Peter Criss, the founding member of the rock band Kiss, delivered his final live performance in the U.S. At the Cutting Room in New York City on Saturday, June 17.
Known as The Catman, Kiss’ original drummer said goodbye to the stages in the U.S. with a memorable concert. Performing some of the band’s classics and part of his solo repertoire. The show featured Criss on vocals and drums, alongside with the Australian band Sisters Doll, keyboardist Alex Salzman, Erik Rudic from the Cold Seas. And a horn and string section to accompany several songs.
The evening began with Criss at the front, performing “I Can’t Stop the Rain,” from his 1978 solo eponymous album. But he soon went back, behind the drum set. “This feels more comfortable,” he said, after performing “Hooked on Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
He performed other songs like “Strutter,”“Hard Luck Women,” and Kiss’ hit single “Beth” – which he co-wrote – while handing out roses.
Many “Peter, we love you!” chants were heard throughout the performance, as well as “I love you too” responses from the man of the hour.
Criss brought the show to an end with a performance of the swing classic “Sing Sing Sing.” The song was made famous with a version by Benny Goodman, featuring Gene Krupa on drums. Krupa was Criss’ mentor in the ‘60s. “Gene Krupa really inspired me to be a drummer and a lot of other guys I know. It was Mr. Krupa who kind of got us all going,” Criss said seconds before the horn section kicked off the song.
Criss is still working on new music
Although the 71-year-old Rockstar has had enough from the stages, he’s not completely retiring from the music world. As he’s currently working on new music and new projects.
Criss was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. At the time, he was working on a new rock album, which he’s planning to finish now that he has overcome the disease. He’s also recording a jazz album, while he’s working on a children’s book and a comedy screenplay – which he hopes will interest actor Ben Stiller.
Criss announced his retirement a couple of months ago, explaining that he wants to do more with his life, but needs to rest if he actually wants to do them.
“I want to leave the stage happy,” he said at the time. “I got onto the stage not thinking about making a buck. It was just pure: Play drums, have a good time, meet girls, travel and get out of Brooklyn.”
Back then, he scheduled the Cutting Room concert and mentioned the possibilities of similar farewell shows in other countries, but nothing has been assured. On the meantime, touring is definitely over for the drummer.
“I’ve been around the world 10 times,” he said. “I can tell you what’s on pretty much every menu in every hotel in all the world.”