They say time flies and I have to say that it really does. I agree with the statement for a number of reasons and today its more based on the fact that I cannot believe how twenty years have gone by since the music world lost the presence of the mighty Eric Carr who passed away on this day in 1991. As most Hard Rock and Metal fans know, Eric Carr (born Paul Caravello) was the second drummer in the band KISS and had replaced their founding member Peter Criss in 1980. By the time 1980 had come around I was already a KISS fan for a number of years and I had just started to find an interest in the drums myself. Peter was an initial inspiration but Eric Carr became the one who I was most taken with for some reason. I guess it was because he was bringing something new and different and perhaps even a little more exciting to the group that I publicly declared as my favorite of them all.
As a member of KISS Eric recorded “Music From The Elder”, “Killers”, “Creatures Of The Night”, “Lick It Up”, “Animalize”, “Asylum”, “Hot In The Shade” and “Revenge” (one song). He’s also been featured in a large amount of the bands videos from these albums and on the bands extensive compilation packages. If you own any of these releases you will have to agree that KISS had some new life breathed into them when Eric sat on the drum throne. There was just “a way” about him that everyone seemed to love. His masked man role in KISS was The Fox even though he was originally supposed to be The Hawk. Trust me folks The Fox worked which you will agree with me on if you ever see photos of the proposed Hawk costume. Yikes.
Here’s a great shot of Eric sans the Fox makeup of course leaning over his massive kit during the “Asylum” tour if memory serves me correctly. I’ll admit that when it came to enjoying his presence in the band, half of it was wondering what kind of cool drum set he was going to showcase and what kind of slamming they would get during the show. Well, at least for me this was the case. I was so affected by his creations in terms of kits that I became a Ludwig drummer myself and even built a set up of many different components. Bands did that to a lot of people I knew back in the day.
Sadly Eric would fall ill in early 1991 and be diagnosed as having the very rare heart cancer. While it had seemed he would eventually recover from this after operations he would suffer an aneurysm that would lead to a brain hemorrhage and his eventual death at aged 41. Before he died he would appear in the KISS video for “God Gave Rock and Roll To You”. Strangely enough, the music world would also lose the great Freddie Mercury from Queen on the same day. What a terrible day huh. Looking back I have to say that I still miss him and sometimes wonder just what else he might have delivered to the fans had he recovered or never gotten ill in the first place. A big “What If” case scenario like we find in the comic books. Too bad that sort of thing is just a fantasy and we are left with the music he left us with and the empty space. Since I’ve been offering up memorial thoughts in the PiercingMetal blog when we lose someone of note, I just felt like making some kind of tribute for him here based on how important he was to so very many people. I still miss him to this very day because of how much he influenced me. I guess I will be playing those KISS albums and of course some Queen to honor Freddie today as well. I think you readers should do some of the same so get cracking.
Eric Carr Official Website HERE.
Learn more about Eric Carr the man and musician via his Wikipedia entry HERE.
4 thoughts on “Eric Carr: Twenty Years Gone (11/24/2011)”
Wow cannot believe it’s been that long. All I read and heard about Eric is that he was a great drummer and an even greater person. Very sad 🙁
P.S. I am a big fan of mid to late 80’s KISS so I really liked his work in particular.
For me personally I think Eric saved the KISS in the 80’s and Vinnie Vincent of course but that’s another issue. I was happy to meet Eric in Finland in 1988 during their “Crazy Nights” tour plus I was a stagehand polishing his cymbals and helping the Drum roadie to put the Drums up. What an awesome view from the drum riser sitting in his chair over an empty 8000 seater to be filled in a couple of hrs. Rest in Peace Eric.
I remember reading Peter Criss was leaving the band and thinking it was the end if the band. The next thing I hear us that KISS has been rehearsing at the Palladium and is going to play one show. Man, I am there. Who the Hell us the new guy behind a double bass kit? Eric who? Well, he was pretty good, no, he was real good. He was good enough to be in KISS, Thank God. A few years later, I walked into the BeeBop Cafe on 8th street, up the block from Electric Ladyland. Lo, there is Eric eating a burger. My friends and I give him the nod, letting him know at knew who he was, and he smiled and nodded back. After we ate, we were in the back of the joint playing pinball, when Eric walked in and thanked us for not bothering him during his meal. He then chilled for a while, told us the story of a motorcycle crash, showing my friend Carol his beat up hands before signing a few things for us. I met him a few times after that. Always a class act and nice guy. R.I.P.
Great article, Ken. I still remember how shocked I was to have MTV on on this day 21 years ago and the report of his death being broadcast right alongside Freddy Mercury’s death. I wasn’t expecting it at all given reports in the Metal Mags at the time were stating he was recovering well and would resume his work with KISS on what would become the “Revenge” album.