Tommy Thayer Talks To Noise11 About Being KISS’ Longest Serving Guitarist -
KISS Photo by Ros O'Gorman

KISS Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Tommy Thayer Talks To Noise11 About Being KISS’ Longest Serving Guitarist

by Paul Cashmere on August 8, 2022

in News

With 20 years service as lead guitarist for KISS, Tommy Thayer is the longest lead guitarist for the band.

Thayer joined KISS officially as lead guitarist in 2002. His first ever show with KISS was in Melbourne for what became KISS Alive IV with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

“I’ve been a big fan my whole life,” Tommy tells “I was there when Kiss’ first album came out. I was a fan of the band right from the very beginning.

Tommy had his own band Black ‘n Blue in the 90s. He met Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley when they opened for KISS. “When Black ‘n Blue, my band from back in the 80s toured as an opening act with KISS, somehow we got on that tour, I got to know these guys,” he says. “It all evolved. Gene became our producer. Gene asked me to come and write with them. I wrote songs on ‘Hot In the Shade’. Then I got involved behind the scenes to begin with in the early 90s. Black ‘n Blue had run its course. It was great they gave me the opportunity and I worked behind the scenes for the first few years and did a lot of different things”.

When Ace Frehley left permanently in 2001, Tommy became the Spaceman. “Ironically things went full circle and I became the guitar player about 20 years ago and my very first official KISS concert was in Australia, in Melbourne. It was called KISS Symphony. We played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. That was the first big show for me. I was under the gun and had big shoes to fill, but it all worked out”.

Tommy has now spent 20 years as lead guitarist for KISS. Original member Frehley had two stints from 1973 to 1982 and from 1996 to 2002. Vinnie Vincent was lead guitarist from 1982 to 1984, Mark St John had a very short innings in 1984 only and Bruce Kulick was lead guitarist from 1984 to 1996.

The KISS End of the Road Australian tour will commence in Melbourne on 20 August.

Sat 20 Aug 2022 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Sun 21 Aug 2022 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Tue 23 Aug 2022 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Fri 26 Aug 2022 – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Sat 27 Aug 2022 – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney

Tue 30 Aug 2022- Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Fri 2 Sep 2022 – RAC Arena, Perth

Tue 6 Sep 2022 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Sat 10 Sep – CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast

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