*All photos used in this piece are not mine and were found on the internet. Credit to those who originally created the photos.*
It is hard to believe that 22 years ago today that the world lost Eric Carr. What started out as a small tumor spread Cancer within him and he succumbed to the terrible disease. We were robbed of one of the most amazing drummers, vocalists and human beings that this world has ever known. Ever since the news broke 22 years ago the world has been a little darker for we have lost this shining light.
What many non-KISS fans know is that Eric was not just a great drummer who inspired the likes of Tommy Lee, not by a long shot. Eric could also play guitar, bass guitar, piano, had a fantastic rock and roll voice and could write songs. You can hear his talent and skill first hand on the Rockheads EP, the Rockology cd and the Unfinished Business cd. The only part Eric did not play himself was the lead guitar that was dubbed in by Bruce Kulick after Eric’s death as a tribute to his dear friend.
I truly believe that Eric Carr was a huge part of saving KISS during the early 1980’s when the band was struggling here in North America with record sales and ticket sales to their live shows. His heavy drumming style forced the band to become a heavier band and to get back to their roots. The drums on Creatures Of The Night was Eric’s coming out party and Tommy Lee said that it was that album and Eric’s heavy drum playing that inspired him when he started getting serious about playing the drums. KISS fans wanted to get away from the debacle that was Music From The Elder and see the band return to the gritty rock and roll that they became famous for in the mid 70’s.
When people ask me who my favorite member of KISS is I always give the exact same answer every time. “Right now it is Gene Simmons, but all time? Easy. Eric Carr.” It is not just because he was so talented but he also was such a nice and appreciative person. No matter who talks about Eric Carr, it is always mentioned how much he loved and appreciated the fans. How he would always make time to sign autographs when the rest of the band would try to get the hotel after a show. He felt strongly about the people who he loved and even those that he hadn’t even met yet. When he re-recorded Beth for the greatest hits cd Smashes, Thrashes and Hits in 1988, he called Peter and asked if it was ok. He felt so strongly about doing it right that he sat on the exact same stool Peter did when he recorded the song for Destroyer back in 1975.
Eric Carr had a huge heart that he would wear on his sleeve. He loved his family, his band mates and his fans, and showed this by busting his ass for them. His sense of humor was one of a kind and he was always smiling. The world lost one of the most underrated musicians it had in it’s midst and yet, he never truly was able to show just how talented he was as he will always be just listed as the man who replaced Peter Criss. He was so much more and is one of the rare instances that a replacement member my have earned more respect and affection than the founding member he replaced.
We miss you every day Eric and wish you were still here.
R.I.P. ERIC CARR
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