35 years ago: Eric Carr plays his first show with KISS

Corbin Reiff | Ultimate Classic Rock

On July 25, 1980, Kiss played their first concert without founding drummer Peter Criss, introducing Eric Carr to the world at the Palladium in New York City.

It was an event a few years in the making, really. Criss had spent a majority of the late ‘70s immersing himself deeper and deeper into the throes of drug addiction. It had significantly affected not only his behavior, but also his musical ability. He had drummed on just one track for 1979′s Dynasty – his own song, “Dirty Livin’” – and wasn’t featured at all on the follow-up, Unmasked. Session drummer Anton Fig performed on both albums in his place.

By the middle of 1980, Criss was officially out. In his autobiography Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss, Criss remembered the moment he was shown the door. “A few weeks after I got back from my honeymoon, I got a call to come to the office because the guys had something important to discuss,” he wrote. “I got to our conference room, which had a nice bar and a huge round table and all our gold records on the walls. There they were. ‘Where is everybody?’ I asked. ‘Ah, this is between us,’ one of them said. They cut to the chase. They didn’t want me in the band anymore. I was too out of control. I had lost my chops.”

The search for a replacement began almost immediately and concluded when the band selected Eric Carr, another Brooklyn native, to sit behind the kit. Carr had spent a majority of the previous decade in one group or another and had just called it quits with his last band, Thrasher. After a quick audition, the group felt good enough about his ability and his personality to extend him an invitation to join Kiss, which he accepted.

In his memoir Face the Music, Paul Stanley remembered his first impressions of their new drummer. “He seemed like a good soul,” Stanley wrote. “Some of the other people who auditioned had acted like rock stars, thinking they would gain points for that. Eric was sweet. He eventually proved to be tortured in his own way, but he certainly was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the wake of Peter’s departure.”

With their first new member, Kiss was left with a dilemma, should Eric Carr carry on the Catman role or assume a new persona? Stanley recalled the character quandary in his book. “It took some time to figure out a character for Eric. Heaven forbid we put him in a character people already knew. That seemed too obvious to us, and maybe sacrilegious. Originally, he was going to be the Hawk. We had a costume built with a protruding chest and feathers all over it. He painted a beak on his nose. But he looked like the mascot for a high school football team. All that was missing were the big foam chicken feet. It was horrible. Fortunately, he came up with the idea of the Fox. He wore the same size boots as Peter, so we used existing boots and had the platforms built up even more. The boots ended up being like stilts, and he still looked tiny next to us.”

With everything finally in order, Kiss took the stage at the Palladium to formally debut their new drummer. Carr’s sister Loretta would later recall the significance of the venue to her brother. “It was at the Palladium where, at the time, he was working with my dad delivering furniture. He had just gotten into Kiss, but still kept the job delivering furniture while he was in Kiss. So, he would rehearse with Kiss, then go and work with my dad after that.”

She went on to recount a funny episode that occurred just outside of the venue that night. “That day they were playing, the boss’ sons from the furniture store saw my father and asked him ‘What are you doing here?’ He told them my daughters are fans of Kiss, and in reality Eric was on the stage. So, the guy they knew was the guy behind the make-up: my brother Eric, who was delivering furniture for them, and they never knew.”

Carr would spend the next 11 years beating the skins in Kiss. Sadly, in 1991, after feeling a bit ill, Carr learned that he’d contracted a form of heart cancer. He passed away on Nov. 24, 1991 at the age of 41.

 

Ace Frehley Concert Photo Gallery from July, 2015

Rock Revolt

Ace Frehley packed Harrah’s Voodoo Lounge in Kansas City, MO with a sea of fans wearing Kiss and Space Invader shirts. Space Ace took the stage with a crowd favorite ‘Rocket Ride’. Ace continued through a notable set of 19 songs including ‘Space Invader’, ‘Love Gun’ and ‘Parasite’. He wrapped up the evening with ‘Detroit Rock City’ and ‘Deuce’. Kansas City photographer, John Thornbrugh was there to capture these incredible shots for RockRevolt™ Magazine!

See the entire photo gallery HERE

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SDCC Roundtable: Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer on SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY

Chris Salce | Nuke the Fridge

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 4.06.37 PMAt San Diego Comic-Con last week, exactly a week ago today, I had the privilege to interview “the best band in the land”  Kiss, for their new animated film Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery. In this roundtable interview, the Star Child Paul Stanley and the Spaceman Tommy Thayer discuss the film, touring, on stage injuries and what they think about musicians these days. Enjoy!

Q: What can you tell us about Kiss going into the Scooby-Doo universe?

Paul Stanley: The Scooby universe has never changed anymore than the Kiss universe has changed. What’s changed is these two worlds colliding. So, given the fact that we got to make a full-length feature, means that everything got a chance to be fully developed and taken to a degree that you certainly can’t do in a half hour. The idea of two iconic entities kind of sharing the same space, makes for something very exciting and combustable.

Q: What’s the best part about doing voiceover work as opposed to being on stage and performing?

Stanley: Well, you’re putting a voice to an animated character, even if it’s you, and there’s something very different about that because suddenly I found my voice being very different because it’s an animated piece as opposed to dramatic real life feature, so the character has more of a cartoon voice to it than perhaps mine.

Tommy Thayer: Yeah, there’s a slightly different kind of energy to it. It’s a little more high energy actually, where you push it more and the pace, you have to keep it exciting but it’s something we enjoyed doing. We did it all together, sat down with the script with the four of us in front of a mic one afternoon. We did most of it that way.

 

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Q: [Directed to Paul Stanley] I’m just curious, will you be doing anymore art shows?

Stanley: I will. I took some time off because (everyone should have this problem) the art became too big that when I originally when I started painting, I painted as a way to let off steam, and it became so popular that I was working with deadlines again, and I didn’t want it to get ruined for me. So I had to stop for awhile and I’m painting again and it’s exciting. I found myself almost getting on a treadmill like a hamster wheel, you know? I’m fortunate enough that I don’t need the money. The art is something important to me that I hold dear and to kind of pollute it, didn’t feel right. I just took a break and wanted to stay true to myself.

Chris Salce: So after this film, what’s next for Kiss?

Stanley: Kiss meets the Flinstones [laughs] no, um…who knows? That’s the beauty of Kiss is that we’re not a rock band in the sense that rock is what we’re limited to. The world is full of so many opportunities and so many options that it’s hard to see what’s next. There’s always something else exciting.

Thayer: In the immediate future, we are going off to Australia and New Zealand this fall on tour. We’ve been doing a lot of international touring this year. We’ve been to Japan and South America, we just finished Europe a couple weeks ago and we got the Kiss Cruise 5 at the end of October, which is something we love doing and I know our most dedicated fans love being there too. After that, next year, sky’s the limit.

Q: Your live show is so dynamic, what is the worst injury that you’ve had on stage?

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Stanley: There’s been a few. I’ve got a cracked rib on stage, which wasn’t very fun and then I had to keep doing the shows. I got hit in the face with a bottle, so I have a nice little scar and a few tours ago, one of the sparklers went off and burnt my eye.

Thayer: Luckily, we have great professional people working pyro wise, which is something Kiss is famous for also but we never had any major problems because it’s something that’s been done so professionally but maybe it was done a bit differently in the old days before I was here [smirks].

Q: What do you think of artists today that take off a day of their tour ’cause of fatigue but then you have people like Dave Grohl who breaks his leg and has his cast getting done on stage. Can you comment on that?

Stanley: In order to respect and covet the success you have, you have to earn it. And the difference between somebody who comes through it fairly easily and somebody who works their way up the ladder, makes a difference in how tough you are and what you give. We do shows with the flu, we do shows regardless. When somebody has a booboo on their foot and they need to take a week off, that’s because they didn’t come up the right way.

 

SDCC Roundtable: Gene Simmons and Eric Singer on SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY

Chris Salce | Nuke the FridgeScreen Shot 2015-07-17 at 4.02.57 PM

Thursday was my first day at Comic-Con in San Diego and it was a big one. One of the interviews I had that day were with none other than Kiss, for their new animated film Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery. Yes, you heard right. Kiss teams up with Scooby-Doo to solve a mystery! In this roundtable interview with the Demon Gene Simmons and the Catman Eric Singer, we discuss how the project came about and the secret to being successful. So here you go, you wanted the best, you got the best…

Q: Kiss and Scooby-Doo, how did this come about?

Gene Simmons: We appeared on Scooby in the seventies and now that Warners has stepped up and proudly made the most expensive Scooby movie of all time, Kiss meets Scooby-Doo really breaks the mold and because what you’ve got is rock n’ roll, Scooby stuff, there’s a mystery, as soon as you think you’ve got it figured out within the first half hour, all of a sudden, rules aside, everything changes. They’re often space monsters, sci-fi, witches, all the cool stuff fanboys love. End of story.

Q: If you could craft a unique song for a Marvel or DC comics character, who would it be?

Simmons: Dr. Doom because the character is so defined and when you understand, here’s the important part, the pathos of it, in other words, what makes this bad guy not just a one-dimensional thing. When you saw King kong, you understood that he actually loved that little girl but he loved her, he would die for her. That’s what made King Kong unique and what makes Dr. Doom unique is that this is actually damaged goods. This guy’s got his face with all kinds of acid and stuff so he’s not fighting the world, he’s fighting himself. I could have written ‘Unholy’ about him.

Q: How much control did you have over the characters and the writing itself?

Simmons: We respect and admire the Scooby mystique and the iconic nature of it so much that all we did was take care of Kiss. We take care of Kiss, they’ll take care of Scooby.

Eric Singer: They’ve got it! When they wrote the script, let’s face it, whoever did their homework, did their homework and basically got the real gist of the individual characters, physically, how the moved and basically stylistically with how they talked.

Chris Salce: You guys are obviously a really successful band, you’ve been around for years…

Simmons: And good looking too [smirks]

Chris Salce: [Laughs] yes, and everybody knows who Kiss is. How did you guys become such successful businessmen? You have a football team, TV shows, tons of merchandise all over the place and now Scooby-Doo.

Simmons: There’s no excuse because all the information mankind has ever put together is really available for free [picks up phone], so when a guy walks up and says ‘Yeah man what’s up?’ that’s not society’s fault, that’s his fault for not taking the time to learn language skills, people skills and all the information you want is right at your fingertips for free!

Singer: Yeah it’s called the internet!

Simmons: What you do before was the library and I used to go to the library everyday. Read. Seek and you shall find. I didn’t create that and you didn’t either so, in my new book, [smirks] ‘Me Incorporated,‘ it actually goes in there! It’s your responsibility, you can always make more money. I guarantee you tomorrow, if you cut out all the bulls*** money you spend on today, you’ll make twice as much money tomorrow. Cigarettes, bars, going on vacation, you don’t need to do all that stuff. That’s the first step, lean and mean.

Q: What’s the next team up that you would like to do?

Simmons: I would like to team up with God.

Q: Why God?

Simmons: He’s cool!

 

Paul Stanley crashed the EW interview with KISS, and it was the best thing ever

Mary Sollosi | EW

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 5.57.58 PMScooby-Doo has sleuthed alongside a lot of celebrities over the years, but none of that is anything like the upcoming Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, Gene Simmons assures us. “What starts out as one layer of a mystery soon opens the portals to what could be,” he explains, “and we’re off into deep space on an adventure you’ve never seen before on any Scooby-Doo adventure.”

Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer — also known as three quarters of KISS — stopped by the Entertainment Weekly Lounge at Comic-Con to talk about the movie, which hits VOD July 10 and DVD and Blu-ray on July 21.

But watch the video to see Paul Stanley stop by, completing the quartet; find out Simmons’ favorite comic-book character (he was at the very first Comic-Con!); and hear all of them muse upon the wide variety of Scarletts in pop culture (Witch! O’Hara! Pimpernel!).

‘Scooby-Doo & Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery’ Clips + New Song Surface Ahead of Release

Chad Childers | Loudwire

Masters of marketing KISS are about to lend their brand to another franchise. They’ve teamed up with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on a new animated full-length film called Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery that’s set to arrive on July 21. But before the film arrives, two new preview clips and a new song called “Don’t Touch My Ascot” featuring KISS with co-writers Greg Collins and Jared Faber from the film have surfaced online.

This actually marks the second time the band has appeared with Scooby, turning up on a 2003 Halloween episode of What’s New, Scooby-Doo? Gene Simmons told IGN in an interview (seen below), “We do very very few cross-branding things. We’re very careful about who we associate with. Scooby-Doo is iconic so for us it was a no-brainer. When Warner Brothers came to us and said, ‘How would you like to do a crazy-wacky thing?’ It was like, ‘Crazy-wacky is our middle name. What it is?’”

As for the plot, it finds the Mystery Inc. gang being invited to investigate when a ghoul begins to terrorize an amusement park. During their visit, the gang meets up with KISS, who claim they’re also there to investigate, leading them to team up to solve the mystery.

In addition to KISS, the film also features the voices of Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Darius Rucker, Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, Jennifer Carpenter and Pauley Perrette.

Check out the two preview clips below and “Don’t Touch My Ascot” above. And if you’re interested, you can pre-order the Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery film via Amazon.

In other KISS news, the band has received a nod from one of the hottest films in America. KISS shared a video featuring the minions from Minions performing “Rock and Roll All Nite” can be seen below. Meanwhile, Scorpion executive producer Nicholas Wootton let spill to Entertainment Weekly at Comic-Con that KISS’ Gene Simmons will appear in the CBS series’ expanded season opener on Sept. 21. Details of Simmons’ roll were not divulged however.

 

Sophie Simmons-Tweed sings before Dodgers / Brewers game

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Danny Moloshok

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Sophie Tweed-Simmons, daughter of KISS band member Gene Simmons, sang the national anthem. But it was Milwaukee Brewers’ bats that did the talking as they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-1, on Saturday.

Brewers rookie Taylor Jungmann (4-1) tossed a three-hitter, striking out seven and walking two on 100 pitches to help the Brewers improve to 5-2 in his starts.

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Danny Moloshok

Teammate Carlos Gomez drove in five runs, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout while tying his career high for RBIs, his second five-RBI game in a week.

Brandon Beachy (0-1) gave up three runs and five hits in four innings, struck out two and walked three. The right-hander was making his first start in nearly two years after coming back from two Tommy John surgeries.

For the second straight game, the Dodgers were held to two hits through six innings. Their lone run came on pinch-hitter Kike Hernandez’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

The Brewers can clinch the series and return to .500 on the road with a win Sunday in their last game before the All-Star break.

‘Scorpion’ Nabs Kiss Frontman Gene Simmons to Guest Star

Marisa Roffman | The Hollywood Reporter

Scorpion has nabbed a musical superstar for its season premiere: Kiss lead singer Gene Simmons.

‎Executive producer Nicholas Wootton‎ announced the news at Comic-Con, noting Simmons — who is currently at the Con, too — will cameo in the second season opener.

And that wasn’t the only big news of the hour –Scorpion will have a super-sized 90-min installment after the Supergirlseries‎ premiere on Monday, October 26. (Supergirl airs 8:30-9:30 p.m. that night, while Scorpion will close out the night from 9:30-11 p.m.)

As the show looks towards its second season, expect Walter (Elyes Gabel) and Paige (Katharine McPhee), as well as Happy (Jadyn Wong) and Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas), to continue to awkwardly dance around their feelings.

“I love the fact that these guys have no idea how to navigate their love lives,” Thomas said, noting it was one of his favorite parts of the show. “It’s something we can all relate to.”

“You’re seeing a lot of our real-life relationship with how we mess with each other,” Thomas added, noting in the beginning, he was a bit afraid of co-star Robert Patrick, but now he they like to goof around with each other.

To sign up for Live Feed TV alerts for news and scoop on your favorite shows, please go to THR.com/FeedNews.

Guitarist Tommy Thayer of KISS lists his rock-star worthy home at Lake Sherwood

Lauren Beale | LA Times

la-fi-hotprop-tommy-thayer-20150706-pictures-006KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and his wife, Amber, have listed their house in the Ventura County community of Lake Sherwood at $2.695 million.

Rock-star cool features include a brick barrel ceiling in the gallery, two sets of 10-foot tall doors in the living room and a bedroom that was designed as an apartment.

The custom-built Mediterranean, constructed a decade ago, was remodeled and upgraded by the couple in 2009. They bought the property in 2008 for $1.815 million.

A formal entry, a breakfast area, a loft, four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms are within the 4,492 square feet of interior space.

Six patios, one with an outdoor fireplace, extend the living areas out of doors. Expansive views from the third-acre lot take in the lake and the mountains.

Thayer, 54, was first with the glam metal group Black ‘n Blue and in 2002 joined the hard-rock band KISS, known for their stage makeup, big hair and pyrotechnic-laden performances. He co-wrote 10 songs for the band’s 2012 album “Monster.”

Jerry Adams of Land Marketing Inc. is the listing agent.

See the photo gallery HERE.

Paul Stanley on Rugby League Rock n Roll

Steve Mascord

@WLFpodcast talks to rugby POW Sol Mokdad in Exeter, we dig out a Paul Stanley chat from Lubbock, Texas, 25 years ago plus the conclusion of our chats with Jesper Binzer of Disneyland After Dark, Crash of H.e.a.t and Michael Harrison from Palace of the King