KISS’ Paul Stanley pursued music to deal with physical insecurity

Kiss rocker Paul Stanley chased a career in music because of a birth defect.
Stanley, KISS’ rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist, was born with his right external ear underdeveloped – a congenital deformity known as microtia.
Microtia meant that a young Stanley was unable to hear on that side, and was also bullied by children at school, and he has now shared in a new interview how he was inspired to become a star as means of compensating for his physical insecurities.
“I was born deaf on my right side, and I had a birth defect. I had what’s called a microtia, which is basically not having an ear,” he said in a candid chat for The Big Interview with Dan Rather. “I wasn’t very socially adept, and when you have something physical that sets you apart from people, it makes you the target of unrelenting scrutiny and sometimes ridicule.”
The American musician, who was born Stanley Bert Eisen, went on explain that he feels extremely fortunate to have reached such a huge level of success, but he was quick to add that his fame hasn’t affected him as a person.
“I was really blessed, because, at that point in your life, when you become famous, it’s either a disappointment because it’s not a remedy, and you either put a needle in your arm, a gun in your mouth, or you live life as a victim. And I’m not cut out for that,” the 67-year-old continued. “So, I decided that I would spend my life or my time on self-exploration and trying to make myself a better person and see where that is going to take me. I was blessed to be a part of an idea to become the band we never saw, and that led me on a course that I’m still on today… Where it’s taking me, God only knows.”
KISS, also comprised of Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer, are currently on their final End of the Road World Tour, with their next show to take place in Mexico City, Mexico on 3 May (19).
Stanley’s full discussion for The Big Interview with Dan Rather will air on Tuesday.