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Kiss Guitarist Paul Stanley Says He Became a Rock Star Because of a Physical Deformity

”I had what’s called a microtia, which is basically not having an ear,“ the musician told Dan Rather

Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley opened up about the insecurities that pushed him to become one of the most flamboyant rock stars of all time, and how he was forced to grapple with the drawbacks of fame that came with it.

In an interview with Dan Rather that will air on AXS TV Tuesday, April 23, Stanley revealed that he suffered from a physical deformity called microtia, which he described as “basically not having an ear.”

“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,” he told Rather.

To compensate, Stanley said he turned to music and became part of one of the loudest bands in history. All the pyrotechnics, face paint and legions of obsessed fans began with what Stanley saw as “a way to push it in people’s faces and say, ‘You see, you should have been nice to me!'”

But Stanley said he quickly learned that becoming famous wasn’t a cure-all for his problems, though he feels he was able to grapple with that realization and instead turned to “self-exploration and becoming a better person.”

“I was fortunate to have success come to me and realize that it didn’t change anything,” he said. “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.”

Now, Stanley is saying goodbye to Kiss and his “Starchild” persona through a three-year farewell tour.

Watch Stanley’s remarks by clicking here.

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