ERIC CARR's Sister Looks Back On His KISS Career - "I Think He Was What Kept Them Alive"
September 8, 2021, a week ago
Drummer Eric Carr, born Paul Charles Caravello, joined KISS in 1980 - replacing original drummer Peter Criss - and sadly passed away on November 24th, 1991 due to cancer. Andrew Daly at Vinyl Writer Music recently spoke with Eric's sister, Loretta, about his life in and outside of KISS. An excerpt from the interview is available below.
VWM: At the time that Eric joined KISS, the band was in a bit of a commercial downswing, and they had just lost founding member Peter Criss. Now Eric was an entirely different person and drummer than Peter. I feel that he brought a true Heavy Metal edge to the band and instant legitimacy within that scene. Do you recall if Eric was nervous in regards to how he would fit into the band’s sound, or about how he would be received by the fans who may have been loyal to Peter?
Loretta: "My brother had enough confidence to know that he was really good. He auditioned with them, and they were comfortable with him the moment he played. He didn’t want to fill anyone’s shoes. He wanted to be his own persona, and he was. By the end of the Palladium concert, they were cheering, 'Eric!' not, 'Peter!' I was there, and I heard it. The chants were getting loud for Peter, and then the Eric chants started to drown them out until it was all Eric. All respect to Peter. No one can ever replace Peter. The band just needed to go on to the next level to continue."
VWM: I’ve always felt that bringing Eric Carr into the fold really was the true beginning of the resurgence of KISS. His work on Creatures Of The Night is incredible, and it really is one of the best albums of the era. Looking back, how important do you feel Eric was to propelling KISS forward?
Loretta: "I think he was what kept them alive. It was not only the sound, it was his personality. There is more to an artist than the music. If you’re going to be a snob and distance yourself from the fans, you don’t really deserve to be there. My brother loved the fans. I remember him hanging out in front of the house with the fans, rather than going to a party. That’s what kind of guy he was. That’s where people lose touch. People started to love him, and the kids got to know him as one of the nicest guys in the world. And he loved them; that’s more important sometimes than the music."
Read the complete in-depth interview here.
Guesting on the 80's Glam Metalcast, music promoter David Snowden discusses a new Eric Carr documentary curently in the works, his fanclub work in the '80s for KISS, Vinnie Vincent, Britny Fox and more
On the new Eric Carr documentary
Snowden: "I’ve been working with Eric Carr’s family on the second documentary on his life. It pretty much starts with Peter Criss leaving the band and Eric joining all the way up to when he left us. This documentary talks more about his legacy, who he was as a person, and really focuses on those KISS years. They are hoping to get it out on the 30th Anniversary of his passing which would be this November 24th of this year. There are a lot of great people in it - John 5, Bruce Kulick, and George Sewitt (former KISS road manager 79-83). George has a lot of great stories. I think Gene and Paul will really look at this as a great tribute to Eric, because that’s what it is. This isn’t a tell all, it’s not about anything bad that happened or the arguments they had in the band. It’s a celebration of Eric’s life and the impact he had on everybody."
Earlier this year, Carr's girlfriend and Playboy Playmate, actress, model, and author Carrie Stevens spoke exclusively to BraveWords scribe Aaron Small about her involvement with the film, and what fans can expect. According to Carrie:
"I’m excited to announce that I have joined the original team behind the 2000 documentary Tale Of The Fox (Jack Edwards Sawyers and The Eric Carr Family) to produce a new and uplifting documentary bringing Eric Carr’s legend to life. I was interviewed in Tale Of The Fox, as I was Eric’s long time girlfriend. This time around I am a producer. Sawyers is not a random director/producer for hire; he worked with KISS and was a close friend of Eric’s. So, there is a lot of heart and soul behind the project."
"We have been working tirelessly to weave together never before seen footage of both Eric’s private life and his performances. I’m very excited to share his personality with those who never got to know him. I can’t watch without laughing and smiling because Eric’s humor and charm is captured so well. We have (SiriusXM radio host) Eddie Trunk, (former KISS guitarist) Bruce Kulick, and many other surprise celebrity guests who give dynamic interviews, and offer unique insight as to why Eric’s popularity keeps growing long after his passing. We are looking at a November 2021 release date, as November 24th will mark thirty years since Eric died of a rare form of heart cancer. The documentary is currently untitled. We will be releasing more info in the coming months."
Eric Carr was a member of KISS from from 1980 to 1991, stepping behind the kit following the departure of the band's original drummer, Peter Criss.
(Bottom photo courtesy of Carrie Stevens)