Robert J. (Bob) Kulick (January 16, 1950 – May 29, 2020) was an American guitarist and record producer, best known for his studio work with KISS and shock-rock heavy metal band W.A.S.P.
Robert J. (Bob) Kulick was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was the older brother of another former KISS lead guitarist Bruce Kulick.
In late 1972 Bob Kulick took a chance and auditioned for the lead guitar spot in a new band called KISS. KISS founding members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss were very impressed by Bob’s performance, but the glitzier showman Ace Frehley, who auditioned immediately after him, was chosen to fill the lead guitar spot instead.
Early in his session career in 1975, Bob Kulick played lead guitar for Lou Reed on his “Coney Island Baby” record.
Bob Kulick later played, but was not credited, on four KISS albums, “Alive II” in 1977, on which he played three of the five studio tracks, “Unmasked” in 1980, when he played lead guitar on “Naked City”, “Killers” in 1982, on which he played on all four of the new studio tracks, and “Creatures of the Night” in 1982. He also played on Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album “Paul Stanley” and on his 1989 solo tour.
Bob Kulick also formed a band called Balance, with Peppy Castro and Doug Katsaros (multi-platinum recording arranger and Broadway conductor), which released 3 albums, “Balance”, “In for the Count” and “Equilibrium”, and had some chart success in the early 1980s, and were best known for the single “Breaking Away” which reached Number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1981.
He also played rhythm and lead guitar on Michael Bolton’s 1983 album “Michael Bolton”.
Bob Kulick also had a long-running stint in Meat Loaf’s touring band, the Neverland Express, and played on several Meat Loaf albums, most notably “Bad Attitude” in 1984.
Bob Kulick was also involved with a project band called Skull which released one album, “No Bones About It” in 1991. Bob’s brother, Bruce Kulick, who would also become a member of KISS, co-wrote one song and appeared as a guest guitarist on another track.
Bob Kulick played on the W.A.S.P. albums “The Crimson Idol” released in 1992 and “Still Not Black Enough” released in 1996, but was only involved with W.A.S.P. in the studio and never toured with them or became a member of the band.
In 1996 he released “Murderer’s Row” with his band Murderer’s Row, which included David Glen Eisley, of Giuffria and Dirty White Boy, on vocals. After that Bob Kulick served in various side project bands including Blackthorne, which released the album “Afterlife”.
Bob Kulick also produced Motörhead’s album “Whiplash”, which was the winner of the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, produced and played guitar on the theme for WWE wrestler Triple H, and earned 11 gold and platinum records working with KISS and Diana Ross, on “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” in 1981. He also composed, produced, and performed “Sweet Victory” with David Glen Eisley in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Band Geeks” on Nickelodeon, and the song was also on “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Album” released in 2005.
Bob also releasd the solo album “Skeletons in the Closet” in 2017.
Bob Kulick lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was a regular participant in the annual “KISS Night in Las Vegas” fundraiser for music programs in Clark County, Nevada schools until his death.
Bob Kulick died on May 29, 2020, aged 70, no cause was announced.
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