Tommy Thayer reports feeling pressure during his first KISS performance

In a recent interview with Greg Phillips of Australian Musician, Tommy Thayer, the lead guitarist for KISS, admitted that his first official gig with the band was somewhat traumatic due to the pressure. Tommy Thayer had met KISS bassist Gene Simmons before joining the band, as Simmons was the producer of the two albums he recorded with his group Black ‘n Blue. Thayer had been in the music industry for over four decades. Later, the guitarist contributed to the album ‘Hot in the Shade’ by playing session guitar and co-writing a few songs with Gene Simmons. In the years that followed, Thayer maintained contact with KISS members and began working part-time alongside them. He was available to assist them in any way they required. When Ace Frehley left KISS in 2002, Tommy Thayer was the band’s first choice for the position of lead guitarist. After a successful performance onstage, he became an official KISS member.

During a recent conversation, the guitarist reminisced about his first official performance with KISS and described his emotions at that momentous occasion. Thayer admitted that his first performance as the band’s lead guitarist in Melbourne was somewhat traumatic due to the immense pressure he felt. It was being recorded live for the band’s 2003 live album, “Kiss Symphony: Alive IV,” and naturally, all eyes were on Thayer. Despite his initial nervousness and excitement, the guitarist was ecstatic after the performance because it had gone incredibly well. His first official performance with KISS, in the words of Tommy Thayer:

“My first official performance with KISS as lead guitarist was in Melbourne at the Telstra Dome, as it was known at the time. It was a massive performance, and it was an incredible experience for me because it was with the Melbourne Symphony, and it was being recorded for a live album, DVD, and documentary, so there was a lot going on. I must admit, I felt a little bit of pressure because it was the first one and there were certainly a lot of eyes on me, but looking back, I have a lot of fond memories. It went exceptionally well and was a huge success, so I was pleased at the time. I must admit that I was somewhat traumatized.” You can read the continuation of the conversation below.

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