November 24, 1991 – Eric “The Fox” Carr was born as Paul Caravello on July 12, 1950 in Brooklyn New York. He grew up typically post war American and by the time he was 15, while still in high school, he began playing with a string of bands mostly performing covers of Top 40 songs.
In 1970, Caravello joined the band Salt & Pepper, which started as a cover band playing music from multiple genres; the band was named that because half of the members were black and half were white. In 1973 the band changed their name to Creation, now performing disco music.
Tragedy struck in 1974 when a fire broke out during a discothèque gig at Gulliver’s restaurant in Port Chester, New York, killing dozens of people including the band’s keyboardist and lead singer. Caravello escaped and was credited with saving another person, one of the band’s female singers. It was determined that the fire had been started by a thief in an adjacent building hoping to cover his tracks.
Carr would go on with the band until 1979. They enjoyed some success, performing as an opening act for established names such as Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone. The band broke up in late 1979. He later described the band as “like my family basically for nine years.”
In December 1979, Caravello successfully auditioned for a four-piece rock ‘n’ roll cover band called Flasher. After three weeks of rehearsals, they started playing at clubs. At this point he had become discouraged about his musical future after so many years trying to make it without a break, and considered settling down with a non-musical career.”…we were making real (lousy) money – something like $10, $7 a night, whatever it was it was. Really, really terrible. Just by contrast, I used to make $15 a night when I was like 16 years old, and here I am almost 30 years old, and I’m making like $7 a night! So I wasn’t doing better, obviously – I was going in reverse, you know!
Flasher played the club circuit in New York City and Long Island for several months, before their keyboard player, Paul Turino quit; they then continued as a power trio, with the three sharing vocal duties. They played songs by Joe Jackson, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, among others.” Bookings diminished, and Caravello handed in his resignation in May 1980. At that point, he considered quitting music, having reached the age of 30 without any real success. Shortly afterwards, he had a chance meeting with Turino in a club in Queens; Turino told Caravello about Peter Criss’ departure from Kiss, and urged Caravello to audition to become Kiss’ drummer.
He did and was the last drummer to audition. A significant advantage for Caravello may have been his relative anonymity, as it was important for the band to maintain the mystique surrounding the members. Said Paul Stanley, “It was really important to us that we got somebody who was unknown… We didn’t want somebody who last week was in Rod Stewart’s band or in Rainbow.” The press release announcing the induction of Caravello into Kiss deducted three years from his actual age in part to confuse those seeking information about his true identity, but also to help create an identification with Eric – a young fan chosen out of the crowd to be the new KISS drummer.
His Kiss persona, was first made up as “The Hawk,” but later adopted the persona of “The Fox”, he was also part of the band’s stage makeup removal of their live on MTV in 1983. He also played guitar, bass guitar, piano and sang background vocals, he sung lead vocals on “Black Diamond” and “Young and Wasted” live with Kiss. He sang lead on the remake of “Beth” in the studio on the album Smashes, Thrashes & Hits.
In 1989 he sang lead vocal on a self-penned, studio track titled “Little Caesar,”. His last live performance with Kiss was November 9, 1990 in New York City, at Madison Square Garden. He succumbed from heart cancer one year later,on November 24, 1991 at age 41.