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Peter Criss Recalls Depression, Near-Suicide After 1994 Northridge Earthquake

Makeup to Breakup
Simon & Schuster

The barrel of a .357 Magnum was three inches down his throat before ex-Kiss drummer Peter Criss thought of his mother, father and daughter and decided he had to carry on. In 1994, hours after a devastating earthquake that killed 33 and injured nearly 9,000, the Catman believed he had nothing to live for.

In an excerpt of his new book ‘Peter Criss Makeup to Breakup,’ the drummer reveals that the $100K he had in a bag behind a now-fallen armoire was all he had left from his once $12 million fortune. Rolling Stone has the exclusive on the excerpt, which also talks about the amount of cocaine he consumed while recording ‘Destroyer,’ his friendship with comedian John Belushi and how the song ‘Beth’ overcame in-band criticisms to become Kiss’ most successful single.

“The whole room stank from death,” Criss writes of his apartment after he was allowed back in the next day. Almost every piece of furniture had toppled over and his many treasures (pictures, awards and even a cabinet full of Steuben crystal) were scattered in pieces across the living and bedroom.

I thought to myself, Why should I keep going? I was in the middle of recording a new album, but f—ing whoop-de-do; I was on TNT, a clown label. Then I started talking to myself, like in that Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is”: “What do you really have to live for? Your two marriages have gone to shit. You hardly see your daughter. You got a hundred grand, but you were worth twelve-some-odd million at one point in your life.

Eventually it was family memories that convinced Criss to take the gun out of his mouth. Much like an earlier excerpt in which he shared his dysfunctional family background, the Brooklyn born musician proves he’s willing to share an honest portrayal of his scar-filled life.

‘Peter Criss Makeup to Breakup’ will be available on Oct. 23.

Next: Read More From Peter Criss' New Book

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