KISS Guitarist Remembers His First Gig With The Group

July 14, 2003

KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer, who will continue to portray Ace Frehley's "Spaceman" character during the band's upcoming tour with AEROSMITH, recently spoke to Billboard magazine about his first "proper" gig with the group, which took place in February with the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra — a sold-out show played to 48,000, broadcast worldwide via pay-per-view and recorded for the forthcoming "Alive IV" CD and DVD.

Just prior to that gig, Thayer recalled thinking, "'Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into here?' I knew I couldn't make a mistake. Think about that: If I made a mistake, everybody was gonna be like, 'Oh, he can't cut it,' or something. But, luckily, everything went great. I was confident, and I knew we could kick some ass — and we did."

Thayer, 42, also remembered how he, in his early teens, he ran across a picture of the Kabuki makeup-clad quartet advertising their self-titled debut.

"I said, 'Man, that looks like something I'd be into," he said. "I got the album for Christmas in 1974. I popped it in, 'Strutter' came on, and that was the first time I ever heard KISS.

"I listened to the whole record," he continues, "and by the time 'Black Diamond' came on, I was like, 'This is the shit!"'

KISS and AEROSMITH's co-headlining tour is scheduled to kick off on August 2 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Confirmed dates so far are as follows:

Aug. 02 - Hartford, CT - Meadows Music Theatre
Aug. 04 - Wantagh, NY - Jones Beach
Aug. 06 - Wantagh, NY - Jones Beach
Aug. 09 - Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion
Aug. 11 - Holmdel, NJ - P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
Aug. 13 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 15 - Detroit, MI - Comerica Park
Aug. 17 - Noblesville, IN - Verizon Wireless Music Center
Aug. 19 - Columbus, OH - Germain Amphitheater
Aug. 21 - Burgettstown, PA - Post-Gazette Pavilion
Aug. 23 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake Six Flags P.A.C.
Aug. 25, 27 - Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center
Aug. 29 - Camden, NJ - Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
Aug. 31 - Hershey, PA - Hersheypark Stadium
Sep. 03 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Blossom Music Center
Sep. 05 - Tinley Park, IL - Tweeter Center
Sep. 06 - East Troy, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre
Sep. 12 - West Palm Beach, FL - Coral Sky Amphitheatre
Sep. 14 - Atlanta, GA - Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre
Sep. 17 - Virginia Beach, VA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Sep. 19 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Sep. 20 - Raleigh, NC - Alltel Pavilion
Sep. 23 - Antioch, TN - AmSouth Amphitheatre
Sep. 25 - Bonner Springs, KS - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sep. 27 - Maryland Heights, MO - UMB Bank Pavilion
Sep. 30 - Englewood, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
Oct. 02 - Dallas, TX - Smirnoff Music Centre
Oct. 04 - Selma, TX - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Oct. 05 - The Woodlands, TX - C.W. Mitchell Pavilion
Oct. 08 - Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Pavilion
Oct. 10 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
Oct. 12 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre
Oct. 14 - Marysville, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Oct. 16 - Chula Vista, CA - Coors Amphitheatre
Oct. 18 - Devore, CA - Hyundai Pavilion of Glen Helen

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