PAUL STANLEY: How Starring In 'The Phantom Of The Opera' Changed My Life

December 12, 2014

KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley made an appearance on the December 11 edition of "The Queen Latifah Show", the daytime talk variety series hosted by American rapper, singer and actress Queen Latifah. A clip from the program can be seen below.

Asked how starring in the Toronto production of "The Phantom Of The Opera" back in 1999 changed his life, Stanley said: "When I saw 'Phantom Of The Opera' in London in 1988, I watched it and I went, 'I can do that.' And I had no background in that. Ten years later I got a call at CAA, my talent agents, and they said, 'How do you feel about trying to do a musical?' And I said, 'Well, what is it?' And they said, 'Phantom Of The Opera'. You'd have to go do a full-on audition in New York.' And I said, 'I'm in.' So I went to New York, got the role and they flew me up to Toronto, where the show had run for ten years, and I took over, doing eight shows a week there. And I suddenly realized that, in many ways, the phantom was me. It was a story of a scarred, deformed musician who hid behind a mask. Wow! I didn't even see that. And was looking for love and couldn't give it back, even though he wanted it. So it was a turning point for me. It was eye opening, and it also, perhaps, coincided with a change in my life — ending a marriage that really, perhaps, was never meant to be, but I got a wonderful son out of it."

Stanley's revealing life spanning memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times' Best Sellers list for Print Hardcover Non-Fiction. On top of that, "Face The Music" debuted on the Times' Combined Print and E-Book best seller list and E-Book best sellers list at No. 3 and No. 13, respectively.

In "Face The Music", Stanley talks frankly about his early struggles with hearing — he was born with Level 3 Microtia and is deaf in his right ear. Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.

Stanley, who grew up half-deaf and scarred with a deformed right ear, eventually had reconstructive surgery in 1982 to create an ear using a piece of his rib cage. The Pulse Of Radio asked Stanley why he kept his ear a secret for so long. "Oh, it was painful," he said. "It was too painful. Y'know, you can only reveal things and you can only deal with things when you're ready to. And my experiences as a child were so debilitating and destructive, that the best way for me to deal with my ear was to cover it and to — at least on the surface — ignore what was going on; although when something is invisible to others doesn't mean it's not visible and very much a part of your life."

Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.

There are four grades of Microtia, ranging from a small ear, to a complete absence of the external ear and ear canal.

The lack of ear canal leads to conductive hearing loss. Microtia occurs in every one out of 8,000 to 10,000 births.

It usually occurs on only one side (more commonly on the right side) and this can lead to single-sided deafness.

Find more on Kiss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email