Paul Stanley (born Stanley Eisen, January 20, 1952 in Queens, New York, USA) is an American hard rock guitarist 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", "Detroit Rock City", "Hard Luck Woman", "I Was Made For Lovin' You", "Crazy Crazy Nights" and "Forever". He also came up with the name 'Kiss'. Before KISS, Paul Stanley was in a local band, Rainbow (not to be confused with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow) and Uncle Joe.
Before KISS, Paul Stanley was in a local band, Rainbow (not to be confused with 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 1972, but as of 2008 it has never been officially released (although songs from the album appeared on Kiss's 2001 box set). Wicked Lester soon fell apart and Stanley and Simmons placed ads for a drummer and a guitarist in various New York papers. This resulted in Peter Criss and Ace Frehley joining the group, and they named themselves Kiss. Kiss released their self-titled debut in February 1974.
Stanley's persona in Kiss is "The Starchild", "The Bandit" in the mid-1973 shows.
In his book Sex Money Kiss, Gene Simmons admits that Stanley 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.
In 2006, Stanley resumed his association with Washburn Guitars and 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.
Stanley's most recent performances with Kiss were a group of shows in July 2007, dubbed the Hit 'N Run Tour. Prior to the final show on July 27, Stanley was hospitalized with an extremely rapid heartbeat. In his absence, Kiss performed live as a trio for the first time in decades. Previously, Kiss performed as a trio at Studio 54 in New York City for an international satellite broadcast on January 28, 1982, lip-syncing the song "I" from Music From "The Elder" for the Italian Festival della canzone italiana, also known as the Sanremo Festival, when Ace Frehley failed to show for the performance due to what was described at the time as a "mystery illness". The July 27, 2007 concert is the first Kiss concert Stanley has missed during his 34-year tenure with the group. In September 2007, Stanley took part in Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp as a guest star for his second time in New York City.
Stanley has very rarely recorded or performed outside of Kiss. 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.
In 1989, Stanley loaned his voice to the title track for the soundtrack of the Wes Craven horror flick "Shocker". The song was written by long time Stanley collaborator Desmond Child, along with Jean Beauvior and Guy Man-Dude. The song was performed by a group of well known artists calling themselves "The Dudes of Wrath". The Dudes consisted of Stanley and Child on vocals, Guy Man-Dude and Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard and Dio) on guitars, Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Ozbourne, Whitesnake and Dio) on bass and Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) on drums. Background vocals were provided by Desmond Child, Louis Merlino, Alice Cooper guitarist Kane Roberts and Michael Anthony of Van Halen.
In the past, Stanley has been asked to produce albums for Poison and Guns N' Roses, but he was never able to commit due to his work on Kiss projects.
In 2005, a bootleg CD began circulating entitled People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest: The Very Best of Paul Stanley's On Stage Banter. The fan-made disc compiled 70 tracks worth of Stanley's distinctive song introductions and on-stage banter.
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. The title song of his solo album, "Live To Win", appeared on the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft"
In October and November 2006, Stanley embarked on a theater tour in support of 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 composed of Paul Mirkovich (keyboards), Jim McGorman (guitar), Rafael Moreira (lead guitar), Nate Morton (drums), and Sasha Krivtsov (bass). In April 2007, Stanley extended the tour to include Australia, playing in Coolangatta, Wollongong, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. Portions of the tour were filmed for an as-yet-unreleased documentary titled Paul Stanley: Live to Dream by the Chicago-based Film Foetus. The band's performance at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL, was captured on film and released in 2008 on DVD and digital audio download formats as One Live KISS.
In 2008, Stanley sang a duet with Sarah Brightman, "I Will Be with You", on her Symphony album.
In 1999, Stanley starred in a Toronto production of The 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.
Stanley made his debut as a painter in 2005, exhibiting and selling original works of art.