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This page is dedicated to mapping out the bands which Peter Criscuola has played with during his career. While some are a matter of rumor, or in some cases, conjecture, other's details come from better constructed sources.


STARS (c.1959)
If this could even be called a group, then it would be one step down from a gang - a goup of kids hanging out on street corners singing. Other members of any, if any, lineup are unknown.
JOEY GRECO & THE "IN" CROWD (c.1963)
Peter got the "gig" by filling in for Joey's drummer who had broken his leg. Apart from Joey on guitar/vocals, the rest of the lineup is unknown. It is possible that Peter replaced Bobbie Clarke.
THE BARRACUDAS (<1966 - Early 1967)
Peter Criscuola
Carlos Cancel
Unknown
Unknown
Drums/Precussion
Guitars
Bass
Vocals
Little known about this band except that they cut an independent single. Since the songs on the single were written by Carlos Cancel, it is possible that he was a member of the band.
SOUNDS OF SOUL (Early 1967 - Spring 1968)
Peter Criscuola
Angelo Opper
Joey Lucenti
Pepi Genneralli
Tommy Ventimiglia
Drums/Precussion
Bass
Guitars/Vocals
Keyboards
Horns/Brass
A soul band, playing R&B, this band did demo recordings.
THE BROTHERHOOD (Spring 1968 - Late 1968)
Peter Criscuola
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
Drums/Precussion
Bass
Guitars/Vocals
Keyboards
Horns/Brass
Since the band that followed The Brotherhood included members from Sounds Of Soul, it is possible that there was simply a band name change, or that some members of that band were also members of The Brotherhood.
THE VINTAGE (Late 1968 - Late 1969)
Peter Criscuola
John Balsamo
Joe Lucenti
Pepi Genneralli
Drums/Precussion
Bass
Guitars/Vocals
Keyboards
This band won a talent show at the Academy of Music in January 1969.
NAUTILUS (Late 1969-Mid 1970)
Peter Cris
Kevin Reese
Peter Shandis
Unknown
Drums/Precussion
Guitar
Bass
Vocals?
Members from this band would be part of the jam band that Peter played with at his wedding in January 1970.
CHELSEA #1 (Late 1970-Jan. 1971)
Peter Shepley
Mike Brand
Peter Cris
Michael Benvenga
Chris Aridas
Lead Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Drums/Precussion
Bass/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
How Peter hooked up with this band is unclear. After joining Chelsea in late 1968 the band managed to secure a 2 record deal on Decca Records, distributed via MCA. When the first album was released it did so poorly that Aridas quit. Michael Benvenga had been in "The Wall" which played the Brooklyn music scene prior to Chelsea, but the other member's pedigree's are unknown. It would not be surprising if Shepley/Brand had not worked together prior to Chelsea.
CHELSEA #2 (Jan. 1971-Aug. 1971)
Peter Shepley
Mike Brand
Peter Cris
Michael Benvenga
Stan Penridge
Lead Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Drums/Precussion
Bass/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Replacing Chris Aridas with Stan Penridge brought a new creativity to both the acoustic and electric factions within Chelsea, but while he would be able to work with both Peter/Mike pairs, his contributions would not save the band when producer Lewis Merenstein concentrated more on Van Morrison.
LIPS #1 (Aug. 1971-Early 1972)
Peter Cris
Michael Benvenga
Stan Penridge
Drums/Vocals
Bass/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Lips was born the night Chelsea died, when the trio performed at the Yellow Front Saloon in Fort Lee, NJ when Shepley and Brand were late. While the material they would develop was similar to the material Chelsea had done, several later KISS songs were born in this period. When he saw that the band was going nowhere, Michael Benvenga, quit going on to do session work before marrying in 1975. He would pass away in 1977, aged 28. The band would do one demo recording with session guitarist John Amato assisting.
LIPS #1 (Early 1972-Mar. 1973)
Peter Cris
Stan Penridge
Drums/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
By the time that Lips were reduced to a duo Peter and Stan were still trying to get a recording deal, never with any luck. Peter and Stan would continue to gig occassionally, even after the beginnings of KISS...
WICKED LESTER #3 (Sept. 1972-Dec. 1972)
Gene Simmons
Paul Stanley
Peter Cris
Bass/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Drums/Vocals
Initially as a power trio, Gene and Paul, would for some time be playing with two bands called Wicked Lester. The lineup with Peter was their new vision for the musical development which, following the addition of a lead guitarist, would become KISS.
KISS #1 (Dec. 1972-Dec. 1979)
Gene Simmons
Paul Stanley
Peter Criss
Ace Frehley
Bass/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Drums/Vocals
Lead Guitar/Vocals
Following the conclusion of the "Dynasty" Tour in December 1979 Peter Criss quit KISS to go solo. By March 1980 he would be recording his solo album, though the "official" departure from KISS would not come until May 1980. While Ace Frehley joined the band in December 1972, the group wouldn't take the name "KISS" until January 1973.
SOLO (1980-1982)
Peter Criss
Session Players
Drums/Vocals
Other Instruments
After going solo, Peter would use a cast of session players to record his solo albums "Out Of Control" and "Let Me Rock You", which would including Stan Penridge (for OOC), and producers David Wolfert and Vini Poncia. Many interesting guests would play on the two albums!
PENRIDGE-CRISS ALLIANCE (Late 1983-1985)
Peter Criss
Stan Penridge
Alan Woody
Benny Harrison
Tony Mercadante
Precussion/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Bass
Keyboards/Synth
Guitar/Vocals
Starting out on the East coast in 1984, The Alliance saw Peter moving back to the lighter sort of material more familiar in his 1960's career. Eventually, Stan would assemble a session group in Nashville which would cut three demoes, "Baby, Hold On", "Never Met A Woman", and "Forever With You". The group would split with Peter and Stan going their separate ways.
JANE/BALLS OF FIRE (Spring 1986-Dec. 1986)
Peter Criss
John "JP" Pakalenka
Jane Booke
Bobby Raylove
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
For the shortest period in the summer of 1986 it seemed that Peter cruss would be back, this time as a member of an upcoming rock band with a female lead singer. Live performaces were made in August, with Peter even getting to dig out "Feel Like Heaven" from his past, with the rest being original material. However, the project did not last long, and Peter took up the house husband role to enjoy his daughter Jenilee's growing up.
KEEP #1 (1989)
Peter Criss
Kevin Russell
Michael McDonald
Joey Mudarri
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
It is not clear if this lineup was ever an 'actual' band or a phantom proposed lineup. Michael McDonald is a phantom, his real name was David Donato, and had been in Mark St. John's White Tiger band (and Black Sabbath, briefly). Kevin Russel had been in 707.
KEEP #2 (1989)
Peter Criss
Mark St. John
Michael McDonald
Jim Barnes
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
It is not clear if this lineup was ever an 'actual' band or a phantom proposed lineup. Peter was now working with 1/2 of White Tiger...
KEEP #3 (Jan. 1990-Early 1991)
Peter Criss
Mark St. John
Michael McDonald
Michael Norton
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
The Keep was a short lived but incredibly cool project that featured two ex-KISS members, along with Mark's brother Michael and renamed David Donato who had been with him in White Tiger. Demos were cut at Sound City Recording Studions, but unfortunately the tapes got rejected by all the labels they were submitted to… This lineup would perform live just once, on May 2, 1990 at a drum clinic at Guitar Center music store in Lawndale, CA...
CRISS #1 (Early 1991-Autumn 1991)
Peter Criss
Ray Carrion
Phil Naro
Mark Montague
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
This lineup is short lived (around 7 months, and initially Michael Norton may have stayed with Peter for a while), following the recruiting of ex-Talas singer Naro, and doesn't play any live gigs. However, the rehearsals do result in a number of good demos, notably due to Naro's writing...
CRISS #2 (Autumn 1991-Dec. 1992)
Peter Criss
Ray Carrion
Phillip Anthony
Mark Montague
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
Phillip's tenure in the band did not last long. His real name is Phillip Anthony Bardowell, and Peter had originally wanted to have him used the stage name Tony which he didn't like. However, this lineup does make the debut of Criss live at the Exposure 54 Club in Los Angeles, CA on November 11, 1991...
CRISS #3 (Dec. 1992-1993)
Peter Criss
Ray Carrion
Mike Stone
Mark Montague
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
Mike Stone, who had previously recorded with Jonas Hansson and had his own band Clover (Mercury), joined the group which started to tour extensively...
CRISS #4 (1993-June 1994)
Peter Criss
Kirk Miller
Mike Stone
Mark Montague
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
Initial recording phase of the band where Criss goes through several guitarists. This lineup would record and release the Criss EP...
CRISS #5 (June 1994-Spring 1995)
Peter Criss
Mike McLaughlin
Mike Stone
Mark Montague
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals
Bass
Line up was supposed to go into pre-production for the second CRISS album in early September 1995... This lineup would be responsible for the recording of the Cat #1 album in late 1994, though some work from lineup #4 would remain on that recording. Mike Stone would leave the band in December 1995 and eventually end up in Boston, and would appear on a track on five tracks on Iain Ashley-Hersey's "Fallen Angel" album.
CRISS #6 (Spring 1995-Mar. 1996)
Peter Criss
Mike McLaughlin
Jason Ebs
Mark Montague
Drums/Vocals
Guitar
Lead Vocals/Guitar
Bass
The final CRISS lineup. After TNT's option for the second album from the band expired in December 1995, the band remained in existence, in name only, for a few months before the KISS Reunion was officially announced. Mike McLaughlin would sometimes sign his name "Angel"...
KISS #1 AGAIN (Jan. 1996-Jan. 2001)
Gene Simmons
Paul Stanley
Peter Criss
Ace Frehley
Bass/Vocals
Guitar/Vocals
Drums/Vocals
Lead Guitar/Vocals
Peter rejoined KISS on a five year contract for the highly successful Reunion tour. Following the "Psycho Circus" tour supporting the album of the same name, KISS embarked on its "Farewell Tour". The primary US leg of this tour concluded in October 2000, following which Peter was unable to come to terms with the KISS Company to extend his tenure in the band for concert appearances in Japan and Australia. He would be replaced by Eric Singer who would don his makeup.
SOLO (Jan. 2001-)
It's currently not clear whether Peter has any future musical desire or plans. He made one live solo appearance in 2001, but has been quiet. Hopefully, Peter will return and either do some classic jazz exploration with a modern interpretation (similar to what Setzer did with Swing) or pick up another rock squad.