- December 26, 2007 -
I trust you all are having a great holiday with friends and family and I hope you all can be happy for whatever blessings in life you really have. Perfect example for me to share is my brother breaking his leg doing what he loves to do, playing softball, on Sunday, December 16th and then realizing he was to be in the hospital for 4 days. He became a bionic man, with titanium rod and plate in his leg, and will have a lengthy rehabilitation, which is something very new to him. He remembered 4 years ago when I was injured by a crazed gunman shooting me through the leg, and grazing my temple, that I could help him understand being in the emergency room and what may follow.
Actually, Bob has a bit more rehab than even I had, although I had knee surgery 4 months after taking the bullet through my thigh muscle, as I twisted that knee pretty bad. Elective surgery was my situation, but Bob did great two days after he broke BOTH bones in his left leg, and he is doing well all things considered. His doctor expects a full recovery. So once again, be grateful for all you CAN do, like walk up and down stairs, and all the other simple things we take for granted. And remember to take good care of your health, as my brother will recover more quickly because he is in good shape. Seeing our parents struggle, as fortunate as we are to have them around, has always been tough on our nerves.
So in overview of my 2007, I wanted to share some highlights: touring Europe with the Eric Singer Project in March and seeing some incredible countries (and fans!); performing in Brazil and Argentina; jamming with Jack Bruce of CREAM in London and recording at Abbey Road Studios; sharing the stage with Paul Stanley at two of the Fantasy Camps I appeared at; traveling all over the US and Niagara Falls with Grand Funk Railroad; seeing the huge success of KISSOLOGY II and III (thank you all)...
...recording, co-writing and performing in LA with American Pie actor Thomas Ian Nicholas; receiving a double Platinum award from Kanye West for the College Dropout co-write; receiving a Platinum disc for LORDI the band from Finland for whom I played a wicked guitar solo; making huge progress on my BK3 disc (read my blog); buying quite a few new amazing guitars, and selling a few I didn¹t need as well; appearing at various KISS expos around the country (returning just recently from Brazil, again!); and ending up the year with a huge show with ESP in Mexico City!
You can all read through my Messages Archive to find stories on most of what I just mentioned, but I did want in conclusion to just say be grateful for all you have in your life. I have been very blessed with my work, and I am thankful to all the fans and the opportunity they have given me to entertain and share my music with you all. So have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!
All the best in 2008 and don't blow up anything in your life. (Meaning respect what you have!)
PS - Please check out the VersaStick website as this product is what my trainer uses and helps me stay in shape... and that is good!
- December 12, 2007 -
What an amazing trip I just returned from! For the second time in 2007 I got to visit Brazil. This time I did three shows starting off in Sao Paulo, then Belo Horizonte, and lastly a city called Curitiba. I was backed by a band called Mundo Cao which is kind of World of The Dogs to my translation! Brazilians are wonderful people and you should know they speak Portuguese NOT Spanish. So I always have a bit of a difficult time, as I want to use my knowledge of Spanish whenever I am in South America.
I arrived on Tuesday tired but ready for a good lunch and then of course a nap as the flight over was quite long. The evening started with me doing some interviews for various magazines that cover rock in Brazil. Then we started our rehearsal. The guys in my band on this trip were Zeca on bass guitar and vocals, Fabio on rhythm guitar and vocals and Marcos on drums and vocals. They were prepared for my arrival although as always there are some nuances to learn to get the material tighter. I was happy to go have a bite afterwards and I must add that the food in Brazil is VERY tasty!
Wednesday was to be the first show and after a long rest I was ready to go to Hanger 110. Sound check was quick and the gear not bad for South America. ESP loaned me a nice Viper so I was happy with that. I had a spare from Fabio's guitar collection. I did my meet and greet for the fans of Sao Paulo, got some gifts and then it was time to play. We were a little nervous but overall a great first show. Opening act Killers are good friends of my manager Abba and I, and they did a great job warming up for us. A few of the guys in Killers I played with in May so it was fun to get a chance to hear them without me jamming along.
After a quick bite, again at a late night place that made great comfort food, it was off to bed and an early flight to Belo Horizonte was planned for Thursday AM. After some delays at the airport, we were in BH as they call it for short. Very pretty city, and the hotel was awesome. Took a long nap, and then off to sound check at the gig. Took a great pix of me with a poster on the wall. Had a nice crowd for the meet and greet, and the warm up band was a Motley Crue cover band. They did the KISS song "Tough Love" from Revenge in my honor!
We were up next and after my backing band did two of their originals our 12 song set began. I loved the stage at this club and the crowd sang along and loved the songs. It made me feel great to make them so happy reliving some KISS classics from my era and of course sharing something from my solo CD for them to hear. How can they resist not singing along to "God Gave Rock N Roll To You" and "Hide Your Heart" etc., etc.???
No dinner after this show as we had an early flight even though Friday was a travel day, we needed to do some radio. After we arrived in Curitiba, I was tired but as there was no show I was relaxed anyway. After checking into the hotel, I realized there was great shopping nearby. But first we needed to so some radio for promotion. Rock 91 was very supportive and kept pumping up the show in their city. They had a lucky contest winner as did BH and some fans not only met me, but won a guitar signed by me!
After the radio station visit it was off to a large market that sold fruit, liquor, coffee, beans and well... it was crazy! Huge building and some of the things they sell are straight from the rain forest I guess cause I never saw the kinds of items they had for sale. Bought some amazing coffee, and took some funny pictures. Then it was time for some Xmas shopping at the regular mall. It is funny how malls are not too different everywhere in the world.
Dinnertime would be very special as we ate at an amazing restaurant in the Brazilian style called Churrascarias. It had a huge buffet, tons of meat, and Italian dishes, and even a Sushi bar! We ate like kings and the manager of the place called Jardins Grill was a huge KISS fan! Being recognized so far from home shows the power of KISS for sure! My tummy was very happy with all we ate.
The next day would be spent shopping as I had a few hours before I needed to be at the club for sound check. Abba and I took a nice walk and found some smaller mall shops, and things like KISS t-shirts (not official I am sure!) and a great outdoor market for trinkets and Xmas gifts. Scored some unique items for sure. After a nice lunch at a grill restaurant, it was time to get ready for the last show.
The club had a great crowd and I took pix of some fans with cool tattoos. Signed one fan's back and that always trips me out! The girls dress in their rock best at the shows in Brazil. Check out the boots!! This show was so much fun! We had quite a great reaction from the crowd and I was proud of the band but my week-long trip in Brazil was coming to an end.
The next day we flew back to Sao Paulo after saying goodbye to Zeca, and our friends Helio and Juliana picked us up for some driving around till our late night flights were to be boarded back to the US. We visited a very fancy mall and it was best for just people watching and some very good food that I treated my companions for helping me out on my trip.
The flight was smooth back the US and I was happy to be home, but sad in a way, knowing how much the fans love to see me play. It is amazing to have gone there twice in one year, and thank you BRAZIL! They truly love KISS and so many of the fans were influenced by that huge concert in 1994 that we played in Sao Paulo as part of the Monsters Of Rock. It will be available on KISSOLOGY III in the Best Buy version that will be sold on December 18th. Don't miss that bonus disc version!
My Brazil trip was preceded by a weekend in Nevada with Grand Funk (last shows of 2007 for the band), and the weekend before that was the KISS expo in Chicago. Tommy Thayer popped in as he was visiting his in-laws. Always nice to see him and we got a chance to chat before my performance. Thank you Chicago KISS fans!
Well off to Mexico this weekend for a show with Eric Singer Project (ESP), and then finally some holiday rest. Busy year for me, but I am happy to be working on music and performing so much with so many talented people. News of BK3 when I get some time to record again! Have some great things to look forward to in 2008 and of course will share it all with you. Thanks for the support and please everyone have a wonderful and healthy holiday season.
PS - My parents recently celebrated their 60th!!! anniversary and Bob and I were able to help them celebrate with a great cake!!
- November 12, 2007 -
What an exciting couple of weeks I have just had! Besides my traveling with Grand Funk, I just returned from the Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas, so I have much to share with you all.
Let me start with my visit at the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp. I was hoping I could be a full counselor at this 10 Year Anniversary camp, but because of two shows for Grand Funk I thought I would miss attending. As it turned out, my fellow counselor buddy Mark Slaughter had one day he could not work the camp because of a prior commitment, so that was perfect for me to come into Vegas before my GFR shows and have a day and a half working the camp in his place.
I flew in on a Thursday and Vegas is just total overkill with excitement. The Latin Grammys were being held at my hotel the amazing Mandalay Bay. I checked in after my short flight from LA, and immediately was so excited to be on the strip ready to rock the camp. The band rehearsals were being held just outside of MGM Grand¹s Arena area so the 12 camper bands were close, but isolated enough to practice.
Mark already worked with the group that was assigned to him for a day and a half and had a great original song put together, which they played for the special guest of the day, Vince Neil. Vince was making the rounds at Day 2 of the camp and I was looking in checking out the band. Vince looked great and I could tell he had been sober more than a while. He said he was sober 8 months. He did a Q and A in the ballroom before dinner and told many Motley Crue stories of their wildness and tour tales that they are known for.
I did spend a little time with the band before dinner, going over the Guns N Roses tune "Sweet Child Of Mine" as Slash was going to visit the band the next day. I knew we had a bit more work to start with in the morning. That night after some dinner plans I had Thomas Ian Nicolas, the actor from the American Pie movies who is getting his new CD ready for release top of 2008 and can be heard on his myspace page, was playing a short acoustic set at the House of Blues Crossroads room, which coincidentally is in the Mandalay Bay Hotel!
After hooking up for dinner with Jeremy Rubolino, his producer and mine for my BK3 disc, we went to see Thomas perform. I invited some of the Fantasy Camp campers to join me. It was a great performance and he played two of the songs I co-wrote with him and Jeremy. Nice to hear your own music live! As much as Vegas is the city that doesn't let you want to sleep, I was wise and headed off to bed early. THE hotel, as it is called at the Mandalay Bay, is quite an amazing place to stay. So, off to the giant bathtub for me and then bed. Fantasy camp was going to be a huge day with Roger Daltrey of The Who and Slash of GnR and Velvet Revolver fame to visit and jam with my band.
After a great breakfast it was off to the MGM Grand to work. Had to check out of the hotel, as I would take the RED EYE after the camp day was done to Tampa, FL to meet up with Grand Funk. (That is a very rock n roll schedule, right!) My band was already hard at work when I arrived, fine-tuning the Guns song. I jumped in and got them tighter and tighter. Amanda, our singer, kept getting confused as to when her vocals would begin as this song has a long guitar intro that sets the tone of the song. She has a great bluesy voice, so "Sweet Child Of Mine" was a good fit for her vocals. Rich, a trial lawyer from Philly, had not been playing guitar long so for me it was time to get him in the zone for what was going to happen in the song. Basically a "how to follow along and not freak out" was what I shared with him.
Sheldon, a mortgage banker dude from LA, was the alpha male in the group, but he had a good sense of what to do. I was strict with him about his guitar pedal usage, and we got that right and things were sounding good. Yayo Sanchez, the talented young 14 year old guitarist singer songwriter from Austin, was in heaven in anticipation of his hero Slash coming to jam. I got Yayo settled with his tones as well, although it would be Slash taking most of the leads once he sat in. But this song was also going to be performed by the band on Sunday, so I made sure they knew as much as I could share for that day. More about Yayo another time, but I had the pleasure to work with him in London back in May.
Our drummers were Chris and Liam, who together seemed to make the impossible work. Chris and I met at the NYC Fantasy camp jamming Detroit Rock City with Paul Stanley. Chris is a very brave man. He is very sick with cancer, and his biggest dream is playing drums with the Camp. We all took a lot of inspiration from his strength to carry on with the long camp day and his enthusiasm never waned.
Liam, who played drums as well and later on guitar, works for the LA Times and Spin magazine. I am sure he will have a great story to tell about what the camp is and how it absolutely changes your life in amazing ways. On bass Steve, a retired businessman, held down the bottom quite well. He had a bitchin 1965 Jazz Bass that was rare. That Fender is a transition model, with binding and dots. He loved that I was fawning all over it whenever I had the chance.
Once we got "Sweet Child" tight, we then had to start looking at "Pinball Wizard" by The Who, as Roger Daltrey was in the building already!! On this song some musical chairs happened, with Liam who plays many instruments taking over on guitar from Yayo, and Yayo playing the drums with Chris. I was really happy with this one, and the song was really close to perfect. I knew it would be fun for Roger to sing along with them. I thought Yayo was overdoing a few things, but once we discussed that I was confident they were ready for Daltrey to come sit in with them. Lunchtime was great, as a special cake was presented to David Fishof, the promoter and mastermind behind the Fantasy Camp. Roger and Slash arrived, and that was quite exciting and the photos came out great.
Now it was time to show Mr. Daltrey the band's hard work. He is quite the gentleman with the campers, and he remembered me well from my first camp in Los Angeles. Roger was never quite sure who this guitarist from KISS was, but after me being his guitarist like Pete Townsend for a performance at the HOB, he knows me. That makes me quite proud to have his respect, as that is what any musician can hope for. To get it from one of your heroes is something that is the highest compliment a musician can hope for. Roger sang along with Amanda and it went over great. The campers took pix and we chatted a bit about that bass Steve owns as Roger has a few guitars as well. We discussed some things about John Entwistle, the late Who bassist, and that is just one of the things that makes the camp so special. (Who wouldn't want to gossip with rock legends!)
Shortly after Roger left, Slash was getting close to sitting in with our band. I went to a few of the rooms where he was jamming and he was playing great. The road crew from SIR that was helping out the camp asked ME what I thought of the two Gibsons they brought in for Slash. The 1958 RI Les Paul was simply amazing, but the action was too low. I told them to get that right, which they did, and of course Slash picked that axe! He had a Marshall DSL100 watt in tow and he sounded great. Or shall I say, like SLASH!
He was creating such a buzz with all the campers. Look at Guitar Hero III. Who is on the cover? SLASH! What a guitar icon, and a great guy as well. We said hello after lunch outside, and he was funny saying how he saw me jam at a local LA club called the Baked Potato and didn't know it was me, but asked someone "Who is that playing?"! He was digging me jamming and we had good laugh about that. Of course I have run into Slash many times in LA, but sometimes I think he was in Jack Daniels mode! Today he was spot on and he was simply perfect on the guitar. Finally it was time and the roadies wheeled in Marshall amp and Slash appeared, top hat and all.
He came in smiling and we told him what the song the band prepared. He hadn't played this Guns N Roses hit in years. He knew the intro, but the re-intro parts were a bit "fuzzy" to him. We had a false start and that was funny of course. Again my band was jamming with SLASH! I lead the group, but didn't play, got some great pix, and really loved the expressions on everyone's faces to have this experience. After we finished the song (and it was an extended version for sure), he shared with Sheldon the guitar positions for some of the solo lines. How COOL is THAT?! Learn the licks from Slash himself! I asked if we could just do a short blues jam, and we cranked it up and he traded solos with Yayo and Sheldon. Slash loves to sit in with bands, so that was fun for him and of course once again the room was buzzing with excitement.
We finally had to stop, but made sure to get the autographs and photos with everyone. When I asked him to sign my GnR's greatest hits CD he laughed and said "You want this one signed to you?" I said "Of course, dude!" He signed it: "To Bruce, What the F*ck!! Rock N Roll, SLASH." That CD is a keeper for sure! We chatted about the Gibson Les Paul for a minute, and he was very kind posing and signing for everyone.
I had to ask him about getting involved in Guitar Hero, the biggest game in the world right now. He said he played the game one time and then got contacted by the company, and so there it is. Slash on the cover, and a TV ad as well! I told him how I just played it for the first time last week at the Orlando KISS Expo. The fans were curious how I would do "Strutter". For my first time, it was good. I didn't get booed, as that is what happens if you bite on the game.
So what an amazing afternoon with Roger and Slash appearing. I knew I was going to miss Jack Bruce (yes from CREAM) and Joe Walsh from the Eagles, but I had my work with Grand Funk to get back to. After dinner I had my master class, where I shared my info on guitar gear to the campers. Then it was off to the airport for my midnight flight to Tampa. People watching in Vegas is fun, so I killed some time that way.
The weekend shows with GFR were really fun and we broke attendance records at the event in St Petersburg. I saw some of my fans from the Orlando KISS Expo, which I have some pictures to share with you. It was great to see Dale the Demon after all these years, as well as the fans from Florida. I got everyone up to speed with BK3 (sadly had to stop work as I was busy flying around again), the success of KISSOLOGY II, and of course the third DVD set coming out in December. Playing Guitar Hero was a blast as well. So thank you for a great time in Orlando.
The week BEFORE the Expo was Halloween, and between visiting my parents' assisted living place, the local car wash, and going to a party in Burbank I got some crazy pix to share with you all. Of course LA is a good place for Halloween, with all of the industry people getting the ghouls out of the closet and on the lawn for everyone to see.
Lastly, the Kenner GFR show in New Orleans was a huge success. It was a cold night, as you can tell by the scarves I was layered in. Thanks to my fans for sharing these pix, and of course for supporting all my travels. I am looking forward to the big CHICAGO KISS EXPO on November 24th. I will jam along to my backing CD of KISS songs and BK originals, so it will be an up close musical performance. I also have a trip to Brazil coming, and a show with ESP (Eric Singer Project) in Mexico coming up in the middle of December. Also, one more Grand Funk weekend date in Jackpot, Nevada before the trip to South America.
One last funny thing to mention. I was having a late breakfast in Homestead, Florida where GFR was going to play that evening and who walks in to say hello to some of the workers and get a cup of coffee? OJ Simpson!! How freakin crazy is that?! I knew he lived in Florida, but what are the chances of running into him. I even heard him talk about the festival Grand Funk was playing so I asked him if he was going. He was friendly, but you can tell guarded. I will say no more about my meeting, except how strange it was to see him.
Everyone have a great Thanksgiving and I will get you more updates when I finish more of my travels.
Enjoy your Turkey Day!
- September 24, 2007 -
Hope everyone had a great time this summer! I am happy to say that my busy summer is finally over and it was quite successful. First I have to share with everyone an amazing evening spent with Paul, Gene and Tommy up at Doc McGhee's office in Los Angeles. The distributors of the KISSology DVD's wanted to get us an award for the sales success already of the second one of the series, and since we all got together in the same room, time to be interviewed for KISSology III. Alex and Roger Coletti, the producers of the DVD's from MTV, were present to show us the footage and get our reactions on tape to add to the commentary track of the next DVD.
I was so excited to watch some amazing footage, and of course the stories we all shared about those KISS years brought back great memories. From REVENGE live, to the KISS convention tour, to MTV Unplugged, to the joining on MTV of Ace and Peter, and then of course into the huge KISS Reunion tour, with bonus footage of Carnival Of Souls recording sessions, this DVD is a must have! I am so proud of these DVD's coming out.
And for those of you who have EVERYTHING on KISS, understand MTV can only put out product that has been properly cleared. So don't get into the "where is this footage" etc. The stories behind putting out product like this are complicated. But no matter, they are a MUST have for all of you. I have been beaming about the footage on KISSology II and knowing that III is coming later this year will make my holiday season for sure. Gene and Paul seemed really happy with the footage, and especially touched by the footage of the COS recording sessions as Evan and Nick were in there, as very young boys. That made the proud fathers smile big time.
Since my last message, Grand Funk was in Memphis, where of course I had to get some Elvis related pix. I only went to the gift shops, as I was in Graceland twice in the past. But cool pix anyway! Elvis was still the KING no doubt. In Virginia, the band did a show in the area where Bruce Hornsby lives. He is famous for some great hits in the 80's and jamming piano on various tours for big names. What a cool guy. He loved the show we did, and I got this pix with him. He has known Grand Funk singer Max Carl for many years, so he came down to check us out. So enjoy some pix from Virginia and Memphis of Grand Funk.
Hope to see you all this fall, and of course check on my Studio Blog as I making some progress on BK3. Now Bruce can rest a bit!
- September 2, 2007 -
Well since my last message I have been in at least a dozen states, with many shows all across America. So let me get to some of my travel adventures, in pictures and story.
I left off my last message with a trip to Colorado. A few days later, we played in a small city called Wendover, Nevada. This is about an hour and 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, and I saw the most amazing rainbow on the drive to the casino. Almost as amazing as the double rainbow, was the neon all over the main floor of this place. So strong I was freaking out! Wendover is near the Great Salt Salt flats where they race cars at speeds that are unreal.
Next we were off to Oregon, Eugene to be exact! A nice college town, and home of a vintage guitar shop that I had to visit. Well, I bought a beautiful Gibson ES 175 from 1958 at McKenzie River Music. As soon as I held this guitar I had to have it! Grand Funk played two shows in the area, so I had some time to visit the local pawn style shop as well. Found a sweet Fender Mexican Strat, and it shined on stage that night. So, a great time in Oregon for my guitar addiction and me!
Next day we were off to the famous Sturgis Motorcycle event in South Dakota, which is the largest in the world. Had fun meeting Dee Snider there, and taking some pix with the bikini girls from the Buffalo Chip. Rupert from the show Survivor was there, and his charity had some cool ESP LTD guitar that he asked the bands to sign. I wound up playing one of these custom guitars for the encore. They were thrilled to see me rocking out on "American Band" with that axe in my hands. We opened for Foreigner, and I got these great pix of me with the spotlight.
From South Dakota, we were off to Oshkosh, WI. Downtown had a cool clock tower that I had to take a cell phone pix of. The local McDonald's had Elvis there! The show at the amphitheater was great and the crowd didn't mind a little rain. Next we were off to the East Coast and we rested in Providence RI, a great town in New England. We played a show in Webster, MA and it was by a famous lake the Indians gave a name of over 50 letters! Met some fans by the lake so check out this picture of my big KISS fan. The mall nearby the hotel in Providence had an IMAX theatre that Tim, our keyboard player, and I visited for a showing of Spiderman 3. That was a trip to see a big movie like that on the IMAX screen. Highly recommended.
A few days rest at home, and then off to St. Louis for a show at the Ameristar Casino. I invited my friends in St. Louis to the show of course, Chuck Berry's son, Butch, and Ed Seelig from Silver Strings Music, from which I found a great white Mexican Fender Telecaster that I bought and used on stage that night. Telecasters sound so cool! Max, GFR's lead singer, and I visited a wonderful Chinese place on the block of Ed's store, and we hung out playing some of the cool instruments there. Check out Max on the accordion!
We took some flights through Chicago the next day to Kansas City, and the Hilton we stayed at had so many KISS memories for me. I could see in my mind Eric Carr at the bar having a drink, as we stayed so many times at that Hilton. Our show was in St. Joseph, and I remember KISS playing there as well. Next trip took us to Seattle WA, and the weather was nice and finally not so hot like the rest of the country. Our show went smooth and I got a chance to see SUPERBAD with Tim during the day. Superbad is a great, funny movie.
Then we traveled to Indiana for a charity event in Evansville. The show was fun, and a big success. The day after the show, I stayed for the KISS Expo. Had a great time (thanks to everyone involved with the event), and then finally it was time for some rest at home. Check out the newspaper article. I also got a chance to visit a local store called The Guitar Den, and found a really cool small acoustic from a company called Morgan Monroe. I know they are made in Asia somewhere, but for the value, a great guitar. I can't wait to see it next week once it makes it to my home from Indiana.
So I certainly had a very busy August. I will have more news coming about the NY 2007 Rock Fantasy Camp, and GFR's dates in September.
Wanted to tell all the KISS fans how pleased I am that KISSOLOGY II is the number one DVD seller! The third disc features me, and I am proud of that. Two of the bonus discs, Budokan and The Ritz, were from my years with the band too of course. Thanks for all the emails about enjoying the vintage footage. The Eric Carr footage at the VERY end after the credits was especially interesting. We all, of course, miss Eric.
Have a great end of the summer!
- July 27, 2007 -
Hope the summer is going great for you all! I have been rocking with Grand Funk in so many cities it is hard to remember what state I am in. The wonders of flying for sure... except as all of you know flying these days is very stressful. We had a minor hassle this past Saturday when our second flight to the show in Michigan was canceled because the engine didn't sound very good on take off, so that was a blessing of course. But then we had to get rental cars to make the Festival in Farwell, MI just north of Saginaw. Very crazy, as we had no luggage and I had to perform in my travel clothes! Kind of Van Halen baggy pants I kept telling myself, and of course a Grand Funk T-shirt to complete the outfit. The show went great, but it was a crazy day.
The day before we were at the big Cadott, Wisconsin Festival that we missed last year because our flight got canceled from Fresno, CA. Since KISS was the big headliner on Saturday I saw lots of KISS fans, and of course that made me feel right at home. I think that show was amazing, and Grand Funk was exposed to a crowd that day that were also going to see Saliva, Godsmack and Fuel! I cranked it up for that show! Ed Trunk from VH-1 was there and, as a fellow New Yorker, we were discussing the beauty of the Wisconsin farm land where the event is held each year. We hope to go back again as the Festival stages are big and the crowds really love the band.
Max, the singer in Grand Funk, and I were working on some stuff at the hotel as well... something for BK3 and I will share that all with you when we firm up the plans. But I am excited to have him involved with my next solo disc. Doing some work on the road helps the waiting around and the travel days go faster. I have seen movies over the last few weeks to kill the time. Transformers - LOVED IT! License to Wed - funny and easy to watch. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix - good, but not as amazing as I hoped. I don't seem to get to the movie theater in LA much, so seeing them on the road is a fun way to kill some time.
So it's been from Oklahoma, to Wisconsin, to Michigan, to Tampa Florida on July 4th, just to name a few of the past places. I will share some cool fireworks pix from Busch Gardens, and the live shots linked in here (above) are from Cadott.
More messages and news coming. Thanks for visiting my site.
- June 26, 2007 -
Well summer is here and it is time to get busy with Grand Funk. As you know I have been doing some traveling lately out of the country (South America, UK), but the warm weather is here in the USA, so bookings for GFR are very strong this season. We were recently at a huge biker rally in Austin Texas, called ROT (Republic of Texas). Huge crowd and the stage was great! Here's a great live shot to share with you all.
After that show we performed at a casino in Niagara Falls, Canada. The falls on the Canadian side showcases the amazing Horseshoe Falls, that makes a majestic statement from any angle. Well how about the view outside my hotel window! It was unreal to say the least. I couldn't stop looking at it. Next up was Las Vegas and the show at the Green Valley Ranch was terrific.
Vegas is fun to visit, and of course I took a moment to see my friends at Cowtown Guitars. Craig Frost from the Bob Seger band and former Grand Funk keyboardist, sat in with our set. We all had an amazing time at the sold out show. I also got a chance while there to see a show at the Mirage called "The Bealtes LOVE" by Cirque De Soleil. And even though I saw it last July when GFR was there, it was just as amazing the second time. A must see!! The next weekend the band was off to Atlanta, Georgia. After that sold out amphitheatre show, I stayed the next afternoon for a clinic at Ponier Music.
The owner, Doug, had asked me when we met at the Fantasy Camp this past Feb in LA, to do a performance for his shop in Atlanta. It was hot, but the clinic was very well received. Got some local press which I love to read, and jammed with Doug the owner on drums and Leigh who some of the KISS fans know as the "Goddess of Thunder" when she is in full Gene Simmons makeup (I asked her not to for this event) on bass and vocals, and Joe the guitar teacher from the shop on second guitar. We ended the event with a rousing "Rock N Roll All Night".
Next was a short trip to St Louis for the KISS Expo at the Holiday Inn on Sunday. I first stopped by my friend Ed Seelig's store, Silver Strings, to pick out a few guitars to jam on at the Expo. I have known Ed since my Meatloaf days of touring, and we had dinner next door to his shop (great Chinese food), and I finally met his friend Butch Berry, who is the son of the Chuck Berry. Chuck's contribution to all things Rock N Roll is enormous and it was an honor to share some time with Butch.
He has been playing in his Dad's band lately so the stories are precious. To my surprise Butch, with his kid in tow, came to the KISS Expo and they hung out for hours getting into all things KISS. During my time on stage I introduced them to the crowd, and they got huge applause. St Louis knows Chuck Berry is a national treasure, as tough as he was on Keith Richards in the movie "Hail Hail Rock N Roll"!!
The St Louis KISS Expo was excellent, and the highlight was a live film of Paul Stanley's Live To Win tour in High Definition. It looked and sounded amazing. Those of you who caught Paul on tour knew what to expect, but the ones that didn't had a huge treat watching that performance filmed in Chicago. Great job by Louis Antonelli who is quite the KISS fan of course. The questions I got asked were great, and I got a chance to get everyone up to speed on my busy schedule this year. Off to dinner afterwards and the flight back to LA. Monday morning. I want to thank everyone who helped make all these events a huge success.
The next few weeks are really busy with GFR as the July 4th holiday will seem like two weeks of shows! So check the dates to see if you can come out to party with "The American Band"! I will be recording more guitars for BK3 next week, and of course I couldn't help get attached to a rather inexpensive Kramer guitar that Ed loaned me for the Expo performance. So of course it will be in the studio for some riffing! Check out the 80's vibe of this cream colored axe! Just the Floyd Rose bridge brings me back to Asylum era KULICK.
Have a great holiday and safe time with the fireworks etc.
- May 29, 2007 -
Well as you all know, the 5 days of the Fantasy Camp were simply amazing. And no matter how exhausted we were, the next morning about half the camp signed up for a bonus day to Liverpool, birthplace of The Beatles. How cool is that! So off we were to the train station at 9 AM for a first class ride for 3 hours on Virgin Trains. Had a blast talking with everyone, resting, eating, and there even was a little jam with Spike Edney leading the gang singing Beatles songs like in the famous mop top movie, "A Hard Days Night". Fantasy Camp rocks the train!
We finally arrived and had a great lunch in a famous hotel near the train station. The architect apparently did The Titanic ballroom! The weather was picture perfect and soon as our meal was done it was off on the famous "Magical Mystery Tour Bus" for a guided tour of Liverpool. Neil, our tour guide, was funny and very attentive to our questions and what a magical time we had. We stopped at Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, drove by the birthplace homes of the fab four, and made an occasional pit stop to stretch our legs.
Liverpool was actually more upper class looking then I expected, but maybe it was the fact that I was so thrilled to be there. The people were really lovely and they speak the type of English that is ... well so Beatles like, I felt like I was hanging out with the band. Our last stop was the famous street that The Cavern Club is on. Actually the real Cavern is gone, but a new one created to copy the original one, was built across the street. We had some time to rest and eat and shop before the evening's entertainment would begin.
Our plan was everyone jamming on Beatles songs! How fitting. OK, we occasionally would go through a Spencer Davis tune or a WHO classic, but wow was it fun. I played guitar, some bass and tambourine, took pix, and sweated like a piggy for 2 hours! It was so much fun, and of course Spike and Jamie lead the charge, along with Neil on bass, and Simon on drums, with us swapping out campers to jam with us. Yayo from my band was finally able to show his chops on guitar by jamming on a few songs. Everyone told me to keep in touch with that young talent! We had some local talent pop in, even a blind drummer which made the cues a bit difficult, but we all loved the idea of playing great music in Liverpool.
The Cavern people treated us like rock stars and finally the dream was over and it was time for the sad bus ride to Manchester where we all said our final goodbyes. All of us were to leave for home from there in the morning. I got only a few hours of sleep, but off to the USA for BK. I ran into some campers at the airport and we couldn't stop talking about the week we shared. Brian was off to Ireland, and of course his life in the construction business will never be the same. That is what the camp does for everyone. Life changing, as you share such wonderful music and moments with people that are hard to explain.
For me it was back on the road a few days after my return... back to Earth to go play in the US with Grand Funk. But my memories of the camp, the campers, the special stars that visited, and the holy ground we hung at will forever be a part of me. Thank you all for sharing my amazing journey in the UK 2007.
PS - Be sure to check out Bruce's complete London Rock Fantasy Camp Blog!
PPS - Don't forget you can always check out the Official Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp Page for upcoming dates and locations!
- May 21, 2007 -
Back from South America! What an amazing trip I just returned from. All of you might know I went to Peru and Chile in Dec 06, and that made me hungry to visit Brazil and Argentina. So my manager (Mark Abbattista or Abba as we all call him) and I worked hard to get a few events put together, and every one was a success.
I started off in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a huge city with 16 million people. I was staying in the city of Campinas which is about an hour and half north of Sao Paulo. After checking into my hotel, it was off to a famous Brazilian restaurant where they have the meats on giant skewers. Great food! These places are popular in Texas and LA, but I have never eaten at one. You leave the table stuffed but you know the food is very fresh indeed. They cut the meat right in front of you!
After my meal it was time to rest up as I had a full evening ahead of me. First up was a press conference, which lasted about 40 minutes. It was held at a music school called EM&T where I was scheduled to do a clinic. After the press left, I did my usual performing along with a backing CD of tracks from my solo discs and some Revenge songs. The sold out crowd was very excited.
I signed autographs and now it was time to go rehearse with "Killers" the band that was to back me at my two Brazilian shows. They did their homework, but there was a lot to fine tune. I have to thank them all for doing a great job with the songs. They got a great lesson on the material.
After a good long day of work, I rested up at my hotel. Unusual that Brazil doesn't use hot water at the sink. The shower will have a heater that makes that water hot, but they are used to only cold as the country is still poor, and the weather is so warm. That night it was as low as 50 degrees in Campinas and by the way, no heat in the rooms as well. I bundled up and remembered how spoiled we are in the US!
Next day was much milder and after another rehearsal, Abba and I hit the mall. That was cool checking out the local shopping. I got some cool gifts and then it was time for dinner and rest as that evening we were to travel into Sao Paulo for a show at a place called MANIFESTO. We left late, and took a small bus with everyone coming along for the event.
We arrived after a fun stop at the usual highway rest stop restaurant that I was really impressed with. It was a great chicken place called "Frango Assado" with tons of food and goodies. We loaded up with snacks and then arrived at the club for the show an hour later. The place in Sao Paulo was buzzing with excitement and our set was well received. I realized then what a big impact KISS had on the Brazilians especially the show in 1994. I took photos with the club owners and the some guests and then off to Campinas for some rest.
Next evening would be the big KISS Fest in Campinas. So I slept late, and then had an amazing lunch at a local Italian place. They enjoy food for sure in Brazil! I heard already that the event was selling well, but I was overwhelmed with the crowd and their passion. I did a short Q and A, and then went downstairs to a large banquet room to sign autographs for the crowd. That took over 3 hours! The fans were amazing and I got many gifts, the fans are so generous.
Then it was time to play! I grabbed a Gibson Les Paul Ace Frehley model which belonged to the "Ace" in Killers. I had fun playing that guitar. First time I ever used one. Might have to add one to my collection! The set was great, the crowd was having so much fun with me, and they sang the usual soccer chants that I remember from my KISS days in ¹94. I said my goodbyes and off to get an hour of sleep as it would take me a while to pack up for my trip to Argentina. I want to thank everyone who helped me in Brazil. Osvaldo, Helio, Fernando, Zeca, Antonio, Luis and all their friends made my visit wonderful.
Oh yes, one more thing... the Pope was in Brazil that weekend, which was huge news, so I can't forget to tell you all that I dedicated "God Gave Rock N Roll To You II" to the fans and "The PAPA." The fans went crazy! The next morning Abba and I headed to Buenos Aires. I hadn't been back since 2001 and it was too long! I love that city, as it is a crazy version of NYC meets Paris. After arriving at their new terminal we got settled in the hotel, and I needed a nap because of one hour of sleep the night before.
After some rest and some great hotel food, off to rehearsal with my band for Argentina. "Mafia" as they are called has a great singer, Sebastion that has an amazing likeness to Paul Stanley. You guessed right, he sings like Paul. We jumped into the songs, and I was pleased with their performances. I had two different sets of bass players and drummers and that was no problem at all. We went through the tunes, and I gave them tips to make it rock like I wanted it, and we ended our rehearsal confident we would rock at ACATRAZ the next two evenings. Off to a great restaurant named Siga De Vaca a wonderful Argentine dining place, after my long day was perfect for my hungry appetite.
After a meeting with my friend Martin who does graphic art regarding BK3, (he did that cover of Audiodog) I was off for a clinic at the store Speed King in the city. It was a good crowd, they were very excited as they remember my visits in 1999 and 2000 and 2001 with UNION. The clinic was really moving when during the Q and A portion a fan was so excited when he asked me to sign his guitar he started to cry when I played his Epiphone Les Paul for a minute! I signed some body parts at the end of the clinic, which they proudly showed me the tattoos the following night! I was blown away of course. [Click over to the NEWS page for more stories and photos of Bruce autograph tattoos]
I was really excited about the show in Buenos Aires. I have so many friends from my visits and they were so happy to see me after 6 years. The set was great, I admit I was more nervous for this show, but the band did great. Playing "Forever" was really a highlight that night. The band asked if we could do "Take It Off" with some strippers like the KISS Revenge tour. I didn't mind and the local "talent" did a fine job of getting the crowd wild. After my meet and greet it was time to head back for some rest.
The following day I did some great shopping at the mall nearby. Really nice jewelry for my family was easy to find. My friends told me that mall was very expensive but everything is one third to the US dollar there, so things were not bad at all price wise. I had an interview at a rock radio station, very cool people after a ride in the Buenos Aires rush hour traffic, I was a bit rattled. But once again, the people looking after me were so kind and wonderful to my needs so we made the best of it.
Second show at ACATRAZ I was more relaxed and it was my fave show of the trip. I had fun during the encore teasing the crowd with solos from my KISS days all by myself and then asked them to sing along to "God Gave Rock N Roll To You II". Thanks to my promoter Patty and her helper Natalia, and Marcelo and Gabriel, and Martin, and Javier from KISS Fever. I need to thank everyone from the band, Sebastion, Charlie, Danny, Gustavo, Ariel, and Pablo. They were all great guys.
So off early to the airport and the LONG trip home. I had an an amazing time in Brazil and Argentina and my flight home took me to Lima, Peru on a stop, so I know that airport from December. Did some last minute shopping there of course. Keeps me busy you know. Thank you Abba for your patience with me, and your vision of getting my guitar playing around the world.
Well, I hope you enjoy the pix and I hope to visit South America within a year for sure.
- May 1, 2007 -
Hello everyone! Had a great time this past weekend at the Hollywood Celebrity Show in Burbank. Same hotel as the KISS convention back in '95! Check out the pix of me and Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters and HBO's Prison series. His sons are into music so we had a nice talk at the show. Of course the FONZ Henry Winkler was there and he had a great reaction from the fans. Great guy, and I was nervous taking the pix. Wally Wingert my voice over pal who got me into doing these shows was in attendance, and besides the other famous stars like Tiffany and Joey Heatherton, I was most nervous about Traci Lords. I couldn't even ask for a photo! Maybe next time.
I did meet a sport collector who told me he had some Lakers stuff. He knows Eric Singer is into all of that, so I asked him what he had. Here I am posing with Shaq's size 24 shoe! Amazing! Lydia Cornell from "Too Close For Comfort" posed with me, and she told me she was friends with Paul Stanley from years ago. Great girl, and it is a small world as you know. There were many others, but I only got these pix to share with you all. I did bring Joe with me, and he was quite a hit on the first day. He was too tired to bother with the stars on Saturday so I left him home to sleep.
Got some cool guitars the past few weeks and will have them out on the road with GFR soon. Some nice ESP's and a new Les Paul. Also, back in 2003 I heard that some new rapper named Kanye West was covering a Blackjack tune. Michael Bolton and I were quite pleased to see him go on and sell over double platinum. Here is the RIAA Multi-Platinum Award for the song he titled "Never Let You Down" from The College Dropout disc.
All the best!
- April 4, 2007 -
Hello everyone! What a fantastic tour I had with ESP in Europe. So much to tell you but I am so busy with other new things going on, I will give you all a brief run down and you can enjoy my pix. You know a pix speaks a thousand words.
We rocked in Bergen, Norway with the rain falling for a record 90 days in a row. Cool club, and we tested out our set with a crazy crowd. Did some press for the TV station there, and then off early for Copenhagen. Denmark is cool and we love the place called The Rock as we have been there before. Many people from Sweden come there, and the show went great. Next we were off to Holland for a LONG day, with KISS expo and show that night all in one day so I was drinking some coffee to keep me going. The expo was well attended and we did the sound check for that crowd. The show in the evening was one of my favorites.
We drove the next day for a show in Germany, and that club in Bochum has a really great stage. It snowed that night and Eric was laughing as he kind of wished it on us! Europe was very mild this winter so the snow was a shock for everyone! We had a few days off in Germany and spent time in a small city called Babenhausen. Great hotel and the staff and our German friends looked after us very kindly. We drove to Heidelberg for a dinner with the people who run the Hard Rock there. Great city with very cool shopping.
After the two days off it was time to fly to Budapest. What a beautiful city and the club was a very western style theme called Wig Wam. I loved the sandwiches they served us when we got there and sadly the hotel was totally over the top amazing and we had only 4 hours total to enjoy it! That gig was great, and the people in Hungary were so into seeing us play. We did some national TV backstage and enjoyed the opening acts as well. Off TOO early in the morning to carry on with our tour, skipping the gig in Spain as we had to reschedule that for later date in the year.
We were off to Switzerland next so we flew to Munich and drove about 7 hours to the beautiful city called La-Choux-de-Fonds. This Swiss city is home of many famous watch companies, Tag Heuer being just one. We had an afternoon to visit the famous watch museum and Eric and I really enjoyed that along with our private tour guide. It snowed about a foot of white powder that looked like confection the night before, so it was perfect seeing Switzerland that way. Eric and I were invited to the Tag Heuer factory and I have to say I was so impressed with the offices and the operation they run. Great watches as you all know, and the people who work there are passionate and very hip. So much work goes into making a watch of that quality and the tour taught me so much about how great watches are created.
The promoter of the ESP show in Switzerland is a huge KISS fan with a room in his home dedicated to his obsession. Newspapers write articles about him! Eric and I visited his museum and Eric was really amazed. It grows every time I visit! His son is a huge LORDI fan, the band from Finland that I recorded a guitar solo for on their Platinum award winning disc. They did a video single and CD single for that song "It Snows in Hell" and my name is very featured on the packaging. Thank you LORDI.
The show at a hall in town was sold out and the crowd was really crazy. The Tag Heuer reps where there as well to rock along with us. (Hope they noticed the Tag decal on my guitar!). We sadly left Switzerland and were excited to NOT have to fly as we made plans to take the train to Italy instead. Trains are so cool in Europe. Fast and clean and the bonus is that you can really see the country this way. The Alps were so amazing to see as they reach so high into the sky. About three hours into the trip, after a long tunnel we arrived finally in Italy near Lake Como. Everything looked like a post card! Our show in Italy was great and the club and promoter are such cool people. We enjoyed the food of course and sadly had to leave way too early of course.
Off to London for our last show of the tour, and it was great to see Camden Yard again. It was Sunday so the shopping was in full force of course there. I found a few needed items and last minute gifts before sound check. We had a great crowd at the club called The Underworld and we really felt like we accomplished so much with this tour. But no time to enjoy the great city of London, sadly we again had to get up early to finally go home. We had some stress at the airport when our first flight to Amsterdam for our return to the US was cancelled, but we lucked out getting on another and smoothly making our connection to get home safe and sound. Thank you KLM.
I want to thank everyone especially our fearless tour manager Nicolas for making the trip so successful. The fans loved the shows and we sold lots of our ESP DVDs and CDs and photos. We are making plans to return in the fall as well. It was the best tour ESP has done, and the reaction made all the hard work totally worth it. And of course most of all I need to thank our fans for being there. We are very grateful to you all. Enjoy the pix of Europe.
I had a few days to turn around once I was back in the states and then I was off once again for the Indy KISS expo and Detroit KISS expo back to back. Both were a big success, and I want to thank Keith Leroux and Joe Marshall for making it happen. The fans were into my Q&A, and of course they had me sign tons of stuff, and many pictures were taken. Hope to do more this year.
Doing a few corporate shows soon, and then off to Indiana again to do the first Grand Funk show of the season. Really looking forward to the dates with GFR. Check the schedule out, as we have lots of gigs this summer. Of course I couldn't get much done lately for BK-3 but don't think I have forgotten about it. Far from it. I will get it done this year no matter how much I travel.
Plans for Brazil are firm!! And I am making Argentina a stop as well right after! That happens in May. Then I will be in London again late May for the Fantasy Camp at Abbey Road! Can't wait!
Keep in touch and again thank you all for your support.
PS - For a complete picture gallery of my Europe trip, as well as the Detroit and Indy KISS Expos, click over to my Photoalbum!
PPS - Special thanks to Claude Wacker for the pict from Croix-Bleue - La Chaux-de-Fonds on the main/front page.
- March 5, 2007 -
Welcome to MARCH everyone!
Well as you know January and February have been quite productive for me, with the Namm Show, Recording for "BK-3", the next solo disc, producing, doing another Fantasy Camp in LA with Paul Stanley and a good time at the first KISS Expo of the year for me, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. But I have left out a few things, and I want to share them with you all and catch up with the news about Myrtle Beach and the trip coming up to Europe with Eric Singer, our band called ESP.
The KISS Expo in South Carolina was well attended and all the fans had a great time. I got to visit the excellent KISS coffee house next door to the club where the expo was held, and I remember Gene telling me how proud he was about it. It has great coffee, merchandise and of course the most unique coffee house - you can sit and watch and listen to KISS concerts playing on the big screen TV's. The area where it is located in Myrtle Beach is very popular with retail stores and great restaurants and even a HARD ROCK CAFE. Happily one of my KISS guitars is on display there! I didn¹t have my cool new digital camera with me, but I got these with my cell phone. When a fan gets me a better one I will get it up for you. Nice plaque with the guitar describing my tenure with the band.
Back to the Expo, one five year old fan Zachary who LOVES KISS won the Karaoke competition. What a great time it was to hear the fans singing KISS tunes! Speaking of fans that are dedicated... got an email from one today named Ben who has this tattoo of me on his arm! Unreal! I got a good pix of this girl's tattoo with ERIC SINGER'S face and signature in a very low area of her tummy. She is brave! Hope her hubby who I met is cool with it!
Well Expos are fun and right after the European tour with ESP I will be doing two more KISS expos. Indianapolis on the 31st of March, and April 1st in Detroit. So look at the site for the information on those events. Should be very cool.
Speaking of the ESP European tour, we will be in visiting the city of Bergen in Norway, then off to Copenhagen. Holland will be next and we are doing a KISS Expo there as well in a city called Helmond. Then we are off to Germany for a show, and then we will visit Budapest, Madrid, and we continue on to a wonderful city in Switzerland (where Tag Hauer watches are made)!! And finally off to Lake Como, Italy for a day and then we finish up in London. WOW is all I can say. These trips are exciting and exhausting but the music and the fans make it happen. Hope to see many of you at these shows.
Grand Funk Railroad will be starting up in April, as Don Brewer who is currently on the Bob Seger tour and selling out everywhere by the way, will wrap up in March. Eric Singer and I had the pleasure to see the band at The Forum here in Los Angeles. Don really drives the train as Rolling Stone magazine said, and the band was amazing. I am good friends with Mark Chatfield on lead guitar who played some awesome licks on about 20 guitars! It was good to visit with Don before the show and Eric who is a huge GFR fan was happy to meet Don again. Everyone who has seen me with the group knows how great Don plays and what a pleasure it is for me to be jamming with him. And Brewer sings amazing as well. ("We're An American Band" for example.) Of course with Seger that song is NOT in the set, but the night I saw the show, Kid Rock was there to sing with Bob. Usually it is Don that sings the song with him. Well LA, you know Kid Rock has to be there!
One more thing that I have to share with you all is that I sit in with my friend Thomas Ian Nicolas, who you might remember from the "American Pie" movies. He is a great singer songwriter who mostly writes on acoustic. I have been doing some co-writing with him and have recorded guitars with him as well. His CD will be coming out this year. Thomas has been doing some acoustic shows all around the country but in Los Angeles he asked me to join him at a few venues. So far I have sat in twice and we had a great time. I hope to do more work with Thomas in the future.
Check out his myspace page as one of the songs has my guitar work on it. Song title is "Wastin My Time". We play this one acoustically, which has been cool as well. Check out the solo! Think of me like in KISS unplugged! I was a guest at his wedding as well in early January. His wife Colette is a very successful House music DJ who sings with her tracks. You can look at her work from Thomas's myspace page. She is a very popular DJ and travels a lot performing her unique style of DJ with her Vocals. Check out the wedding pix I got of her with Thomas. They make a great couple.
Well more things are in the works coming this spring. Besides finishing my new CD "BK-3", I plan on going to Brazil for a few events, and looking forward to being at the LONDON Rock N Roll Fantasy camp late May.
Few funny things this past month... the new KISS Crossword puzzle that is coming out has one of its clues with my name in it. That is always cool with me! And a friend of mine was in a DVD shop looking for something to rent when she came upon this DVD cover for a Spanish film... don't fear it is NOT me, but funny resemblance.
OK lastly... Everyone is asking about my dog Joe. He is doing great. The Audiodog is looking and feeling great. Thanks for sending him your thoughts.
So for now, BK out. More when I return from my trip to Europe.
- February 8, 2007 -
Hello everyone! Hope 2007 is going well for you all.
January is the month for the big NAMM show, and I had an amazing time, as I ran into so many of my friends from years of being in the music business. Everyone should be aware that every year the winter NAMM show which is for "musical merchants" as they say to show their products etc., and is heaven for all musicians or anyone who likes to be around instruments and studio gear. Of course I love seeing all the companies who I support like ESP guitars, Marshall Amps, SIT strings, Tech 21, Fender, Gibson, Music Star Productions and Line 6 , etc. So here are some cool pix of me posing with them all.
Eric Singer and I talked with Nikki Sixx who did a signing for a bass amp company. Great to see him as we haven't caught up in a while. Saw David Fishof from the Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp. (Check out the long story that just appeared in a huge UK newspaper about MY camper band group from the NYC 2006 Camp.) David and I had dinner on Thursday night at the Hilton by the convention center with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter who will be at the upcoming Fantasy Camp here in Los Angeles on Feb 15th-19th. All of you KISS fans should know that Paul Stanley will be the special guest this Feb, and the big last night at the House of Blues he will perform with all the camper bands as they tear through KISS classics! Come see the show if you are in LA. Monday the 19th of Feb.
I briefly saw Paul as he was leaving Washburn with his son. Nice to see his new guitar model at their booth. Friday night was the big ESP guitar dinner... took a bit too long (4 hours!), but it was great to hang out with all the endorsers and my friends from the company. The autograph signing that afternoon was cool with George Lynch and Stef Carpenter from Deftones, and Hamilton Page from HELMET. We had a long line and all had new photos to sign for the fans.
Saturday is the biggest day, and after signing with Eric at the Music Star Productions booth along side my brother and his partner Brett Chassen, it was just a long day meeting fans and friends on the convention floor. Chuck Garric from Alice Cooper and ESP, was at the ESP guitar booth to check out some new basses they are promoting. But after my third day, I was happy to head home. Very exciting to have seen so many artists I admire in one large huge event, Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom, Warren DiMartini from RATT, The Blue Oyster Cult guitarists, drum legend Carmine Appice, Richie Kotzen, Michael Wilton, Tony Franklin, and many more.
A few days after NAMM, that following week, Missi St Thomas was back in Los Angeles to work with my co-producer Jeremy Rubolino and I for three more songs. We worked back in October and soon she will have a 6 song CD ready for sale for her fans. The new tunes were really strong, and we had a busy week, shaping the songs and recording the drums again with Brett Chassen and back at our friend George's studio where we got the guitars and vocals done. I pulled out some cool gear to record the guitars with. Marshalls, a Soldano, 1966 Fender Bassman, Vox AC 30, Rivera cabinet shaped this session amp wise. Guitars like my Gibson ES 330, various Les Pauls, my BK model ESP prototype, a cool BC Rich, and the ESP Snapper that I got this past year were tearing up the speakers. Guitars everywhere!
Had the pleasure of using Paul Stanley's guitar tech Francis, who came in the set up my guitars. He did a great job and hung around as he loved the new music from Missi. I showed him that PS-10 but I didn't get that one recorded. YET!!
We got a chance to celebrate Jeremy's Birthday and we had a great meal. (Thank you George!) That night I asked my friend Wally Wingert who is an amazing voice over artist, and sings great, to do some backgrounds on the music for Missi. We had a great time recording and between takes Jeremy was asking Wally to do the voices from the Family Guy!
So besides finishing up the sessions for Missi here in LA and preparing for the Fantasy Camp coming up very soon, I have been catching up with all the events to come in 2007. (ESP tour in Europe in March, KISS INDY Expo, and GFR dates.) I will be doing guitars for my new BK-3 disc this month and in March, and of course see you at the Myrtle Beach KISS Expo in a few weeks. Be sure to visit www.ericsingerproject.com to get your copy of the ESP DVD: Live at the Marquee from Sydney Australia. It is finally available and well worth the wait! You will love it for sure.
So keep in touch and I hope you love the pix I took over the past few months. More Studio Blogs coming when I record again for BK-3.
I will have a full Fantasy Camp report, especially with the Paul Stanley news, coming that week.
- January 3, 2007 -
HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone!
Well I hope you all had a great holiday season. December is always hectic for me, as I have my birthday on the 12th, and this year I had the pleasure to go to work in Peru and Chile, quite an exciting adventure for me. With arriving home on the 21st straight into the X-mas craziness, I had no time to relax but was pleased with all the gifts I found for my friends and family, and of course the gifts I received for my birthday and holiday.
So let me start with the amazing journey to South America. I was fortunate to take along my good friend and business associate Abba on my trip to Peru and Chile. We had different travel itineraries to Peru, and my trip started off with losing Abba in Houston due to connection problems so alone I arrived in Peru. I am the first member of the KISS family to go to Peru. The promoter Ruslan Silverman, and his lovely girl Ursula picked me up from a long day of travel. The airport is very modern in Lima, and that impressed me right away.
As we drove into the city I saw many casinos, American style food chains, and an interesting style in their buildings etc. After a good night's rest in the first class hotel, they told me Abba finally arrived that morning. He had no luggage and my CD's were in his baggage, but we finally got them the next day, just in time for the show. We had a day to set up the event, with press and rehearsal with the band that I would do 10 songs with. I asked them to learn some tunes from my two solo discs, and I was pleased with the hard work they did. After many great meals in the city of Lima, and seeing a kind of festive night life (they never stop the music and dancing it seems), I was excited that show day finally arrived.
The stage that had to be built for the club, was late in getting there, as the truck carrying it , broke down (things can get hairy in Peru). I arrived around 6 to do a meet and greet at the venue and was given some cool gifts, drawings and artwork from my fans. I had a great security guard named Gabriel who looked like Andre the Giant. After the signings we were off to have dinner and then the jamming would be begin. We went to a local Chinese place called Hong Fag! Nice place but really bizarre being in Peru eating Chinese food of course.
We arrived at the club and the place was packed with wild KISS fans. I hit the stage, and we tore into some KISS classics from ALIVE III. We sounded tight and I was really pleased with the reaction from the fans singing along etc. I did the songs from my solo discs, and then we had two more songs to finish the show. The singer all of sudden left the stage! He kind of said goodbye to me, and I didn't know what the hell was going on! Turned out he had another gig and didn't tell anyone he had to leave at a certain time. Well I covered first by teasing the crowd with some KISS riffs they all know, and once we realized he wasn't coming back, we had the opening acts singer jump in for "Tears Are Falling" and "Love Gun". Certainly I was shocked at what happened, but there I was in a packed place in Lima, Peru with my fans going crazy. What can I say... strange to me! I thanked the crowd and of course I was very excited to play for the fans that never saw anyone from KISS live in their country.
After being chased by the fans back to my hotel, it was off to pack and get ready for the trip to Santiago, Chile. We said our goodbyes but we knew we had a 12 hour layover in Lima on our way home to the US, so we were ready to see our friends again in a few days. We arrived in Chile a short 3 and half hours plane trip on LAN airlines. After a long line getting into the country we were picked up by Tony from Rock Axis, and off to dinner and the hotel. Santiago is very beautiful and we filled up on some supplies at a Simpsons themed grocery store! Simpsons rule even in South America.
We got some rest and the next day we were off to radio and press. We visited the music store called Audiomusica where I would be doing my meet and greet the day of show. I picked out an ESP guitar to jam with, and again had some great food, and all the fans that met me kept reminding me of the big Monsters of Rock show KISS did in '94 in Santiago. I will never forget that performance and I have a killer bootleg of the event. We really played great that night and what a crowd. Chile is crazy for KISS. Cote is the promoter and he kept telling Abba and I what a huge fan he was of KISS and how that concert meant so much to him!
Off to rehearsal with KISSERBLOOD and I have to say, Santiago is beautiful but the place these guys jam was like East LA! But they really were warm and welcoming to me, and the leader of the band Nacho who is a fine guitarist was very happy to have me play with the band. We went over originally 5 tunes, but I liked them enough to say, let do some more. So the set turned into 8 songs, ending with "God Gave Rock n Roll to You II". After rehearsal I was invited to a fan's house, and we had an amazing meal. Thank you Gustavo for your hospitality. His home and family and friends were great to Abba, Cote, Tony and me. Nice to have a home cooked meal.
The afternoon of the show day, we had our meet and greet which was fun to me and the fans. They all told me about the 94 concert! Some had pix of me at the hotel back then. Now it was time to get ready for the big show, and the band did had some surprises for me that night, as they wanted to play "Take It Off" and have two professional strippers come down and do their thing during the song. WOW is all I will say. This crowd was so wild and it was so hot in that club for many reasons. I was so excited with them singing the tunes, and screaming how they love me and KISS. Check out the YouTube link to see me and the band.
Next morning it was an early flight back to Lima, for our layover. Ruslan picked Abba and myself up and off to a great lunch. I was addicted to INCA KOLA, like a creme coke drink very popular in Peru. And we did some shopping at a huge mall, that was packed because of X-mas coming. We relaxed at the drummer Alphonso's home watching great Beatles bootlegs, with his lovely family and friends from the fan club KISS CARNIVAL, and then it was off in a taxi to the airport for the big trip home. (What a ride that was!)
So both events went over amazing and of course I want to thank everyone in Peru and Chile who looked after us. I really hope to return, as the reaction of the fans was quite fulfilling for me. My birthday dinner with some friends happened a few days before I left. I got some nice gifts, but what was on my mind of course was my big trip to South America which as you can tell was everything I hoped for.
I hope all your holidays went great, and now I am back into the New Year with recording more for BK 3 the new CD I have told you all about. The ESP DVD Live in Australia will be ready by the end of January... so sorry for the delays with this concert footage. You won't be disappointed. ESP will be going to Europe in March and the dates will be announced shortly. Looking forward to that trip!
Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR and visit me on My Space, and of course check out my Tour Dates page or the Grand Funk site to see our dates for 2007.
MESSAGE FROM BRUCE ARCHIVES