30 Years Ago: Eric Carr Plays His Last Kiss Show
The Madison Square Garden show concluded a tour in support of 1989's Hot in the Shade LP, which hit the Top 30 and went gold while giving Kiss a Top 10 pop single with the Michael Bolton co-write "Forever." The group played more than 120 dates between May and November, sharing the stage with a roster of opening acts that included Danger Danger, Faster Pussycat, Little Caesar, Slaughter and Winger.
Carr's tenure started during a bumpy time for Kiss — he first stepped in for 1981's much-maligned Music From 'The Elder' — but as the '80s wore on, the band rebounded by establishing an identity beyond their signature stage makeup. They would achieve platinum sales with albums such as 1983's Lick It Up, 1984's Animalize and 1987's Crazy Nights.
Sadly, Carr's time in the lineup was coming to a close. Though no one knew it when Kiss took the stage on Nov. 9, Carr was suffering from a rare form of heart cancer — symptoms from which kept him out of the studio while the group worked on its next album, 1992's Revenge.
Watch a Clip From Eric Carr's Last Kiss Concert
After battling the disease throughout 1991, Carr suffered an aneurysm and a brain hemorrhage on Nov. 24, passing away at the age of 41.
Carr wasn't the band's original drummer, but he'd long since earned a place of honor in Kiss history, as summarized in a letter his surviving bandmates wrote to Rolling Stone in early 1992. It was actually penned to castigate the magazine for neglecting to publish any kind of memorial for Carr, but the missive also included some moving words in tribute to his worth as a musician and a person.
Describing Carr as "someone who still lived and believed in the spirit of rock 'n' roll," the letter concluded: "We loved him, the fans loved him and he will never be forgotten."