Message From Bruce

- August 29, 2014

Bruce KulickWednesday the 20th of August was a special night for many reasons. First of all, it's not often that people representing Rick Springfield call me up for a favor, but when I heard that Rick's guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, is very ill with stage four cancer and his very favorite band is KISS it was natural for me to jump in and help out.

I was lucky that a few great players who live in LA were available to join me for this mini-set at the House of Blues on Sunset. James Lomenzo (White Lion, Megadeth, and the Amazing Race Reality show), Kenny Aronoff (too long a resume to list here!) and Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) would be the band playing KISS classics. Funny thing is that Ruben asked management, "Can they play 'Rocket Ride'?" Wow, that was an interesting request--an Ace song from the ALIVE II studio tracks. The evening was about Ruben, however, so even though my first reaction was "Huh?" it quickly turned to "Yes!" Rick would join us to sing the song, really making that a special performance for Ruben.

The evening was well coordinated and the crowd had an amazing time. Rick's set was awesome, with some special guests. Elliot Easton from The Cars sat in a few songs, as well as John 5 from Marilyn Manson and White Zombie. Then my band played five KISS songs before bringing out Rick to perform "Rocket Ride."

After that was the big hit from Rick "Jessie's Girl," which James and I sat in for. I always loved that song, and it came off perfectly. Afterward, there were KISS themed cupcakes and a huge cake backstage, and a Gene Simmons candy bowl statue made an appearance too. I loved the combination of Springfield and KISS, and I will add that Rick is a totally cool dude who was gracious and friendly to all. So it was a night to remember, and best of all the event raised lots of money for Ruben's medical bills. And I should add KISS donated a package for auction. To read more about it check out here.

Thank you to everyone involved, from the band to management to publicity, and to Gary and Jill ( and Sheri Hastings for the photos from the evening.

Bruce Kulick

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