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
We begin part two of our interview with Eric talking about the audition that changed his life, the day he auditioned for Kiss and leading up to his introduction to the world.
"Where's the men's room? I never felt so strong about anything ever, before or since then. I knew from the time I called, I just had a feeling I was gonna' get it. So by the time I found out that they wanted to continue rehearsing with me, it wasn't much of a surprise," explains Eric. Gene Simmons said in a 1982 interview, "We found a little puddle behind the drum kit," on Eric's audition.
"When I joined, their idea was to be a 'Hawk,' a bird of prey. We tried during this time, three weeks, a month, to come up with hawk makeup. I was trying every kind of idea I could come up with. Just using lots of different colors on my face which made it look like Zulu warrior makeup. Meanwhile, there was a costume designed for me which was yellow like San Diego chicken. It was yellow tights covered by a padded chest piece, another chest piece with yellow feathers on it, a vest and a big cape, something like the one Gene used to wear. The only thing missing was the beak and the big claw feet," laughs Eric.
"It was hysterical! I remember standing there in the costume place. Bill Aucoin and Paul were there putting the stuff on me. I'm saying to myself, 'This is nuts! But I guess they know what they're doing, but this looks ridiculous to me!' Luckily for me, Paul and Bill were thinking the same thing at the same time and realized it was ridiculous," recalled Eric.
Eric had about three weeks to prepare for a stadium tour and to introduce himself to the die hard Kiss Army. Thus meaning, learning the set, rehearsing, costuming, developing a persona and preparing himself for the worse. Not an easy task, joining a Supergroup that had won the Gallup Poll for the #1 rock band in the world for the last three years in a row, 1977, 1978, and 1979. Kiss is the only band, second to the Beatles who is recognizable by face and a first name basis.
Eric's makeup did not evolve until the first live appearance with Kiss, July 25, 1980, with a sold out performance to introduce Eric to the Kiss Army at New York's Palladium. "I was in the dressing room of the Palladium, Gene was sitting across the room, still sketching faces on a sketchpad. I came up with this idea, I knew even before I showed it to Gene what he was gonna' say. I said 'Hey Gene. What do you think of this?' He said 'Interesting, but it looks like a fox.' I said 'Yeah.' And the light bulbs went off, instantly it seemed to be it. From that second on, it was the Fox. Of course I changed it after the Palladium show, adding the white up the center, making the black smaller. It made it a lot better. I wore it (that way) that one show and the People Magazine cover," reminisces Eric.
Eric's family had to keep the fact that their son was in Kiss a secret, leaving them with some quick explaining as to why they were at the Palladium to see Kiss, when approached by people they knew.
Going from clubs to stadiums in a matter of three weeks had nerve-racking let alone mind blowing, I was all excited, but I had been playing clubs and in front of people for so long. All I was concerned about is that I'm gonna do the best that I can. Either the fans are gonna' love me or hate me. So, I went out there and it's like, 'What are you gonna' do? Get scared when the solo comes up and the drum risers moving forward and and say I can't do it?' That's bullshit! I said 'fuck it! I'm out here, I have no choice!'"
Next up: Part 3- "The Elder" and re-recording "Beth." Part 3 will appear on Thursday November 20.