Original KISS drummer Peter Criss turned 75 on Sunday, December 20. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Peter's wife Gigi put together a one-hour video containing interview and performance footage spanning his entire career, as well as birthday messages from a number of other hard rock and metal luminaries, including Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry (AEROSMITH), Charlie Benante, Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), Carmine Appice and Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER).
In an accompanying message, Gigi wrote: "Happy Birthday, My Husband!!! I put together a video for you with some of your friends. I hope you like it and understand just how amazing you are, how you have touched so many peoples lives, and even changed their course of life in the most positive way. It's like your favorite movie, 'It's A Wonderful Life'. Your life has made other lives better. What a blessing!!! Amen for your talent, hard work, and believing in yourself. I love you with all of my heart and I am so blessed to share the journey of life with you. Love You Forever, Gigi".
Criss first left KISS in 1980. Since then he's worked with other bands and released solo albums. He teamed up with KISS again for a reunion tour in the 1990s and most recently in 2004. He was replaced by Eric Singer.
In addition to playing drums in KISS, Peter also provided lead vocals for a number the band's most popular and memorable songs, including "Beth", "Black Diamond" and "Hard Luck Woman".
Criss, along with the other three original members of KISS, was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2014 by Morello.
KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.
Criss, who was known as "Catman," released his last solo CD, titled "One For All", in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of "Late Night With David Letterman". The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of "What A Difference A Day Makes" and "Send In The Clowns".
Criss played what was being billed as his final U.S. concert in June 2017 at the Cutting Room in New York City.
Peter recently came out of retirement to lay down his drums on "The Catman & The Emperor", the new single from his former bandmate Richie Scarlet. The track, which also features former FREHLEY'S COMET bassist John Regan, was released on Friday, December 18.