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Peter Criss

Back in the day when you could pick up your favorite candy such as flying saucers, candy cigarettes and everyone’s favorite Bazooka bubble gum at your local penny store, you could always catch your favorite street corner doo-wop singers singing away.

One of those groups was called THE STARS and had a member at the age of thirteen named George Peter John Criscuola. George’s parents owned an antique shop in Brooklyn, NY, as they lived on Paerdegat 14th street in Brooklyn. George was an avid art student and a jazz aficionado. While playing with bandleader Joey Greco, George ended up studying under his idol, Gene Krupa, at the Metropole Club in New York. This blossomed into an active musical career as he went on to play jazz and rock with a number of bands in New York and New Jersey throughout the 1960s.

In late 1960s, George Criscuola shortened his name to Peter Criscuola and joined CHELSEA, as the group released a self-titled album in 1970 on Decca records Peter’s album credit was Peter Cris. August 1971 CHELSEA became LIPS (a trio consisting of Criss, as well as CHELSEA Bandmates Michael Benvenga and Stan Penridge). By the spring of 1973, LIPS was just the duo of Criss and Penridge. After the break up of LIPS Peter posted an ad in the newspaper which was answered by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons members of WICKED LESTER, later on they added Ace Frehley in 1972 and changed their name to KISS.

As you check out the original photos and the original hand signature of Peter Criscuola, it sure does bring back memories; especially for me as I was also born in Brooklyn myself; with those flamingo mirrors and just about every brownstone having those plaster walls. These original photos were not taken by, but are property of Brian Rademacher (CEO), these were taken in Brooklyn around the time the first KISS album was released. The original hand signature is also property of


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