Eric Carr Related

Art Lindauer (2011)
Guitarist/vocalist discusses working with a pre-KISS Eric Carr in the cover band trio Flasher.

John Henderson (2004)
Musician shares his memories of collaborating with a young Paul Caravellos (Eric Carr) and his memories of Carr's pre-KISS bands

Victor Cohen (2002)
Rhythm guitarist/keyboard player discusses working with Eric Carr in the Cellarmen

David Bartky (2002)
Bassist recalls his musical beginnings and collaborating with Eric Carr in the Cellarmen

Robert "Bob" Pryor (2001)
Guitarist discusses his musical influences and working with Eric Carr in the Cellarmen

A Flashback with Art Lindauer

By Julian Gill

Eric Carr's road to fame was a long and arduous adventure that ran the gamut of musical genres from pop to R&B to folk to rock. Immediately prior to joining KISS Eric Carr was repairing stoves and playing in a rock covers band trio called Flasher. The band performed a variety of non-original material including songs by The Clash, Ramones, AC/DC, The Knack, The Cars, and other songs that would have made sense in clubs in 1980. The KissFAQ was fortunate that former Flasher guitarist/vocalist Art Lindauer was willing to answer a few questions about his musical history and time in a band with "The Fox!"

KF: Tell us a little of your background - i.e. where you grew up, your family, etc?
Art Lindauer: Born 10/29/54 in Astoria NY. At 3 years of age moved to Queens Village, NY.

KF: What artist would form your earliest memory of "music"?
AL: Growing up my mother always had the radio on WNEW AM. I listened to WNEW FM. On my mother's AM radio, I heard music that influenced me many years after 'Flasher". 'Cast Your Fate to the Wind' influenced me years later when I picked up keyboards. Another song I heard on my mother's radio was 'Mas Que Nada' by Sergio Mendez. In 1992 I went to Brazil for the first time and returned twice a year for 12 years. I fell in love with the music, people and culture.

KF: Which artist first grabbed your attention as a "performer"?
AL: There were many late 1960's performers who first grabbed my attention, however I must say it was Eric Clapton and Cream who really made me want to play guitar in a rock & roll band. Because Eric Clapton was pictured playing a Gibson SG in Life magazine I saved my money and bought a Gibson SG as my first professional guitar.

Hear Flasher peforming "London Calling"

KF: What led to your transition into playing music, rather than simply listening or enjoying?
AL: I got interested in guitar after 7th grade summer camp when another camper taught me how to play 'Satisfaction" on the guitar.

KF: The guitar. Why? Do you play any other instruments?
AL: In the 1970's when I was first playing music I learn a few chords on the keyboard, however when synthesizer came about I was very intimidated. Later in the 1980 when programmable synths came out I jumped on board. I also play a little bass guitar and percussion. In the 1970's I also played drums (not near as good as Eric Carr. I could keep a beat though.)

KF: What was your first guitar, and when and how, did you get it?
AL: My first guitar was a real cheap metal string acoustic sold by my guitar instructor. I do not know the brand name. Soon after, I bought a Harmony (I think?) electric.

Hear Flasher peforming "Candy-O"

KF: When did you join your first band? What sort of material did you play and did you perform publically?
AL: My first band was with fellow high school students from Holy Cross HS in Flushing, NY. It was called 'Hobble Bush" a name we picked at random from the dictionary.

KF: Let's jump ahead to 1979. Did Flasher exist prior to Paul Caravello joining?
AL: The dates listed are incorrect. Flasher didn't exist until 1980. I was still with 'Easy Street, USA, a Long Island, NY major club band for 6 years. I left because the lead singer was my girlfriend, Liz Ortiz, and we broke up making it hard to work together. We were handled by the Rick Morgan Agency and so was 'Flasher'.

KF: How did Paul find out about the audition? How was he auditioned for the position?
AL: "Flasher" was only together for 6 -- 9 months. It's so long ago and for such a short time that it is hard to remember. For all of us there was some un-remembered reason why we broke up the band. We weren't angry at each other, but for some reason at the exact same time we had other opportunities. For me it was the move to LA to pursue a recording contract, Paul (aka Eric Carr) to audition for KISS and for Mike I just can't remember.

Hear Flasher peforming "Baby Talks Dirty"

KF: Please describe your first encounter with Paul?
AL: I don't remember too much about my first encounter with Paul. I remember us at a club on Northern Blvd in Queens, NY after I left 'Easy Street" and we talked.

KF: How did the other guys in the band enter the picture?
AL: I don't remember how he knew we were looking for a drummer. I could only guess we put an ad in 'The Good Times' a local Long Island Newspaper. I think the other members responded to ads in 'The Good Times', as well. We had a keyboard player, Paul Turino, for a short time, however we found him very un-professional and he never played a gig with him, only a video showcase for our management company. 'Flasher' existed for about one month before Eric/Paul. We had another drummer first, however it was so long ago and we never played a gig with him I cannot remember him. I do have a picture of the other drummer with a cymbal on his head, but I have no clue on his name. I think Mike and Paul both responded to a 'Good Times' local Long Island newspaper.

KF: Who came up with the name Flasher?
AL: Who came up with the name? I don't remember, although I was the leader of the band and had the greater influence. I think I did. The others approved.

KF: You played what I guess could be called the top-40 of the day. Who chose the songs/sets? Any particular favorite songs in the set and do you recall any of Paul's favorites?
AL: We played cover songs. This was just before the DJ phases happened and bands usually played covers of the hits on the radio. The same thing we did with my prior bands. As leader of the band I had a big influence on what we played, however I took in to consideration what the other band members could sing. I did not care much for Van Halen and AC/DC, however Paul & Mike liked those bands. I do admit that the songs were fun to play. The Police, Clash, Joe Jackson and Ramones are all my influence. I would think that anything Paul suggested was what he liked -- AC/DC (about the closest thing we did to KISS).

Hear Flasher peforming "Beating Around The Bush"

KF: Did Flasher ever write or record any original songs?
AL: We never recorded or wrote original songs. That's part of the reason why I moved to LA to do just that.

KF: What sort of places did Flasher play, and did you get far from home?
AL: We played local Long Island and Brooklyn, NY Clubs. Mike lived in Nassau County, Paul in Brooklyn (I think) & I lived in Queens.

KF: Describe a rehearsal with Flasher?
AL: A rehearsal -- I don't remember. I remember that Paul, Mike and myself were total professionals. We discussed what cover songs we would play, went home, learned them on our own, then practiced them once or twice together before a gig.

KF: Do you recall your first gig rehearsal with Flasher? How did it go? Where was it? How many people did you perform for? Any mishaps?
AL: We only played a few gigs and I don't remember much. I remember the response wasn't as good as the band Easy Street, USA that I played with for 6 years. I understood this as a new band on the circuit. To tell the truth I only remember a few gigs. I don't recall much. It was over 30 years ago.

KF: Describe Flasher's best gig? Where/how/what/why?
AL: There was no best gig. We did enjoy playing 'Beggars Opera' in Queens. It was a huge club with a huge stage. All the gigs were uneventful. We were up and comers.

KF: Any horrendous or "Spinal Tap" moments for Flasher?
AL: No Spinal Tap Moments. I recall very little.

KF: You've shared some fantastic videos of Flasher performing. First, thanks! Tell us about how those came about?
AL: The videos were a new phase in the Rick Morgan Agency to promote his bands. About a dozen bands were recorded that day.

KF: Did Flasher ever do any studio recordings?
AL: No studio recordings.

Hear Flasher peforming "I Wanna Be Sedated"

KF: Paul auditioned for Kiss in June 1980. By that time had his involvement with Flasher ended, or what can you tell us about his departure?
AL: Flasher was not excelling as we hoped. When the opportunity for KISS came about, Paul grabbed it. At the same time I grabbed the chance to move to LA and try for a record deal.

KF: Did you keep in touch with Paul following Flasher, or see him?
AL: After we went our separate ways I never heard from Mike or Paul. I'm still trying to find Mike and other former friends on the Internet.

KF: When did you find out that he had become drummer for Kiss? What was your reaction?
AL: After I moved to LA I went back to the 'hood' for a visit. My friends told me Paul joined KISS and then I saw him on MTV videos.

KF: What did you think of Kiss back in the day?!
AL: I was never part of the KISS Army, but I enjoyed some of their music. I did get a kick out of and enjoyed their 'Disco' hit, "I Was Made For lovin' You."

KF: What have you been doing musically since 1980?
AL: In 1981 I moved to LA and tried to get a recording contract. I was in two bands (Bleeding Art & The Terry Siegel Band) that nearly got signed to Geffen Records, however at the last minute they said, "no" to each band. John Kalodner from Geffen was the one who rejected The Terry Seigel Band.

KF: You had a couple of bands who came close to getting signed. What advice would you offer to those thinking about trying to make it with a band?
AL: The best advice I can give anyone who wants to be in the entertainment industry is to get out and perform, perform and perform some more. No matter how great you are at practice, there's more than just performing. Learning to deal with on-stage problems is as important as performing well. Performance is live. There's no re-takes. What do you do when your guitar string breaks right before your big solo? What happens when you're supposed to be on stage and the drummer hasn't shown up? (That never happened with Eric Carr, but in my previous band it did several times.) What do you do when the singer looses their voice? Poor weather, snowstorms, internal band strife? Drugs, drinking, bar fights? The more you perform the more you learn how to deal with all the problems and still look professional to your audience.

KF: Finally... November 24, 2011 is the 20th anniversary of the Paul's passing. We're collecting short memoriam from Eric's friends, colleagues, peers, and those he influenced. In essence: How did knowing, interacting with, touring with, playing with, or simply experiencing Eric Carr affect you; be it a favorite story about him, a happy memory, or simply a word that you associate with him!
AL: Paul Caravello / Eric Carr was a hell of a nice guy. In every band I've ever had there has always been one person who everyone got along with and everyone liked. That was never me. But in Flasher it was Paul/Eric. One day he was at my parent's house and a new rug was just delivered. The rug was not placed properly and my father was annoyed. Paul said he could remedy it and the next day came with tools and fixed our rug properly. I also remember another day when he came by for rehearsal with a paperback book -- Shogun. It was the longest book I'd ever seen. When the band broke up and I was driving cross-country I read Shogun. It changed my life.

Hear Flasher peforming "Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio"

I'm sorry to say the only other two memories I have of Paul is at the Barrymore's gig. As he was talking in the microphone making our opening introduction, our 'Flasher' sign, (that was behind him) fell down on top of him as I started the opening guitar riff. He was trying to get the sign off his head and play drums at the same time (this is the type of unpredictable thing that can happen 'live' that you could never prepare for). The other was before he joined when we were at a club on Northern Blvd in Queens discussing the band.

Once again, the KissFAQ thanks Art Lindauer for taking the time to share his memories of Paul Caravello.

September 11, 2011

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