How does KISS star Tommy Thayer shoot rockets out of his guitar?
There are artists that know how to put on a show. And then there's KISS. In a recent interview with Guitarist magazine, Tommy Thayer explained how his live showpiece stays on target:
"Basically, you have a pyrotechnic shot that's attached to the back of the headstock and it's all done electronically. It's done safely, too, as it's not just a matter of hitting a button: you also have to engage what's called a kill switch before you can go to the firing button.
"The guitar had to be kind of a custom, so I called Gibson and I picked a black Les Paul. Some wiring had to be installed, so space was routed out up the neck, and it's a pretty technical and impressive piece of machinery.
"There are three shots for that part of the solo, so there are three buttons: you shoot the rockets and it's a lot of fun. I remember the first few times I was nervous because I didn't want to screw it up.
"People say, 'That's such an Ace [Frehley] thing, why do you guys do that?' But we don't look at it that way: it's a KISS thing. It's part of a KISS show. End of story."