Face the Music

A Life Exposed
Narrated by: Paul Stanley
Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,515 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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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.

10 people found this helpful

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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.

9 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.

10 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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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!

7 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!

2 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.

1 person found this helpful

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An absolute page turner!

This book touches you. In order to touch something, you must first reach it. This book reaches the reader. No small feat, and honestly quite the admirable gift, to be reached like that. The incomparable Paul Stanley has the gift of reaching people, be it through his music and performances or through his ability to connect via the written word. Give yourself or someone you care about the gift of reading this book.

1 person 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!

1 person found this helpful

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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 person 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 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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  • Darrell
  • 08-08-20

fantastic book

fantastic book, love Paul Stanley s performance narrating his book and learned a lot about him as a person

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  • SalvadorHealth
  • 07-17-20

Strutter!

Ive been a fan of Kiss for about 25 years but never really delved into their history before so much of what happens here was news to me. The story is excellently read by Paul, he is intimate, often very funny and although harsh about his former band-mates and their failings he always praises what they brought to the band that created that magic in the early years.
I noticed a few complaints about Paul moaning....he's rich famous blah blah yet he was miserable. YES! This is the whole point of the book.... none of the fame and fortune brought Paul the happiness he was looking for and he had to find it somewhere else. Its a story we've heard a hundred times but hearing Paul tell it was something else.

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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.

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  • M J May
  • 04-22-20

absolutely awesome listen, Paul is just brilliant.

highly recommended, Paul is a great story teller, and his past is very colourful to say the least

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-07-19

a great surprise

loved it very revealing and surprising heard revelations I never knew about well worth the effort

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  • Owen Reynolds
  • 10-20-19

Inspiring and Facinating.

Loved the deep dive into the history of the band and the self-love spread.

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  • delfaulds
  • 08-19-19

There's more to him than make up and guitars.

An enjoyable account of the ups and downs experienced while creating an epic legacy. You don't need to be a Kiss fan to enjoy getting to know the band members and everything they could or could not offer the band during its existence.

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  • I Love Energy
  • 12-09-18

Fantastic! Honest, true and captivating

Really impressed with how well written and narrated. Insightful, funny and fascinating. I was gripped from the start!

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  • edna John
  • 04-27-20

Fantastic

It was an honour to have read this book. Total respect. I love the brutal honesty. Thank you Paul.

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  • jemlyn
  • 04-10-20

Honest, and inspiring.

I've always wanted to meet Paul Stanley, but I don't think a meet and greet, or even a dinner conversation would be as revealing and insightful as the life story Paul narrates in this book. There's a real honesty right from the start that continues all through this, from his childhood self doubt through to the warm conclusion. I think my biggest take-away was that even though Paul Stanley is one of the biggest, most successful rock stars ever, he is still as much a real human being as any of us. At no point did I feel my sympathy being forced, or that any particular view was contrived... it was just authentic. There's a bit of dirty laundry being aired, but stick with it, because it eventually makes a wonderful point, especially if you consider yourself a KISS fan. Paul Stanley's reading is probably the only part of this book that falls a little short - some sentences have awkward emphasis that could have done with another take, though I noticed towards the end as he talks about his more recent life and family, his enthusiasm for where he's at overrides this. I recommend this book completely. I've been a fan since I was a baby but after absorbing this story my appreciation just went up even more!

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  • Chris247
  • 10-22-19

Absolutely loved this book

Great read or listen, really understand a lot more now about original members. Well done Paul Stanley.

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  • Babyeaters
  • 06-29-19

We Loved It .I Listened with a Girlfriend

This Is A Brilliant Book And Pauls Voice Brings it Home And Brings It To Life And Does The Legend Such Justice ..Its Just Brilliant To Listen Too...A Must Do. I Listened With A Great Girlfriend And She IS A Paul Stanley Fan Also ...We Utterly Loved It ..Don't MIss This One ...We Love YOU Paul And Thanks Mr Paul Stanley For A Brilliant Career That Has Brought Much Love. Fun And Cool To Our Lives. We've seen Paul Live together . We Agree It Was Larger Than Life , For US Both . Face The Music ..By Mr Paul Stanley...An Epic IN Cool Greatness And Succeeding In The Business Of Success and excess .Thanks' Once Again Paul. 10 out of 10

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  • Josephine Ford
  • 02-22-19

kiss

paulSanley very good book an eye opener to a band life his life something real no lies truthfully stated really enjoyed the book

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  • Paul Grant
  • 01-19-19

Great book for music lovers

This book it a great read from start to finish.
It is very enjoyable to follow as you can feel the passion by the author reading you his life story.
For music buffs and fans like myself you will learn something new about the author and the bands Kisstory, and understand the ins and outs, and do’s and don’ts of following your dreams no matter if it personal, business or passion.
Thank you to the author Paul Stanley in allowing us to be included in hearing his story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-11-18

Wow just wow

Paul Stanley is simply amazing. What well narrated story with plenty of detail.

I'd love if he did another about their adventures on tour. A Kiss and tell book if you get my drift.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-28-18

awesome

i love the book and i wish it didnt have to end. im nearly 20 years old and i have loved kiss and my favorite has always been Paul this book has made me understand everything about him and kiss I hope he does another book like this so i can listen to it 💜💜💜

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  • Monique O'Garr
  • 04-28-18

Old Kiss fan love it 💕💕👍👍👍

After being a big Kiss fan right up until Ace left, where I felt like they weren’t Kiss anymore, this book was so enlightening!!
Paul is an amazing storyteller and a very resilient man xx Highly Recomnend this read 💕💕❤️❤️💋💋💋💋💋💋💋

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  • David G Francis
  • 10-23-17

Surprising insight for any fan

At times sad, this inspired biography sheds light on one of rocks greatest showman, Paul Stanley. A warts and all account of a career from humble beginnings to lavish lifestyle. Although the last few chapters disappoint somewhat I found this account to be heartfelt and intriguing. Would have loved info on the genesis of kiss symphony and later years, I still find this very appealing to even non kiss and rock music fans. Any would be musicians would also benefit from the stories of success and failure. All in all a great listen and would highly recommend.