- December 12, 2004 -
Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay in my message, but I have been taking care of moving my elderly parents closer to me, which is a huge project. I knew I would be dealing with this as soon as I returned from my trip from Europe, and thankfully things are finally being worked out. Will be great to have them 10 minutes away instead of an hour from my home.
On to my amazing journey. Started in Boston with the last GFR show of 2004. We hit the freak November snow storm that gave the beantown 6 inches and whipping cold weather but I looked at it as a reminder winter is here and I will be cold in Europe. Odd though that the weather that weekend in Boston was colder than anything I experienced in Switzerland etc!
The Grand Funk show in Plymouth, MA was sold out and it was great to do yet another east coast show for the band. We hope to play more dates on that coast next year. The band and our special cyberfunker fans all had some drinks and food after the show. THANK YOU all for making 2004 a successful GFR year again!
Being on the east coast made my flight to London MUCH shorter than coming from LA. For that I was grateful. Arrived the next morning, and then took the short flight to Geneva to get settled there for a few days before the shows would begin. My friend Nicolas who arranged much of this trip for me, took me off to the hotel in the amazing VALIAS (Valley) area of Switzerland. I met my old guitarist Vince, and the new singer Mark from the band Crystal Ball, and we started rehearsing for my first acoustic shows. Mark is a great singer, but he wasn't really familiar with all the KISS songs I asked him to learn. But I told him to have fun with the set, as the fans will sing along. Sure enough off at the first village in Switzerland, the fans loved seeing me upclose and intimate. They sang along with us, as I did my best tearing up a borrowed electric acoustic guitar, playing songs like "Comin Home", "Tears Are Falling", "Hard Luck Woman", "Rock Bottom", "Hide Your Heart", "Nothing to Lose" and added of course, "I Walk Alone" from COS, and solo songs from both my discs AUDIODOG and TRANSFORMER. I also performed a solo piece in a Jimmy Page Zeppelin fashion which went over very well.
Off to a cool club in Italy after traveling through the alps. The trip was so beautiful, although the tunnel that is called Gothard in Southern Switzerland was quite scary. 12 kilometers long, and it was much worse than going through the Lincoln tunnel in New York.
We wound up in a town called Bassano De Grappa and it was about an hour away from Venice. The fans were very excited and that was such a long day of travel. We did a great show and once again the fans sang along with all the choruses. After a big meal for lunch the next morning (the Italians love to eat, pizza pasta, pizza pasta!!! I felt like I was pregnant...) off to Milan for our last acoustic show of the trip. Milan was interesting. I broke a string right off in the second song, so without a spare guitar I was teaching the crowd how to change strings! But the fans were wonderful and my Italian promoter Debbie, is a great woman. She took care of me and the guys and got me and Nicolas to the airport very early the next day for my trip to Dusseldorf, Germany for the expo and clinic there in Witten.
Tired but happy to be back in Germany (land of BMW!!) I showered and got ready for 9 hours of being at the event. Chris and Harald put on a very successful Expo and the fans really enjoyed the day. It was cold and drizzling outside, so everyone was happy to be rocking at the Expo. I was too tired to jam with the band as I was up so early, but the fans who attended the clinic did get to really see me play as that was a very spirited clinic for me. I threw in many surprises as I even played and sang "Crazy" from my solo disc Transformer on the spot when requested by this sweet mother and daughter. ( I am a softy considering I am a rocker!).
Off to Switerland for some days off, and we arrive at the airport in Dusseldorf, to find out that the flight was cancelled. But we got there on another airline and took a train from Milan to wind up back in the Swiss Alps. I stayed in Martigny a lovely French speaking town situated in the Valley between unbelievable mountains called the Alps of course. Ate and rested well, and the weather for the next days was very mild and sunny. Also, one evening Nicolas and his lovely Leti and some friends took me to a very nice hot sping bath hotel spa. We soaked and did the full spa steam room, sauna, jacuzzi hot spring experience until my fingers looked like prunes. All my muscles were relaxed after that! Went to the town of SION after that for some Chinese food. As you can imagine all the food in Europe is amazing including McDonald's. Yes I said McDonald's. Prices are high, but the quality of every food product is perfect. My tummy was spoiled and quite happy. (back to eating less and working out of course now that I am home... )
One last event in Switzerland, a clinic in the French part of the country (Chaux de Fonds, try saying that one if you don't know French! ) and that was a huge crowd for a that kind of an event. The crowd really were so happy for me to be there and I sold many CD's and photos which made me real happy of course.
Next day off to Nottingham, and I sadly said goodbye to Switzerland and Nicolas, but promised we will do more work like this in the future. David the promoter and his lady Rachel set me up at the hotel around the corner from the venue which is truly a rock and roll institution in England. The Rock City club is just packed all weekend with fans of rock who love to party. The UK expo was huge, and I had so many fans thank me for coming back to Great Britian. It had been quite a while, so that made me feel great.
I signed and did my Q and A which was hosted by my friend Rikk from Holland and a famous radio TV guy Iain Lee. Later on I jammed with the tribute band, Dressed to Kill. They did a great job and we had the crowd going crazy. (they were in make up so that was a bit strange for me, but it worked!) The next day I had one more event planned, a clinic at the Hard Rock in Nottingham. I want to thank them for making me very comfortable and outside of the crazy lights which made me feel like I was on an acid trip, it was a cool event. (they gave me a pair of Hard Rock sunglasses so I could reduce the light show which could not be controlled).
Next day a very British limo driver took me to Manchester about 2 and quarter hours away from Nottingham, for my journey back to Heathrow, London to Boston flight. I saw the real English countryside and churchs and villages and thought how much history happened in all those fields and buildings. He had such an accent but I was able to make out what he said, so I could enjoy his sightseeing tips of our long journey.
Back at London, Heathrow Airport did some Holiday shopping for my family and friends and then off to Boston to sleep before a morning flight from the east coast to the west.
19 days later I was back home to see my dog and family, safe and sound. I want to thank everyone who worked me or looked after me, Nicolas, Leti, Vince, Mark, Alex and Alain from Switzerland, Debbie and Jan from Italy, Chris and Harald from Germany, Rikk from Holland, Rachel, David, Carrine from Nottingham, and Lisa and Missi who showed up from the US to help me at UK expo. Thank you all for helping me making my trip a success.
Now back to helping my parents and trying to enjoy the holiday season.
News on UNION is a few warm up shows in LA Jan 14th in Tarzana at PALADINO'S and Jan 15th at THE GALAXY in Anaheim, with LA GUNS. The two shows in Tokyo Japan are Jan 29th and 30th. UNION DVD will be ready for sale by then from me, details to follow.
More stuff to talk about but I need to rest!
THANKS again to all the fans who supported me on this trip. It means alot to me.
Take care, and the details for everything happening in January are coming in a few days.
All the best and happy holidays and New Years to you all. Have a safe Holiday Season.
- October 25, 2004 -
Hello everyone! Thanks for the response from my last message. It is always great to hear from all of you. I have so much to share with you all so let me begin with a show with Grand Funk in my home town of Los Angeles, at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center. The show was terrific and the venue is a premier one here in LA. I have some great pix to share of that show (thanks Brenda!). I was proud to show off a new ESP guitar that was customized for me over the summer. All gold and quite a good sound as well. On the 12 fret I have put my initials inlayed on the guitar. B H K. So a unique one from ESP. It was a sample guitar from the Japan factory, and I grabbed it for stage as that is where it belongs. Thank you Matt from ESP.
The day after the Cerritos show I was a guest at the Hollywood Collectors Show, which attracts many people although not many musicians are invited to attend. This show had Larry Hagman from Dallas, and stars from Star Trek, Happy Days, Partridge Family, from Spongebob Squarepants, Playmates, Bond Girls (including Kristina Wayborn), and many other TV stars too numerous to mention. My dog Joe came along for the day and he was quite a hit of course. He is so special and everyone with who has a cat or dog feels proud of their special animal. But I have to say Joe is popular when I bring him out in public.
It was great to meet Trini Lopez who has a long history with music and a custom Gibson model so we got to swap CD's and share guitar stories. Joyce DeWitt from Three's Company had her table near me, and here is a great shot of her with me and Joe. Your parents would know this next star, as my Mom was quite excited I met Juliet Mills. She is a lovely woman and she wanted to hold Joe like all the other stars. Anson Williams remembered me from the KISS years at Gene's house, and Bond girl Kristina Wayborn had her special dog as well in attendance. Joe was interested but we didn't have time! Met Linda Blair of The Exorcist movie, she is quite an animal activist from our conversation.
You will all laugh at the fact that most important conversation for me was my meeting with two people who are part of Spongebob Squarepants. Not everyone knows that the cartoon show is a guilty pleasure of mine. I think it was conceived for adults not children. I met Mr. Lawrence who plays PLANKTON a great evil character. He also is listed as one of the storywriters for the show so we had a good talk. Carolyn "Sandy Cheeks" Lawrence, the sweet but tough squirrel on the show, was there and she was so impressed a rock musician was so into the show! They signed my Spongebob movie poster and I gave them my CD and a color pix as well. Who knows, maybe my music will be involved with the show someday.
Off to Puerto Rico the next morning! Long trip with some delays due to weather etc., so I got in at 3 AM after leaving LA in the morning. My friend Rolando D'Lugo I told you all about had me busy with press the next day, some interviews and rehearsal with his band. The island is great to visit but sadly, our schedule did not give me much time to enjoy it. We did two TV shows in one day, one a PBS style broadcast and we played the song I did the video with Rolando for back in March and an interview. "Esperando" is the name of the song. We then hurried off to another show, which is quite popular called "Club Paradise." We were the house band and did "Rock And Roll All Night" at the end of the show. That show is crazy! Like "Mad TV." Of course I know a little Spanish from school and my travels, but they speak so fast I am totally lost!
The next two days were our gigs, one in San Juan, and the next day in Ponce. We had a great time and Kiss Shop was there as well to be Merch people and make me laugh at all the crazy things we encountered. I met some cool radio people and promoters and want to thank Rolando and his band, Angel on guitar, Orlando on Bass, Jose on drums who were there for me 100%. I stayed an extra day as I was invited to a premiere of a movie debuting in Puerto Rico called "VAMPIROS." A classic modern vampire flick and Rolando has a large role in the movie. It was fun to see him act. The people of Puerto Rico love to get dressed up, party all night and enjoy life. The director of the movie who calls himself "Transformer" (ironically) did Rolando's video, so that was the big connection for me and the movie. It was easy for me hang and I really enjoyed the flick even though it was in Spanish of course and although I was quite tired, (I also had a 7AM departure the next morning) it was great for me to be a part of the event.
Back in LA for a few days to recoup, and then off to Fresno for a show with GFR. Great crowd and then we had a trip to Columbus to play someone's wedding! Not listed on our schedule of course, but we had fun watching the baseball play offs backstage and celebrating one year past that I got shot. I am doing fine, and thank you all for asking from time to time. Early the next morning I had to get to Baltimore for a KISS Expo at the Hilton. Everything went fine and I want thank George DeCampo, SSG, and my friends who helped me at my table for a great show. I was VERY tired but it was wonderful as always to see the fans and play for them. Hope to do more next year. This year has been a quiet one for me Expo wise, but sometimes it is good not overdo those events.
I am proud to tell everyone about some upcoming shows. First off if you are in Florida you should come to the show GFR will be doing in Jupiter. It is a celebrity dog wash event which raises money for animal shelters etc. We did this last year and it was quite amazing the turnout we had. I only wish I could take Joe, but it is too long a journey for him. The next weekend we play in Plymouth MA, near Boston, so check out the details for these two shows on the GFR site.
From there I will go to Europe for clinics, Kiss expos, and some acoustic shows. All those details will be on my site soon. But I will cover Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and the UK. I missed this trip last year when I got hurt, so I am happy to go see my friends and fans in Europe.
UNION will go to Japan for some shows late January 2005. I am excited to do this as our DVD is finished now, we are just getting the distribution of it going. More details on all of this later on. I get many emails in regard to UNION and all I can say is I don't really know how much performing we will do next year, but we are looking at some special shows. John, Brent, Jamie and myself all have other commitments as well next year, so we will see how things go.
Well, that covers it, and it has been a very hectic October for sure! Hope you all are doing well, staying warm and enjoying your lives.
Keep in touch!
PS - I have a vintage shot of me with my parents as you all have seen them lately on my site. Here is a classic backstage pix of them with me 1985!
PSS - Check out the picture of my friend Michael's license plate! COOL!
- September 16, 2004 -
Hello everyone! Well with Summer 2004 winding down, I hope you all had a great time. I got to visit so many cool places and play my guitar which I love to do, so here is a recap on my latest journeys.
But before I get into my travels I had the pleasure to have a "Hawaiian Luau" at my parents assited living place. I enjoy when I can spend time with them, and the place they live put on a great event with a Hawaiian band and Hula dancers of all ages. Of course they make the audience participate so here is a photo of me dancing with some other reluctant males for the seniors. Had a great time though as every day I can spend with my parents is a blessing.
Next trip for me with Grand Funk was to Bismark ND, and I want to thank the good people at a place called the String Bean. It is a coffee shop that also sells guitars! Perfect for me right? The owners contribute to a great magazine that is based in Bismark, called Vintage Guitar Magazine. They have done features on me in the past and is the best place to read about one of my best passions, GUITARS! So many stories were told over some coffee as I had the afternoon to relax there.
Our show near their was good, and then we traveled to Des Moines, IA for a State Fair. We drew the largest crowd in history there! So thank you Iowa! Ran into Chris Jericho the WWE pro-wrestler at the airport on the way. He has a killer band called FOZZY, and sings great. He is a huge KISS fan, and always was into the non-makeup era especially.
The following weekend had a few exciting places for me to visit. First off, Tim Cashion the keyboard player of Grand Funk lives in Charlotte, NC and that is home to NASCAR! I have been a NASCAR fan for a few years now, so Tim took me to see the Lowe's Motorspeedway. Of course there was no race that day but we got close to the track and the place is just so huge. I recommend the NASCAR IMAX movie for anyone confused as to why it is so big a sport. We got to see a few cool shops in town as well. Concord Mills is a great mall with shopping and food for all. Shared some coffee with Gene and Paul there as well! Came home with a killer Dale Earnhardt Jr. diecast car in 1/32 scale (like my road race set!). Looks good along with my KISS ones.... Thank you Tim!
Also in town was an event that I love going to, of course a vintage guitar show, the "Queen City Carolina Guitar Show" put on by Bee-3 Vintage. I know many of the dealers and everyone knows how cool it is to see and play so many fine instruments. Of course scored a cool deal or two, as the sellers are always very kind to me. Thank you all!
The gig for GFR was a Motorcycle event, and sadly in the afternoon news of Indian Larry, a famous biker guy who builds and does stunts, suffered an accident that he succumbed to the next day. RIP Larry, I know he had a lot of fans and admirers.
This past weekend, we were off to Little Rock, AK for another biker event. A private Harley Hog rally. They had a blast with us and the weather was perfect for our outdoor show. Then we played in Salt Lake City, Utah... in the rain! I want to apologize to the fans for the fact that mother nature and the promoter made us end early. What a lightening show! Consider that we play a lot of shows outside we have only cut two short in the 4 years I have been with Grand Funk. But sorry again to the fans for the rain etc.
Here are some updates on appearances that I will making. On October 3rd at the Hilton, Burbank, CA, there is a cool collector show for show biz people. Mostly Movie and TV stars, but the promoter invited me to appear as well. The link for the show is http://www.hollywoodcollectorshow.com/Burbank.htm
I have firmed up a few shows in Puerto Rico for Oct 7th and 8th. I will perform with Rolando Lugo and his band in San Juan and Ponce. Visit http://www.rdlugo.com/ for info on the shows. Will be playing some of my solo material and cool KISS covers too. Should be fun, as I always enjoy going there.
We have a few more Grand Funk dates left of course so visit the GFR site for them.
On October 17th I will be a guest at the Baltimore KISS expo which will be at the Pikesville Hilton. Looking forward to that, as I have not been at too many of them of late.
In November I am confirmed for some events in Europe. I will give more details in the next message, but confirmed so far is a KISS Expo in Dortmund, Germany on Nov 20th, and a KISS expo in Nottingham, England on Nov. 27th. On the 28th I will do a clinic at the Hard Rock in Nottingham as well. For info on the two UK events so far, go to http://www.kissinuk.com/
Still busy with sessions for some artists, and of course still writing and getting my songs together for my next solo CD. More news on all of that as well.
All the best to you all and enjoy my pictures and keep in touch!
- August 16, 2004 -
Hello Everyone! Still been touring around the USA and what a great time the band and I are having! Last I wrote I visited Niagra Falls, and although I haven't been anywhere that dramatic, I will get you all up to date on my travels.
First off the event at the Hard Rock in Los Angeles on July 18th for ABC TRUST the Brazilian charity was a blast. I jammed with the Led Zep tribute band Led Zepagain, and that was really cool. Everyone knows I love Led Zep, so it was fun. Along with Howard Leese from Heart, and Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme, and Paul Gilbert from MR BIG, to name a few were there to jam and celebrate the cause. I donated a cool Ukulele for the charity that someone bought that night.
Then back on the road with Grand Funk Railroad to Biloxi, MS for a show at a cool casino, and then off to Little Rock, where the opening act at the venue was the Governor of the State of Arkansas, Gov. Huckabee. He loves Grand Funk, and his band that does cool covers. Some of his musicians were quite excited to meet me. One was a huge KISS fan, so we posed for some pix.
Then off to a show in New Jersey, afternoon event, and I had many friends and family come visit me. My Uncle Sy is a blast to hang with and he is 80 years young! His daughter and grandsons came along so that was fun to see them rock with my band!
That night Mel, Tim and I were off in a limo to visit Little Italy for food, and take a look at ground zero, as I had not gotten a chance to see the site. Food was amazing and what a scene in downtown Manhattan. I miss NY. The site of course was very sad to see, but I know what will built there will be a testament to our culture and society.
Next morning Don, Max, and I had to go into the city again for some press. We never make it to the east coast enough, so this year we go busy, and did some cool interviews. What incredible energy in NYC! Ran into my long time friend Smallie Paulie from the Howard Stern show, and he became our instant tour guide around the city. What an exhausting day, but I had some NY pizza (again) and did visit the guitar shops on 48th street. That brought back memories of course! I still remember meeting Keith Moon from the Who, and seeing Leslie West of Mountain in Manny's music.
The following weekend was much different terrain. Off to Colorado and since I have some friends in Ft Collins, I got to go shopping downtown. Visited two music stores and found a pretty Candy Apple Red Stratocaster. I am like a kid in a candy store when I visit the music stores and I always make new friends. Also got a chance to try some "rocky mountain oysters" which I was not aware are cows balls, chopped and fried. YIKES!
Off to Sunny California for the Mid State Fair and we had a great show there. The following day we got a chance to visit Pismo Beach, very cool there. We had dinner with a view of the Pacific ocean watching Whales and Dolphins from the window. Thanks Mr Brewer!
The band headed to Indiana next for a show at the Casino near Louisville, Ky. The Caesars Hotel was beautiful. Then off to two shows in Ohio, and the Saturday one was at the big Ohio State Fair. One o'clock show, after a late night but the band was great and we had a huge crowd. Great cool weather was in the midwest so we all were lucky not to suffer in the heat much on this trip.
We traveled to South Dakota next, but that was the gig that wasn't... Sturgis the big Motorcycle event was not to happen for us, not sure what happened. Always sad when a show is cancelled and I would like to say to the fans that were disappointed that we were very bummed out about the show not happening.
Well enjoying some time off finally although things are busy here back home. Met with the KISS World guys from Australia, whom I spoke of back in March. They are getting signatures from past and present KISS members on very cool items. News will be coming on that one. And yes my hand is sore from signing!
Well enjoy the summer, and your loved ones. More messages with announcements of things in Europe later this year.
- July 15, 2004 -
Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay but have been traveling a lot with Grand Funk the past few months. The shows have been going great, and I have lots to share with you all.
So lets start with the beginning of June which brought us to the Motor City for a great show at BTE which was always known as Pine Knob. Great venue and we had quite a turnout.
I stayed an extra day as to see some very cool places I never got a chance to visit. The Ford Museum is a great way to spend a day, and I have some photos to share with you of my visit. I love planes, trains and automobiles and there is no shortage of them there.
Also the IMAX theater was showing the NASCAR movie, which was breathtaking. Highly recommended. In the evening I was a guest of the Hard Rock which is fairly new in Detroit. Don Brewer has a great item there, and there is a large amount of Grand Funk items. Also saw a cool photo on the wall of Gene Simmons with me from 1985! So I had a cool visit in the Motor City.
We did a great show in Alabama in the southern heat the next weekend, and that was also the week I got to watch the LA Lakers lose to Detroit in the NBA Finals. Tough to watch but the Pistons proved they deserved the trophy no doubt.
Off to Sioux City where we played a cool biker festival. Had a great time being driven around in Hummers by the promoters! Then it was back to Michigan for some shows there. The weather was cool for sure, but not the crowd. Played in Cadillac which has some special KISS history for all you diehards that remember how important KISS was to them in the 70's. So met some cool fans there, then we flew off to Webster Mass, for a show on the East Coast. FINALLY! We are making some headway with shows out there.
The band loved the people who had a kickass Boston vibe, and we know will get to go back again. Next show was a cool balloon festival in Battle Creek. My friend who works for a BMW dealership in Kalamazoo, let me have the run of some cars at his place, so I was quite happy driving the Beemers on my afternoon there! Thanks Jay and Teresia for your hospitality (and BMW swag)!
Eddie Money opened for us in Battle Creek and got a chance to say hi to him and his band, as we know each other from LA.
Next stop LAS VEGAS for our annual show at the Sunset Station Casino. I love that place. Hot of course, but we had a great show. At the airport going home from Vegas got a great photo of me with a NASCAR. Always admired it sitting there! So there I was back home in LA on the 4th of JULY to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday! She was so happy, as my brother Bob and I brought her at her request, PIZZA! Pepperoni of course! (I ate a plain one...). Her cake was awesome as I know where to get that kind of stuff for sure! What a blessing to share that with her. When I got back home the local fireworks show was going which was fun for me, but my dog Joe was not too happy as to him, it must sound like WWIII!
Next stop was Buffalo, NY, and wow was that a great weekend. The weather was picture perfect and since I never visited Niagara Falls, I rented a car and with Tim and Mel in tow, we were off to Canada for a stop at the horseshoe side of the Falls ... simply amazing. Breathtaking and man do you get soaked looking over the rail!! Didn't have time to take the Maiden boat trip but we could see them all getting soaked. Nature is so powerful and if you haven't seen the Falls, put it on your list. The gig which was in Tonawanda, had over 10,000 people and they loved the show. Hope to go back there. Again an east coast show. That makes us happy!
Have a little time off now and then back on the road with GFR to many new places.
This weekend I will be a part of the ABC Trust Charity for the Children of Brazil at the Hard Rock in Los Angeles. I will get a chance to jam with the excellent Zep tribute band as well.
Will get you a full report next time. I have been continuing to write new music for next solo disc and very pleased with the direction and songs that are being formed.
So have a great summer, and keep in touch.
- June 3, 2004 -
HELLO EVERYONE! Summer is hear, and so are the storms! In Los Angleles we have earthquakes, floods and fire, but NO tornados like the Midwest etc. And that horrible weather caused Grand Funk to cancel a show a few weeks back, as Mel Schacher who is in Northern Michigan could NOT leave his city for two days. So our Rifle Colorado show which is not far from Vail and Eagle, (known for the Kobe trial for now), had to be cancelled.
I caught up with some guitar stuff stuck in my hotel room, wrote some songs as I am planning to record a new disc later this year. Kind of more in the acoustic style that some of my friends and fans have requested. Will save some crunchy riffs for a CD with my brother.
I will keep everyone updated about all of that of course. Now summer means Baseball season, and in Houston I got the opportunity to go to a METS ASTROS game. Had a great time and I was a guest of a KISS fan who works for the Astros. He gave me and my friends a tour and I took some pix of me at the park, Minute Maid Park. Very nice stadium. Saw some great ball playing that night, a Grand Slam from the METS and I loved the crowd. I did see some Mets fans but I was kind of rooting for the Astros! So thanks to Jeff for showing me a good time.
The show in Houston, was a huge classic rock show with Styx, Kansas, America, BOC, Peter Frampton and more. I didn't actually stay for all the acts but it was a fun day for everyone for sure. We had a great show that day. The crowd loved us.
We just returned from a show in Anderson, SC. And the next day I went to Atlanta as there was a guitar show there. Everyone knows I love guitars etc, so off I went, and it was great to meet the dealers, some who I knew and some I have now made friends with.
Of course I couldn't go home empty handed, so I bought a very very cool vintage amp. Small one by a company called NATIONAL. From the 50's. Everyone at the show was eyeing the amp, but I snagged it. Will post a picture of it when it arrives here in LA next week.
Grand Funk keeps adding dates, so please check the site www.grandfunkrailroad.com.
Also had the pleasure in May to have a birthday celebration for my Dad who is 85, God bless him. Bought a cool cake, and what a smile was on his face that day! He loved my funny gifts for him, a SHREK item, and a little box that makes fart sounds! He is still a boy like his son.
Well more news coming, and thanks again for all your support. Have a great summer, and I will give you the news for the UNION DVD which is still being edited, as soon as I have a frimer release date for you all to know.
PS - Be sure to check out the Merchandise page for new pricing on Transformer & Audio Dog!
- April 23, 2004 -
Hello everyone! I have had a very busy month and would like to share it with you all. First the year started with my GFR show in Florida. Had a great time. We play the Hallandale Racetrack every year the crowd gets larger each time. Max Carl the singer and I had the chance to actually go on the racetrack to greet the winner of the third race. I felt like I was in the Seabiscuit movie set!
Then I traveled to Puerto Rico for my video shoot with my friend Rolando Lugo. I did a guitar solo for him last year for a song called "Esperando." We shot a "Forever" style video for the track. PR is a great island and I have plans to go and do some shows there with Rolando some time this year. Got some press for the event, and looking forward to when I can find time to do that trip. Have many memories of PR, from KISS, Michael Bolton and the cool KISS expo from a few years ago.
Was home for only 5 days and then off to Scandinavia for my solo tour of Sweden and Norway. The long trip was fine, and Stockholm finally got their spring so I was very happy with that! Met the band that was to back me up. Great guys. They worked hard at learning my set, which was the same as the one I used in Australia. Has my solo stuff, a UNION track, and then some very cool KISS numbers that shock everyone. Medleys from Asylum, Crazy Nights, and Revenge.
Rehearsed for a few days with Uffe the singer, Markus the guitarist, Tin Star the bassist, and Frederic the drummer and we tightened up the songs learning all the nuances of the material. In the meantime had some time to do a big radio show, and some other press, and shop of course as I love IKEA style stuff. Only thing I really bought was a very cool STIGA table hockey game. But had to leave it behind and it cost too much to ship. So I found that I can order the North American version and will have it delivered to me here in the US. Reminds me of a game I have from my youth. The world is getting smaller everyday. IKEA there, IKEA here. Swedish Table Hockey game in Sweden, and get them here for the US!
Drove the trip to Gothenburg for our first show at Sticky Fingers. Had a nice crowd and watched the fans smile at the material chosen for the gig. Had a nice dinner at the same Mongolian Barbecue from a few years ago with UNION. Next day off to SALA a small city a few hours from Stockholm. Very cool rock club there, and had a great show with the band. We were getting tighter every day. Settled into Stockholm that night, and I was beat.
But the big day was coming, press, session work for some friends, the big KISS EXPO, and then a show at 1:30 in the morning at a very cool club called The Blue Moon Bar. WOW what a day. Had a great time at the expo although at times I was overwhelmed with the response and me being tired. Great day for the expo, and saw so many friends from the past and people I know from the Internet.
The show at the Blue Moon Bar was quite excellent. The sound was great and we had a packed crowd enjoying the music. Was very proud of my band, they really shined. I know they wanted to be great as many of their friends were in attendance and they all have other bands and are hip on the Swedish music scene. So to have them gig with me, and pull it off so well, was a real joy for all of us.
Next day train to Oslo, Norway. Love that city, and the club was a cool metal bar in the center of town. It was Easter Sunday, weather mild, and the vibe was great in the town. Got to go to dinner with the KISS army Norway guys, at TGIF, which a very big US chain. Met the band WIG WAM, who will have me be a guest guitarist on a track they are preparing. They opened the show for me, and did a great job. Did a meet and greet for underage fans after sound check, and the young ones are SO supportive. Felt great!
After the show only had a few hours to get ready to take the train to the plane to Amsterdam for my flight back to LA! WOW! Did not sleep much on those last days, but it is always worthwhile as I love playing my guitar for my fans.
Had a day to decompress at home, and then back on the road with Grand Funk! Flew to Toronto to perform at the Casino Rama. Very nice showroom and definitely recommend the venue to you all. Then the band took off to South Carolina for a show with Loverboy and REO. Had a great crowd in Columbia, and the band really kicked in high gear for them.
So a busy three weeks, as you can tell. I want to thank Scandinavian Entertainment for bringing me over for the shows, Stefan and Niklas, my friend Grethe for helping me with the merchandise, Rikk from Amsterdam, Suzan from Playground Music and both Sweden Kiss Army and Norway Kiss Army for the support, and of course the terrific job the band did performing with me both professionally and personally. Special thanks to Uffe, for getting the ground work with the band going before I arrived. I don't ignore good people ever, and they were great to be around. Hope to do it again.
Of course thanks to all my fans for the support and emails, spread the word as to what a good time we all had at the shows. Transformer is finally getting some notice in Europe and that was the idea of course besides doing the KISS expo. Will make plans to do more dates in Europe later this year. BTW my leg is doing good. Thanks for asking!
OK.. gotta go play my new Hockey game! Watch the Grand Funk Railroad site www.grandfunkrailroad.com for dates as our calendar is filling in quite nicely now. And playing the EAST COAST as well this year!
More news coming on UNION DVD, Gene Simmons Asshole party, and the KISS tribute Spin the Bottle etc., and all things KULICK.
- March 23, 2004 -
Hello everyone! Hope everyone is happy about spring. Been warm here in Los Angeles, and I know it is still cold some places in the US. I was up in Michigan for a few days rehearsing with Grand Funk. Had a great time playing with them, as it has been more than a few months since we convened to jam etc. We are excited about a year that will take us to many new places. We have gigs coming up so check on the site. More dates are being added all the time.
I was very proud to watch the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on VH-1 as Grand Funk's drummer Don Brewer was backing up Bob Seger. I met Don years ago during one of those shows when I was working with Michael Bolton. We opened the show for Seger.
Don was great and it was fun to watch him play without me being 10 feet away from him! Absolutely one of the best rock drummers ever! Speaking of drummers, my congratulations to my friend Eric Singer, who as you all know is back in KISS yet again! I am sure the new lineup will be refreshing for Gene and Paul, and with Tommy on guitars they can sure do all the songs they want.
I am excited to announce I have been able to book shows like the ones I did in Australia in Sweden and Norway! I will be doing 4 gigs and I will be at the KISS expo as well in Stockholm. I love going to Scandinavia, and I am very happy to say I will be performing a set like the one in Australia. Solo material from Audiodog and Transformer and KISS songs that have not been played in years by the band. You can visit this site for more info as well.
The dates are this:
I will be back to the US as Grand Funk has dates the week I return. So things start to get busy for me again. Looking forward to this trip to Scandinavia, as I did NOT get a chance to go last November because of my injury in LA.I am feeling good.. for all of you who ask, my leg is doing much better. I feel it when I am a bit tired, but it is getting stronger . I hope to have news on the case etc. sometime in April.
- April 8 - Sticky Fingers / Gothenburg
- April 9 - Rock Land / Sala
- April 10 - KISS EXPO / Show at Blue Moon Bar (Stockholm)
- April 11 - Rock In / Oslo, NORWAY
I am also looking at doing some shows in Puerto Rico with my friend Rolando Lugo. I did some work on his solo disc and will shoot a video for the song that I recorded lead guitars for.I will announce the dates soon. I do like going there. We did a very successful Expo in San Juan years ago.
On April 3rd, 2004, ABC Trust will hold a charity event at the REMO Recreational Music Center, 7308 Coldwater Canyon, North Hollywood, California from 1pm 5pm. I have been asked to attend, as the charity is organized to help the unfortunate poor children in Brazil. Jimmy Page and others are involved with this worthy cause. Jimmy will not attend the LA event this time but the drummer from Madonna, and others will appear. See if you can make it, or get into the idea of the work that the organization does. Please take a minute to check out the ABC Trust page.
Progress is being made on the UNION DVD, "Do Your Own Thing Live". I had the music mastered last week, and it is a great show. We did not overdub anything, so it is as real as it can be. The band really rocked. More info coming as we get closer to finishing it. We recorded the two club gigs in Los Angeles before going to Argentina in 2001.
Well I think I covered enough here. Looking forward to my travels and of course jamming for you all. Keep in touch and be well and save.
PS - In the April issue of Guitar One magazine, with INCUBUS on the cover, there is a full page article on me on the back page. So check it out!
- February 16, 2004 -
Back from Down under (Australia) and what a great time I had in the land of OZ. The trip of course is very long from Los Angeles, over 14 hours, but once I am there I feel at home. I did lots of press to promote the shows before I left America, insuring the fans that I am doing well considering my gunshot wounds and that I am ready to rock with a new set that would make the fans very excited.
Upon arriving I hit the music store called Frontiers who provided me with an ESP Les Paul to play in addition to my Red ESP Horizon. Off to take a nap, and hang with the band for dinner. Next day rehearsal and I was very pleased with the new song ideas that we chose for this return trip. (My third in three years!) After doing some cool radio shows for Triple M, the hot national radio station, the word was really getting out about my two shows planned for Melbourne and Sydney. So we rehearsed and tightened up the set. Did some great shopping one afternoon in the city center in Melbourne.. Love that area.
OK Show night, and well truthfully, Melbourne really truly rocks and what a great night was had. We were nearly sold out, and the fans were singing songs before we even hit the stage! Once they got a hint of some of the things planned (songs from Asylum, Crazy Nights, Hot In The Shade, Revenge along with my solo discs Audiodog and Transformer) the anticipation was high. Fortunately we came to the party with guns blazing, hmmm forget that analogy! We rocked with the crowd, and had a great time. OK! You have to check out the set list:
I stuck around to sign autographs and that was quite cool.. as my fans got to take photos and give me their reaction to the show, which blew me away. My band was in fine form. Matt on bass (from Middle Earth!) Steve on the drums (confident and powerful), Mic this time on lead vocals (leading the charge with new songs and a strong voice), and my dear friend Paul on second guitar and vocals (using his Flying V like a weapon), we took charge and left no one disappointed.
- CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
- WHO WANTS TO BE LONELY
- LOVE I DONT NEED IT ANYMORE (UNION)
- STRANGE TO ME (AUDIODOG)
- ASYLUM MEDLEY (KING OF THE MT, TRAIL BY FIRE, TEARS ARE FALLING, UH ALL NIGHT)
- JUMP THE SHARK (TRANSFORMER)
- CRAZY (TRANSFORMER)
- CRAZY NIGHTS MEDLEY (I'LL FIGHT HELL TO HOLD YOU, NO NO NO, WHEN YOUR WALLS COME DOWN, CRAZY CRAZY NIGHTS, TURN ON THE NIGHT)
- NEED ME (AUDIODOG)
- HIDE YOUR HEART
- ENCORE: I WALK ALONE * REVENGE MEDLEY (HEART OF CHROME, TOUGH LOVE, I JUST WANNA, GOD GAVE ROCK AND ROLL TO YOU II)
Off to Sydney after a day of rest in Melbourne, a city that I am getting very used to. Sydney was hot and steamy like NYC in the summer. We sound checked for over an hour, but sadly the PA which worked fine then, decided we were too much for it! The crowd was great but we knew something was wrong when the soundman was on stage near me fixing some power amps or something! Quite distracting. Now we played the Metro last year. Great venue. They were NOT available for the nights we needed in order to do the show in Sydney. Did my meet and greet after and the fans were still stoked about me being there and loved the set.. so thanks for dealing with that!
So we returned to a club that should have been fine, but WAS NOT. I apologize to my fans but we were professional, and played our best with all the distractions. Next time back to the METRO! (oh yeah the lights sucked too!) YIKES!
Had a day of rest, and visited the cool record shop called UTOPIA. I usually do an instore appearance there in the daytime, but I was trying to pace myself this time around and was glad I did. Went home happy and tired the next day.
So to recap, great shows, great fans, great times with my band and of course the wonderful people in Australia. Was invited to a show by the man who is planning some big things in Melbourne with regard to KISS. He is in the sport world but is a huge KISS fan, and was at my show in full support. He invited me to the big Australian Idol Concert which is a huge phenomenon in the land downunder. I got a real chance to see the future pop idols of the country with 15,000 screaming kids! Had a blast with it all. Same arena that I played with KISS back in 95.
I sold some shirts there, did really well with that, and was able to return with some Large and X-Large Chikara T-shirts but with the BK 1984-1996 tablet info on the back. Very cool looking. So check my merch page for that.
Also sold some pick packs from these eras... KISS * UNION * AUDIODOG * TRANSFORMER * GRAND FUNK RAILROAD .. They sold well. I have them available on my site as well.
My dear friend Nico Ciccarone who is a KISS merch guy in Australia and Italy, (and a great photographer as well) prepared an "official unofficial" DVD of me live from my shows in 2003. This sold very very well. I will be looking at offering on my site very soon. So watch for that.
So please visit the pictures I have posted of us live, by my Japanese friend Kaori Hashimoto. Great shots from her. She may be little but she carries a big camera!
I want to thank everyone for making the mini tour a success. Especially the guys from Stand, my band. Thanks for caring so much about making the gigs SPECIAL. I loved doing it and hope to do it again myself and even are talking about UNION going downunder. So keep watching my site for info.
I have recently also been involved with a great charity for starving children in Brazil, The ABC Trust - Action For Brazil's Children Trust. It was brought to my attention as Jimmy Page, one of biggest heros, is very active with the ABC Trust. ESP guitars donated a guitar I signed, so please look at the link for the info on this Charity. Happy to be involved with them. Musicians like Brian May from Queen and the band No Doubt have donated items etc, for the cause. Check out their web site for info on all of this.
So things will be quiet for a little bit, but some exciting things to tell you very soon.
Take care and keep in touch.
PS - Namm show was fun. Saw many friends and fans, and check out the new ESP pix that is in the 2004 catalog! Great shot.
PPS - Forgot to mention to you all how great it was to perform with my brother in Indianapolis! Wow what a great convention. The weather was tough, but the fans showed up anyway. More on that later as well! In addition to jamming with Bob at the expo, we appeared on the national syndicated radio show, The Bob and Tom Show, and that was alot of fun. Both Kulick Brothers sharing the stories with them.
MESSAGE FROM BRUCE ARCHIVES