November 24 will mark the 17th Anniversary of the passing of our beloved ERIC CARR. In a series celebrating his life, KISS MASK will present an Interview with Eric that first appeared in the October/December 1989 (Vol.1/No.4) issue of Kiss Mask. Eric was a strong supporter of Kiss Mask from the very beginning, always sending us notes, doing interviews and making himself available being the most accessible member of Kiss.
Kiss Mask is proud to present his interview in a series of parts for you to enjoy once again. The interview, in article form, was conducted in November of 1989, during Kiss' filming of the "Forever" and "Rise To It" videos.Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Eric Carr.
By J. Frank Hagan
Eric Carr, the musician, the rock star, wasn't anything I expected। Purely the type of guy I could easily go down to the corner bar, have a beer and shoot a game of pool with. The man who could pound the spots off a leopard talks about the bands before KISS and joining the band in this candid interview.
Eric played in two bands prior to joining KISS, the first one he explains, "Started off as being called Salt and Pepper in 1970 and went on to Creation in the mid-1970s and the late 1970s Mother Nature, Father Time. What happened is that in the early 1970s when we first started, it was top 40, but top 40 then was every type of music. You could hear really heavy acid, funk, ballads and everything else. The mid- 1970s we started moving towards the rhythm and blues and in 1977 we started doing disco exclusively. We became a disco band and one of the best, we kicked ass!. There were six people in the band, six part harmony and everybody sang leads. We would switch the instruments and I would play bass on some songs, guitars on some songs. It was cool."
However, considering the collection of demo and live tapes floating around amongst fans, I don't think you will find any of Eric's former band. "No, you would never because they would be tapes that I made by me when we did certain gigs. I do have some tapes around, but they have been through floods, so I don't know if they're playable anymore. The problem with my stuff is that it was just a club band and it was long ago, people that may have been there and seen me play are probably old or dead now. They took it with them ," Eric laughs.
Soon after the split of that band, Eric joined what he describes as the, "First real rock band I was ever in, a copy band. We did the Van Halen, the Clash, the Cars, the Who, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC. We did everything! I have a tape of that... the band was called Flasher. We played around Queens in little clubs. It was a four-piece band but after three months our keyboard player left and we went on as a three piece."
Eric found out about the audition for Kiss through an ex-band mate, that very same keyboard player. "I just happened to run into him at a club I was playing the next night. I invited him down, he was the one that told me about the audition for Kiss. If it wasn't that I ran into this guy, I would have never known it."
With the release of the undeniably poppish album, UNMASKED, and the departure of Peter Criss, fans (including myself) were unsure of the status of Kiss. But not long after the news broke of Peter leaving came word that Brooklynite Eric Carr would fill the seat that had been vacant. Kiss fans ordered a sigh of relief knowing the band would go on.
Next up: Part 2-The audition that changed Eric's life and the preparation of his debut with Kiss at New York's Palladium. Part 2 will appear on Thursday, November 13.