Decibel Geek Podcast

After a wild couple of weeks of going behind the KISS curtain, we're back this week to kick back, have some laughs, and spin some awesome cover songs.

This week we bring you Under Covers 2, a collection of kick-ass hard rock and metal cover songs. Some of these are just great takes on the original and others are more rocked-up versions of less rocking songs. Covers by bands such as Bobaflex, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, Ronnie James Dio, Halestorm and Nantucket covering songs by great acts like AC/DC, Styx, Alice Cooper, Simon & Garfunkle, and Hall & Oates (weird, I know). Hope you enjoy!

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Bobaflex

Jizzy Pearl

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

John Corabi

Nantucket

Ronnie James Dio

Stevie Rachelle

Halestorm

Skid Row

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Direct download: Episode_121_-_Under_Covers_2.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

To say that last week's part 1 of our conversation with keyboardist Gary Corbett was popular would be an understatement. In just 7 days, part 1 exceeded download totals for any episode in show history. The audience feedback was overwhelming with many, especially KISS fans, expressing gratitude for a peak behind the curtain of a working band that has had its share of controversy. This week's second half is no exception.

Gary shares his happy recollections of his time spent on the road with Paul Stanley during his 1989 solo tour. The solo band, comprised of Stanley, Corbett, guitarist Bob Kulickbassist Dennis St. James, and drummer Eric Singer formed a tight bond and showed a side of Stanley that was much easier to work with according to our interview subject. While this tour seemed a happy time for Paul Stanley, Gary explains that there was definite pushback from the rest of the KISS camp and not just Eric Carr. He also shares an eerily prophetic moment from Carr after he took in a Stanley solo performance.

We then segue into discussion of Eric Carr's decline in health. Gary describes the physical symptoms that cropped up during the end of the Hot in the Shade tour and the subsequent surgeries and chemotherapy.

Many rumors have swirled around for years about Eric Carr's status in the band after his cancer diagnosis. Gary shares his memories of what took place between Carr and his KISS bandmates and what led to Carr's family cutting off all contact to Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley during the end of Eric's life.

Gary also shares his objections to certain things portrayed in The Eric Carr Story by Greg Prato; a book in which Corbett is quoted alongside Bruce Kulick, Carrie Stevens, and others that were close to the late drummer. He also states how his side of things are backed up by, what many would consider, a surprising source.

Hot in the Shade was released as, basically, a collection of demos that were polished up for cost-cutting measures. Gary explains how one of the biggest tracks on Hot in the Shade featured a future lineup of KISS.

Gary then takes us a bit by surprise by stating that Eric Carr was, indeed, fired by KISS and explains the different ways in which they were pushing to attain his exit from the band during a very difficult time as well as their motivation.

During this part of the conversation, Gary recounts more of Eric's displeasure with his drum solo being taken away during the beginning of the Hot in the Shade tour. He also claims that Paul Stanley, in particular, had a certain way of, in his words, "torturing" Carr.

Gary then shares details of the funeral and the tension that hung in the air as Eric's KISS bandmates showed up for the services. He also talks about the infamous feud between Gene Simmons and Howard Stern due to Stern's comments on the air about Eric's death. Gary reveals his role in this drama that wound up being played out on Stern's television show later. He also shares details of the icy reception for Simmons and Stanley at the post-funeral dinner.

One positive note from the funeral is shared by Gary as he describes the miles-long turnout of thousands of fans along the road for the procession. Despite the fan support though, Carr's parents were uncomfortable with the attention.

Chris tells Gary about seeing footage of he and Carr goofing off on camera during the Hot in the Shade rehearsals in bootleg footage that circulates among fans as Exposed II. Gary goes on to discuss some footage that he took himself of the band during the band's Smashes Thrashes and Hits tour and, in particular, a certain story of Carr experiencing hash in Amsterdam for the first time.

Gary describes some of the conversations that took place among the band during the Hot in the Shade era including the Paul and Gene's stories of Ace and Peter, talks of a possible reunion, and the tension that resulted from a makeup-era flashback scene that was filmed for the 'Rise to It' video.

Gary also shares how Eric Carr's naivety and innocence worked against him in the confines of the music industry. He talks about Gene and Paul's business savvy and what he thinks it will lead to in the future.

We then ask Gary about the Revenge era and he describes his memories of the club shows that led up to the tour to break in new drummer Eric Singer. He explains how the emotional toll of Eric's death kept him from being able to continue to work with the band and how he made his exit from the band. He also talks about how the tension, with Paul Stanley, in particular still exists after the two saw each other backstage in Nashville during the 2012 co-headlining tour with Motley Crue.

Gary Corbett remains friends with current KISS drummer Eric Singer. We get Gary's take on Eric's role in the band portraying the Catman character and how he feels about Singer's extended employment with KISS.

Finishing up the conversation Gary explains how Eric Carr's memory and friendship are absolutely the highlight of his time working for the band as well as his current projects, plans for the future, and success that he's had with other artists such as the Marley Brothers and Cyndi Lauper.

The Decibel Geek podcast would like to thank Gary Corbett for a such an open, frank conversation.

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KISS

Eric Carr

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Direct download: Episode_120_-_Gary_Corbett_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:12pm EDT

At the end of 2013, Aaron and Chris got to sit down in-person with a guest that had been on their wish-list since, basically, the inception of the podcast. Today, we're happy to share the first half of the conversation.

Gary Corbett may not be a household name along the lines of Gene SimmonsPaul Stanley, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, or Cyndi Lauper but he's worked closely with all of them. In part 1 of this long-form discussion, Gary shares his experiences in the music business working with Cinderella and KISS.

The discussion opens with Chris telling Gary about seeing, or more appropriately hearing, him perform with KISS in Nashville on the Hot in the Shade tour. Gary goes on to share how he wound up relocating to Nashville from New York years ago and also talks about the Scrap Metal project that he's been part of with also-Nashville-resident Mark SlaughterScrap Metal.

We then discuss the announcement of KISS' upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Gary's thoughts on who still deserves to be in the museum.

Gary shares the story of how he was brought into the KISS fold during pre-production for the 'Crazy Nights' album. He was then brought in to tour for the 'Crazy Nights' tour and he recounts the struggles the band went through on the road due to low ticket sales in the face of dismal returns on the album.

Soundcheck for KISS is a time when the band members can cut loose away from the audience while still being on stage. Unfortunately for Gary, his first tour with the band didn't provide a fun atmosphere in which to soundcheck due to Gene Simmons razzing the keyboard player in a particular way.

We go into a brief discussion of KISS' appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival in Germany in 1988 and how Gary being shown on camera during the performance led to some unpleasant vibes from Gene and Paul.

Chris, then, approaches Gary about the presence during those years of Jess Hilsen, who was Paul Stanley's therapist who wound up handling KISS' financial affairs before leaving the country amid a haze of lawsuits and bad business deals. And speaking of managers, Gary then shares how another KISS manager Larry Mazer was responsible for bringing him into the fold playing for Cinderella beginning with the Heartbreak Station tour.

We come back from the first break with some Vinnie Vincent discussion and Gary shares how he was actually at Mark Slaughter's house when news broke of Vinnie's arrest.

Another KISS connection for Gary goes back all the way to the 1970's as he crossed paths with the Kulick brothers early on. He was also a part of the mid-late 70's New York scene and was a part of the Max's Kansas City crowd.

During his time working with KISS, Gary become very close friends with Eric Carr. In this discussion, we get Gary's take on Eric's personality and some of the struggles he had with dealing with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons' control. He would typically hang out with Gary after the shows and in this discussion he shares what Eric was like socially with fans and friends.

Eric Car went through a difficult circumstance when KISS toured Europe in 1988 as his drum solo was vetoed. This decision hit Eric very hard and Gary shares his take on who was responsible and why.

In this discussion, Gary has some very pointed things to say in regards to Paul Stanley. He also shares his thoughts on Bruce Kulick's long tenure in the band and how that took place under the control of Simmons and Stanley.

We come back from the second break with discussion of Gary's memories of his tenure with KISS and how, during the 'Crazy Nights' tour, the employment arrangements with the band were becoming troublesome due to the on-again/off-again nature. This situation came to a head and led to a standoff of sorts between Gary and the band at Nassau Coliseum.

We finish off Part 1 with a quick discussion of what it must have been like to be a roadie for KISS during the 'Crazy Nights' era. Who could forget that logo?

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KISS

Cinderella

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Direct download: Episode_119_-_Gary_Corbett_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56pm EDT

We kick off 2014 with a guest that has seen many facets of the music industry in his 30+ years in it. Paul Taylor joins Aaron and Chris this week to discuss his career in rock with artists like Aldo Nova, Alice Cooper, Winger, and current projects including The Big Rock Show and production work with up and coming singer Rizzi Myers.

Paul Taylor was brought up in the San Francisco bay area to parents that he describes as "70's hippies." Paul's professional debut in music would take a few years but, as you'll hear in this discussion, his face appeared on a major label album cover by a well-known Vietnam-era band.

After honing his skills in the Bay area, Taylor catches his first big break as touring keyboardist for Aldo Nova as well as a cameo in the 'Fantasy' video from 1981. In this discussion, Paul tells Aaron and Chris about Nova's difficult demeanor on the road as well as the surprising supplier of the hokey visual effects in the 'Fantasy' video.

After a stint with Nick Gilder in the early 80's, Paul winds up in the Alice Cooper band for The Nightmare Returns tour in 1986. He shares the circumstances that led to his hiring in the Cooper act as well as memories of forming a friendship with bassist Kip Winger that would lead to big things down the road.

Also in this discussion, Taylor reminisces on the Raise Your Fist and Yell era of Alice Cooper including memories of protesters outside the venues and the continued misunderstanding of Alice the person in comparison to Alice the performer.

After the European tour with Alice Cooper, Taylor leaves the band to join his former band mate Winger in a new, original project that had just achieved label backing. In this conversation, Paul shares his thoughts on the rise of Winger including the criticism they faced due to the band's image overshadowing the undeniable talent in the band. 

Winger toured the world on the strong sales of their self-titled debut as well as the successful followup 'In the Heart of the Young.' In this discussion, Taylor remembers the tours the band undertook including stints with Scorpions as well as KISS and the bond formed with late drummer Eric Carr.

He also gives his thoughts on Mike Judge's 'Beavis & Butthead' putting a bullseye on the band through MTV and his opinions on Judge himself. This part of the conversation also dovetails into a discussion of the rise of grunge causing the fall of bands of Winger's ilk as well as the work he's done with Winger in more recent years and some reunion dates going on right now.

After his departure from Winger, Taylor teamed up with former Journey vocalist Steve Perry for 1994's 'For the Love of Strange Medicine.' In this conversation, Paul tells Aaron and Chris how a simple songwriting session turned into an entire album collaboration, Perry's vision for a record, and his thoughts on the then-new digital mix the album received and what he'd do differently with it today.

These days, Paul Taylor is as busy as ever. He recently finished a stint touring with Cinderella vocalist Tom Keifer for his recent solo album. This gig spawned two music videos as well as an appearance with Tom on the David Letterman show.

Paul is also a member of The Big Rock Show; no stranger to the Decibel Geek podcast. This group performs all of the country as well as on many of the rock-themed cruise lines.

in addition to performing duties, Taylor is also a writer, arranger, and producer for up and coming talent Rizzi Myers. Myers was present during this interview recording and we see big things for her in the future based on the great tracks Paul shared with Aaron and Chris. Check Rizzi Myers out HERE.

We want to thank Paul Taylor for taking the time to share such great stories from a great career in music. Aaron, Chris, and the entire Decibel Geek staff want to wish Paul much success in the future.

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Tom Keifer

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Direct download: Episode_118_-_Paul_Taylor.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:42pm EDT

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