KISS GUITARIST TOMMY THAYER ON THE FANS’ DISPLEASURE OF HIS WEARING ACE FREHLEY’S MAKEUP, “I DON’T LET IT BOTHER ME”
Richard Beinstock of Guitar World reports:
…[KISS guitarist Tommy] Thayer’s path, of course, was not a straight shot from the bedroom to the KISS stage. He first rose to prominence as the guitarist in Eighties hard rock act Black ‘N Blue, who opened for KISS on tour and for whom Simmons produced a pair of albums. Post-Black ‘N Blue, Thayer also performed as Ace Frehley in a KISS tribute act, Cold Gin. He was brought into the KISS organization in an administrative capacity in the mid-Nineties and assumed the role of the Spaceman in 2002 after Ace Frehley parted ways with the band following their reunion.
When it comes to straddling the line between staying true to Frehley’s original sound and style and injecting some of his own unique guitar voice into the band, Thayer, whose primary guitar and amp setup on the End of the Road tour will be a Les Paul through his Hughes & Kettner Tommy Thayer DuoTone heads, says, “That’s always been a little bit of a trick. But my guitar style has always been very much in line with the classic original KISS style, because I think Ace and I came from the same school of those late-Sixties, early-Seventies English hard rock blues players like Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck and Ritchie Blackmore. So it came very naturally to me to play that early KISS stuff true to the way it was written and recorded…”
…As for how he feels about possibly playing alongside Frehley or Eighties-era guitarist Bruce Kulick, were they to show up as surprise guests on this final run? “I think if it happens kind of organically, it would be great,” Thayer says.
The guitarist is also sympathetic — to a point, at least — toward the rigid stance some longtime fans have about seeing anyone but Frehley wearing the iconic Spaceman makeup. “I’ve been a fan for longer than probably most of these people, so I understand,” he says. “But you can’t expect things to be exactly how they were 40 years ago. That’s a fantasy. So I don’t let it bother me. I’m comfortable and confident with where I am and what I do.”
Read more at Guitar World.