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Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit_Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit
In the early part of 1976, Peter had a new custom Pearl drum kit put together with Pearl's All Fiber Glass Shells, by Tommy Winkler's Drum Shop in Nashville TN . The entire kit is in White Honeycomb wrap finish including the deep 10"x14" snare. Peter would also sometimes use his Gene Krupa Slingerland Sound King 5"x14" COB snare as well as a Pearl Jupiter 6.5"x14" snare (chrome over brass shell). This drum kit was used on the Destroyer and Rock And Roll Over tours in 1976/1977. Heads are Pearl branded CS black dots and cymbals all Zildjian. A gong (possibly 33") was also added. The bass drum front head originally had two air holes cut out below the KISS logo but eventually another two holes were also added above the logo as can be seen in the photos.

Concert Toms (all with Pearl clip brackets): 5.5"x6", 5.5"x8", 6.5"x10", 8"x12", 9"x13", 10"x14", 14"x14" (made from a floor tom shell), 12"x15", 14"x16", 16"x18" (made from a floor tom shell)
Floor Toms: 12"x14" (left of hi-hat), 14"x16" 14"x18"
Snare: 10"x14" all Fiber Glass shell with Jupiter strainer and internal muffler
Kick: 14"x22" (eventually 14"x24" for Rock & Roll Over tour)

 

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit
In this back shot as well as some other photos, one of the other metal snares mentioned above was alternated with the 10"x14" Fiberglass, Honeycomb finish one. It also appears the bass drum was dampened with felt strips, horizontally and vertically, on the batter side.

 

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit_Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit
Above photos by Wade Lucas

The drum kit on display at the KISS Auction viewing in San Francisco. Peter also had a drum stool made up in the same White Honeycomb wrap finish, which he also used when performing 'Beth' in concert.

 

 

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Bass Drum_Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Bass Drum
One of the bass drums from this kit (Peter would have had at least one back up bass drum and snare drum on tour), a 14"x22", was acquired by Kiss collector Alexander Zihlmann from former Ace Frehley friend and guitar tech Bill Baker. Check out his site at www.kiss.ch

 

Peter Criss Pearl White Honeycomb Kit
The drum kit was auctioned in the 2000 Kiss Butterfield Auction in Hollywood CA as shown in the above auction catalog page. A Pearl metal 5"x14" snare drum was included instead of the 10"x14" White Honeycomb snare.

 

* Thanks to Christopher Williams (current ACCEPT drummer) for the additional info regarding this kit.


Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss 70's gong

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit 79

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit 79

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit 79

Peter Criss Black Chrome drum kit

Peter Criss snare drum 1979

The Black Mirror Chrome Fiber Glass kit from Pearl. The finish is a gold chrome wrap with black stripes painted on it. This kit was essentially used for the 1977 Love Gun Tour, 1978 Alive II Tour and the 1979 Dynasty Tour. Peter referred to them as his 'World' drums. This kit was also put together at Tommy Winkler's professional drum shop and was last used in a cut down version for the 'Shandi' video clip (see video stills below) filmed in 1980 for the Unmasked album, which was Peter's last appearance with KISS until the reunion in 1995/1996. All Pearl clip brackets on the concert toms and the drum sizes are the same as the 76-77 White Honeycomb set up except the 14"x14" tom was replaced with a 12"x14" and one less floor tom for the Dynasty tour.

There were some notable modifications throughout those tours as follows: The 12"x14" floor tom on the hi-hat side was replaced with four Syndrum pads, which were a new novelty at the time, for the 1979 Dynasty tour. These were mounted just below the smaller concert toms, The 33" gong was replaced with a larger 47" along with a more traditional looking Chinese type gong stand. The drum heads were changed from CS Black Dots to the Pearl brush coated type for the Dynasty Tour onwards. The snare is a Pearl 10"x14" chrome over wood shell which Peter kept and eventually sold off to the Hollywood Guitar Centre in 1995. It was then acquired by Journey drummer Dean Castronovo and featured in the Sep 2013 issue of DRUM! magazine. Dean then sold the drum to Donn Bennett (www.bennettdrums.com/museum) who now currently owns it. This particular snare drum was also apparently not made by Tommy Winkler, but by a guy named Larry Denny. The lower three photos above show this snare on stage with Peter in 1979 and on it's own (batter head signed by Peter). There is another snare like this one on display, along with this kit at the Hard Rock Cafe Punta Cana (see photos further below) as Peter would more than likely have had back-up snares on tour. Another interesting feature of this kit is one of the Pearl BC2000 cymbal stand's upper arm is bent into a curve with a crash cymbal hanging off it (as can be seen in some of the photos above).

 

Peter Criss Drums Shandi Video _Peter Criss Drums Shandi Video
'Shandi' video stills 1980

 


The two gongs were auctioned off in the 2000 Kiss Butterfield auction as shown in the above auction catalog page.

 

Peter Criss drums Hard Rock Cafe San Dego
Parts of the Black Chrome Kit were at one point, on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Diego.

 


The Black Chrome kit is currently on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). Under normal lighting, the gold and black stripes can be clearly seen. Under stage lighting however, the finish appears and is often mistaken as black gloss (see example photo below of Peter with this kit clearly showing its true finish).

 

 

* Thanks to Christopher Williams (current ACCEPT drummer) for the additional info regarding this kit.


Peter Criss Modern Drummer 1981

Peter Criss Modern Drummer 1981

Peter Criss Drums 1981 _Peter Criss Drums 1981

After Peter left KISS in 1980 and released a solo album that same year (Out Of Control), he appeared in a feature in Modern Drummer magazine for the February/March 1981 issue. Here Peter is behind an 11-piece Pearl maple, Dark Emerald Green wrap concert tom kit with BT-3 style tom mounts, that was used for a Pearl promotion (notice the background is a wall of unfinished drum shells).

 

Peter Criss Drums Double Bass 1981

Peter Criss Drums Double Bass 1981

Peter Criss Drums1981
Peter kept this kit and the above three photos are of this same kit, including rare shots with a two bass drum set up (possibly at Peter's Connecticut home) as it seems at the time, Peter experimented with a double bass set up, however in the lower photo, which was taken at a small show at Maxwell House March 21, 1981 (Peter's first live appearance post KISS), Peter used a scaled down version of this kit with one bass drum.

 

Peter Criss drums Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta_Peter Criss drums Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta
The drum kit was eventually purchased at auction by the Hard Rock Cafe chain and the above photos show parts of it on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta.


 

Peter Criss Live 1984

Peter Criss Live 1984

Peter Criss Live 1984

Peter Criss Live 1984

Peter Criss Live 1984

Peter Criss Live 1984

Peter Criss Live 1984

After releasing another solo album in 1982 (Let Me Rock You) Peter formed the Penridge/Criss Alliance with Stan Penridge and toured in 1984. During the live shows, John Moss was the primary drummer whilst Peter sang lead and fronted the band. Peter also played percussion, mostly congas etc and there was a portion of the show where Peter would play drums and John Moss would leave the stage. *The above photos were taken just before the Penridge/Criss Alliance was formed and were from two small shows held in March 1984 on consecutive nights at The Cherry Croft Inn in Newton New Jersey. Peter is playing a black finish 4-piece single headed kit (bottom lugs and rims removed), borrowed from Stan Penridge who had these at his house. [*thanks to John Michael, a friend and neighbour of Stan Penridge, who also attended these shows and provided the background information on the photos]


Peter Criss Balls Of Fire 1986_Peter Criss Balls Of Fire 1986

Peter Criss Balls Of Fire 1986_Peter Criss Balls Of Fire 1986


Peter Criss Balls Of Fire 1986

Peter Criss Balls Of Fire 1986




After the Alliance disbanded in 1985, Peter joined a band called Balls Of Fire (previously 'Jane') in 1986. The above rehearsal and live photos show Peter's scaled down drum kit at the time compared to the huge set-ups of the mid to late 70's. Peter is still using Pearl drums but has switched over from Zildjian to Sabian cymbals which included an endorsement deal with Sabian (see below). Gone too are the concert toms that have been replaced with Pearl double headed deeper toms (popular in the 80's & 90's). Peter's kit here, judging from the Pearl Drums 1986 catalogue, is probably a Pearl Fiber Glass set in 'Snow White' wrap as Pearl at the time started producing deeper toms only in Fiber Glass. Sizes appear to be 10", 12", 13" & 14" toms, 16"x16" and 16"x18" floor toms, 14"x24" bass drum (with the front head removed) and a 8"x14" Deluxe Metal snare (seen in first photo). Peter also had a Sabian gong mounted on a Sabian stand with their logo on top as well as a set of chimes to his left. Interestingly, this period would be the last time Peter used a gong as part of his live set up. A gong was used however in the KISS themed movie 'Detroit Rock City' (1999) during the KISS in concert shots to try and capture the look of a KISS concert in 1978. Not clear what drum heads were used but the bass drum batter looks like a coated type, heavily dampened with a blanket.

 

Peter Criss Sabian Cymbal Set-up drawing
The above hand drawing from Peter was put up for auction in March 2014 (via Peter's ex wife Debra) and is supposedly from 1979 for a meeting Peter had with Sabian Cymbals. Peter actually didn't start using Sabian cymbals until 1985 as noted in the Sabian newsletter published at the time (as shown below), and also just before his time in Balls Of Fire. The drum specs shown in the above drawing also seem to match Peter's Pearl set up in 1986 with Balls Of Fire (as seen in the upper photos) except the 10" tom was moved from the right side of the kit to the left, next to the 12" tom.

 


Peter Criss DW white kit
Courtesy of Lydia Criss - Sealed With A Kiss

Peter Criss - The Keep

Peter Criss DW white kit_Peter Criss DW white kitPeter Criss DW white kit
In 1989 Peter formed a new band with ex KISS guitarist, Mark St John called The Keep (second top photo). The band only performed once on May 2, 1990 at a drum clinic at Guitar Center music store in Lawndale, California. Peter signed up with DW (Drum Workshop) in 1987 and in a 1988 interview, he mentions using their bass drum pedals including trying out double pedals in his set up. One of his first DW kits seems to be the white gloss finish one shown in the above photos, starting with The Keep in 1989 (kit in second from top upper band photo background). In 1990, after The Keep dissolved, Peter then went on to form his own band called CRISS and toured the club circuit from 1991 to 1995. Peter had also changed his kit configuration to a set up similar to his set up from the very early days of KISS, which was two toms in front of the snare and over the left side of the bass drum, freeing up the right side for a ride cymbal. Peter has basically kept this configuration ever since. Sizes could possibly be 12" and 13" rack toms along with a 10" to his far left, 16" and 18" floor toms, 24" bass drum and a metal 6.5"x14" snare. Cymbals are all Sabian. A cowbell mounted on the bass drum hoop and chimes are also included. No gong was included in this set up or future set ups during and after the CRISS band period.


Peter Criss DW Yellow & Gold kit_Peter Criss DW Yellow & Gold kit
The photos above were of Peter's next kit, the DW Yellow & Gold kit, used during the 'Bad Boys Of KISS' tour with Ace Frehley in 1994/1995. This set of DW's has smaller toms compared to the previous white kit and the finish is yellow. It also features gold hardware. In an interview at the time Peter explains that his choice to use yellow drums stems way back to his past close friendship with ex New York Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan, who at one point used a yellow kit as a rebellious bold statement (yellow is not the most popular color amongst many drummers). As with the white DW kit, Peter also went back to using spashes, including inverted ones on top of crash cymbals and one out front over the bass drum as he did in 1974 with the Ludwig kit. The yellow DW kit was also used in the recording of the CRISS cd's in the early 90's.


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