Artist: Jack Edward Sawyers (Director)
Title: The Eric Carr Story – Inside The Tale Of The Fox
Label: Creative Worx
Reviewed: May, 2018
Rating: 3.5 /5
Long time readers of Metal-Rules may know that we are slowly trying to review every Hard Rock / Metal DVD ever released. When I was thinking about what DVD’s in the massive backlog I wanted to watch and review this month, it just sort of fell in place. Sometimes when I’m writing reviews, I just follow a little thread of inspiration, maybe a whim, and see where it goes. In this case it led me to do a double DVD feature on two deceased drummers. No rhyme, no rhythm, no reason, it just happened.
I realized that there were some parallels between Eric Carr and Randy Castillo. Both were born in 1950, a few months apart. Both were American. Both were drummers for arguably some of the biggest bands of all time, Kiss and Ozzy respectively. Both were relatively unknown and both made their name playing for about a decade in huge 80’s bands. Both were reportedly super nice people and last of all but not least, both died of cancer at an early age. Both careers derailed. And, both of them have DVD documentaries made about their lives and this month, I’m going to review each one in tribute to these gentlemen. Please feel free to enjoy both reviews in this mini-feature.
This video came out in 2000 and I was quite pleased to track down a copy of it. It pairs nicely with Greg Prato’s book THE ERIC CARR STORY, which by coincidence has the same title!
The quality is not the highest, the production values are ok, considering it is an independent film, but is more than adequate. Considering some of the footage dates back to the early 80’s it holds up well. The narrative is a standard, chronicling of his life from his early days in the trades to the auditions for Kiss and beyond into super-stardom.
Carr had a habit of fooling around with a hand-held video camera so there is quite a lot of 80’s style home-video quality footage. It quickly becomes apparent that he was a bit of a joker, the new kid who is excited and enjoying the lifestyle. There is a cavalcade of stars who pay homage to the drummer, although Gene and Paul are absent, but that is not really all that surprising. On that note, there isn’t really that much Kiss music, I’m sure it was also a licensing issue. Bill Aucoin gets interviewed, ex-members of Kiss, his girlfriend all give great insight to the man. There is also a decent amount of footage from media clips which are probably public domain or easier to access.
Unlike perhaps Randy Castillo, who built his career on practice, hard work and reputation, Carr was a bit more of a Cinderella story. Not to imply he did not work hard, but he was still playing in, largely, dead-end bar bands into his and then the magic moment when he got the gig on Kiss. There is a great moment when there is a discussion about how when Carr got into the band, Gene and Paul bought him a Porsche as a present. Some deluded people say Gene is greedy but he certainly shared his wealth with Carr during good times and bad.
This was a fun film, a fine tribute and maybe an example of how, once in a awhile, the little guy gets to make it; the American dream.