George Peter John Criscuola, better known as Peter Criss, is an American musician and actor, best known as the co-founder, original drummer, and occasional vocalist of the hard rock band Kiss. Criss established the "Catman" character for his Kiss persona.Early yearsGeorge Peter John Criscuola is the oldest of the five children to parents Joseph and Loretta Criscuola; his father's family came from Scafati, Salerno, Italy. He grew up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. He was a childhood friend of Jerry Nolan, who would later find success as the drummer for the New York Dolls.He was an avid art student and a swing aficionado. While playing with bandleader Joey Greco, Criss ended up studying under his idol, Gene Krupa, at the Metropole Club in New York. This turned into an active musical career as he went on to play jazz and rock with a number of bands in New York and New Jersey throughout the 1960s.ChelseaCriss was involved with a number of bands throughout the mid-to-late 1960s. It was during this time that Criss joined Chelsea, who had a two-album deal with Decca Records; the group released a self-titled album in 1970. They never recorded a second album, and in August 1971 became Lips (a trio consisting of Criss and his Chelsea bandmates Michael Benvenga and Stan Penridge). By the spring of 1972, Lips was just the duo of Criss and Penridge.