ERIC CARR. THE LIFE OF A LEGEND. HOW IT ALL BEGAN.
Born as Paul Charles Caravello on July 12, 1950, to Albert and Connie Caravello, Carr was of Italian descent. He grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn in New York City. Paul attended the High School of Art and Design. He majored in photography, but later decided to become a cartoonist. At that same time in 1964 “THE BEATLES” had just arrived on the music scene. Paul, as every other teenager wanted to be a BEATLE. That summer he worked had with his dad installing basement doors and doing small moving jobs. He earned enough money to buy a his first drum kit. He wanted to play like RINGO STARR. Paul could not wait to come home from school. He would go directly to his room and practice all night. He also started to grow his hair long just like Ringo. He was only one of two students in his high school who had long hair. He recalled that “I used to Dippity-Do to keep my hair down, to make it stay flat. I used to have a Beatles haircut, but my hair’s curly, so I couldn’t get it to lay flat like the Beatles’. So I’d get the stuff Dippity-Do, drench my hair with it, and I’d take a piece of my Mom’s nylon stocking, tie a knot in one end, and pull it over my head like a burglar. I was sleeping like that for probably two years every night Paul graduated from high school in 1967. He was very smart and was accepted into many elite colleges. College was not for him. He made up his mind that Music would be his life. Early career: Paul began playing with a string of bands mostly performing covers of Top 40 songs. As he described it later, “Top-40 in those days was everything – funk, ballads, rock, country, and everything. It was a great time for radio.” in 1965, he formed his first band The Cellarmen. They started playing local clubs in Brooklyn and Queens. Only a handful of original Cellarmen recordings were released on the Jody Records label, a small Brooklyn recording studio. Years later several reels full of The Cellarmen performing would surface. Seems his parents always recorded the shows. Paul then joined a band called “Things That Go Bump in the Night” and later “Smack”, the latter of which consisted mostly of members from The Cellarmen, who disbanded in 1968. In 1970, Paul joined the band Salt & Pepper, which started as a cover band playing music from multiple genres.
The band was named that because half of the members were black and half were white. In 1973 the band changed their name to Creation, now performing disco music. Tragedy struck in 1974 when a fire broke out during a discothèque gig at Gulliver’s nightclub in Port Chester, New York, killing dozens of people including the band’s keyboardist and lead singer. Paul escaped and was credited with saving another person, the band’s female singer Sarita. She remains friends with his family today. It was determined that the fire had been started by a thief in an adjacent building hoping to cover his tracks. The band continued on, sometimes under the name, “Bionic Boogie”. They held a benefit to replace their ruined equipment. Carr would go on with the band until 1979. They enjoyed some success, performing as an opening act for established names such as Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone. The band broke up in late 1979. He later described the band as “like my family basically for nine years. In December 1979, Caravello successfully auditioned for a rock ‘n’ roll cover band called Flasher. After three weeks of rehearsals, they started playing at clubs. At this point he had become discouraged about his musical future after so many years trying to make it without a break, and considered settling down with a non-musical career. He said “we were making real (lousy) money – something like $10, $7 a night, whatever it was it was. Really, really terrible. Just by contrast, I used to make $15 a night when I was like 16 years old, and here I am almost 30 years old, and I’m making like $7 a night! So I wasn’t doing better, obviously I was going in reverse, you know”. Flasher played the club circuit in New York City and Long Island for several months. They played songs by Joe Jackson, Van Halen, Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, among others.” Bookings diminished, and Paul handed in his resignation in May 1980. At that point, he considered quitting music, having reached the age of 30 without any real success. Shortly afterwards, He heard Peter Criss’ departed from Kiss. Just for fun, he sent in an audition tape and resume. To his surprise he was called to audition. After returning several times he was chosen as the NEW
“KISS DRUMMER” THE REST IS KISSTORY.