Eric Carr

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Eric Carr (1950-1991) was the drummer in KISS from 1980 until his death in 1991.

Eric Carr (July 12 1950 - November 24 1991), born Paul Charles Caravello was an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock band KISS.

Following two albums that alienated many fans with their departure in style (1979's Dynasty and 1980's Unmasked), and a falling-out with Peter Criss over his substance abuse problems and unreliability, KISS held open auditions for a new drummer. Criss had not recorded an entire studio album with KISS since 1977's Love Gun.

At the time of his audition, Paul Caravello was cleaning stoves for a living, while playing drums in a variety of bands. He was the last drummer to audition for the band and even asked Paul, Gene and Ace for autographs, believing he had little chance of being chosen. He was chosen and, after considering monikers such as Rusty Blades, he changed his name to Eric Carr upon joining the band. For his Kiss persona, Carr was first made up as "The Hawk," which he didn't like, and later adopted the persona of "The Fox", with his makeup design reflecting the character.

Eric's first album with the group was 1981's Music From "The Elder", which marked yet another departure for the band, in a mystical art-rock direction. His contribution to the album, "Under the Rose", featured a Gregorian Chant-style chorus.

Carr is often cited by fans as a favorite among drummers in the band's history, for his intense playing style and incredible timing, which was radically different from the soft-by-comparison jazz-influenced technique of Criss. Carr's style is featured most prominently on 1982's Creatures of the Night, and on 1988's Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, in which Carr overdubbed updated drum tracks in place of Criss' on KISS classics such as "Strutter", "Deuce" and "Rock and Roll All Nite".

Carr, in his Fox make-up, from the "I Love It Loud" video in 1982.

Eric was also part of the band's well-publicized removal of their stage makeup in 1983.

Aside from his legendary drum skills, Eric was also a talented vocalist, and was given the chance to showcase that ability when the KISS classic "Beth" (originally vocalized by Peter Criss) was re-recorded for the 1988 compilation album Smashes, Thrashes & Hits. Eric recorded his version of the song using the same backing track as Criss, and reportedly sat on the same drum throne as Criss did to record the song. His first lead vocal on a self-penned, studio album track was "Little Caesar," in 1989. Carr's last live performance with KISS was November 9, 1990 in New York City, at Madison Square Garden.


[edit] Music Career

Eric Carr was influcenced by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Ringo Starr of The Beatles. Carr idolized Ringo when he first saw The Beatles and wanted to be like him.

Carr was working as on oven repair man when Peter Criss left KISS. Carr, who had been playing in cover bands throughout the 1970s, was told by a former bandmate that he should audtion for KISS. Taking his advice, Carr purchased a copy of Unmasked to get information on getting in touch with KISS's management, and after submitting an application (a day after the deadline), he met with KISS manager Bill Aucoin who advised Carr to shave off his mustache for the audtion for fear the band "wouldn't be able to see past it".

After passing the audtion, the band had some trouble coming up with a character persona and a stage name. He originally considered going by the name "Rusty Blades," until he decided on Eric Carr, noting that all of the original members of KISS had three-sylables in their names. Carr, was shortened from his birth name Caravello, and he chose Eric since he always liked the name.

[edit] Death

Following the tour for the album Hot in the Shade, Eric began having problems with his health. A visit to a physician revealed that he had pericarditis in his heart which was treated for. Eric had another x-ray a time after his first operation and a tumor was found on his heart attached to the right atrium as it was being pulled in and out of the tricuspid valve as it opened and closed. The tumor also formed into Eric's lungs and he decided he needed another operation which was done in New York closer to his family and friends, even though Gene and Paul hoped he would have it done in Los Angeles. Eric's last recording with KISS was for the song "God Gave Rock 'N Roll To You II", which featured him on backing vocals. His health had declined to the point where he was unable to play drums for the recording session, and Eric Singer (who had played previously in Paul Stanley's solo band) was brought in, though Carr appeared in the video for the song. Singer would eventually replace Carr permanently.

On November 24 1991, Eric Carr died at the age of 41. As a tribute, the group's 1992 release Revenge featured what is said to be the only drum solo Carr ever recorded with the band, which was titled "Carr Jam 1981". The album was also dedicated to Carr.

Carrs girlfriend during the last part of his life was future playmate Carrie Stevens.

[edit] KISS Albums Featuring Eric Carr

[edit] Other Albums featuring Eric Carr

[edit] Trivia

  • Eric played bass on "I Still Love You" from Creatures of the Night.
  • Eric claimed Detroit Rock City was the hardest song for him to learn on the "double bass drums" he was famous for playing since Peter played with one bass drum while in KISS.
  • Eric came up with "The Fox" character himself as he claimed in a interview in 1990 (even though former KISS wardrobe manager Pixie Esmonde claims that former KISS manager Bill Aucoin came up with the Fox make-up) when he wasn't thrilled with the "The Hawk" character that was first offered to him claiming the stage outfit looked too much "like a big yellow bird, like Big Bird." He showed his new Fox make-up design to Gene backstage before his first show with the band and Gene liked what Eric had in mind and supported his new image for The Fox.
  • A character design reportedly created by manager Bill Aucoin (some sources claim it was actually Paul Stanley) called "The Hawk" was also briefly considered for Eric when he originally joined the band.
  • Until Tommy Thayer replaced Ace Frehley in March 2002, Eric held the distinction of having played in a KISS lineup with every lead guitarist who was an official member of the band.
  • Eric has said in at least one interview, that his name was inspired by the fact that the three other members of the band all had names with three syllables-- Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley. He also said that he had "always liked the name Eric."
  • An Eric Carr solo album under the KISS banner was planned as a project, as an extension of the 1978 releases of four solo albums by KISS members. Such an album was never produced, but the painting by Eraldo Carugati commissioned for use as an album cover was later given to Eric's family.
  • The other members of KISS were hit hard with grief over Carr, and In his book KISS and Sell, author and band employee C. K. Lendt observes that any access that fans had to the band "slammed shut" after Eric's death.
  • Although Carr rarely sang lead on any of KISS's albums, he did contribute lead vocals to the songs "Black Diamond", "Young and Wasted" and a verse of "Won't Get Fooled Again"with Paul and Gene at concerts. Also, his song "Little Caesar" was played live once.
  • Carr died on the same day as Queen's singer Freddie Mercury.
  • Curiously, Carr's death was not reported in Rolling Stone. In response, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick rebuked the magazine for their decision in a letter they wrote to editor Jann Wenner. The letter was published in Rolling Stone in 1992.
  • In the early 80's Eric had allowed a female photographer shoot him nude in a bathtub,she claimed the photos wouldn't be published,but they ended up being published. The photo appears in the pages of KISSTORY.
  • In Eric's drum solo for the Hot in the Shade Tour he sampled The Who's Who Are You on his electronic drum pads.
  • Eric sent his bio,photographs,and demo tapes to KISS'managenment office in a bright orange folder and envelope hoping it would "stand out" from the rest.
  • Eric claimed he asked Gene,Paul,and Ace for their autographs after he met the band for his audition, he also said he kept correcting them on song parts like they had forgotten how to play the songs over the years.
  • Eric was first introduced to fans on television appearing on ABC's Kid's Are People Too which aired on September 21st 1980.
  • Eric was a born left handed person, but learned the drums in the right handed fasion along with guitar and bass. Eric also played the piano.
  • Eric claimed in a 1985 interview when then KISS lead guitarist Mark St. John was in the band that Gene offered to let Mark play bass on a song in the studio. Upon the end of the jam, Eric told St. John that it sounded like he made a mistake with a note since he knew guitar and bass. In anger, St. John in turn told Eric "What do you know, you're just a fucking drummer!" Eric said he wanted to "kill" Mark for the comment, so after they cooled down, Gene, Eric and Paul let Mark have it.
  • Memembers of the band Slaughter admitted that it was Eric Carr who asked Gene and Paul to take them out with KISS on the Hot in the Shade Tour in 1990, claiming he enjoyed their debut album Stick It To Ya. He also befriended drummer Blas Elias. After Eric's passing Slaughter wrote and recorded The Wild Life album which was dedicated to his memory along with Freddie Mercury.The song Days Gone By was dedicated to both artist as well.

[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Peter Criss
Drummer for KISS
Succeeded by:
Eric Singer
Gene SimmonsPaul StanleyTommy ThayerEric Singer
Peter CrissAce FrehleyEric CarrVinnie VincentMark St. JohnBruce Kulick
Albums: StudioLiveCompilation
U.S. Top 40 Singles: "Rock and Roll All Nite" – "Shout It Out Loud" – "Beth" – "Hard Luck Woman" – "Calling Dr. Love" – "Christine Sixteen"
"Rocket Ride" – "New York Groove" – "I Was Made For Lovin' You" – "Forever"
Filmography: KISS Meets the Phantom of the ParkDetroit Rock City
Related articles
Anton FigBob KulickKISS ArmyKISS merchandising - KISS timelineList of KISS concert toursWicked Lester
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Eric Carr

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