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KISS - Unplugged_Peter Criss - KISS - Unplugged Drum Kit
Peter Criss KISS Unplugged 1995_Peter Criss KISS Unplugged 1995
In August 9, 1995, Peter reunited with the original members of KISS for an MTV Unplugged performance. Here he used a rental DW kit (rented from S.I.R. in New York) in black gloss finish. Sizes are 16"x24" bass drum, 12" and 13" toms, 16" and 18" floor toms, and a 6"x14" snare (either wood or metal shell). At this point it seems Peter also switched back to Zildjian cymbals.


Peter Criss - Pearl Reunion Drum Kit_Peter Criss - Pearl Reunion Drum Kit

Peter Criss - Pearl Reunion Drum Kit

Peter Criss - Pearl Reunion Drum Kit


KISS reunited in full makeup in 1996 and for the 1996/97 Reunion Tour, Peter went back to Pearl drums as he has stated that the band wanted everyone to use the same type of equipment they did back in the day. Peter had two kits made up, once again by Tommy Winkler at his shop in Nashville. The two kits (referred to as the "A" kit and "B" kit) were inspired by the Pearl Black Chrome kit used in the late 70's and were both made with Pearl's MLX shells in a silver chrome wrap with painted black stripes. As Peter still was a DW artist the hardware was switched to DW shortly into the first leg of the tour. The Pearl ISS brackets were drilled to accomodate DW tom brackets (from that era).

The heads were all Remo with Clear Pinstripes on the batter sides and Clear Ambassadors on the Resonant sides. The bass drum had a clear Pinstripe on the batter, Starfire chrome with KISS logo on the front. The snare had a coated CS batter with an Ambassador snare on the bottom. Peter also used drum triggers (ddrum through a ddrum 3 module) in which sampled drum sounds were mixed together with the natural sound from drum mikes.

About half way through the tour the bass drum front head became an Ebony Powerstroke 3 with a grey KISS logo and sometime in 1997 the tom resonant heads became Ebony Ambassadors.

_Peter Criss photo shoot with snare drum_Pearl Reunion kit snare drum - Peter Criss
Matching Pearl 6.5"x14" maple snares were also made up for each kit but never used live as they were replaced with a 6.5"x14" DW EDGE snare and then towards the end of the tour, a Bell Brass snare. The snare for the "A" kit (above left photo) has double lugs and was only used in a photo shoot (above centre photo). The snare for the "B" kit (above right photo) has single lugs (5.5" type instead of 6.5"). Both snares were eventually sold/auctioned off and are now in the possesion of two separate collectors in the USA.

Drum sizes: toms are 7"x8", 8"x8", 9"x10", 10"x10", 12"x12", 13"x13", 14"x14", 15"x15", floor toms are 16"x16" & 16"x18" and the bass drum 18"x24".

Peter Criss reunion Zildjian set-up
Cymbals were all A Zildjian:

A. 10" Splash (inverted)
B. 22" China Boy High
C. 18" Crash
D. 6" Zil Bell
E. 19" Crash
F. 14" Quickbeat Hi-Hats
G. 12" Splash
H. 22" Ride
I. 9-1/2" Zil Bell
J. 8" Splash (inverted)
K. 12" Splash (inverted)
L. 22" China Boy Low

 

Peter Criss - Pearl Reunion Drum Kit
A still shot from the KISS themed movie 'Detroit Rock City' (1999) featuring the "B" kit along with a gong similar to the one Peter used in the 70's. A gong was not actually included in any of Peter's kits live from after 1986 onwards.

 

Peter Criss reunion B kit_Peter Criss reunion B kit Chriost
Peter Criss reunion B kit
The Pearl "B" kit (the one with the Pearl badges) was auctioned off and acquired by local Nashville artist and current German band ACCEPT drummer Christopher Williams (see above photos). The "A" kit was kept by Peter and was put on display from May to August 2014 at the Carnegie Rocks Exhibition in Turlock California (see photo below). The video news clip of the exhibition can be viewed here.

 

* Thanks to Christopher Williams for the additional info regarding these kits.


Peter Criss DW Tiger Drum Kit_Peter Criss DW Tiger Drum Kit_Peter Criss DW Tiger Drum KitPeter Criss DW Tiger Drum Kit_Peter Criss DW Tiger Drum Kit

Peter Criss DW Tiger Drum Kit

Peter Criss DW Tiger Drum Kit set up

In 1998 KISS released a new studio album (Psycho Circus) and toured in 1998/1999. The DW kit Peter used is what he refers to as "my Tiger set or Lions and Tigers" due to the distinctive finish. This kit was also used for the KISS Symphony concert in 2003 and can be seen and heard on the DVD and CD of that show respectively. They were picked out for Peter specially by DW Vice President Mr. John Good, who also picked out Peter's other DW kits that he used in KISS. The bass drum features a DW Bass Drum Woofer for extra depth. Above and below are the specs for this kit:

Drums: DW
1. 22" x 18" Bass Drum (with a Woofer Bass Drum)
2. 14" x 6" Edge Snare
3. 8" x 5" Tom
4. 8" x 6" Tom
5. 8" x 7" Tom
6. 8" x 8" Tom
7. 15" x 13" Tom
8. 10" x 8" Tom
9. 12" x 9" Tom
10. 16" x 14" Floor Tom
11. 13" x 10" Tom
12. 18" x 16" Floor Tom
13. 14" x 11" Tom

Cymbals: A Custom Zildjian
A. 10" Splash (inverted)
B. 22" China Boy High
C. 18" Crash
D. 6" Zil Bell (listed in above diagram but not used)
E. 19" Crash
F. 14" Quickbeat Hi-Hats
G. 12" Splash
H. 22" Ride
I. 9-1/2" Zil Bell
J. 8" Splash (inverted)
K. 12" Splash (inverted)
L. 22" China Boy Low

Heads: Remo
Clear Pinstrip (batter)
Clear Ambassador or Emperor (bottom)
Brush Finish CS Black Dot (snare)

Percussion: LP Percussion Cowbell

Sticks: Ahead 'Peter Criss' model

Gloves: Ahead

Electrics: ddrum triggers through ddrum 3 module

 

Peter Criss Tiger kit Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh
A similar DW drum kit with DW's Zebra Striped finish is on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh. The stripes were printed atop a 'Mother Of Pearl' finish. For Peter's kit (which he kept), DW airbrushed the dark shadowing onto the lower portion of the drums.


Peter Criss DW Superbowl drum kit

Peter Criss DW Superbowl drum kit

On January 31, 1999 KISS performed at the Superbowl and Peter used a DW kit with black lugs and rims and in what looks like Marine White finish. This performance was lip-synced and likely that DW provided this kit as promotion for this event via Peter's endorsement with them. It's also possible that Peter kept this kit and had the hardware swapped over from black to chrome as well as having crosses painted onto the finish in what became the 'DW Mother Of Pearl Kit' (see section on this kit further below).


Peter Criss DW Broken Glass drum kit_Peter Criss DW Broken Glass drum kit
In October 29, 1999 KISS performed (actually Lip-synced) at a function (for IBASH) in Las Vegas. Peter used a different kit with what appears to be the same specs as the Psycho Circus 'Tiger' kit but in 'Broken Glass' finish. This kit was only used that one time at the Las Vegas show. Peter then donated the kit to Zildjian Cymbals as part of their Drum Walk Of Fame.


Peter Criss DW Mother Of Pearl drum kit_Peter Criss DW Mother Of Pearl drum kit

Peter Criss DW Mother Of Pearl drum kit

In 2000, KISS went out on a 'farewell tour' and Peter used a new DW kit finished in Mother Of Pearl, which was in honor to his drumming idol Gene Krupa. He also added black crosses on the finish for spiritual reasons. The sizes appear to be the same as the Psycho Circus 'Tiger' kit along with the cymbals. At the last show Peter played on this tour, he was unhappy with some issues within the band and trashed his drum kit at the end of the show (in similar fashion to the Midnight Special TV show in 1974), something he later admitted that he regretted.

 


Backstage with the tom set up, showing the ddrum triggers and internal mics for each drum. All hydraulic batter heads.


Peter Criss DW Jazz drum kit KISS Symphony_Peter Criss DW Jazz drum kit
Peter Criss DW Jazz drum kit KISS Symphony
After the last show Peter performed on the Farewell Tour, he left KISS (Eric Singer replaced him for the remainder of the tour) but returned in for a concert which included the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne, Australia on February 28, 2003. For this concert Peter had a second 5-piece 'Jazz' kit set up in front of the Psycho Circus 'Tiger' kit and was used for the 'Unplugged' segment of the concert. John Good, VP of DW had this kit in his office, which were one of a kind, and gave them to Peter. The finish is Champagne Sparkle and the shells including the snare are all maple. Sizes appear to be either a 24"or 26"x14" bass drum, 9"x13" tom, 14"x14" and 16"x16" floor toms. Zildjian A cymbals.


Peter Criss DW Gunmetal Grey drum kit_Peter Criss DW Gunmetal Grey drum kit
Peter Criss DW Gunmetal Grey drum kit

Peter Criss DW Gunmetal Grey drum kit

Peter Criss DW Gunmetal Grey drum kit

This DW 'Gunmetal Grey' finish kit was used in Tokyo and during KISS/Aerosmith tour 2003 (notice the spare snare drum complete with ddrum trigger, under the second floor tom). Peter left KISS at the end of this tour (Eric Singer rejoined the band again, this time permanently) and in 2007 he released his next solo album 'One For All'. Peter played all the drums on this album and appears to have used a couple of DW kits with one being his DW 'Jazz' Champagne Sparkle kit and a Gene Krupa Mother Of Pearl reissue/replica kit as can been seen in the photos here.


 



Peter Criss & Gene Krupa
Peter with Gene Krupa in the mid 1960s

 

Peter Criss Blue Swirl drum kit 1967_Peter Criss in Joey Greco's band 1966
Above courtesy of Lydia Criss - Sealed With A Kiss
Left: Peter on a blue/white swirl type finish kit in early 1967 at one of the final shows with Sounds Of Soul. Right: Peter playing in Joey Greco's band circa 1966 on a four-piece kit. At some venues there would be a 'house' drum kit available for all bands to use and the above kits were such examples of this.

 

Peter Criss on drums at his Wedding 1970
Above courtesy of Lydia Criss - Sealed With A Kiss
Peter jamming at his wedding reception in 1970 with his band at the time, Nautilus on a Ludwig Silver Sparkle kit (most likely part of the wedding band's equipment)

 

Peter Criss on Blue Ludwig drum kit at wedding 1976

This photo shows Peter at his brother's (Joey Criscoula) wedding (April 4, 1976), playing a set of Ludwigs in Blue Sparkle wrap finish. This drum kit is likely part of the wedding reception band's equipment.

 

Peter Criss drumming gloves 70s
Peter Criss drumming gloves 70s
In the 70s, Peter's leather gloves for drumming were part of his costume. During the Reunion era and onwards, he used Ahead Drum gloves.

 

Peter Criss Ahead drumsticks ad

Peter Criss Ahead drumsticks
Ahead 'Peter Criss' model drum sticks and Ahead drum gloves (upper photo)




Promark "Peter Criss' signature sticks


Peter Criss snaares at Guitar Centre Hollywood
Peter's first snare drum, signed and on display along with a signed Pearl White wrap snare drum at The Guitar Centre on Sunset Bvld, Hollywood.

 


A vintage practice pad and cowbell used by Peter circa 1974/5 that went for auction in 2000.

 

Peter Criss at Cadillac 1975_Peter Criss at Cadillac 1975

Peter Criss at Cadillac 1975

Peter Criss at Cadillac 1975_Peter Criss at Cadillac 1975_Peter Criss at Cadillac 1975
Peter at Cadillac High in October 1975


Peter Criss & Neil Peart_Peter Criss & Neil Peart
Peter with Neil Peart (Rush), backstage in 1975

 

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977_Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977_Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977

Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977_Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977_Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977_Peter Criss at Pearl factory Japan 1977
Peter at the Pearl drum factory in Japan during the 1977 KISS Japanese tour

 

Peter Criss Pearl Promo 1975
Pearl Drums ad featuring Peter on the Pearl 'Alive' Silver kit circa 1975.

 

Peter Criss Pearl Drums ad 1976/76
1975/76 Pearl Drums ad featuring Peter on the Pearl Alive 'Mirror Ball' kit.


Peter Criss Pearl Drums Promo 1978
1978 Pearl Drums ad - Japan, featuring Peter on the Pearl Black Chrome kit.

 

Peter Criss Pearl ad
1979 Pearl Drums ad featuring Peter on the Pearl Black Chrome kit.



Pearl Drums magazine ad 1980
1980 Pearl Drums magazine ad (feat. Peter circa 1974)



Peter Criss Zildjian Cymbals ad
1980 Zildjian Cymbals ad featuring Peter on the Pearl Black Chrome kit.

 


Peter with Ace Frehley at Peter's second wedding (to Debra Jensen) December 23, 1979, where he and the rest of KISS borrowed the reception band's equipment to perform some KISS songs.

 

Peter Criss & Eric Carr_Peter Criss & Eric Carr
Peter with Eric Carr in the mid 80's


Peter Criss & Tommy Lee 1986
Peter with Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) in 1986

 

Peter Criss early 90's
Peter in the early 90's

 

Peter Criss 1995 with Cajun drum
Peter on the 'Bad Boys' tour in 1995 during an acoustic set, playing what appears to be a Cajun drum (set up on a snare stand) with small mallets whilst his drum tech Ed Kanon plays his DW Yellow & Gold drum kit.

 


Peter (right) with KISS' Gene Simmons (centre) and current drummer Eric Singer (left) in 1995 during rehearsals for 'KISS Unplugged'.

 


Peter at LA Drum Workshop in 1998 with Louis Bellson and Mr. Remo, maker of Remo drum & percussion products

 

Peter Criss & Anton Fig
Peter with Anton Fig (David Letterman) in the late 90's

 


Peter on the DW Tiger Kit at the KISS Symphony rehearsal, Melbourne, Australia 2003

 


Rhythm magazine February 1997

 

Peter Criss Modern Drummer 1999
Peter in Modern Drummer Magazine February 1999 issue

 


Drum Scene magazine (Australian) 2003

 

Peter Criss 1999_
Peter in LA, with what appears to be the DW 'Broken Glass' kit in February 2003

 


Peter checking out the Gene Krupa Slingerland drum kit at the Zildjian Factory in September 2003


Peter Criss DW promo 2008_Peter Criss DW promo 2008
Peter in 2008 for a DW Drums promo photo shoot.

 

Peter Criss Gunmetal Drum Kit
Peter at home (?) with the what appears to be DW Gunmetal Grey kit

 

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Peter on a couple of Slingerland kits at the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp in August 2013

 

Peter Criss live with Rob Zombie 2014

Peter performed with Rob Zombie on May 10, 2014 at Camden New Jersey on a 6-piece gold glitter DW drum kit (see video further below).

 


Peter in Living magazine, May 2015 edition.





Peter behind a DW kit for 'DW Day' at Guitar Centre Union Square, New York, October 3, 2015. Facebook video of Peter having a play on this DW in-store drum kit can be viewed here



Peter Criss - 100,000 Years with drum solo - Winterland, San Francisco Jan 31, 1975 (The Ludwig Silver Sparkle Kit)  

 


Peter Criss Drum Solo (100,000 Years) - Cobo Hall, Detroit 1975 (The Pearl Alive 'Mirrorball' kit)

 


Peter Criss Drum Solo - Cobo Hall, Detroit Jan 29, 1977 (The Pearl 'White Honeycomb' kit)

 


Peter Criss Drum Solo - Budokan, Japan 1977 (The Pearl 'White Honeycomb' kit)

 


Peter Criss Drum Solo - The Ritz, NY May 13, 1992 (The DW White kit)

 


Peter Criss Drum Solo - Toronto, Canada August 7, 1995 (The DW Yellow & Gold kit)

 


Peter Criss Drum Cam (camera totally on Peter for entire clip) - Atlanta 1996 (The Pearl Reunion Kit)

 


Peter Criss Drum Solo 1998 (The DW 'Tiger' kit)

 


Peter Criss Modern Drummer Interview by Sandy Gennaro - August 2013 - Part 1/3

 


Peter Criss Modern Drummer Interview by Sandy Gennaro - August 2013 - Part 2/3

 


Peter Criss Modern Drummer Interview by Sandy Gennaro - August 2013 - Part 3/3

 


Peter with Rob Zombie May 10, 2014 at Camden, New Jersey

 

 
Peter Criss Visits the Guitar Center Hollywood January 29, 2017 (where his hand prints and some drums are on display along with some of his KISS platform boots)


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