As the lead guitarist for the legendary rock band KISS, Tommy Thayer’s career in music has been more than a dream come true.
Born on November 7th, 1960 in Portland, Oregon, Tommy grew up in the suburbs of Beaverton, Oregon amidst the sounds of the Beatles and other classic ‘60s pop music. Tommy’s passion for early 70s hard rock bands drove his desire to pick up electric guitar at age 13. After graduating from Sunset High School in 1978, Tommy played in many local garage and club bands, eventually forming his own serious hard-rocking act, Black ‘N Blue.
With a life-changing move to Southern California in early 1983, Black ‘N Blue had immediate success packing Hollywood’s rock clubs, and within six months signed a major worldwide recording contract with Geffen Records. Tommy’s dream of making records, videos and touring the world suddenly became a reality.
Touring for two months as opening act for KISS in fall 1985, Black ‘N Blue soon befriended bassist Gene Simmons and asked him to produce the band’s next studio album. Gene noticed Tommy’s skills and work ethic, in turn asking him to write and record song demos with him for KISS.
I was thrilled when in 2008 I became the proud recipient of my own Hughes & Kettner signature amplifier; the Duotone Tommy Thayer. I knew immediately that it was right because the force and tonality of this amplifier was perfect for what I needed in KISS.
Through the years I’ve been impressed by the people at Hughes & Kettner. My thanks and admiration go to CEO Hans Stamer, his son Nils and the entire staff in St. Wendel, Germany for their innovation and dedication to building the best guitar amplifiers in the world. Their secret weapon is my friend Paul Airey, Director of Quality Management and Artist Relations. Paul has been my biggest supporter, ensuring that I’m happy and have everything I need to get the right sound in the studio and on stage.
When you get right down to it though, it all starts and ends with a great product. Through the years with KISS I can’t tell you how many fans, friends and guitar players always ask me, “What’s that amp you’re using onstage with the killer tone?” I’m always proud to answer, “It’s a Hughes & Kettner.”