kiss along time ago. Over the years I've always keep them within ear shot but never really a hard core fan. This book was awesome in explaining the band's trials and tribulations. I thought it was very respectful to all the band members and Paul doesn't brag on himself, in fact he really strived to create just the ultimate band.

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

The common theme of just trying to make good music and be a complete band.

3 people found this helpful

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Cranky Rock Star

If you want to hear Paul Stanley complaining about everything from why his parents never supported him to why Peter’s inability to sing in the studio this book is for.
Fame? Wealth? Adoration? All might seem pretty worthwhile from the outside but don’t worry - Paul will set you straight & show you how they actually really secretly suck.
The only thing that seemed genuine in the whole audiobook was the often repeated fact that Paul really likes to sleep with women who are already in relationships with other men

2 people found this helpful

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Paul Stanley

I read Gene Simmons Kiss and make up several years when it first came out. By the end if I were to look up narcissist in the dictionary would be his face. A lot of the facts that were already known about Gene was already known, its all about him. In Paul's book it was all about him, with a very decent approach. Paul makes himself human and it was a very insightful interesting book. Once I started listening to it it was very hard to put down. He does have many negative views but in the end he had a lot walls built into bridges. He of all people you wouldn't expect to have an inferiority complex but in the end, again, he made a lot of progress. Great book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-14-19

Awesome

From that first time in 1975 when I carefully placed the needle of my dad's record player on the funky red vinyl , and sat in awe of these fours dudes from across the pond and the sweet sounds they made, to today, kiss music has been like a sound track to my life. Loved Paul Stanley talking about his life and about the hottest band in the world, kiss. Loved the insight to the band and Paul, I recommend any rock and roll fan to read this book.

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  • londonline
  • 01-12-19

Paul should re title this Kiss-ery

I’ve never heard someone moan so much about their life, successes and achievements while at the same time charging their fans hard earned cash to meet them.

KISS have milked every merchandising opportunity available (and good luck to them whilst they start another ‘farewell tour’...how many farewells have they done now?) but listening to Paul crybaby his way through this book went from annoyance to amusement.

If KISS-ery doesn’t cut it for a rename, can I suggest Paul Stanley - Miserable Millionaire’

Keep coining it in Paul...listening to you whine your way through this book, I’m struck that you still haven’t learnt the more money you earn, the more miserable you become.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Critchley
  • 06-04-20

A thoroughly enjoyable journey

Paul's always struck me as a decent man, out of the Kiss guys, he's the one I always felt had decency, morals and honour. This book highlights my feelings were correct, Paul's journey from a shy kid to one of the great rock stars is a fantastic journey that most of us could only dream of. Really enjoyed this.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Big Walbowski
  • 02-20-18

Face the Music

I'm a massive kiss fan so this audible book was no brainer for me. Loved every minute of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • spamitz
  • 08-06-22

An absorbing rock memoir

Having read this in paperback I thought I would re-visit it read by the author. It's a fascinating twisting tale, and gives a lot of insight too into Stanley's background and his reasons for choosing this career path. He is not a natural narratorhowever, and his delivery is very flat- however it is HIS story so who else could speak it?

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  • Joe
  • 05-22-22

Enjoyable life story

Really appreciate Paul Stanley’s frankness expressing his life story to making it with KISS and beyond. Certainly no diva stuff and a very down to earth narration of his life behind the mad makeup and costumes. Only thing is multi millionaires should never give parental and family advice especially when they highlight how much time, love and interest they bestow on their kids. Good luck to everyone lucky enough to make it and be financially secure, but the rest of us don’t have those luxuries and still manage to do OK I’m sure. My kids are grown up and have done on heavy rock so have seen kids live a few times and loved their set. This minor thing aside it didn’t detract from a wonderfully written and narrated story by Paul and glad I got it. Great stuff.

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  • David Addison
  • 03-31-22

Brilliant

Excellent story loved it. Wasn’t a kiss fan but have got into them since listening to this.

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  • Crypticelt
  • 01-10-22

piece of kisstory

Must read for any kiss fan. Paul doesn't hold back with his views of life, love and band mates. Amazing book one of the best I've read

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  • John Williams (Artist)
  • 11-11-21

More Personal

great to hear the more personal side of Paul and kiss plus his version of events.

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  • Mark A
  • 07-07-21

Fantastic

I’m not the biggest fan of Kiss but having seen Paul Stanley on interviews I found what he had to say very interesting and very engaging so this audiobook was a must, I didn’t know much about the history of his band but his narration made it informative and very entertaining.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-28-22

Spectacular

I couldn’t imagine anyone else than Paul Stanley to read this book. This was amazing to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthony Keratianos
  • 12-24-21

Best book I’ve ever read…

I’ve been a Kiss fan for over 40 years and loved every word of Paul’s book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve Callagher
  • 09-16-21

much more than expected

When I attended their only NZ show on the reunion tour in 97 I was struck by the phenomenon that the group was. Being born in 75 of course I missed all the fun the first time round. Learning about Mr Stanleys life and personal experiences has been eyeopening and heartwarming simultaneously.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mike A
  • 06-22-22

Excellent

Straight to the point, no boring bits, very entertaining & well worth a listen.
No "Dwelling" on his sexual adventures explained LOL so rest assured.

Paul was & is the main reason KISS still live on. He NEVER gave up & got his rewards for the hard work.

This is also a human story too about his life in general, the ups & downs with & without KISS

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  • Vincent
  • 03-21-22

Kiss Lives On

I am a lifelong Kiss fan and have always loved Paul Stanley as my favourite member. This book was awesome and it was wonderful to hear the genesis of the best rock band of all time. Thanks Paul

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-22

Perception is everything

A truly amazing insight into creating an iconic rock band and generating income from your craft. Loved every minute.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-15-21

You don't need to be a hard core fan to listen

I love that Paul narrated his book.
It was awesome to listen to his personal growth and how he changed the way he looked at life.
He has put alot of his vulnerable situations on the table for everyone to hear.

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  • Martin Castilla
  • 08-29-21

Warts & all KISS story from the coolest original.

Paul Stanley has gone full circle, from selfish guitar-addicted muso (early on aren't they all?) to philanthropic elder statesman fronting "the best band in the world!". He tells the KISS story warts & all, including his many run ins with co-founder bassist Gene Simmons.
It's a long and interesting story, in which all characters come in for extensive personal attention from Stanley, including Ace Frelhey, Peter Criss and others,
Thankfully it ends happily, Stanley showing he's gracefully and generously accepting his age (60s...) prioritising his kids and family, and touring with KISS for the love of it, coz they certainly long ago made enough loot to comfortably live forever.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-21

Loved It!

Brilliant from start to finish, I didn’t want it to end. What an incredible man Paul Stanley is. A great read for anyone that isn’t even a KISS fan!

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  • Taan Sukkar
  • 05-29-21

If you like KISS you will love this audiobook.

A warts and all no holds barred history of Paul Stanley & KISS. The narration is by the author and it is an enjoyable listening experience. This is truly one for the fans.