Star Scene: Bruce Kulick ~ ex-KISS, Grand Funk Railroad

Photo by Nancy Dagata
Photo by TourBusLive.com

Bruce Kulick‘s scene is as cool as his guitar playing. The ex-KISS, Grand Funk Railroad guitarist states: “I am a cool cat and right now I’m all about ‘Come fly with me’ and Frank Sinatra. That’s my scene.”
Kulick is touring Australia again, this time with the THUNDER DOWN UNDER tour, performing with his local resident band Sisters Doll, and also featuring Four By Fate. Of the tour, Kulick explains: “Well, it all started really with a promoter, that I actually have worked with before, we did a very successful Expo but it was outside of Melbourne, it was remote. This one’s much closer to the city of Melbourne, which I welcome. And he wanted to give another two day event, KISS Expo, and it kind of fit with my Grand Funk schedule. That’s always my biggest challenge because we can work any month or just about any weekend but May was looking good, so I was able to say, ‘Ok, we got this weekend but I don’t want to just come for a weekend, I want to do some more shows’. I do love those guys, Sisters Doll, who backed me up last time I was in Australia in 2015 and they’ve actually really done some incredible things since I worked with them, with their success on the TV show, Australia’s Got Talent, and their new record that I helped on with a song but it all together and it fit in two weeks where I was not playing with Grand Funk and could travel abroad.

And then the icing on the cake is to actually have Peter Criss at the Expo as well.

 And then the icing on the cake is to actually have Peter Criss at the Expo as well. That’s huge. So I’m very excited. I know it’s going to be a real treat for the Australian fans of KISS and the other exciting part for me is this would be the first time that I hit some places I haven’t hit ever before or I haven’t hit in a very long time. You know, I’m always going to play Melbourne and probably Sydney, ok, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be playing some of the places that popped up on this tour so that’s exciting.”

Kulick continues: “I actually perform at the Expo. So the people that go to the expo, not only do they get the Q&A and the meet n greet, I also do a clinic and I do have a set with Sisters Doll as well.  Both days of the Expo will be quite similar, I think that maybe the time changes a bit, but both dates are performances and a Q&A and a good time for all.” The KISS Konvention seems to be a more intimate experience for fans. Kulick, himself, recognises how important it is for fans to meet their idols. Kulick explores his influences: “My influences growing up was clearly the British Invasion: the Beatles, the Who, Led Zeppelin and onwards. All those bands, wow, what an amazing time. I had my brother who was slightly older than me so I was exposed to all this a lot younger. And that made it easier. It’s funny how all that stuff is still in our pop culture, and now we’re celebrating Sgt. Pepper’s fiftieth anniversary. It’s remarkable.”

However, when the opportunity arose for Kulick to meet one of his idols, Ringo Starr, he was hesitant. He states: “Oh my god. It was really quite surreal. A lot of the little things happened with my wife and I, there were a lot of Ringo things going on in my life.  He was putting a record together, and a friend of mine – actually from Australia that helped me do many clinics at some chains there in in Australia Allan’s Music – he was visiting America and he was going to be at the Grammy Museum and I was hoped that maybe he’d be able to introduce me. It didn’t happen. But I did get to see a very limited 200 people interview and short performance. And then the same month I buy a Ringo signed photo from an autograph dealer that is very reputable here in L.A. and I was real excited about that. And then my record, which became the last solo record actually that I released in 2010, was at the record manufacturer, getting ready for release. I was fortunate to have got Doug Fieger, the lead singer of The Knack, of ‘My Sharona’ fame, on my record. He sang a song and even when he did the vocals for me, he had a long battle with cancer, and eventually of course sadly, we lost him. He passed away and I was invited by his family to be at memorial at his home. Now he’s a big Beatle fan I knew that because I was at home and he had a lot of the vintage Beatle amps, even had equipment from Abbey Road and things that he bought when things were on auction and I’m there. I was with my wife, she wasn’t my wife yet but I was with Lisa my wife, and and I turned around and I look I see some people come in kind of late again Memorium the hall and it’s Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, and Joe Walsh, from the Eagles, walk in.

I say to my wife, ‘I just pee’d in my pants, Ringo Starr just walked in’, with no clue actually as to why they were there.

 I say to my wife, ‘I just pee’d in my pants, Ringo Starr just walked in’, with no clue actually as to why they were there. I’m a Beatles’ fan but I didn’t know they all had something in common that had something to do with when people have some problems and they get to meet each other, in those kind of support groups. Ok, I’ll keep it like that. OK. And the next thing I know I’m going out of my mind. I can’t concentrate I can’t even speak. And Lisa said, ‘You have to speak to Ringo, this is the perfect opportunity, you just saw him a few weeks ago at that Grammy Museum event, come on, you have to’. So she pumped me up enough to actually have the guts to walk over and introduce myself to him and his wife and his wife’s twin sister, who is actually married to Joe Walsh. And I got to say hi and I mentioned the Grammy thing to him and that of course how much he meant to me, and that I was a guitarist for KISS and he was very kind. The one thing he reacted to the most, like all musicians… Here he is – the most famous drummer in the world, the universe- and I told him that I listened to his record and I enjoyed it. That got the best reaction from him, not the Beatles, not the Grammy. But that’s always what an artist is looking for and that taught me a big lesson because I’ll admit, like most artists I’m insecure. I mean, I know I’m talented but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still need the accolades of my fans and my friends and when they don’t give it to me, I do start to doubt things. And Ringo Starr appreciated hearing it from me.”

Fans and friends will have the opportunity to praise Kulick, and his music, as he Thunders Down Under:

“My guitar playing as food form is: an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and chocolate syrup because I’m tasty, I’m a tasty guitar player.”

Thunder Down Under Tour Dates & Venues:

Saturday 13th May Kiss Konvention Wick Studios Melbourne

Sunday 14th May Kiss Konvention Wick Studios Melbourne

Tuesday 16th May the Basement Canberra

Wednesday 17th May The Bridge Hotel Sydney

Thursday 18th May (Venue now tbc) Newcastle

Friday 19th May Max Watts Brisbane

Saturday 20th May the Bridgeway Hotel Adelaide

Sunday 21st May Burlington Hotel Bunbury

Monday 22ND May The Rosemount Hotel Perth

About Mary Boukouvalas 602 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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