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Kiss Army Argentina Exclusive Interview with Gary Corbett: I would have liked to do Beth live on stage with

h Eric Carr

Kiss Army Argentina: First of all, Gary, thanks a lot for this contact with KISS Army Argentina. As for your present, we know that you have been touring in Europe and USA with Cinderella; in between there was an announcement of a visit to South America that was going to include Argentina, but that was later on suspended. Could you tell us what happened, if we may ask so? Gary Corbett: To be honest, I am not sure what happened, but I know that it was not our choice. Last summer, we finished the tour in Bogota, Columbia, and we had a great time and an amazing show. Such passionate people. We were really looking forward to returning to South America, and we are hopeful that things will work out, for it to be rescheduled sometime soon. Kiss Army Argentina: Lets go back in time for a while. Tell us about your early days in music: which bands did you listen to when you were a kid, which were your influences We guess that as a keyboard player, bands such as Deep Purple, with Jon Lord, must have been a great influence for you. Gary Corbett: Oh yeah, Jon Lord is a huge influence on me, as an organ player. so was Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman and Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) As a kid the Beatles were a huge influence, but the first Album I ever bought myself was "Are you Experienced" by Jimi Hendrix (that changed my life, as did the first 2 led Zeppelin records) As a piano player, my biggest influences are Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Leon Russell and Billy Preston (organ piano and clavinet) Greg Allman was also influential. Kiss Army Argentina: Your relationship with KISS began with the Crazy Nights Tour. How did you come to work with the band? Did you audition for them, or you knew a member of the band in advance? Gary Corbett: I was friends with Phil Ashley. He played the keys on "Crazy Nights" and he was close with

Paul. He recommended me, and I was hired after an interview with Paul and Chris Lendt (manager) I was playing with Lou Gramm at the time, and I met up with the band in LA for rehearsal, after Lou's tour ended (oct '87). Kiss Army Argentina: The Crazy Nights Tour was long; you toured in the USA, in Japan after 10 years and finally, Europe, in which you even played in Donington. Those years (1987/1988) must have been a great experience Gary Corbett: We had a rough beginning to our relationship during the U S tour. I didn't do Japan, but by the summer things had worked out, and the European "Monsters of Rock" tour was awesome. The shows were only on weekends, so we had a lot of free time in Europe, which was great. I have a lot of great memories of that trip (and some amazing videos as well.) Kiss Army Argentina: After that tour with KISS, in 1989 Paul Stanley decided to go on a solo tour, in which you were an active part. What memories do you have from those days? By the way, it must have been great to be surrounded by other great musicians, such as Eric Singer and Bob Kulick Gary Corbett: That tour was a lot of fun. We played smaller, more intimate venues than Kiss, which made the shows exciting because the places were packed, and the audience was a lot closer to the band than they would be in an arena, so the energy was amazing. It was the first time I met Eric Singer, and we became instant friends, not to mention that he is an incredible drummer. Bob I knew from NY, and he is a great guitarist, especially playing KISS, and Pauls solo stuff. Dennis (bass) was actually a lead singer (he and Bob had a band together at that time), so he was a big help with the background vocals. The whole reason Paul did the tour was to have fun, and play some of the songs from his solo record, which he had never gotten to play live. Most of the time, Eric and I hung out together, and we had a blast. We are still very good friends, but we haven't gotten to play together since then. Oh wait, thats not true: the last time we played together was on the European leg of the Revenge tour. Kiss Army Argentina: Within KISS, how was your relationship with the band? According to what we have heard, you got along with Eric Carr in particular; is this correct? Gary Corbett: I had good relationships with all of them, but Eric and I really connected. We both grew up in Brooklyn, with similar backgrounds, and we had a lot in common. When we were on the road, it was always the two of us hangin together. He was like the brother I never had. We always had a lot of fun together. We were always laughing about something. Kiss Army Argentina: Then came the Hot in the Shade Tour, which marked the end of Eric Carr in KISS. How did you live this process, in spite of having been with the band for a few years by then? Gary Corbett: Well, we didn't know during the tour that it would be his last tour. The only thing that bothered him during the tour, was, he complained about numbness in one of his legs, after we finished playing each night. Nothing about his illness happened till after the tour was over. Kiss Army Argentina: Please tell us how you left KISS If we are correct, the last thing you did was the UK in 1992, and then, for the American leg of the Revenge Tour you were replaced by Derek Sherinian. In those days there were some rumors about the way you left the band: it was even said that you left in bad terms; is this true? Gary Corbett: Absolutely true. After Eric died, I was very angry with the band, and the way they treated

him. So, after the UK, I decided I couldn't be around them anymore, and made my exit, but not before letting them know what I felt about it all. One of them still won't talk to me, or even acknowledge me if we are in the same room. But, Eric Singer and I are still very close. Kiss Army Argentina: Can you tell us any anecdote or story from your days with KISS? By the way, we think that not too many people have the chance of sharing trips, buses, hotels, rehearsals and stages with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick Gary Corbett: The day before the Donnington show, Eric and I went down to the concert site, 'cause Eric needed to do something with his drums, and we wanted to watch Guns and Roses soundcheck. I had my video camera with me, so, we went out into the middle of the empty field (that would hold 100,000 people the next day) and sat down on the grass to watch. we were the only ones there. I decide to video tape their soundcheck, and while I'm filming, Eric hits me with his elbow and says, "there are people up on stage pointing at us, you better put the camera down" I did, but I didn't turn it off. I put it on the ground, aiming at the stage, hoping that I was still able to see them. They finish soundcheck, and nobody said anything to us about it, when we went backstage. So we go back to the hotel, and when I got to my room, Paul called to tell me that he was watching the evening news on the BBC, and they were doing a report from Donington. The reporter was standing on the stage during GnR's soundcheck and said: "Guns and Roses played for a very small audience today...." and the camera panned around and showed me and Eric sitting in the middle of this huge field. That was why they were pointing at us, not because of my camera, but somewhere, I have a video tape of my foot, with "Welcome to the Jungle" playin live in the background. Kiss Army Argentina: What was a typical day for you like during a tour with KISS? Gary Corbett: My day was easy, 'cause I was off stage, so I didn't have to change into stage clothes, and worry about how I looked. We would usually show up at the gig around 4 in the afternoon, do soundcheck, which usually consisted of 3 or 4 Led Zeppelin songs and a "pick fight" (gene could hit the front of house engineer from the stage with a pick. deadly) then have a small dinner, and I'd go hang with the opening bands, or crew guys till showtime. The rest of the guys in the band started getting dressed 2 hrs before showtime. After the show, Eric [Carr] and I would go out. usually, we would just go down to the bar in the hotel, and Eric would end up signing autographs and taking pictures with all the fans that were there.(and there was usually quite a few) He loved hanging with the fans, and he would sign, and smile for the camera, until the last one was satisfied. By then, it was usually time to go to bed. Kiss Army Argentina: If you had been given the chance, which KISS songs that you did not play would you have liked to perform live? Gary Corbett: I can't think of any, but, looking back I would have liked to do Beth with Eric [Carr]. I know it was peters song, but they did make Eric record a version, so, that's my pick. Kiss Army Argentina: When did you have more fun: when you toured with KISS or when you did it with Paul Stanley as a solo artist? Gary Corbett:I have fun anytime I'm on tour. On a personal level, Paul was much more fun to be around on his solo tour. I don't know if it was because he didn't have to share the spotlight, or the fact that there was no pressure because it wasn't a big KISS show, (which is very demanding on him) but, that actually felt like a bunch of guys just playin music for fun, which is why we all got into this to start with, isn't it? Kiss Army Argentina: Do KISS fans recognize you when you are in the street?

Gary Corbett: Sometimes. It happens a lot more when I am out with Cinderella than when I am home, but, it does happen. It still surprises me. Kiss Army Argentina: What are your best memories from the time you worked with KISS? Do you keep in touch with any current or former member (Bruce Kulick, for instance)? Gary Corbett: I would say that the Monsters of Rock tour, and the hot in the shade tour are my best memories. I still talk to Eric Singer all the time. He came to Cinderella's LA show, and I will be spending a few days with him when Cinderella finishes, in about 2 weeks. Kiss Army Argentina: Going back to Cinderella for a while, we know that you have been with them since their beginnings, and we guess that that band is your place in the world. But apart from that, do you currently have any other projects (maybe, some solo work) that you are working on? Gary Corbett:I do a lot of studio work. I've played on the last few Joe Lynn Turner CD's, the most recent Nelson CD (Frontier Records) I won 2 Grammys for work that I did with Damian Marley(2007) and Stephen Marley (2008) I am currently working with Mark Slaughter, on music for television. In between, I tour with a country singer (yes, a country singer) named Chris Cagle. I love variety. I am as happy working with Cyndi Lauper (I wrote her song "She Bop") as I am working with KISS. I like all musical styles, as long as it is good music. Kiss Army Argentina: Finally, can you please leave a message for the KISS fans? Gary Corbett: I wanna say that it is rare to have such loyal, devoted fans. I hear from a lot of fans, because of my friendship with Eric [Carr], and it always makes me feel good to know that there are so many fans, and web pages etc, dedicated to keeping his memory alive. He was a great friend, a great drummer and a great guy and I miss him dearly. I feel lucky to be a part of "KISStory" and I thank you all for letting me be a part of it. Kiss Army Argentina: Once again, Gary, thank you very much! Gary Corbett: Thank you!! Long Live the Fox!

Interview: Marcelo Garca, Mariana MIA Abello and Diego Ferreyra for KISS ARMY ARGENTINA. 2011