Doug Aldrich Felt Guilty During KISS Audition: ‘It Was Kind Of Weird’

Doug Aldrich discussed his 1982 audition for KISS in a recent chat with Metal Mayhem ROC. The guitarist tried out for the band after Ace Frehley left:

“The KISS audition was a blessing. I mean, it was like—I was basically just a kid. By going there and seeing what an audition was like, I’d never heard of such a thing, really. And KISS, it was bizarre because at that time, nobody had seen their faces. So, I felt guilty for seeing them, looking them in the eye. It was kind of weird.”

He went on:

“At the end of the day, it really was an inspirational thing for me because they were very kind to me and supportive of my playing. I think they were more like, ‘Hey, this is a kid.’”

The Band Chose Another Guitarist

Aldrich was an 18-year-old freshly out of high school at the time. So, he agreed with the band’s decision to choose someone else in Frehley’s place:

“That’s a big thing when you’re working with other people on touring. You got to feel comfortable together. You don’t want to take somebody that’s gonna be—you know, they’re feeling a little awkward, and you’re feeling awkward. And I had not been around the world at all really. So, I think they ended up making the right choice getting Vinnie Vincent. But it inspired me to immediately be better.”

The guitarist joined Lion around a year later and played with them until 1989. He ended up joining The Dead Daisies in 2016 after gigs in several bands through the years.

Aldrich Tried To Stay In Touch

Doug Aldrich wanted to use his contact with KISS for something else following the audition. The guitarist called Gene Simmons to ask for backstage passes to get into one of the band’s parties. He recalled Simmons’ response:

“They were partying. I called him and he was like, ‘Lose this number!’ I was crushed, I was devastated. I turned around and I was like, ‘I’m sorry guys, I don’t think we’re going to make it to the show.’ Actually, I don’t have his number anymore, but I know how to get hold of him—I have his email.”

Aldrich is now set to tour with The Dead Daisies to promote their new album, ‘Light ‘Em Up.’ The first show will take place in New York on June 6.