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, the most accessible member of Kiss at the time.
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
In Part 3 of our Interview with Eric Carr, we discuss the album (Music From) The Elder, his first tour of Europe with KISS and a frightening but hilarious story surrounding their show in Milan, Italy, and singing lead on a Kiss album for the first time.
Was there a proposed tour to support "The Elder?," I did not hear anybody say a tour. It kind of stands to reason that there would be a tour. There certainly was a plan to do a movie and maybe part two of the score. All of that stuff was depended on how the album did. if an album doesn't do well, and it's a score for a film, why do the film? The fans are telling you, for whatever reason, that this is not necessarily their cup of tea. So you're gonna' give them a film with the same music? It doesn't make any sense. Eric was very curious over the sudden 'rediscovery' of the album from fans and was very interested in my own thoughts on the topic.
I asked him what was the craziest incident that happened to him and the rest of the band on tour. Eric preceded to tell me of one of the scariest moments that happened on the road that could easily pass as of the craziest.
The scariest by far was definitely in Milan, Italy on the European tour (1980). We were playing an outdoor soccer stadium, getting ready to go on, and the dressing rooms are in these catacombs underground. We were walking down these long corridors and we're getting ready to walk up this long flight of stairways that lead up to the grass and then we have to climb another flight of stairs to the stage. We are walking all costumes, makeup and platforms. All of a sudden our tour manager, George Sewitt, comes running back, 'Go back! Run! Run! What had happened is that there was about fifty or sixty skinheads in the front that had broken through the barricade. They were trying to charge downstairs yelling 'Kiss Fascists!' I guess we represented Capitalism at it's worse or best, however you want to look at it. We ran and they (Kiss tour crew) barricaded us in the dressing room. There was no way out because we were underground and you have concrete walls which are three feet thick around you. If they had broken through and gotten us, there was no way out. We were scared shit. We were lucky because someone stood up in front of the guys when they were charging downstairs. He knew karate and apparently broke a couple of arms, broke a nose here and there and stopped them. Ace talks about this story in an interview recently. It's the most scared I've ever been with Kiss. We still went out and did the show.
A funny part of that was Gene... Whenever we were walking, offstage or onstage, in those days he would be dragging along. We'd say, 'C'mon! C'mon! Move your ass!' (Gene) 'I can't run in these boots. I can't run in all this stuff!' He ran so fast. He beat all of us when he was running back to the dressing room. Forget about how much costume he had on, he flew! We always tease him about that. We were just locked in there looking at each other. Everyone of us looked liked scared rabbits because we were scared shit. We realized if they broke through, that was it. We would have been killed.
1990 marks Eric's 10 year anniversary with Kiss. Although he's been with the band longer than original drummer, Peter Criss, it has taken ten years to sing lead on a Kiss album. Why the delay?
I think we wanted to wait until we had an album that was good enough for my voice to be heard on, jokes Eric. No, I'm kidding. I really don't know. I just think it was a matter of the timing was right. People I know have the idea sometimes that Gene and Paul don't want me to sing, they wouldn't let me do this, and that's not true. It's always been basically up to me. I've brought material, lots of material to the band over the years and the band has used some of the stuff I have written. Other people have used it and other material have not been used, but that goes the same with Gene, with Bruce, Vinnie, and with Paul. It's the same situation. I think if I had come up something that was completed or that sounded really cool and I had a good idea for a vocal years ago and it sounded right for us, it would have been on the album.
Eric continues, The song that I brought, 'Little Caesar,' to Gene seemed to fit with what we were doing. Although I didn't think it at first, I just let him hear it as a joke. I brought that song to Gene, let him hear it and 'Oh by the way, what do you think of this tune?' He loved that and it was right for the album. Just the way we were doing this album and what we wanted try and achieve, this was the right time for me to finally do a vocal. I'm really happy the way it turned out. Overall, there are a couple of things I probably would have changed here and there, but I'm really happy with my performance, happy with the arrangement and the way it sounds. I just hope everyone likes it!
Like it? Everyone loves it!
Next up: Part 4- Eric discusses re-recording "Beth" and the new album, "Hot In The Shade." Part 4 will appear online on Wednesday, November 26.