KISS Frontman Paul Stanley on Overcoming His Demons

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April 16 (Bloomberg) -- KISS guitarist, vocalist and frontman Paul Stanley discusses his tough childhood, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his role in "Phantom of the Opera." He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Book first, "face the music" that's what you've done by revealing so much of what you went through.

Start us off with how you wrote the book.

For years i was totally against the idea of writing an auto biography because they tend to be boasting about achievements or claimed achievements that mean very little in the scheme of things.

I wrote the book because i wanted my children to understand what i had gone through and also perhaps inspire other people.

I was born deaf in one ear, i was born without a right ear.

I had quite a bit of dysfunctionality in my household growing up and was ridiculed, taunted and had quite a hard time coming up in the ranks.

I wanted to become successful because i thought that that was the antidote, that that would take care of everything.

When i was lucky enough to become successful, i saw that i was still miserable, had the same duties i'd always had and at that -- doubts i'd always had and at that point i was faced with, what do i do now?

You either face your life as a victim or roll up your sleeves and make a great life for yourself.

Mine wasn't easy but maybe other people can see themselves in my book.

I have a spectacular life.

Some people say it was brave to write this book but it has a happy ending and that's why i could write it.

You wanted to be zoro.

You wanted to be the loan -- lone ranger.

You became scarface.

I became -- starface.

I became a superhero with a guitar.

I dreamed it and i achieved it.

I think if everybody looks inside themselves and does a hard assessment of what their capabilities are, then the only thing standing between them and success is hard work.

I worked hard and i have the life to show for it.

I have four spectacular children, an amazing wife and i found at this stage in life that the way you heal yourself and the way you get the most out of life is by what you give other people.

Tell us a little bit about what goes through you now when you perform?

You describe in the book the rush that you feel when you go onstage and you say now that rush stays with you.

It may be a bit of a cliche but when you leave the stage, you leave that fantasy and you have to deal with reality.

Everybody goes home at night and has to look at themselves and either like themselves or loath themselves.

When i leave the stage now it's not because i'm going to something that i dread and there was a time it was like that.

I played madison square garden and after the show, soldout show, i said good night and went to have dinner by myself at a deli.

So it's been a great, great journey and it's exhilarating to have the kind ofed alation i have.

But it's also exhilarating to have the kind of home life i have.

There's a lot of people who don't want to go home.

I love being home.

I'm feeling a bit celebratory right now because we found out that the book is the number two best seller on "the new york times" best seller list.

That's quite an accomplishment at this stage in my life.

Congratulations for that.

Talk a little bit if you can about the music.

You bought your first guitar i believe at the age of 14. and in fact the first group you were in, you were singing because you couldn't really afford a musical instrument.


I grew up, i was blessed to be in a family, whatever they were deficient in, they exposed me to the arts.

I grew up in a household where fine art was really looked upon as nourishment.

The arts, music, drama, theater.

So i always sang.

It was something we did in our household as a very natural, natural extension of being together.

So music's always been not only my blood, it's my air, it's a passion.

And i urge everybody out there to find a passion in life.

If you find a passion in life, you not only have the key to success but you have the key to dealing with failure.

And in some cases it also gives you the key to the rock 'n roll hall of fame.

And even when they don't want you in it.

It took them 14 years.

Took them 14 years to let us in.

It's clear that they didn't really want us at the party but the people spoke loud enough and at some point you must address the people.

Because the people speak volumes.

You also have to address yourself.

Can you tell the story about performing in the "phantom of the opera" in a production in toronto.

And you were playing the lead and this changed your life.

It did.

It did indeed.

I had seen the show in london, in the west end, in 1988 and somehow i had this epipny when i watched it, i thought to myself, i can do that.

It was based on nothing except this innate sense of what i was connecting with.

10 years later i was asked if i wanted to audition and go to new york, do a full audition and perhaps go up to toronto where the show had run for 10 years.

I think it had grossed over $500 million there.

They certainly didn't need me to come in and ruin their show.

Did a full audition.

Wound up going up there and it was a life-changing experience.

I never realized that my connection to it was, here's this disfigured musician who wants desperately to reach out and connect emotionally with a woman and can't. that was my life.

Somehow i didn't see it.

At one point a woman sent me a letter backstage saying that she seemed to see something in my performance that had been lacking in others.

She told me she worked for an organization called aboutface that dealt with children and adults with facial differences.

And it was the first time i opened up and said, well, i was born without an ear.

I have a condition called microcia and that was the start of this wonderful journey where i started meeting with children, letting them know that they aren't like everybody else.

Sometimes parents make this mistake with what they think is tough love, telling you, you're just like everyone else.

Well, how often can a kid listen to you when you don't understand that they're not like anyone else?

I like to sit with kids and tell them, life can be tough, but you can have a great life if you're willing to work hard.

I'm the proof of it and i love to speak to parents and tell them the same thing.

What i found once again is the more i give to other people, the happier i am.

The way to heal yourself is to heal others.

Thanks very much for your

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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