ERICCARR.COM Presents The Fox Fan Of The Month.
This month's Fox Fan is
Bill DeMild. I have been friends with
Bill for over 30 years. He is the biggest KISS fan I know as
well as a really great guy.
Staff writer: Nick "The Quig" Clemente
1. What is your name and /or your Facebook name? Bill DeMild
2. How old are you? 45 years old
3. Where are you from? New Jersey
4. What is your favorite Eric Carr
era KISS album and song?
I would have to say Creatures of the Night... followed by probably Asylum. I think Creatures was what KISS really needed to get back into that more hungry vibe that they seemed to be missing for a bit. With Eric in the band for a few years, and also with the Unmasked 1980 Europe tour under his belt, I think he felt comfortable during this time. The drum sound is killer!! I also say Asylum because out of all the "new" songs they did, I think Tears are Falling is one of their best.
5. Did you get to see Eric play live?
If so when and where?
I saw Eric live MANY times.. I still remember when they played the warm up show at The Palladium In New York City to introduce him before the European tour in 1980. I could've had 3rd. row seats for 50.00!! My parents weren't going to let me at 15 years old go into New York by myself (no one else could take me) so I missed that show. I was so upset! Then when they were touring for Creatures and they never came around the New York City, New Jersey area. I think the closest they came was about 4 hours away, so I missed out on that one also. I finally got to see Eric live during the Lick It Up tour, saw them In Philadelphia, and both shows in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. I went to (if I remember right) probably about 4 or 5 Animalize shows (a few with you Nick!!). Got to see them about 6 times on Asylum tour and the Crazy Nights tour I started to drive anywhere in the area to see them (Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, upstate New York, Massachusetts, and anywhere else it would be close enough, (about 3-4 hour drive). Hot in the Shade I caught about 8 shows or so, with the last one at Madison Square Garden. I also got to see them at the Stone Pony benefit concert they did in 1990. I was right in the front and kept motioning for Eric to throw his drumsticks to me. He kept shaking his head no, probably for the fear that he might've knocked someone in the head if he threw them. After their set is over and while they're leaving the stage, Eric comes right up to me and slaps both drumsticks right in my hand!!! That was really cool!!
you ever meet Eric?
I was lucky enough to get to meet Eric many times. He was really nice with the fans and was very sweet and listened when people talked to him. I was part of a KISS fanzine called KISS KLASSICS, and we were treated to some back stage access when KISS would be on tour. I have met Eric backstage, (the photo of him in black holding up the issue of KISS KLASSICS was taken in December 1988 at the Philadelphia Spectrum.) Eric saw that shot on a cover of our magazine we put out a few months later and the next time I spoke with him he told me he HATED that shot!! I have also met him at the studio where they used to rehearse at in New York City (the other photos). I met him at the bar at the hotel after the concert during the Asylum tour, and after he was done talking with a very cute looking girl, I went over to say hello and get an autograph. We talked for a good 10 minutes!! He was so respectful and polite that he really just wanted to hang and talk. It was funny, because when the cute girl came back over after a while, Eric said to me "Alright, interview over", he then shook my hand and thanked me for coming to the show, then turned his attention to other matters! When he was sick and in the hospital just after his surgery, I got the phone number and called the hospital, honestly thinking that hospital staff would pick up and I would ask for Eric Carr's room. As soon as the phone picked up, the voice was unmistakable. IT WAS HIM! I knew right away it was him, but was shocked that he would pick up. I asked if I could please speak to Eric Carr. (I didn't want to just blurt out ERIC!!!!-- so I was trying to keep it cool). He asked who was calling and I told him Bill DeMild from KISS KLASSICS. He immediately said, "Oh, Hi Bill, it's me". He sounded a bit tired, but he was really upbeat. He even told me about the party they had the night before in his hospital room. I told him that I didn't want to bother him but I really just wanted to call to give my well wishes. He thanked me and said that people were calling him all day. We talked for a couple minutes, then he said he was tired, plus he had some people with him in the room. He was just a very sweet guy.
When I found out that Eric passed away we went to the church where the service was being held. I met up with Gary Corbett, KISS keyboardist. At this time no one knew if they were going to let fans inside the church for the service. Gary asked me, who I was with and I told him it was myself, my wife Donna, and my friend Brian Rademacher and his sister Cindy. Gary told me that he would get the four of us in. I was glad that the church and Eric's' family had decided to let ALL the fans in, so everyone got to be in attendance. It was a sad day, but we wanted to be there and pay our respect for the man who gave us years of greatness. After the service was over, we followed the other cars to the cemetery, which seemed like it was a very long drive. State Troopers had roads blocked off so the funeral procession could pass through without getting broken up. Once at the cemetery, you needed a pass to get into the actual service there. We didn't have a pass; they were pretty much for family and extremely close friends. We stayed across the street until all the funeral procession cars and guests started to leave. After they were gone, all of us went across the street to find where Eric's' final resting place was. The groundkeepers and caretakers had his mausoleum closed, they were taking care of it and they would open it up to the fans in about an hour or so. After an hour or so, they reopened the doors and let the fans in. It was pretty unbelievable to be standing there, and it's actually getting me a bit choked up now.
7. If you could ask Eric one question
today what would it be?
I don't really know what I would ask Eric now. I honestly think he would've had mixed emotions about the reunion. If he was still in the band, and if Paul and Gene told him about the possibility about a reunion with Ace and Peter, I think he would've had a very hard time letting go because HE LOVED BEING IN THE BAND SO MUCH!! One question I did ask him when I met him at the bar was Why didn't they ever play New York City during Creatures? His response to me was that if they came around to do Madison Square Garden and if there were only about 5 or 6 thousand people, it would've been over. I'm kind of glad they skipped New York City.
Staff writer: Nick "The Quig" Clemente
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