ROCK GODS KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer is proud of Scottish roots
BY CHRIS SWEENEY / www.TheScottishSun.co.uk
The axe-wielding black-and-white knight is gearing up for the superstar band’s latest spectacular world tour.
Speaking to The Scottish Sun from his Los Angeles home, rock god Tommy says: “Being in KISS is absolutely as good as you’d imagine. And I’m not just saying that.
“I’ve been so fortunate to play lead guitar for one of the biggest rock groups in history — and you cannot find anything wrong with that.
“I wake up every morning thinking the same thing, ‘I’m a lucky son of a bitch’.”
Tommy is counting down the days until the face-painted warriors — who have sold more than 100million albums — hit The SSE Hydro in Glasgow in May.
And as he gets read to wow his Scots fans, he spoke fondly of his Celtic heritage.
He says: “The Scottish fans are dear to our hearts. Glasgow is going to be a fantastic show.
“And I have Scottish roots. My mother’s family is from Scotland.
“We are Cunninghams. My understanding is that my family fled Scotland as they were horse thieves.
“So they had to run away to the new world.
“I’m pretty much one of you. Maybe a few other things mixed in here and there but I’m Scottish deep down.”
The gig here will also allow Tommy to indulge one of his unlikely passions — art collecting.
He’s got right into Scots landscape painter Scott Naismith, who studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee.
Tommy, 56, explains: “I saw some of his paintings at the LA art show last year and I got a hold of him.
“I didn’t even know he was Scottish at the time. He’s a beautiful painter. So I’m going to buy a couple of his paintings when I come over at this studio — and he’s going to come to the show too.
“I haven’t met him yet, so I’m looking forward to meeting him properly. His work is a little abstract. He uses beautiful bright colours which really appeals to me. I collect art a bit, I enjoy that kind of stuff.”
Tommy admits people are surprised that he’s not all sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.
He says: “I’ve got a little sophisticated side to me. Not bad for a rock ’n’ roll guitar player, huh?
“Some people think, ‘What’s with this guy?’ when they know I’m into art and like to play golf. I’m also into fine wine.
“But don’t forget, I like to rock like the best of them. I like to live a little on the edge, get out and party a little bit.
“I enjoy the women of course. But I’ve never been out of control and doing drugs. That would compromise who I am and what I do. I like to be a good, solid person and do the right things.”
Playing golf seems to a recurring theme for lots of hard rockers. Alice Cooper is a fanatic and Bon Jovi’s Tico Torres is also an avid player.
Tommy says: “I love golf. I haven’t golfed in Scotland — I have played in Ireland and England.