Bruce Kulick: Playing Guitar Like A Bat Out Of Hell
Bruce Kulick is the ultimate journeyman guitarist. Over a glorious career, this legendary shredder has held the line for rock ‘n’ roll with some of the greatest outfits in its history. Most associate his name with KISS but things really got rolling for Kulick with his brother Bob on the Bat Out of Hell tour of ’77-’78. In fact, if you have the re-release, there are two live tracks with the Kulick brothers figuring prominently.
On the, “…two live tracks from 1978, … feature Bob and I very clearly. I’m on the left. He’s on the right, in your stereo imaging,” Kulick said while on the phone with us about his first days in the business.
“It’s ironic you bring it up because yesterday at the gym I decided to listen to Bat Out of Hell. As Kulick worked out he was, “…just trying to put [himself] in that mind frame. I could just see my hands on the fingerboard even though I haven’t played [the intro] song in ages. We [did] this intro Bolero piece that the show would always start with, and then we would go into a very bombastic version of Bat Out of Hell.”
The experience of the tour ran the gambit from ‘totally misunderstood’ to ‘best new thing’.
“The truth was, that tour, I was really glad to get it done. It was quite stressful for me at times because it was a lot to learn, to take in, but it didn’t happen overnight. We worked very hard, that band. We were getting booed off the stage in the beginning and all of a sudden the tide turned when radio was supporting it.”
Bat Out of Hell took Kulick to many places including the El Mocambo in Toronto, but again with the help of radio support, they returned to explode much larger venues.
He told us, “I remember the first time we went up to Canada. We played the El Mocambo out in Toronto. It was one major radio [event] that went out to millions of people and all of a sudden Meatloaf was a hit in Canada. We went back and did arenas, and then we went back and did that big gig with ELO.”
Besides taking Canada by storm Kulick rocked the Meatloaf spectacular around the world and even had the incredible opportunity to be a part of television history on March 25th, 1978.
“One thing I’ll never forget, not like I was featured much, but I was there and it was amazing, was playing Saturday Night Live. How many people get to perform on that? That’s the classic years with John Belushi and everybody.”