In memory of the late great KISS drummer Eric Carr and his recent birthday (July 12), Rock Eyez had a chance to sit down with his sister Loretta for a conversation. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Rock Eyez: When he first found out KISS had an opening spot for a drummer, was he a KISS fan?
Loretta: He was in a band called FLASHER in Long Island; it was a four-piece band. One of the members left the band and an ex-member of the band came by and told Eric there was an opening for KISS. He said there was an ad in the paper, it was no secret and he said alright. He typed up a little resume and some pictures and sent it off in an orange envelope.
Rock Eyez: Do you remember where the audition was held?
Loretta: I would guess New York City.
Rock Eyez: Did he tell you what he had to play?
Loretta: I think he played "Black Diamond", but he was just so excited that he met them and how big Gene was. But Eric was never a fan of KISS — he was always into LED ZEPPELIN and THE BEATLES.
Rock Eyez: Do you remember the first concert Eric played with KISS?
Loretta: Yes, it was at the Palladium where at the time he was working with my dad delivering furniture. He had just gotten into KISS, but still kept the job delivering furniture while he was in KISS. So, he would rehearse with KISS then go and work with my dad after that. When we were outside the Palladium that day they were playing, the boss' sons from the furniture store saw my father and asked him, "What are you doing here?" He told them my daughters are fans of KISS and in reality Eric was on the stage. So the guy they knew was the guy behind the make-up: my brother Eric, who was delivering furniture for them, and they never knew.
Rock Eyez: How do you feel that people might make comments that you are just gaining from Eric's death, or why you don’t just let his memory live on without reaping benefits?
Loretta: They have a right to their opinions, but if they knew Eric as I did, he loved the attention: it would be a dishonor to him to not keep his memory alive. If the families of famous people who have passed away did not keep their loved ones' memories alive, like John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, to name a few, they would more than likely have been forgotten. It is not fair to the fans. Think of the history they would lose. My brother was an inspiration, a pure example of what one can do if they follow their dream. He always encouraged the fans to never give up. On the same hand there are people who love what I am doing for Eric's memory. You are always going to have a mix, but I respect that. My brother was a photographer and he took commercial arts for the Rockheads but he took his camera with him a lot and he has thousands of shots that were through his eyes. He always wrote on the back of every picture where it was taken. Anytime I put up a new photo Eric owned on the website, I get e-mails saying how great that photo was of Eric eating chicken (laughing). So from my perspective it's just my brother to fans — that's Eric. So God willing, by next year my brother’s personal photos will be put into a book with little stories. There are a lot of shots that were taken by Eric's roadie from behind the stage, and you will get to see what it was for Eric looking out at the crowd. The book is in the works and it's going to happen.
Read the entire interview at www.rockeyez.com.