Got lots to tell you all so let me start with of course KISS news. I was at Best Buy last night to pick up the new ALIVE four CD set. Great packaging quotes, and I have been told the new mastering really brings out ALIVE III like never before. So check that one out. Of course KISSOLOGY is burning up the DVD shelves in the stores, and I am looking forward to the next two that are going to be released next year.
With great anticipation I finally got to see the Paul Stanley show. He was amazing at the House of Blues here in LA. What a great night I had, and I sat with Gene Simmons and the lovely Shannon Tweed. He grabbed me at said, "SIT DOWN"! Not one to argue with the God of Thunder as he had the best table in the house. We chatted about how good Paul sounded and looked and other than a fan who had too much to drink breathing too close to Gene, we ate cookies (warm ones at that!) and shared hellos with all the other KISS guests floating around the rail at the HOB.
My friends and I went backstage where we greeted Paul and his lovely wife Erin and son Evan who I understand is learning guitar and even starting to write music! My brother was in attendance, Tommy Thayer, Andreas Carlsson the hit songwriter, John 5 from Marilyn Manson and the usual cast of thousands for a hot LA event. I greeted many fans and it was a fantastic night to see Paul rock on stage. His band was excellent, and he looked and played great. It was fun to see him have a good time on stage looking cool as the street style Starchild.
Speaking about the Beatles, check out LOVE it was on my BEST BUY list last night. And go see the show in Vegas. Not to be missed. I was at ESP guitars a few weeks back to do some pix for the 2007 catalog. I posed with this sweet custom Eclipse. Check out the flame on the top! The photographer Gene Kirkland was very cool, he is from the KISS days as well, and he grabbed a nice pix of JOE for me! Thank you Gene and of course ESP guitars.
Went with my friend Wally Wingert to the Glamourcon convention here in LA. I was so glad to go and see my friends Carrie Stevens and Brandi Brandt. You all know Carrie dated Eric Carr (don't forget the 24th is his 15th anniversary of his death, we miss you EC) and we were very close during the sad days of his illness. Brandi and I were close as she was married to Nikki Sixx and we hung out quite a bit about 10 years ago. Nice to say hello and catch up with them. Wally's friend Brittney Powell was there, she has done Playboy and is an actor from some cool TV shows.
My friend Hiro from Japan took a pix at my home a while back, the one I have up on my website and myspace page. Well Vintage Guitar magazine asked me to do that, and now I know why! Want a full page of BK posing? Check out the Jan 07 issue of Vintage Guitar. The guitar is a 1960 ES 355 SV. Gibson of course! Cherry red with Bigby and PAF pickups for all you guitar freaks.
Hiro has a friend in Japan who makes pedals. Well he wanted me to check out this overdrive that was built like a tank! Cool, and I will be definitely using this on my new CD, which I can finally say will start recording in December.
In December I will get to go to Peru and Chile, for performances so check out the info on those dates. I am excited to get to South America. It has been too long! Sadly I could not fit in Argentina or Brazil as it getting too close to the Christmas Holiday.
Well I think I covered it all for now. Can't wait for my new solo disc to be finished and of course loving jamming and creating for my fans. Make sure you visit www.ericsingerproject.com for the ESP CD Live in Japan. The reviews have been coming in quite positive. The DVD Live at the Marquee from Sydney, Australia is ready for sale now as well. So just go to that link.
Of course October has been KISS crazy with Paul's LIVE TO WIN disc. Proud to be a part of the CD. I will catch him here in Los Angeles. I hear great things about the perfomances. Have not gotten a chance to smell the new KISS fragrance, but I know Gene has been busy promoting it. Also, the Butchering the Beatles CD is out now, and you all should check out. My track is "Drive My Car", with Kip Winger singing. Corabi sings a song, and Eric plays drums on a track as well. The Kissology DVD coming this month doesn't cover my era of KISS, but the next one will. Look for that one in the spring '07. I know these DVD's are a must for every KISS fan.
Kudos to Don Brewer of Grand Funk for doing dates on the skins with Bob Seger. Great band and they have the perfect drummer. His shows wtih Seger do NOT affect our last two shows booked for Grand Funk, so definitely catch Bob with Brewer if you can.
I usually travel to Europe or Australia in the fall, but this year I will only go to South America, playing and appearing in Lima, Peru for a big KISS event in December. Really excited about that as I loved when KISS went to SA, and when UNION and myself went to Argentina. The show will be held at Barza Marina Park on December 16, 2006 starting at 1:00p.m. Check my Tour Dates Page for more details as they become available.
The other reason I am glad NOT to travel too much this fall is that I can get to work on my next solo disc. All the songs are almost done, so I am very excited about the material I have ready. Can't wait to share all the songs with you all.
Allentown, PA KISS Expo was great, very well attended. And although I could only get 3 hours of sleep in order to get there from my GFR show in New Orleans, I was of course happy to be there and answer the questions for all the fans and sign and take photos. New Orleans is still not the city it was as you can imagine, but the show GFR did was amazing, with Edgar Winter as the opening act. I did get to visit the French Quarter, and I noticed some cool KISS stuff in the Hard Rock Cafe.
PS - Thanks to Hiro, Hanz Harris, and Bob Lopinski for many of the photos used above.
- September 27, 2006 -
SUMMER is OVER!!
So much to tell you all so let me just begin with the LAST things going on. Finally finished the mixing and mastering of the ESP Live in Japan CD. Sounds great and the 11 tracks chosen rock for sure. It will be for sale starting in October and my page will have a link for ordering. The DVD is on its way to be manufactured as well. I am very excited about finally sharing the excitement of ESP with everyone, not just the countries we seem to visit.
Over the summer I was in Texas, got a great pix of me with some rodeo girls. We played the famous Billy Bob's in Ft Worth, TX. I jammed with some friends the night before but more on that next month. I look forward to the big guitar show in Arlington in October that I will be a guest at. Look for the details on my site. Of course the reviews of the Rock N Roll Fantasy camp in August are still coming in, and I look forward to the one in Feb. Paul Stanley will be a special guest so I am looking forward to that. Got a mention in the NY POST regarding the famous Yankee Bernie Williams popping in.
If you remember in July GFR played in Vegas, and I got a chance to see the Cirque show LOVE. Check out these pix and me posing near the sign. Can't wait to hear the mash up Beatles disc. Speaking of Beatles disc, of course my brothers tribute, called "Butchering the Beatles" is great. Just got a preview. My track with Kip Winger singing rules. "Drive My Car" is the track. That comes out on Oct. 24th. (right next to Paul's solo disc, which I am on bass for three tracks). Hope they both do great.
And course little Joe as my Audiodog, during some demo work for my next CD, I put some headphones on him. What a character he is! So is his dad, as the movie theater with Will Ferrell's movie, Talladega Nights had a stand in poster for me get silly with. Loved the movie. Will rules! Still writing and working on my new CD in demo form for now. Very excited about the material of course.
Hello everyone. Writing this one from my home in Los Angeles as the event at B.B. King's ended so late, and then of course it was celebration time with all the participants and a long flight on Jet Blue (great airline) back to the West coast. Did some mounds of laundry and got my home in order, all the boring stuff in life as in what can compare with 5 days at FANTASY CAMP!!! When I last wrote it was the night before the big day when we all compete on stage at a real club with our friends and family and public and press in attendance. Started Thursday early with press from NBC's Today show, as they watched and filmed me rehearsing my band and interviewed everyone. Hope some of my band "Hells Kitchen" makes it in the report. Our eclectic singer Seth nearly blew out his voice he was so excited performing for them. He spent the rest of the afternoon with hot tea and throat remedies as the big night was approaching.
Of course we still had a visit with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers as he was going to riff with us on stage for the Bryan Adams song, "Summer of 69." He walked in so cool, lit a cigarette (the star guitarist in my band is Charles, a pulmonary doctor... as in lung doctor) and watched us go through the song. He was pleased with the band and he took pix and actually grabbed Charles' guitar and did some riffs on it over his shoulder! I made sure my campers had their guitars ready with new strings, well stretched out, etc., and I want to thank Glenn from Gibson who was always there to help me with any instrument set up. We talked guitars all the time and of course the entire team at the Gibson facility is excellent. Well, we got our two songs together and even had some time to jam on some Allman Bros. songs, but only had time for Dickey to hear the Bryan Adams number. Mark Farner also stopped by to see us rehearse and he was pleased with the sound of my band. After pix and autographs, we were ready to get to B.B. King's for the big event.
I have been to the club with the same name here at LA's Universal Studios, but the N.Y. B.B.'s seems more New York for sure. Dinner was served and of course the excitement from everyone getting there was electric. All the campers' instruments were lined up backstage in order and it was quite amazing to see. I was whisked away for another interview for Australia (I think they are fascinated with the concept of the Fantasy Camp), and then took some pix for the "Mail on Sunday", which my band camper Jonathan writes for. It is a publication with huge circulation in the UK, and it was funny to see him come to my band knowing a few guitar chords and now ready to rock out with my band. Strange of course to have a camper writing little notes all the time in his notepad like a good writer should I guess. I was as hard on him as anyone, and I really wonder how that article will be. But we all bonded in a great way.
Let me introduce my band to you all. The doctor Charles, quite, smart, very talented, and it was a pleasure to work with him and to tell a doctor what to do! II know he plays on the weekend and I hope he learned a lot from working from me. My keyboard player Barry I have seen at previous camps, and he was the band Captain. Special thanks to him for helping me in many ways at the rehearsals. We also wrote the original band song together that we performed and recorded at Sirius the night before. He is funny and enthusiastic and I love when he has an idea that I like... and when I think it blows I say so. He is very successful in the business world and I hope to get some time to hang and jam with him as he lives on the West coast. We had fun taking off for an hour from the camp to do some shopping to get him a cool shirt I picked out for him, after which Barry and I stoped for a quick slice of N.Y. Pizza. I wish I had more time for some cool clothing shopping as I don't have to rave anymore about how blown away I was being in NYC, greatest city in the world. There I said it!
Jonathan was the journalist, and he had a cool British accent of course, and he looked like a dear in the headlights while he played along, knowing I was keeping an eye on him. He told me that the magazine in the UK that sent him really was expecting this camp thing to be all fun and games about how to drink and score like a rock star! When he found out it was all serious business he nearly bailed, but I think he realized what a once in a lifetime experience the camp truly is.
Patrick, one of my singers, is tall and well built, and he played a nice Martin acoustic and sang the Bryan Adams number. His wife gave him the camp trip as a present. He is a terrific guy who was quiet and very attentive to the details of the band. Wish I got a chance to talk to him more. Seth, my other singer, is harder to describe. Eclectic and extremely enthusiastic would be a start. He is a number genius and accountant. When I asked him how old is he, he replied double 4's. I think you get the picture that Seth is unique, and for him to be at the camp is truly a dream come true. The band name was chosen by him, and he was thrilled to sing the Romantics song, "What I Like About You." He was jumping up and down at the performance and pointing to the women in Mick Jagger fashion. He brought the house down, and that is what the FC is all about: dreams coming true. I miss him already!
My secret weapon was my drummer Steve. He really can keep a beat and he makes a great living in the clothing industry. He took my direction well, and it was so cool to lock in with him as I played bass guitar for my band. Dickey Betts was very impressed with him, and I told him. He was so blown away by that! He played solid when it counted and I know he should be gigging all the time. One more Steve in the band, but very different from my drummer. This Steve is a total hippie, and once I got a beautiful red Gibson ES 335 in his hands he really came alive. He also only knew barely three chords on the guitar, but his wife gave him the camp as a gift for his birthday which really is amazing. We had cake and champagne I think on Wed, but I was yelling at everyone NOT to drink much as we had much work to do! (The competitive BK was very alive and well at the camp, especially in NYC.) I saw him really transform over the course of 5 days, and although he works in the financial field by day Mr Savitsky is all Jerry Garcia! Great to see his tie dye shirts and hippie beard still alive and well in 2006.
After some introductions by David Fishof, the promoter, and the always lovely Lynn Hoffman from VH-1 as the spokeswoman of the camp, first up was jamming with Kip Winger backing the 11 year old guitarist for a cool rendition of Led Zep's "Rock N Roll". Nice way to open the show, with my Les Paul 59 reissue hung low! My band was number 8 so we had some time to watch the competition, which ranged from good to very good to excellent. I was getting nervous, but it was so exciting to see everyone's faces in the crowd and on the stage.
I told the band as we were getting ready backstage that even I was nervous, remember to think, and if you panic, watch your fellow band members and HAVE FUN! And so we did. How exciting to have Dickey Betts on stage with us. I know he wasn't that familiar with the "Summer of 69" tune, I even had to throw my hand his way to yell out a few chords, but at the ending where I wanted him to have a good jam he rose to the occasion and that thrilled my band-mates. Patrick looked great singing his heart out to the crowd. Next up was the Romantics hit with Seth singing. How cool is this... Jon Anderson of YES was on backing vocals AND the David Letterman Horn section (who are really cool guys btw) on stage with us as well. All I can say was Seth had his dream come true, and by the crowd's reaction they loved the spirited performance. It was amazing fun.
Of course that was it for the campers, their job well done, and now time to relax and watch the final 4 bands, hear the announcement of the winners (we didn't place, but in our hearts we knew we were great), and then it was time for me to jam with the counselors. The counselor/special guest jam was awesome, featuring Spencer Davis, Kelly Keagy, Peter Tork, Kip Winger, Barry Goudreau, Mark Slaughter, Dickey Betts (and his son as well), Teddy Zig Zag, Michael Lardie, Skunk Baxter, my good friend Sandy Gennaro from my Blackjack days, Simon Kirke, Jerry Renino and Mark Farner. We all jammed various songs (not all of us all the time), but I was on stage the entire time and it was nearly a perfect performance from all of us. Ending the event on such a high like that with all the talent on stage and all of us having such respect for each other makes all the hard work so worth it.
So once again an amazing camp experience. I know all the campers got what they came for, and what they may not know is that the counselors get as much out of it. Working as a band with total strangers for 5 days like this is just a perfect human experience. You get to share a common goal, to be the best you can be, while doing something you love, all while you feel the passions and pressures that are what life is all about. This concept of the camp will continue to grow, and I am proud to be a part of it.
I want to thank everyone from Gibson, your staff is superb! Ultrasound rehearsal studios, Club T, The Hudson Hotel, Sirius, Howard Stern Show, Guitar Center, and of course a special thanks to my band and the staff that works for David Fishof. Their dedication to the camp and helping everyone makes the hard work much easier. Tiffany, who was my tour manager (along with Peter Tork's band), a special thanks to you for helping my band realize their dreams. We all love ya! Thanks for reading the blog, my first ever and a good way to start! I enjoyed it! Hope you all did! [You can read my other Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp NY '06 blogs by clicking over to the News page (August 14th - 17th)]
BTW, right before the trip to NYC that was so exciting were a few GFR events that I want to share with you all. We played a few weeks ago at a private industry function in Florida at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando. NARM was the name of the convention, which is for the all the record companies, and Capital EMI asked Grand Funk to perform. The crowd went wild. Of course I saw many industry people that I have known for years and that felt good to say hello and for them to come see what I have been doing for the past 6 years.
We also had three shows in a row prior to me going to NYC, so that is how the road is sometimes. The Milwaukee State Fair, which went great, then a huge event in Toledo, Ohio where original GFR keyboard player and Silver Bullet band member Craig Frost joined us on stage. We then were off to a big concert festival in Montana. The field was packed and we played after Badfinger and Guess Who. Joey Molland and his band flew the next morning to all go where we were headed. Joey is from Liverpool and I asked him many Beatles and Badfinger questions as that is music I love. The hotel was such a trip there in Montana. Think of going from this house in Three Forks and then winding up in Manhattan a few hours later! Talk about a change in scenery. Well, that is the joy of a working musician... to travel to many places all in one week. So as exhausted as I was in NYC, the campers' energy got me going right away. Sleep when I die!
Last band at the Montana show were friends of mine from LA. THUNDHERSTRUCK, an all girl AC/DC tribute band. They are really great! I was only able to see a few songs in Montana as I had such an early flight for NYC, but I caught them last night here in LA. Really terrific. Go visit their website. Tina Wood, the "Angus", actually repairs my guitars! Very cool band and they were great to hang out with last night.
Mixing the ESP live in Japan disc for the next week and a half, then off to Texas for a big show in Ft Worth with GFR at Billy Bob's. Should be fun. Some cool gigs coming up in NY state and at the Football stadium in Pittsburgh, so the holiday weekend will be busy for GFR.
See you all on the road soon. Still working on my new material as I travel. Stay well.
PPS - Thanks to Andy, Mike, and the people at Gibson for the photos used above.
- August 2, 2006 -
Hello everyone! I hope your summer has been cool and not as terribly hot as in Los Angeles... actually everywhere I have traveled has been too warm. Well, stay out of the heat, and turn up some music from your fave bands and don't leave the pets or kids in the car!
GFR has been keeping me busy as usual as it is the season for the band to get out touring every week. This summer we have had great shows in Detroit, Denver, Traverse City which was the Cherry Festival and was so picture perfect. Played a new ESP Snapper guitar I got to replace the one that was "lost". We went to Fresno and it was Hotter Than Hell, and outside San Francisco the Marin County Fair was actually comfy.
The show outside of Hartford was nice, as it rained there the week before so we seem to bring some good weather. This past weekend all hell broke loose as in "Thunder and Lightening" in St Louis and that city didn't need any more problems. A week earlier they got hit with terrible storms and the city was in darkness. We played under the famous Arch and I brought my new (1981) Gibson Explorer to jam with the band. Everyone loved it. As you KISS fans know, the guitar on the cover of ALIVE III is an ESP Explorer and that stays locked away, and this Gibson is very similar.
Hung out in Vegas for a few extra days before our show at the Station Casino, as United Airlines sadly had a plane to fix, and by it took to get it flying, we could not make it to Cadott, WI, the big show we were so looking forward to. My apologies to the fans that were hoping to catch us there. Next year we will make it for sure. So we were in Fresno at the airport for 9 hours!!! Off to Vegas like a bunch of tired wounded animals, but after a nap got to go to dinner with a friend of mine who owns a great guitar store and is a player as well. The Mandalay Bay has a great Italian place that was perfect. Too bad Vegas had the heat wave California was having and it was like 115 everyday! Of course got in trouble at my friends store, bought a nice Gibson Reissue Les Paul 58, that will undoubtedly wind up on my new CD.
But the highlight of the Vegas trip was not only the good food, friends and guitars, but the new Beatles Cirque De Soleil show LOVE, that Tim Cashion my keyboard player in GFR and I went to. It was so amazing... the Mirage went all out building a state of the art theatre to enjoy it, and it sounded perfect. We got there early and did some searching around in the gift shop (couldn't resist the Yellow Submarine note book and BEATLE bag that is so perfect for pedals etc) and when we were escorted in the music playing was the BEATLES but without vocals... sounded so cool that way.
In this show, the real Beatles music is presented but sometimes mixed and edited and mashed up in various amazing ways. George Martin and his son, outdid themselves, and I kept thinking about how proud Paul and Ringo were to be a show that celebrated the best band in the world in such a multimedia way. Of course the performers entertained but the combination of the sounds, lights and message of the BEATLES with such great coordination and feeling just made me FREAK! GO see it!! I had the best seats as I was hooked up for tickets, (yes I paid!) but there is NO bad seat in the house for sure. Highly recommended and check out all the pictures and the website about this show. Tim and I saw Ice T, and Michael McDonald attending the late show as we hung around just feeling so high from the event.
More cool GFR shows coming, and I hope to see you all out there on the road. I am still working on the new Kulick music and I have some news coming about some music from the past... way in the past that I want to share with you all soon. (like from 1974!)
ESP Live In Tokyo is being mixed now, and it will rock you all for sure! ESP DVD Live In Australia is being given its final touches as well... so lots of new stuff from me and Mr Singer and Co. coming this fall. Speaking of DVD's, the UNION DVD is ready to be released in Tower and other outlets starting August 8th, so look for it and tell me if you find it.
Also my sincere sympathy goes out to Eric as his Dad passed away a week ago. He was quite a talented musician and he lived till he was 96. What a full life he had, and it has been an honor to work with his son. So be kind to your parents if you still have them.
Be safe and check the site from time to time.
As Eric likes to say...
- June 12, 2006 -
Sorry it has been a while since my last posting. Lots to share with you all so let's begin with the big NY Kiss Expo. I haven't been to one in a while, so it was great to meet the fans and play some guitar for them all. It was a great turnout. I featured some new photos, and besides taking photos with the fans and answering questions, of course playing live to my backing CD was tremendous. I did songs from Revenge and one from each of my solo discs, Audiodog and Transformer. As always, everyone had a great time. I love the East Coast, so thank you all for coming to see me at the Expo. I look forward to some more events this year.
A few weeks after that a band from Finland called LORDI won a huge award in Europe. They are big KISS fans and especially into the era of the 80's that I performed with KISS. I was contacted late last year to be included as a guest soloist on one of their songs. I heard they were popular, but now they are exploding! I played classic Revenge style licks on the track "It Snows In Hell", which I think is the next single from their new CD. So I will be getting some nice gold and platinum discs from the group. With technology these days, you don't have even meet the artist, they can just send you via the Internet the track to perform on, go to a studio, and email back! That is so unreal, but you would never know the difference. I hope to meet them in person soon and properly congratulate them. They certainly know how to rock in Finland!
Speaking of awards, I was proud to see KISS so prominently featured on the VH-1 Rock Honors program, where they performed as the closing act. For the record, I was not asked to participate and, truth be told, in the world of make-up only KISS I am not sure how I could quite fit in. It would have been great to jam with Ace, but I watched the show from my home. My comments... Happy for Ace to be out there with his Revenge style goatee jamming out on his Blue Sparkle Les Paul, Eric and Tommy for kicking some serious rock butt, Gene for spitting and gyrating like a 25 year old horny beast, and Paul for singing up a storm. KISS's pyro and bombs were over-the-top amazing and I sat watching in awe saying to myself, "I used to play with this band! Wow!"
The summer is when Grand Funk plays more often, so the dates have been keeping my fingers working furiously. I want to thank the KISS fans for coming out in support and getting into the band. Check out the dates on my Tour Dates page and/or the GFR site and come out to a show near you. I promise you won't be disappointed! While I fly around the USA, I have been writing my lyrics for the new songs from my next CD. I am really excited about it, and some close friends who have gotten a glimpse of the music were very happy with what they heard. I can't wait to get in the studio to record.
Related to my solo work, I want to announce that soon you can check out and download from a link off my site, to my own digital download site called Koolickstunes.com You will be able to check out my previous solo work, and get a chance to view "things I recommend" for download. In this new digital world we live in, this exciting new service, called Burn Lounge, will bring my fans closer to my music and other tunes I think are cool. I am sure I will have some special previews of my next solo work on there in time as well, so check back to my site soon for more details on how it works.
Check out my new Gibson SG 62 re-issue that Guitar Center hooked me up with. I heard Paul was digging one of these and I had to take it home. SG's were my first electric when I was first jamming. Also thanks to ESP Guitars and Jonas Productions for replacing the stolen "Snapper" guitar lost back in April in New Mexico. This new one rocks! Can't wait to jam it out on the road.
Have a great June and safe July 4th... more news coming soon.
PS - I have to mention one more thing, my guilty pleasure of this book I am reading written by a staff writer for SPIN magazine, Chuck Klosterman. The book is called "Killing Yourself To Live", which his story of traveling the US in search of the places where rock icons died. He is very funny and not pretentious for a rock critic, and by the way a huge KISS fan. He also wrote another book I read titled, "Fargo Rock City". But you have to see what he wrote on page 215 about me! In his witty humor he spends a few pages "organizing" the loves in his life by thinking of members of KISS! Everyone is used in this analogy, including Mark St John.
I wont give it all away of course as you should buy the book, but in light of all your emails I thought you should see what he wrote. I think it is hilarious:
"I dated a photographer in Ohio who was incredibly earnest about liking me, but I never appreciated her when she was around and probably took advantage of her sexually; she was like Bruce Kulick (who played on Crazy Nights and Revenge and a few more sans-makeup records that nobody likes but me)."
We arrived early on a Tuesday morning after leaving on Easter Sunday. You cross the international date line so it takes like two days to get there. The weather was awesome. Our promoters from RIOT distributors where there with my old friend Paul Drennan. Paul has been in my band when I have gone solo and now has a band called Six Hours. We all hung out in cafes till the hotel rooms were ready. St Kilda in Melbourne is a hip kind of Melrose Ave hang, and the cafes and people are very cool to see. Got acquainted with the rooms finally, and then off to do interviews and some window shopping, and then a great dinner on Chapel St to discuss the schedule etc.
We all felt right at home in Melbourne. Next day of course was the show, and I up early to take a walk and enjoy the city. Sound check was long, as we all had to check out the gear we were using, and soon it was show time. The crowd was great, a few drank too much, but all in all what an amazing evening. We did a long meet and greet afterwards and I sold many of the KISS forever DVD's that night. Our show was tight and we felt really strong on stage even though we were quite jet lagged.
Off to Sydney in the morning, a travel day. We all got rest that afternoon, and I have to say that as cool as Melbourne is, Sydney is like the NYC of Australia. What an exciting place. We stayed in the heart of the city, so everything was nearby. After loads of sleep, had a great morning walking around and shopping for stuff to take home. The club was not far at all, and the crowd was extremely into the set and the music we played. I sadly broke a string during the beginning of the set, and that got me upset. Those of you that know me well know I hate that, but I played this guitar so hard in Melbourne I should of changed the damn strings.
We had a nice day off on Saturday so I got to say goodbye to our support band Six Hours, whom I jammed a song with each night, and get some more rest and shopping. Coolest item, a Beatles in Australia book that was about their first tour, which is interesting as they had a replacement drummer for Ringo when he fell ill. Jimmy Nichol was his name. We all went to dinner at Darling Habour which is an incredible place. Too hard to describe. A harbour with lights and restaurants, buildings, clubs and the place was just electric.
Back safe and sound and had a few days to recuperate, and then GFR did a cool corporate show for some airline people in Phoenix. Had a great show, but sadly I lost a guitar. The backline company isnt sure what happened, but they promised to replace it. Japanese ESP guitar called a Snapper. Well I guess we can make a few jokes right here, but never mind.
A month ago Grand Funk had the pleasure to be invited to play at a huge NASCAR event in downtown Ft Worth, Texas. The stars of NASCAR were going to be around, and of course it was tied into the big race at the speedway just out of town. We had a great soundcheck. The city was really crowded with fans and I got to take these pix right after we were done with our getting levels etc. An hour later the wind kicks up something fierce and guess what? They had to cancel the event. We were quite disappointed, but the Chevy Thunder event was too dangerous in that wind. Texas can be brutal like that, we all know how that can go.
Grand Funk have lots of dates coming in, and I am proud to say we will be playing ALL over the states. We have some new GFR songs to play, so come out and check out the website when you can. www.grandfunkrailroad.com
Regarding the new solo disc of mine, things are going great. Been doing some demos that a few friends feel are the best of Bruce, so that feels wonderful for sure. Also ESP was recorded live in Japan this past Feb. and we will be getting that mixed very soon. Very exciting performances and I am happy we got this captured. Eric and I playing together is always powerful, and add Corabi and Chuck and you have quite a band to say the least.
PS - Thanks to the following people for photos: GFR pix from Don Baker; Australia pix from Andrew Treadwell, Linda Needham, John Howarth, Paul Miles, George Xirocostas, and George Chris.
- March 6, 2006 -
What an exciting February I have to share with you all. First off you should know I was asked to be a counselor at David Fishof's Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp here in Los Angeles. Last year's was amazing and this year had many highlights that I will never forget. I hope you all saw me on The Learning Channel's two hour special that was recently shown to get a taste of what a great event it is to attend and be a part of.
This years counselors and special guests included Neil Schon, monster guitarist from Journey, the entire Cheap Trick band who I have known for years, Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad who I never met before, but all of you should know THAT would be interesting working and jamming with him after me being the lead guitarist for Grand Funk for the past 5 years. Mickey Thomas super vocalist from Starship, Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead, Kip Winger and Mark Slaughter whom I shared an amazing KISS tour back in 1990 that I will never forget, Doug Fieger from The Knack, whose song My Sharona I will never get out of head, camp director and good friend Jack Blades from Night Ranger and Damn Yankees whom is always inspiring to work with, his great drummer Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger, and Micheal Lardie from Great White and Night Ranger who is always good for a laugh with me.
My dear friend from the Michael Bolton Blackjack days, Sandy Gennaro who worked very hard on the songs to jam on the drums, the brillant Simon Kirke from Bad Company, and Free, who makes me start "All Right Now" everytime and that is an honor, Jerry Renino from the Monkees band, who introduced me to Mickey Dolenz the night of the HOB show, me being a huge Monkees fan, and last but not least the amazing Gary Burr whose band came in first. He is a first class songwriter, musician and so much fun to jam with as well as Teddy Zig Zag another LA musician I have jammed with who now understands the special fun of being a counselor at the camp.
Last year, my band struggled in its competition and somehow this year I got some amazing talent that everyone at the camp noticed. So whipping them into shape as I am the drill sargent and they are there to listen and learn from me, was not too much of a chore. My guitarists, a lawyer, an investment banker, a shoe mogul and the editor of Guitar Player Magazine, (yes the pressure was on!) took my direction and we had a smooth sounding guitar army. I leaned on Keith and Michael to lead the bunch when I was out of the room. On keys, my district attorney from Texas really smoked, and my bass player who reminded me of Charston Heston really gave his punk all to the tunes. My secret weapons were my drummers and singer, as here is where the fun began.
Other highlights, jamming with Neal Schon. We played some Journey songs live, and there was a big jam at the HOB with Mark Farner playing the blues. We also jammed backstage with Daltrey on acoustic guitars, and I will NEVER forget that! Thanks for letting me back you Neal, and the same goes for Mark Farner. My support on the Grand Funk tunes earned his respect, and only at the Fantasy Camp can such interesting moments in this business can happen. You all work hard together and nobody has any ego or issues. Thank you Mr Farner for making it a good experience for me.
Playing "Jane" and "We Built This City" and jamming the solos on those tunes was great. Mickey sings amazing. Being the lead guitarist of The Knack for "My Sharona", was a blast, and Doug is a real class act. We have met before in LA, but never really hung out. Vintage guitar freak like me so I know we be doing some hanging out soon. Jamming and seeing Kip Winger and Mark Slaughter put me a time warp. Great guys and very very talented. Hanging out with the Cheap Trick guys is always fun, and Rick LOVES showing me his guitars. Thanks Rick for the treat of letting me hold a few.
But most of all I have to thank the campers and the people behind the scenes at this event, all the friends I have met from last year, and all my friends for coming to visit. Fred Coury from Cinderella visited the camp and my voiceover comedian friend Wally Wingert popped in and wound up being the host of the best impersonation competition. Visit www.rockandrollfantasycamp.com for all the news about this years events and future ones.
I want to thank all the hard workers who made the Japan trip successful, and I hope to come again next year. The new DVD from my brother and I called KISS FOREVER, an instructional DVD of cool KISS songs, sold very well, and now you can order it from my site, signed by me.
Watch the site often as more exciting news is coming very soon!
- February 1, 2006 -
Hello everyone! I know it has been a while since my last message about my journeys to Europe and Mexico. So I will start off with a photo from days before I left on the road. My parents had their 58th Anniversary! Amazing!! The Kulick Family took a nice photo, and those of you with elderly parents know what a blessing it can be when they are healthy. So it was a good holiday season for me to be home and spent some time with them.
New Years was fun with friends at a local restaurant, as we saw The Drifters perform. Or some guys that sing Drifters songs if you know what I mean! But most exciting about the New Year, was getting ready for my vacation to Hawaii. I have an Aunt who is 91 living in Waikiki, and cousins that I don't get to see enough. My girlfriend and I had a great time there. My cousins were wonderful to show us around, and we had an amazing dinner at their home on Oahu. There is so much to see just on that island, between the amazing ocean and sunsets, and fabulous food, and great shopping. Of course I got a chance to relax, but mostly I was very pleased with having NO schedule. Just get up and go do what I want. Went into to every Ukulele music shop of course. Check out the giant one!Tried silly hats on and of course grabbed coconuts as that is not something you see in Los Angeles!
After my return from Hawaii, I had just days to get ready for the big NAMM show in Los Angeles. I could only go on the first day of the four, but I got my business done thanking all the people who help my career. I made an appearance at the Music Star Productions booth in support of an instructional DVD that will be out in March. It has some great explaining of KISS songs that I played on. Will be fun for everyone to see, even if you don't play guitar. I really enjoy talking about the music, guitars etc., and there is bonus section where I explain my pedals as I get lots of emails about that. So look for that on my site soon. Rudy Sarzo was there to promote his new DVD. We know each other a long time now. I got to hang out with Brent Fitz from UNION, as I haven't really seen him much with his new band keeping him on the road. A great guy as all you UNION fans know.
We will be reworking our show in March when we get together for some rehearsals, but for now the rest of February is busy for with the next Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp event here in LA. I will be a counselor again and if you all remember what an amazing time I had last year this should be very cool to experience again. Visit the site to see the line up of people showing up for the campers, from Roger Daltry to Cheap Trick. My friends from the KISS tours Kip Winger and Mark Slaughter will be counselors as well. Most interesting will be working with Mark Farner from Grand Funk. Not sure if I will play the GFR songs or just be in the audience but no matter, this is all about the campers having a great time. Jack Blades our fearless leader makes it easy to happen.
At the end of February, it is off to JAPAN once again this time with KISS friend Eric Singer, as ESP will do two shows there. I will look forward to visiting with my friends and fans there. My brother Bob is also coming along to entertain the fans with a few surprise songs from his KISS connection. So a full report will be coming after all these exciting events are done.
Thanks again for the emails and support, and for the future, I am looking at getting UNION to Australia in the spring, and of course a busy year for Grand Funk. And most important, I am very involved with writing for my next solo disc, so I hope to start recording this spring.
Be well, stay safe and keep in touch.
PS - Thanks to Lorie King for the GFR picts. Additional thanks to Barry Carr for the doll.