Saturday, January 20, 2007

Happy double nickel Paul

Stanley Harvey Eisen (born January 20, 1952, Manhattan, New York) aka Paul Stanley, is an American Hard rock guitarist and vocalist for the rock band KISS. He is the writer or co-writer of most of the band's highest-charting hits, including "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Hard Luck Woman," "I Was Made For Lovin' You," and "Forever."

Before joining Wicked Lester, Paul Stanley was in Rainbow (not Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow) and Uncle Joe. Through a mutual friend of Gene Simmons, Stanley joined Simmons' band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s. The band recorded an album in 1971, but as of 2005 it has never been officially released (although songs from the album appeared on KISS's 2001 box set). Due to contractual obligations, Stanley and Simmons could not fire the other members of Wicked Lester, so they quit and hired Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and later formed as KISS shortly thereafter. KISS released their self-titled debut in February 1974.

Paul's persona in KISS is "The Starchild." Wearing spandex and platform boots, Stanley's persona is that of a Don Juan-esque lover, combining effeminate elements with elements of extreme masculinity, rather than mere androgyny. Although Paul's voice is generally very soft and eloquent during normal conversation, he uses a specific "stage voice" which is like a "Rock N' Roll Preacher" unlike most leading rock frontmen, he gets the crowd to join the band in many of their classic hits and also tends to give a speech or "scripted" story for certain songs (i.e.having a sexual encounters with nurses and other women he's met on tour and how much he supports our troops overseas) much like Gene Simmons adopts an animalistic growl on stage for his Demon persona.

In his book Sex Money KISS, Gene Simmons admits that Paul was the driving force for KISS during the makeup-free 1980s, while Simmons was feeling lost without his Demon makeup and attempting to launch a film career.

Newspaper ad for Phantom of the Opera, starring Paul Stanley
In 1999 Stanley starred in a Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera, in which he played the role of The Phantom. He appeared in the musical from May 25 to August 1, and again that year from September 30 to October 31. This made him the brunt of criticism from fans of both KISS and The Phantom of the Opera. Reviews from KISS fans were generally positive, whereas reviews from Phantom fans were generally negative.

While in Toronto, Stanley was contacted by AboutFace, an organization that provides support and information to individuals with facial differences, and asked to help raise awareness for them. Although he was approached due to his role as The Phantom, Stanley was in fact born with Microtia, a congential deformity of the pinna (outer ear). He has appeared at fundraising events and in videos for the organization.

In 2001 Stanley's wife, Dallas native Pamela Bowen, filed for divorce. They have one son, Evan Shane Stanley.

Stanley badly needed hip replacement surgery but suffered through the Rock The Nation tour first, finally getting the surgery in October 2005. Complications from the surgery required a second in December of that year, and in December 2005 it has been announced that a third hip surgery will be necessary. Stanley regards the degeneration of his left hip as partly the product of thousands of shows performed since the early 1970s.

On November 19th 2005, Paul Stanley married longtime girlfriend Erin Sutton at The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington in Pasadena, California. They welcomed their first child 8lb. 6oz. Colin Michael Stanley on Wednesday, September 6, 2006.

Stanley made his debut as a painter in 2005, exhibiting and selling original works of art.

In 2006, Stanley resumed his association with Washburn Guitars and resumed using the Washburn PS2000. Previously, he has had four signature guitars made by Silvertone, and tweaked the Ibanez Iceman to his specifications, calling it the PS10.

His most recent performances with KISS were a group of shows in July 2006 both in Los Angeles and parts of Japan.

Solo career
Paul's 2006 solo album Live to Win
Stanley has recorded and performed outside of KISS very rarely. In 1989, he embarked on a brief club tour, performing only KISS songs (with one cover, Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown"). His touring band included guitarist Bob Kulick and future KISS drummer Eric Singer.

Stanley wrote and recorded material for a solo album in 1987–88, which was shelved in favor of the KISS compilation, Smashes, Thrashes & Hits. While never officially released, songs such as "Don't Let Go" and "When 2 Hearts Collide" have circulated as bootleg recordings. One song from the project, "Time Traveler," was released as part of the KISS's 2001 box set.

28 years after releasing his first solo album (as part of the four simultaneously released KISS solo albums), Stanley released a second album, Live to Win, on October 24, 2006.

In October and November 2006, Stanley embarked on a theater tour in support Live to Win. His touring band was the house band from the CBS TV show, Rock Star. The band appeared on both seasons of the show - Rock Star: INXS and Rock Star: Supernova. The band was comprised of Paul Mirkovich (keyboards), Jim McGorman (guitar), Rafael Moreira (lead guitar), Nate Morton (drums), and Sasha Krivstov (bass).

He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
His single, "Live To Win," made its debut in the 8th episode of South Park's 10th season, titled "Make Love, Not Warcraft".
He was asked to produce albums for Poison and Guns N' Roses, but was unable due to his time working on KISS projects.

Other birthdays of note today -
Buzz Aldrin, Martin Landau, DeForest Kelley, George Burns, Slim Whitman, Arte Johnson, and Tom Baker.

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