Lou Gramm Doesn’t Blame KISS For Dropping Black Sheep
An incident that nobody could have foreseen prevented Black Sheep from going all the way and acquiring a prominent place in rock history. The band was set to tour with KISS, an opportunity of a lifetime, but a car accident left Black Sheep without any equipment. Lou Gramm recently recalled those days while speaking to Eddie Trunk for his podcast.
“We got a standing ovation on the night of the big show in Boston,” said Gramm, recalling their performance before the unfortunate accident that forever changed the band’s career path. “They never let an opening act do an encore, but we did one more song and got another standing ovation. We thanked the fans and went off the stage.”
“The show was on Christmas Eve 1975,” began Gramm, explaining what happened on the night of the accident. “On the way home, there was an unbelievable snowstorm with sleet and snow. I made it home with the guys in the band. 04:30 in the morning, I got a call from our crew guy that our truck with all our equipment in it hit a patch of ice on the New York State freeway, slid off the road, and rolled over. The guys were all bumped and bruised up, but nobody hurt badly. The truck had been winched back on the road and brought to a gas station.”
He continued, “I took the car and went to pick up the rest of the crew. We tried to assess the damages to the equipment, but the box of the truck was like this, and we couldn’t get the back door to open. The day after Christmas, we returned with someone to snap open the door enough to see the equipment. It was 80% destroyed. On December 28, we were supposed to be in Maimi, opening for KISS.”
“We were begging our parents so they could front us a little money so we could buy equipment,” remembered Lou Gramm. “It was a recession in America then, and nobody’s parents in the band could do that for us, even though the band was popping off and getting more attention than ever. Then we asked Capitol Records, since we were promoting the album and they were our label, what would it be if they were to front us $25.000? They wouldn’t do it. KISS had no choice but to drop us from the tour, and two days later, we were dropped off the label.”
There wasn’t any resentment towards KISS as they had no option because they couldn’t carry on their tour without an opener, and with all the equipment gone, they had to make the difficult call to drop Black Sheep. The car accident changed the trajectory of Gramm’s future as he found himself in Foreigner, but it is fascinating to wonder what would have become of Black Sheep if they had gone on the whole run with KISS.