KISS’s former guitarist, Bruce Kulick, recently spoke to Rolling Stone about his time in the band and recalled when he was first recruited. He remembered experiencing an unfortunate injury and being doubted by the band’s bassist Gene Simmons.
Kulick was called to fill in for Mark St. John in 1984 because he had to leave due to a medical condition. The new guitarist stayed with the band for 12 years and contributed to five studio albums.
KISS’ makeup era was over by 1983 so, Kulick didn’t have to wear makeup to go on stage with them. Yet, he was still very excited and aware of the rare opportunity he just got with the band. He was perhaps too hyped up about it as he injured his arm in one of the first rehearsals.
His excitement cost him two weeks of rehearsals and Gene Simmons’ doubt. According to Kulick, Simmons thought he was just scared to come in and didn’t believe that he was injured.
Here is how the guitarist told the story:
“I was suddenly aware of the opportunity, and I was very excited to prove myself. I tried so hard I actually injured my arm where I missed two weeks of rehearsals. Gene called me and said, ‘Are you just scared, or did you really injure yourself?’
I said, ‘No, no, no. Paul knows the doctor I saw. I pulled a nerve in my arm. I’m going to be okay. The doctor said it’s going to heal. I’m doing everything he said, and I’ll have a full week of rehearsal with you guys, and I’ll know the songs. I promise.’
To get a call like that from Gene Simmons, I’m realizing I may have screwed the biggest opportunity I’ll ever have to be the KISS guitarist, even though at the time it was only filling in.”
Of course, the guitarist was worried that he ruined a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, thankfully he was able to heal and perform with the band until 1996. Even after he left KISS, he stayed in touch with the band members and contributed to their future songs and albums like ‘Psycho Circus’ despite not being in the band.