peter criss - man or beast?

a work of fiction by: scoop wiener
super rock awards magazine - fall 1979

peter criss has always acted strange - even for someone in kiss!
it has come to our attention that peter may love cats
because he actually is one! we've tracked down the truth for you.

there are many strange things in life! after all, how many times have you heard that truth is stranger than fiction? it most definitely is, especially when you're dealing with kiss. the mere mention of their name conjures up mystical images. kiss is the embodiment of all that is strange, weird and different! let's face it, kiss is unique in the annals of rock! what other rock group can you name which boasts a fire-breathing, blood-spitting, long-tongued demon, a gang-leading space traveller, a starry-eyed rock n' roll lover and a drum-playing feline? kiss leaves you breathless! they also leave you wondering - wondering about who and what they really are!

of all the members of kiss, gene simmons, ace frehley, paul stanley and peter criss, the latter is shrouded in the biggest bundle of mystery. of the four, the least is known about peter. while there are many odd things concerning all the members of kiss, peter, in particular, appears the most unusual. hey, let's face it. how many people do you know claiming to be a cat? sure, we know it's only supposed to be a stage persona, but we're not so sure!

there have recently been many doubts raised in our minds as to whether or not peter criss is really human. no, we're not putting you on. there are several unexplained details surrounding peter's life. our curiosity was piqued when one of kiss' roadies came to us shaking. he told us that he had evidence that peter criss really was a cat!

naturally, at first we dismissed this roadie as a crackpot. but after listening to what he had to say, we quickly changed our minds. the longer he spoke, the more we believed that peter criss was actually a cat! this roadie told us that he always felt there was something wrong with peter. after all, how many human beings do you know who eat cat food before every show. but this roadie told us that's exactly what peter does. he has to place a large bowl of cat chow in front of peter before every kiss concert.

then he told us that peter goes out for a walk. there's nothing strange about that--except for the fact that when peter comes back he's full of cat hairs and can't stop licking himself. this roadie told us that he thinks we should investigate peter. he claimed we would be shocked at what we found out.

well, we knew what we had to do. always looking to bring you, our readers, the true story--the real story--we decided to send out our top investigative reporter to try and answer the burning question: is peter criss man or beast? what he found out will really send you reeling!

since the best place to begin with is the beginning, our man went back to peter's old neighborhood in brooklyn, new york. he thought he would ask peter's old friends and neighbors about him. well, to the utter amazement of our whole staff, no one could even remember peter. one elderly woman said she had lived on the block for fifty years and knew everyone who had ever lived there, and no one named peter criss had lived in the neighborhood. but she told us something else which really got us excited!

she told us that, about thirty years ago, there was a family of stray cats which suddenly invaded the neighborhood. there were three cats. two grown ones and one kitten comprised the family. they roamed the streets for many years. the old lady told us that the young cat always acted strange. it only had two whiskers and gave off a gleaming greenish color from around it's eyes. but the strangest thing about it was that whenever it passed an open window from which music was emanating, this small cat always started swaying back and forth--as if dancing to the music and getting in tune with the beat. the old lady told us it was the strangest thing she has ever seen.

can it be? did peter criss lie to the whole world by telling us he was actually born in brooklyn when there is no trace of him growing up there? or perhaps it was only a small white lie. was he the young cat who loved listening to music? it certainly seems that way!

having dug up this sizzling information, our man ventured on. he was determined to get to the bottom of this. next stop: peter's supposed school. he went straight to the principal's office. when asked about a student by the name of peter criss, the principal drew a blank look on his face. he said he knew all the students who went to his school in the past forty years. no one by the name peter criss was among them. he doubled checked the records, but there was no evidence of peter. he did say that the school once had a cat for a mascot and it's name was peter. it was a stray, picked up one day by a student and made it into the school's pet. was this a mere coincidence? the plot thickens!

we were getting hotter. the next logical place to go seemed to be the local rock clubs where peter claimed to have gotten his start. we figured if peter criss was really a human being and wasn't lying, someone in one of these clubs would have to know about him. our man asked around. in the first club he went to, he asked a few regulars. these guys have been hanging around the place for years. one of these gentlemen said that he once remembered someone who looked like peter criss playing drums there in a small band. he said her remembered it because it struck him as highly unusual. this guy had these strange whiskers and kept on purring in between numbers.

yes, that was indeed strange. we went to another club. once again, someone there remembered a performer answering to the description of peter criss. but once again it was under strange circumstances. this time it seems that a cat was always seen around the dressing room just before peter was scheduled to perform. but then disappeared just when peter came on stage. it suddenly reappeared as soon as peter was finished. and to top matters off, peter was never anywhere to be found after a show. the guy we spoke to said it seemed as if peter vanished into thin air!

wait a minute now. it was beginning to become clearer to us. it seemed as if peter criss might actually be a cat who turned into a man whenever he performed. we know that sounds too amazing to be true, but scientists will tell you that anything is possible. it could be that peter is a cat who loves music so much that he forced himself to turn into a man! it may sound ludicrous to you, but there's more to come.

we decided to try and find out about the historic day when peter auditioned for kiss. we couldn't reach the other members of kiss for comment but we did contact an eyewitness on the scene that day. he confirmed our worst fears. it seems that peter showed up that day with hair all over his body. our eyewitness said it was definitely cat hair. to add to that, whenever one of the others asked him a question, peter just shook his head up or down and made a sound like a cat's meow. the others thought he was putting them on, trying to win them over with his sense of the unusual. but everyone in the room had to rub their eyes and do a double take when a mouse ran across the floor and peter jumped off his stool and ran after the mouse, pursuing him across the length of the floor. we were told that peter's eyes took on a devilish glimmer and his nostrils flared as he began sniffing out the mouse! the rodent finally made it safely into a hole. needless to say, everyone there was stunned. but the audition continued and peter was soon picked to join kiss.

if anything could convince us as to peter's duel personality, that was it. but we knew we had to dig deeper, leave no mouse trap unsnapped. it was only logical to ask the people closest to kiss, their roadies, about peter. we wanted to know if some other roadies could confirm what the roadie who first came to us told us.

we had our man ask around. the first roadie he spoke to had some interesting things to say. the roadies said that he, too, had always thought peter to be odder than the other kiss members. he told us that peter always demanded a dressing room of his own. he always locked the door and would'nt allow anyone to enter. but one day this roadie found the door accidentally unlocked and peeked in the room. to his horror, he could'nt find peter. instead he saw a round ball of wool hanging from the ceiling and a cat in the center of the room playing with it. the roadie was astounded, but figured it was'nt his place to say anything.

another roadie who spoke to our reporter told him that peter made sure never to be seen without his makeup. but one day he was caught cat-napping. this roadie walked passed a window of peter's room and saw, or at least claims he saw, the head of a cat on a man's body. he swears he was'nt drinking and that he has 20/20 vision! wow, that was a real shocker!

the third and last roadie we spoke to really provided us with the clincher! he said he was scared to come forward before, but he once saw something he'll never forget! he saw peter criss change from a cat into a man right before one of kiss' concerts! he said that he was minding his own business, walking in the hall, when he heard a loud meow. he glanced around the corner of the hall and saw this cat. then there was a hissing noise and before the roadie knew it, peter criss was standing where the cat was! it was the most incredible sight the roadie had ever seen in his life! while we are forced to take this man at his word for the whole incident, it certainly fits with our other findings concerning peter criss.

well, we were just about convinced that peter criss was really a cat who turns into a man when he plays with kiss. but we decided to give peter a chance to explain the whole situation. unfortunately, he refused to talk with us. but he did issue a statement through a spokesman.

peter's statement was to the effect that he's all man. he said it was ridiculous for anyone to think that he could possibly be a cat. peter claimed that that's only his stage image. he said if anyone thinks he's really a cat, that's because it's what he wants people to think. it means he's doing a good job in perpetuating his stage role. but that wasn't good enough for us. we know what our ace investigative reporter found out and that's good enough for us!

the question of whether peter criss is really a man or cat--or both--will probably never be answered. but all the clues point to the fact that peter criss is something other than human. but it really doesn't matter. not as long as he keeps on making people happy with kiss. is peter criss man or beast? only peter really knows that. and he's not talking. our final word; we have learned that peter is losing hair daily. that's not unusual because this is the season when cats shed their hair. even if peter criss is all human, he'll always be purr-fect as far as all kiss fans are concerned.

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