Bruce Kulick unsuccessfully auditioned for KISS back in 1982

Bruce Kulick unsuccessfully auditioned for KISS back in 1982

Back in January 2016, Sleaze Roxx reported about an article from that discussed guitarists that may or may not have auditioned for KISS back in 1982.

Part 2 of that article has now been published on In Part 2, indicates¬†“For Part 2, I tracked down even more guitarists but this time I interviewed them myself to find out every tiny detail of the audition process (except what kind of socks they were wearing on the day) and as you’ll read below several guitarists have willingly obliged.”

Of note, followed up with Bruce Kulick and reported the following:

“Now here’s one of the bigger surprises on this list of guitarists. Bruce Kulick, who joined KISS in 1984 had been rumoured to have auditioned for them in 1982 and was not chosen for the job at the time. Back then Bruce was playing in the Good Rats (with Joe Nevolo who had auditioned as drummer for KISS two years previously) but was recommended for the gig by his brother Bob who was playing guitar for KISS in the studio around that time.

This sounded like an odd rumour so I got in touch with Bruce and asked him if it was true. He told me:

Yes, I was part of the cattle call of guitar players!

They were super loud, I mistakenly took a Boogie head I liked from my Blackjack days with Bolton, and I don’t think I was my best. I couldn’t hear myself! I was sporting a full BK moustache at the time, and was quite shy.

Gene said, “Great vibrato,” but honestly I knew it wasn’t to be.

Of course KISSTORY happened in 1984 when a no facial hair BK did a session for Paul for ‘Animalize’, and he instinctually told me NOT to cut my hair. I filled in for Mark (St.John), and it became the beginning of my amazing 12 year journey as the KISS guitarist.

The irony here is that Bruce Kulick turned out to be a much better fit for the band musically and personality-wise in the long run. Bruce is an awesome player, he had the height, the image, mutual friends and similar backgrounds. I think this says more about Gene and Paul‘s indecisive nature in 1982 rather than any weakness on Bruce’s part…” went on to conclude the following:

“At the end of that marathon search, we have concluded that the following guitarists did audition live with the band to potentially replace Ace Frehley in 1982 (in no particular order):

1. Vinnie Cusano
2. Doug Aldrich
3. John Verner
4. Tommy Lafferty
5. Adam Bomb
6. Michael Angelo
7. Robbin Crosby
8. Bruce Kulick
9. Joey Hunting
10. Richie Sambora
11. Punky Meadows
12. Steve Farris
13. Marq Torien
14. Roger Romeo
15. Spencer Sercombe
16. Al Romero

In addition, I have strong suspicions (but no confirmation) that Joe Shikany and Donnie Dacus also auditioned.

And we now know that Gene and Paul considered the following enough to check out as potentials but did not go as far as to audition them in a live rehearsal:

1. Slash
2. Yngwie J Malmsteen
3. Roger Fischer
4. Michael Ray
5. Jack Starr
6. Steve Irons

We can also conclude that the rumours of the following auditioning for KISS are not true:

1. Bob Kulick
2. Eddie Van Halen
3. Robben Ford
4. Howard Leese
5. Keith Scott
6. Steve Hunter
7. Mick Mars
8. Ross the Boss

The entire Part 2 article can be read at