Kiss Founder Peter Criss to be Inducted as ‘Drum Legend’
Bridging both sides of the talent spectrum is none other than former Kiss drummer Peter Criss. Not only will Criss serve as a judge of the competition on Jan. 14, but he's also among the backbeat masters to be inducted that night as part of Guitar Center's latest Drum Legend class.
The Drum Legend distinction is presented to drummers who have made a mark with their playing as well as their achievements. For Criss, the long road leading up to this honor began during his childhood when he was turned on by the drumming of jazz greats Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.
"Finally, when I got into rock 'n' roll drumming, I liked Charlie Watts [of the Rolling Stones]," said Criss in a 1997 interview. He also cited Cream's Ginger Baker, the Who's Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin's John Bonham as big influences on his playing.
Although Guitar Center's Drum-Off bills itself as "the world's largest drum competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered drummer," the event is not without its share of performances by well-known drummers and other musicians. This year they include bassist Billy Sheehan, who used to back Van Halen singer David Lee Roth during his solo years.