Archive for Thursday, 24 November 2011
Do you know what today is? If you are in the USA then you probably call this Thanksgiving. Or football day. Or turkey day. If you are an American vegan who is not into sports then today can totally suck.
But enough about football and turkeys. What is also today is the 20th anniversary of the deaths of KISS drummer Eric Carr and Queen singer Freddie Mercury. 24 November 1991 is the day that much music died. I had just turned on the radio when i heard the DJ say that Eric Carr had died.
Both men are known by stage names. Farrokh Bulsara and Paul Charles Caravello went from humble obscurity to rock & roll immortality. Kinda. You would think that both men would have merited coverage in the press, being members of two of the biggest bands of the day. Maybe not equal since singers are more up-front than drummers but still you would think there was something. What people first think of, Rolling Stone, carried not a single syllable about the death of Eric Carr. Not even his name.
Eric was a thousand times better drummer and singer and percussionist than Peter Criss ever might be if he tried so hard.Not that Peter is a bad drummer but he is more suited to big band, jazz, and blues than rock. Eric really did define the sound of the band, morphing it from the somewhat cheesy discopop of the albums released before he joined KISS to the rock band of the 1980s. World of his illness was kept pretty quiet until his death from heart cancer. Eric recorded a new vocal for Peter Criss’ classic song “Beth” for the greatest hits album Smashes, Thrashes, And Hits in 1988 and in 1989 had his first song on a KISS album, “Little Ceasar”. Eric’s last performance with KISS was the filming of the video for “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II” while his last studio performance was the a cappella line “…to everyone, he gave his song to be sung”.
Freddie was a consummate singer. He was part of one of the largest rock bands of all time but he also didn’t shy away from slipping in a country song now and then. And his opera recordings are among my personal favourite pieces of recorded sound.
Eric Carr sadly never was part of any of the “Alive” series of releases. It isn’t perfect but it does capture the brilliance of Eric Carr in concert.
KISS Live At The Ritz, 12 August 1988 recorded from live broadcast on 102.7 FM http://www.fileserve.com/file/ZJkZNBM/