If Eric Carr were still with us, he would have been celebrating his 68th birthday. His birth name Paul Charles Caravello and he is best known as the drummer for the rock band Kiss from 1980 to 1991. Caravello was selected as the new Kiss drummer after Peter Criss left, and he chose the stage name “Eric Carr” and took up the “Fox” persona.
Here is the story of when Caravello applied for Kiss, submitting a cassette tape of Kiss’ current single “Shandi” but with his vocals over the music instead of Paul Stanley’s vocals.
“It sounded great!” he enthused years later. The application was put into a bright orange folder to make it stand out visually. Jane Grod, a KISS staffer, told him later she had noticed the brightly colored envelope and so picked it to be one reviewed from the pile.
While sitting outside the actual room used for the audition, Caravello watched the three members of KISS ‒ Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley ‒ walk by to enter the room. He was one of the few people outside of the band’s circle of friends, family, and music business partners, to see Kiss without make-up. “Paul, I knew right away”, he told a fanzine in 1990. “The others I wasn’t sure about.”
Caravello was the last drummer to audition for the band and actually asked Stanley, Simmons and Frehley to autograph the list of Kiss songs he was to play with the band, in case he never saw them again. “But I knew I had it”, he told a fanzine in 1990. According to Caravello, his audition was videotaped. He was also immediately comfortable, feeling the songs he had to play “…were a snap.” He knew the arrangements better than the band did, from learning the recorded versions off Kiss’ albums. “They had been on tour, and changed little things around,” he said. He wasn’t impressed with Kiss’ performance at the audition. “They were awful!” he emphasized, “I had to remind them, “‘No, I sing this harmony, you sing that one’, stuff like that. It was great! Right away we were working together. I know it impressed them.”
He remained a member of Kiss until his death from heart cancer on November 24, 1991, at the age of 41.
Happy Birthday Paul. RIP.