This morning when I checked my Twitter feeds, I noticed that Freddie Mercury was trending — with people celebrating his life on the 19th anniversary of his death. The Queen frontman was most certainly a massive influence, but somebody else important passed away on that day 19 years ago that should also be remembered and honored: Eric Carr from KISS.
On November 24, 1991, KISS fans were shaken to discover that Eric Carr had passed away. The 41-year-old drummer had lost his battle with cancer, and the news shattered the hearts of KISS fans internationally. He had been a major influence on them all, and he is still missed to this day. He was one of the most adored members of the band, and one of the most memorable and talented drummers that emerged in the rock world during the 1980s.
Born in 1950 in Brooklyn, NY, Eric Carr joined the KISS in 1980 while they were still in make-up as “The Fox,” replacing drummer Peter Criss. He was instantaneously welcomed by the fans, and his drumming talents pushed KISS to be a more heavier and modern sounding band in their post-makeup era. Carr can be heard on KISS hits like “I Love It Loud,” “Lick It Up,” and “Heaven’s On Fire.”
One of the prevalent points about Eric Carr, born Paul Caravello, was that he strongly recognized his fans from his beginnings in KISS: he knew that he wouldn’t be in the band nor would he continue to be in KISS if it was not for the fans. He was always there for the fans. He spent time with them, composed letters to them, and autographed things for them.
But more significantly, he paid attention to them. He was genuinely interested in what they had to say. His positive and dependable approach to KISS fans in this manner continued throughout his whole time in KISS.
I became a KISS fan when Eric was in the band, and when I was fourteen years old, back in 1991, I decided I would write to him. I was privileged enough to receive a reply from him a few months before he passed away. The reply came in the form of an autographed picture, on which he wrote, “Greg, here’s to ya, mate!!! Eric Carr.”
Receiving that from Eric is a memory I will never forget.