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GUITAR WORLD INTERVIEW WITH TOMMY THAYER

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Interview: Kiss Guitarist Tommy Thayer Discusses His Signature Epiphone "Spaceman" Les Paul

by John Katic

It's hard to imagine that 10 years have gone by since Tommy Thayer officially took over as the “Spaceman” in Kiss.

It seemed only fitting that the Spaceman should don the Les Paul. However, as fate would have it, Thayer has been a longtime Les Paul player, even back in his days in Black and Blue.

Thayer's 10th year in Kiss — and the band's 40th year in business — is commemorated by Epiphone's release of its Tommy Thayer Signature Edition "Spaceman" Les Paul. Featuring an eye-catching silver-sparkle top and top-of-the-line components, and made as a limited edition of 1,000 guitars, this model is sure to become a must-have for Kiss fans around the globe.

We recently caught up with Thayer to discuss the new model in detail.

GUITAR WORLD: You've announced there will be a limited-edition Tommy Thayer “Spaceman” Les Paul from Epiphone. Will it be present at the 2013 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, later this month?

Yes, it'll be at the NAMM Show. And I believe it's already available through American Music Supply.

Can you talk about exactly what you did with the guitar and what makes it “Tommy Thayer” specific?

It's essentially an exact version of one of the Gibson Custom Shop Standards I've played on stage for several years. It is a silver-sparkle top, and the sides, back and neck are black. It has a cream binding. For an affordable guitar, it is a nice package. It’s using really good parts. We are using Gibson 498 pickups, which are the ones I use. The tuners are Grover Deluxe tuners. It's really well put together with good components and parts.

I've actually taken to playing the guitar on stage for the last bit of the South American tour for six or eight shows. I played it every night for part of the set. The guitar was great. I have one that I’m playing on stage, and you really can’t notice the difference between the Gibson and the Epiphone. The sound, the playability and the feel really pleased me. Comparing it to my Gibson Custom Shop guitar, it's right there. That made me really happy. The techs were saying they couldn’t tell the difference between the guitars. It's surprising in a good way.

The reason I decided to do the guitar this way was that the silver-sparkle top gave it a bit of a “Kiss” feel. But I didn’t want to introduce a guitar that was too stylized. I wanted a guitar that had some flash to it, but at the same time I wanted to offer a guitar that any pro musicians or guitar player that walks into the guitar shop will think looks cool. It’s not something that is so stylized that it will scare people away. I didn’t want it to have too much of a Kiss look to it.

Some guitarists’ signature-edition guitars are so specifically tailored that, as a consumer, you might hesitate. You might get up on stage and have to worry that people think you're a clone of someone. That has to be a double-edged sword with Kiss fans because some fans might want to get the guitar just because of Kiss.

That's true too, and that's why on the back of the headstock there is the Tommy Thayer Spaceman logo. But it's discreet; it isn’t too over the top. It has a look that doesn’t automatically make it look like Tommy Thayer or Kiss. Then again, for collectors, it's great because it's the guitar I play, and people can take pride in that.

As far as the paint, is it fairly similar to the Gibson Explorer you've played for years now?

I have a couple of Explorers that have the silver sparkle on them as well. We decided, though, that the flake of the sparkle would be less than the flake on my Gibsons. I didn’t want to make the size of the flake too pronounced. I worked a lot with Jim Rosenberg (president of Epiphone) and we went back and forth to find that perfect medium-sized flake. I didn’t want it to be too heavy. That could be the difference between someone loving or hating it.

That’s mahogany underneath?

Yes, that's mahogany and a rosewood fretboard like a standard Les Paul. It has trapezoid inlays. We have a nice package that it comes with too. We have an all silver hard-shell case. You don’t’ see that too often. That’s very Kiss! It comes with a studded guitar strap that is exactly like what I use on stage. It is a cool little memento. It also comes with a certificate-of-authenticity booklet with a signature and all that good stuff. It is a great value at the prize point.

Actually, I didn’t even talk to Gibson about doing a guitar and called Epiphone because I felt that doing a guitar like this that is high quality but still affordable was more appealing to me. Especially for people who don’t have $5,000 or $6,000 to buy a guitar. You get this great package, and it is really affordable and that was an important thing to me.

I think every guitar player remembers back to when they were young selling newspapers or whatever it was to get their first guitar.

My very first electric was a Fender Mustang and it was $135. My mom helped me buy it. This was back when I lived in Portland. We went across the river to Vancouver Music. For some reason, they had a great selection of guitars over there. This was back in 1973 or 1974. I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe I actually had a professional guitar. Back in those days, it was either a Gibson or a Fender. I hadn’t established yet that I was more of Gibson player.

I think everyone remembers looking down at that headstock and seeing the brand of one of their guitar heroes.

Yeah, it was like a dream. It was a great blue Fender Mustang with the light blue racing stripes.

Epiphone's Limited Edition Tommy Thayer “Spaceman” Les Paul Standard Outfit is available for order now at tommythayerguitar.com with several autographed and stage-used options. The guitar also is available at American Music Supply for the $699 street price. The guitar includes the case, custom strap and certificate of authenticity.

For more about the guitar, head to epiphone.com.



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TOMMY TALKS Tommy News - Page 11 Img_logo_white, GEAR, & HIS NEW GUITAR
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We recently sat down with Tommy Thayer of KISS to discuss his rise to rock stardom including which guitarists influenced his playing. Tommy also gives us some insider info on his new signature Epiphone Les Paul and the gear he uses onstage.


Coming from your early band Black 'N Blue, could you tell us what it was like the first time you donned the Spaceman outfit and got up on stage as an official member of KISS?
It was a whole new world. Being in KISS onstage is a surreal experience guaranteed to be nothing like any other band. I can attest to that because I've been in other bands. It's a commitment physically in terms of the show, the makeup, the outfits and the boots. Unlike other artists, we start getting ready for our concerts hours beforehand. Being onstage is like being in some kind of apocalyptic, rock & roll fantasy land.. It's definitely different than your average band experience, that's for sure.

Anything going on with your old band Black 'N Blue?
Not a lot. I think they've been doing a few gigs here and there, some of the summer rock festivals.

Now that you have rocked some of the biggest stages in the world, what were some of your early influences as an up and coming musician that directly lead to you being where you are today?
Growing up I was knocked out by guitarists like Ronnie Montrose, Richie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Peter Frampton, Steve Marriott, Mick Ralphs, Mick Ronson, Alex Lifeson and Davey Johnstone. I've always been drawn toward guitarists that are great songwriters and great riff writers.

During your time with KISS, is there a favorite city you enjoy playing?
It's always a tough question because no matter where you go in the world KISS fans are insane. I'm serious, it can be Moscow, Tokyo, Sao Paulo or Anchorage, they all go nuts. A really cool thing happened recently. We just completed an amazing tour of South America. In Buenos Aires we rocked River Plate Stadium on November 7th, which was on my birthday. When we came out for the encore they brought out a birthday cake and 55,000 KISS fanatics sang "Happy Birthday" to me. I don't know many people that that's happened to recently.

When you're on the road with KISS, do you guys do any writing or recording of new material? If so, do you bring your own portable studio with you
If we're working on a new album and we're in that mode, we'll get together in hotel rooms or backstage on occasion to put new ideas together. I'd say that all four of us are very "low-tech" when it comes to electronics or recording gear. These days we use the voice memo function on our iPhones to collect new ideas.

Throughout the years you've surely tried your fair share of amps and effects. Do you have a go-to combination of effects and amps that makes up your sound and is there any new gear that you want to try?
My approach has always been really traditional when to comes to guitars and amps, meaning I plug a guitar straight into the amp and play. I believe if you can't get to the core of your sound that way then you're probably kidding yourself with a lot of extra "sound modification." I've heard guitarists come out onstage with huge racks of digital gear and you say to yourself, "Honey, someone shrunk the guitar sound." I think some stomp boxes are cool. For me it's a great sounding Les Paul into one of my Hughes & Kettner signature amps, it's a simple, killer, raw tone.

We hear you have worked to bring attention to music in the schools in the past. Are there any current projects you are working on or any organizations you support?
I like to help out where I can. I think it's really important for everyone to try to help other people. Give a little bit when you can with your time or money, it's really our civic duty. It makes for a stronger society and a better World.

Here at American Musical Supply, we're happy to be carrying your signature Epiphone Les Paul. Could you give us a little background on how that came about and what features you personally wanted in this guitar?
When the opportunity came up for an Epiphone Tommy Thayer signature Les Paul, the first thing I thought of was offering a pro guitar for musicians that looks amazing and is also affordable. I wanted it to be the guitar I play onstage with KISS but also a classic looking instrument that would catch the eye of any player. My Epiphone is modeled to the same specs as my silver sparkle top Gibson Custom Shop LP Standard I've played onstage for years. It's a quality-constructed instrument utilizing the same parts I use on all my Les Paul's, including Gibson 498 pick-ups and Grover Deluxe tuners. It's a professional guitar for real musicians but available at a price that's affordable for everyone. The guitar comes in a custom silver hard-shell case together with a very cool studded black and silver leather guitar strap like the ones I use onstage. I'm playing my Epiphone signature model live with KISS now and I couldn't be happier with the sound, the look and the performance of the guitar.

A lot of our customers are familiar with KISS and might someday like to follow a musical path as you did. Do you have any advice for them?
Another good question. The thing a lot of people don't realize is success starts with passion. Nothing is guaranteed if you're the most talented musician. In my opinion, it always takes passion, commitment and effort. It's more important to be able to put yourself in the position to be successful rather than waiting for it to happen because you're really good at what you do. The people that work the hardest will win most every time. You'll find your niche and you will succeed.

la traduction :

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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSam 12 Jan - 10:15

- Tommy Thayer Print Ad

The new Epiphone Tommy Thayer "Spaceman" Les Paul Standard print ad is about to hit the streets. I received a pre-copy of the upcoming February 2013 Guitar Player which features the ad on page 15. The great photo of Tommy was captured by legendary music photographer Neil Zlozower while product photography and layout were done in-house, here at Epiphone Headquarters in Nashville. Check out the Epiphone Tommy Thayer "Spaceman" Les Paul Standard at www.epiphone.com.

www.epiphone.com



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- Tommy Thayer At NAMM 2013 Show

Tommy Thayer will be signing posters at the Hughes Kettner booth #6555 at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA on January 26th at 2 pm.

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Tommy Thayer visits Black Star Riders in the studio



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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeVen 25 Jan - 7:47

- Tommy Thayer Epiphone Les Paul Ad In Guitar Player Magazine

Here's the Tommy Thayer Epiphone Limited Edition Spaceman Les Paul ad that appears in the latest issue of Guitar Player Magazine.

Tommy tweets: "Cool ad for my new @Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Les Paul in Feb. issue of Guitar Player Magazine @GuitarPlayerNow"


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TOMMY THAYER AT NAMM



Here are some great shots of Tommy signing autographs and visiting with fans at NAMM 2013! Tommy spent several hours at the Gibson Epiphone booth and Hughes & Kettner booth promoting his signature guitar and amp. Tommy had such a long line at Epiphone that he stayed for more than two hours, posing for photos and signing!

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TOMMY THAYER TALKS Tommy News - Page 11 Img_logo_white, GUITARS



KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer was on hand at the 2013 NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif. over this past weekend to visit the Gibson guitar booth and give the capacity crowd an up close and personal look at his spectacular new signature Epiphone "Spaceman" Les Paul.

It's a silver sparkle beauty that Thayer is clearly very proud of, as he should be. He's now been in KISS for over a decade, and he's slowly but surely carved out his own unique sound and approach, all the while being sensitive to the legacy of the "Spaceman" character originally created by original guitarist Ace Frehley.

As Tommy tells us, he didn't want to rock the boat too early in the game, but with the last two KISS albums, Sonic Boom and Monster, he took the opportunity to begin putting his personal stamp on the sound of the "hottest band in the land."

In just a few weeks, KISS are off to Australia to bring some thunder down under and then hopefully after they have their way with Europe, we'll get some KISS here again in the U.S.

Aside from being a fantastic guitarist, Thayer (formerly of Black 'N Blue) is also one of the most down-to-earth guys in the business and it's always a pleasure when Noisecreep gets a chance to speak to him.

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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSam 2 Fév - 11:48

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TOMMY THAYER INTERVIEW FROM NAMM


Here's a Tommy Thayer interview with Gibson Guitars at NAMM 2013.

Gibson jams NAMM 2013 -- Episode 17 — Meghan Tonjes sparkles NAMM

Vlog 'n' roll at Gibson's 2013 NAMM Jam. Ready for some glitter and silver sparkles? The theme is silver, as Meghan chats to a silver-booted Tommy Thayer who introduces his brand new beautifully sparkly Epiphone Limited Edition Tommy Thayer Spaceman Les Paul Standard. Tommy is already using the Spaceman live on stage with KISS. Tune it to find out, where it will dazzle fans during KISS's 2013 tour. Want more sparklin' action and behind-the-scenes coverage? Stay tuned for the inside scoop as Gibson jams NAMM.

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TOMMY THAYER TO RAISE MONEY FOR MUSEUM

Tommy News - Page 11 Medium KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer to raise money for Oregon Military Museum

By Ryan White, The Oregonian

guitarist Tommy Thayer will be part of a sold-out benefit on Saturday night at the Governor Hotel to raise money for the Oregon Military Museum.

That the museum, which is two years into a capital campaign to raise $6.5 million for a renovation, will be named after Thayer's father, the 91-year-old retired Gen. James B. Thayer, is an added bonus.

"I'm honored to be part of this outstanding event to recognize not only my father but all veterans who have sacrificed for our country," Tommy Thayer said in a release.

Others scheduled to attend the 2013 All Star Salute to the Oregon Military are saxophonist Patrick Lamb, gospel and soul singer Linda Hornbuckle, KGW's Brenda Braxton, and former Trail Blazer Jerone Kersey.

To date, the museum campaign has raised $2.5 million.

Prior to last year's event, the Oregonian's Mike Francis profiled Gen. Thayer, digging into the possible connection between the general and KISS bassist Gene Simmons.


http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2013/04/kiss_guitarist_tommy_thayer_to.html

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hard force 1988

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Tommy Thayer Jamming onstage with PatrickLamb and his band at the All Star Salute to the Oregon Military.

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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSam 6 Juil - 12:14

Tommy Thayer Talks About His Epiphone Signature Guitar

We met up with Tommy when Kiss played in Copenhagen some weeks ago to talk to him about his new epiphone signature guitar.

We also talked about what it is like to play a KISS show and which other Gibson/Epiphone guitars Tommy brings with him on the road.


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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSam 6 Juil - 12:36

J'aime bien Tommy(mais je préférai Ace)son travail est remarquable, il ma l'aire très sympa.
Comme certains l'ont dit j'aurais également aimer voir un autre costume. En ajoutant que sur l'autobiographie de Ace il dit que son costume était en rapport avec l'espace qui était sa passion et qui n'ait peut-etre pas celle de Tommy. Mais le costume et le maquillage lui vont bien!!!Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_biggrin
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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSam 6 Juil - 23:46

TOMMY ANSWERS 'DEAR GUITAR HERO' QUESTIONS

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Dear Guitar Hero: Tommy Thayer of KISS Talks Makeup Sex, His Signature Epiphone "Spaceman" Guitar, Replacing Ace Frehley and More

by Brad Angle

Photo by Ross Halfin

His first brush with success came in the Eighties with rockers Black ’N Blue, and now he’s the lead guitarist in KISS. But what Guitar World readers really want to know is …

Is it true that you did manual labor tasks at Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley]’s houses before becoming a member of Kiss? — Tony Ratoni

[laughs] Those are kind of urban myths. Sure, I started working for those guys part time in the late Eighties, and my credo was that I’d do whatever needed to be done. And a lot of times when you’re in those situations you do all kinds of things. I think, somehow, through all the speculation on the internet, people started saying that I did all these strange jobs. But nothing was strange. I was just a go-getter that would do whatever task was at hand, which is normal if you wanna get somewhere in your life. I’m proof that persistence works.

Your new Epiphone “Spaceman” Les Paul looks awesome. Have you always wanted your own signature ax? — Bill Meister

I’m stoked to have a signature guitar! It’s something I’ve dreamed about ever since I was a kid. I put my heart and soul into it and made it something I’m really proud of. I think it’s a great guitar and package, with the custom guitar strap and silver case. I started using it on our South American tour. I literally took one out of the box, and my guitar tech and I set it up. That goes to show the quality of the guitar: I can take it right out of the box and straight to the stage.

Have you ever had sex while in full makeup and costume? — Missy Frommer

Yes. [laughs] And we’ll leave it at that, okay?

Your solo on “Hell or Hallelujah” from Monster has a totally awesome classic-rock/metal feel to it. But do you ever have to remind yourself to pull back your playing so it’s not too over the top? — Hunter Clayton

There are definitely parameters to the Kiss sound. And nobody can argue with that, because it’s something that’s been proven for 40 years now. Since I’ve been in the band, I’ve tried to be faithful and adhere to what made Kiss strong and powerful in the first place. But in doing Sonic Boom a few years ago, and now Monster, I’ve had the opportunity to spread my wings more. It’s always a balance between the two. You have to be faithful, but I need to show my colors, too.

Dude! I loved your work with Black ’N Blue! Do you still see residual checks from “Hold On to 18” and “Miss Mystery”? — Kevin Katana

I don’t think Black ’N Blue was ever big enough to have super hefty residual checks. I do see some royalties, particularly the performance royalties. But as far as sales of the records, it’s bottomed out. It’s been a long time. I haven’t been in the band for 25 years.

What do you remember about the first time you played with Kiss in full makeup? And I have to ask: Why didn’t you pick another character instead of Ace Frehley’s Spaceman? — Steven Coronell

The first time was at a private corporate concert in Jamaica in early 2002. It was exhilarating and over the top, but also very comfortable. It didn’t seem that out of the ordinary. I had been around the band a long time, so I wasn’t new to the family. I’d also played in a Kiss tribute band in the early Nineties and we’d wear Kiss makeup. Actually, I even used to put on Kiss makeup as a kid. So it was more of a familiar feeling than not. It all came very naturally. But of course, you’re filling big shoes because there’s such a big legacy with Kiss. There’s high expectations and pressure to step up and do a great job.

And yeah, some people say, “Why didn’t you come in and introduce a new character?” It’s an interesting question, but when I got in the band I was just honored to be there. I also respected where they came from and what they’re all about. So who am I to ever suggest I need a new personality or a new character, or the band needs a new guitar sound or style? That’s ridiculous. Sometimes it just takes people a long time to understand that.

What is your favorite Kiss solo to play live? Do you always stick to the original recordings or do you embellish? — Lyn DeAngelo

One of my favorite Kiss solos, and songs, is “Black Diamond.” I got the Kiss album for Christmas in 1974. I think those guitar solos, and a lot of the solos on the first four Kiss records, are quintessential rock and roll greatness. I tip my hat to Ace, because back then he did some amazing stuff. That’s a big part of why Kiss appealed to a lot of up-and-coming guitar players like myself. He did some stellar guitar work on the first album, Hotter than Hell, Dressed to Kill and Alive!

Have you ever considered recording a shred instrumental album? — Bob Storcks

[laughs] I have to say, with all due respect to all the great guitar players out there, I’m not really a shred fan. My roots are in the hard rock, English blues style that started with people like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. That’s more my thing and probably always will be. My favorite guitar players are the ones that not only write great solos but also write great riffs and great songs. If it doesn’t have that, I don’t put it in the highest standard.

I personally love your guitar work. But I’m sure there’ve been times when it’s been difficult to be the replacement for Ace. Are some fans ever weird about it? Does that ever bother you? — Ema Bangle

Yeah, replacing somebody as great as Ace is very challenging. But at the same time, I feel pretty good about what I’ve done, and I know the band does too. There’s always gonna be dissenters and critics. That’s just part of the job, especially with the advent of internet blogs. People have the propensity to get on and say all kinds of stuff. That’s just this day and age. Honestly, I look at a lot of that as a reflection of the people that are saying it. It’s more of an outlet for their unhappiness or frustrations in life. I know what I’m about, so I don’t have any doubts about what I do or who I am.

You do a lot of charity work. How do you go about selecting the causes you support? Was community service part of how you grew up? — Eddie Nash

That kind of community service and helping other people comes from my father and mother. That’s the kind of people they are, and it rubbed off on me. The basic concept of helping other people is an important part of our civic duty. I grew up in the Portland area, and I’m on the board of trustees for Pacific University up there. I help with their huge fundraiser called Legends. It’s a music, entertainment and golf event. Then there’s the royalties for my Hughes & Kettner [Tommy Thayer Signature Duotone] head, which go straight to the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. We always need to help the younger, less fortunate people to get a step up in life. It’s really important.

What’s the worst, most uncomfortable part of wearing the costume each night? And are you able to apply your makeup yourself by now? — Harley Race

Everyone in Kiss has always done their own makeup, including me. It’s a ritual for us all to sit down and do it before we go onstage. Kiss is one of the hardest-working bands in show biz. We get started in the middle of the afternoon with soundchecks and meet-and-greets. Then there’s the makeup process, which takes two or three hours. We’re working hard way before the show. It shows when we get onstage: you can see there’s something really special in what we do. I don’t have any complaints or reservations about wearing the outfit. It’s a distinct honor. Who wouldn’t love being lead guitarist in Kiss? There’s nothing I can say negative about it! I just love it.

Your voice and playing on “Outta this World” [from Monster] is amazing! What is it like to bring in tracks for Gene and Paul? Do you have to have full demos prepared? — Enrico Palazzo

No, as a matter of fact, we decided not to do demos for Monster. We pretty much wrote all the songs organically: getting together at someone’s house or hotel room, if we were touring. We thought if we recorded all these good demos then we’d be fighting the demo-itis battle, where you’re trying to top the demo when you’re doing your master. We’d rather capture the true spirit and energy of the original.

Tommy News - Page 11 Large

la traduction :

http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kissonline.com%2Fnews%2Farticle%2Fid%2F37262


http://www.guitarworld.com/dear-guitar-hero-tommy-thayer-kiss-talks-makeup-sex-his-signature-epiphone-spaceman-guitar-replacing-ace-frehley-and-more

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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeSam 6 Juil - 23:47

Tommy Thayer Backstage On Tour

Here's KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer backstage.

Ross Halfin: www.rosshalfin.com

Tommy News - Page 11 941201_603761962977709_368953939_n

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Purée, la traduction !!!!!!!!!!!!Shocked
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kisslolo a écrit:
Tommy Thayer hosts Pacific University Legends 2013

Tommy News - Page 11 13184731-mmmain


http://www.oregonlive.com/forest-grove/index.ssf/2013/08/tommy_thayer_hosts_pacific_uni.html
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on dirait le club med'.. What a Face Tommy News - Page 11 772627
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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeJeu 22 Aoû - 15:57

TOMMY THAYER - LOCAL GUITAR HERO


 Tommy News - Page 11 Large


Tommy Thayer adds a KISS of community spirit to fundraiser

Written by Jason Vondersmith

Tommy Thayer never tires of putting on the makeup, donning “The Spaceman” ensemble, playing the classics nightly and touring seemingly every year with an American institution, rock band KISS.

The lead guitarist Thayer, 52, gets excited for any performance, whether it be in Winnepeg, Manitoba, or Tokyo’s Budokan arena.

“You can never forget how fortunate you are to walk up on stage before 14,000 people,” the Beaverton native and Sunset High graduate says. “With this band and its amazing history, great persona and characters and show, how can you lose sight of how great that is? We’re flying on private jets and staying at Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. ...”

KISS celebrates its 40th year together next year, and Thayer has played alongside juggernauts Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley for the past 11. We’re talking epic longevity for one of the hardest-working groups in music.

“It’s a lethal, viable, legit rock ‘n’ roll band, and we’re playing just as big of shows as ever,” he says. “It’s extremely rare for a group like KISS to continue for 40 years. I can count the number of bands on one hand who’ve done that. We’re playing arenas and stadiums and selling out, with an onslaught of new kids following us. It’s multigenerational. It’s like a tribe.”

But, Thayer, who lives in suburban Los Angeles with wife Amber and maintains another residence in Cannon Beach, has never forgotten his roots. The son of a successful businessman and a musician mother, Thayer serves on the board of directors of Pacific University in Forest Grove.

A rural private college and a hard-rockin’ guitarist? Yeah, it’s an odd match, as Thayer has dutifully helped the Washington County school raise funds for athletics through his Legends event and golf tournament. The golfing part has been shelved for the year, as Legends leans on the musical aspect with another star-studded lineup for the dinner-auction-concert fundraiser, Sunday, Aug. 25, at Waverley Country Club in Portland.

Scheduled to appear with Thayer in a concert are: Bill Champlin, formerly of Chicago, a two-time Grammy Award winner; Danny Seraphine, Chicago’s original drummer; Billy Kimball, former lead singer of six-time Grammy winner Toto; Ed Roth, producer and keyboardist with California Transit Authority; and Patrick Lamb, Oregon’s Grammy-nominated jazz saxophone player.

Also making appearances will be rock manager Doc McGhee, who helped launch the careers of KISS, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, The Scorpions, Hootie & The Blowfish, Diana Ross and James Brown, and several prominent athletes.

For more information, go to pacific.edu/legends.

The Tribune caught up with Thayer, co-founder of Oregon Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Black ‘n Blue:

Tribune: Few bands rival KISS in longevity and appeal. Key to success?

Thayer: A lot of people are critical about over-promoting, going in many different directions with sponsorships and licensing. But, with a band like KISS, you can do that. Some groups can’t do that kind of stuff, because they’d be accused of selling out. We’re always able to get outside the box.

That’s the cool thing about it, the spirit of what made KISS unique from the very beginning, the early ‘70s. A lot of people thought it was a joke, but KISS always trumped the norm. You always have detractors, but KISS is about entertaining and exploring new things. It continues to baffle people, even us. You see these teenagers — how do they get turned on to KISS?

Tribune: How’d you get involved with Pacific University?

Thayer: I didn’t go to school there, even though it’s a university literally in our backyard. They approached me, and I thought about it, it set me back for a second. “What?” It’s cool that they’re thinking outside the box. I liked the idea of coming back to the area I grew up, getting involved, helping out. It’s been a real gratifying experience. What I can bring to the table is fundraising and profile.

Tribune: The university wanted your father, James, to serve on the board, and he recommended you?

Thayer: He was a community leader and military hero (former U.S. Army brigadier general). He’s 91 now, has done great service for our community. They were interested in getting somebody from the Thayer family, and he said, “How about Tommy?”

Tribune: Your family has been quite successful?

Thayer: Dad and mom (Patricia) started the J. Thayer Co. in 1955 and it became the largest office products company on the West Coast. My brothers Mike and John were involved. A large conglomerate bought it in the 1990s and, when John’s noncompete (clause) finished, he started another J. Thayer Co., a Web-based company in Lake Oswego that’s expanded into California, Washington and Denver.

Tribune: Your mother served as your inspiration?

Thayer: She was a classical musician, violinist, playing through her time in college at Washington State. She brought music and creative arts to the family. She was a great music aficionado, played all the classics at home, the great show tunes. She’s now 89, just a ball of energy.

Mom and dad live in Lake Oswego. Growing up hearing great music in the air, so to speak, makes a difference. My older brother, Jim, too — he’d play Beatles records, pop music. Then I got involved in music programs in school.

Tribune: It’s probably not a stereotypical story, a rocker coming from a great family?

Thayer: A lot of guys come from lousy families. Not that we haven’t had our problems, every family has their issues. There’s a good foundation there. Especially with my parents, they’ve always been supportive of what I or we wanted to do. Never heard, “Can’t do that; shouldn’t do that.” It was great (support), especially when it started popping for me.

They wanted me to get a college education. But I got involved with groups, and then I was on my way to California with Black ‘n Blue. ... I just read a book, “Talent Is Overrated.” It’s more about how much persistence you have. How hard you want to work.

Tribune: You’ve avoided the trappings of a rock star?

Thayer: With Black 'n Blue, we’d go on the road and have a good time. But, I never got into drugs; never felt compelled to do that. My tenure now with KISS — I’m not in my 20s, and you look at things differently and more responsibly. It’s a big business we’re in; you have to be a professional to make it, to get through it. It’s not like it was in the ‘60s — sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, where drugs are part of the culture of rock ‘n’ roll bands. That’s long since past.

Tribune: Golf had to be dropped from the Legends event because of your schedule?

Thayer: We toured Australia, had a full European tour and North America for about six weeks (ending Aug. 18 in Hollywood). We’ll go to Japan in October. Thankfully, we carved out a weekend we could do this. We’re still doing a golf tournament, but it’s more exclusive.

Tribune: Musicians like to swing the sticks?

Thayer: They do. A lot of artists and musicians like to play golf; a lot of pro golfers like to play music. ... (The best) would probably be somebody like Alice Cooper or Justin Timberlake. I’m decent, not quite as good as the best.

Tribune: What’s Gene Simmons like?

Thayer: Like what you see on (reality show) “Family Jewels.” He’s got a persona and exterior that can be a little abrupt and abrasive. He’s a good guy with a kind heart, believe it or not. The most ambitious and tenacious person I’ve ever met. Definitely a workaholic. He goes all the way back to producing Black ‘n Blue records, and we toured with KISS in 1985. He’s like an older brother.

Tribune: And, Paul?

Thayer: More private, very creative, very smart. He and Gene are like yin and yang. That’s what makes it a great combination. Not to say they haven’t had disagreements, but they look beyond that.

Tribune: How about the

drummer?

Thayer: Eric Singer is one of my great friends, amazing guy. Best rock ‘n’ roll drummer out there in my book. Perfect for KISS.

Tribune: Will KISS be playing music and touring forever?

Thayer: We basically take it one day, one month, one year at a time. People always speculate what KISS will be up to in five years. KISS will be up to something. We have a new Arena Football team (announced last week), and people are scratching their head, “What?”


http://portlandtribune.com/pt/11-features/159744-local-guitar-hero


Très belle interview de Tommy !

http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kissonline.com%2Fnews%2Farticle%2Fid%2F37915

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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeJeu 22 Aoû - 17:04

Tres belle photo et tres bonne entrevue!!! Je recommande aux fans du forum de regarder Mes
bijous de famille, la telé realité realisee par Gene Simmons (au Quebec sur Musique Plus)...
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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeJeu 22 Aoû - 17:14

Tu as un site pour voir ?
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MessageSujet: Re: Tommy News   Tommy News - Page 11 Icon_minitimeJeu 22 Aoû - 17:26

Je ne sais pas si ca se trouve sur You Tube...
 Il est 4 heures du matin en France, tu ne dors pas...
 Toi tu es un fou de glam metal des annees 80,,,
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