I became friendly with Eric’s sister back around 1996 after I sent her a cassette of a tribute that I did in Eric’s memory on my radio show. She contacted me afterwards and we just became friends.
When and how did your professional working relationship with Loretta begin?
Around 1998. That’s when we started discussing a potential CD project that eventually became the Unfinished Business album.
What were the circumstances that led to you handling Eric Carr emails, Facebook and Twitter accounts?
Every now and then, Loretta and I would discuss some cool merchandise that she was having made or other ideas and I would ask her how she was gonna promote it. Her answer was “on ericcarr.com” and I asked if she had thought about doing anything with the social sites also. She didn’t know much about them, so I explained what I did with mine and she gave me the go ahead to set up Eric’s. At first it was just Myspace (remember them?) and then as Facebook and Twitter blew up, we added accounts there too. We had so many fans join us (to date, we have over 4500 likes on Facebook and just over 2000 followers on Twitter; we don’t use Myspace anymore) that we decided to create an email account where we could receive and respond to fan emails without them going to either of our personal email boxes.
Although I didn’t become a KISS fan until 1993 and thus completely missed out on the band when Eric Carr was in it, it’s always been 100% apparent to me that his legacy will forever live on. What do you most attribute that fact to?
He was very talented and fans found his look appealing but it was definitely the fact that Eric never had the “rock star” mentality. He was always smiling and joking with people and he ALWAYS took the time to talk with the fans and get to know them. Whether it was 5 or 95 degrees outside, if one fan or 1000 fans were waiting to meet him by the buses or outside the hotel, he would stop and chat with them all. And it wasn’t the typical “here’s my autograph” and leave. He knew what a blessing it was to have the KISS gig and he never forgot what it felt like to be a fan.
My best friend (who’s a drummer) grew up in the 1980s and his #1 favorite band back then was KISS, so needless to say, he was also a HUGE Eric Carr fan and to this day, he feels that Eric never got the respect that he deserved when he was alive. Do you agree or disagree with this? And why?
I agree. Unfortunately, even though he could play rings around Peter, Eric was always “the new guy” to some fans because he wasn’t Peter Criss. Eventually, he proved himself to be beyond capable and, after several more years, that he belonged there as much as anyone else. However, no matter what he did or how good he was, he was never completely out of Peter’s shadow.
Whose idea was the Eric Carr tribute album Unfinished Business and how exactly did it come to fruition?
It was Loretta’s. She discovered some recordings (some alternate versions of songs that we already knew about and other brand new songs) and asked what I thought about putting an album together. We chose Unfinished Business as the title because every track on the album (aside from a demo or two) was incomplete. As we discussed it more, the more creative the album became. Instead of just slapping these unfinished songs on a disc and calling it a day, it was – let’s see if we can find artists who were Eric’s friends to help us finish them.
What exactly did your role as co-producer of Unfinished Business entail?
As co-producer, I helped to decide what songs we were gonna use, what artists we were gonna contact to help us finish them and to review the demos and give my feedback regarding any changes that might be needed. I was also the producer and mix engineer on a couple of the tracks myself: “Through the Years” and “Midnite Stranger”
Have you gotten any feedback on Unfinished Business from any of the members of KISS? If so, who and what did they say?
Not really. I know Bruce was very proud to be a part of it. I believe KISSOnline is or was selling copies of the album, so I know that Gene and Paul don’t disapprove. I’d be interested to hear their thoughts though.
What is/are your favorite track(s) on Unfinished Business and why?
I’m a little too close to it to have just one but I love “Just Can’t Wait”. That’s the opening song on the album with Ted Poley on vocals. It was one of the first to be completed for the album and it’s just a great, straight-out-of-the-1980s song. I also love ZO2’s version of “All Hell’s Breaking Loose”. They really nailed it!
What are the dates of the KISS concerts that Eric’s drum solos were taken from for the track “Through The Years” on the Unfinished Business album?
The exact dates are unknown for all of them but the first one was a demo that we found of his very first recorded drum solo when he was 16 or 17. The second one was from a show in Auckland, New Zealand on the Unmasked tour in 1980 and the last one was from one of his last shows during the Hot In The Shade tour in 1990.
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I’m also the host of an all-request 80s metal radio podcast called Amplified. You can check it out on iTunes, at amplified-radio.com or on the social sites: @amplified247 on Twitter and Amplified with Beth Jordan on Facebook. For requests, call 954-817-1434 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org