Debbie Pantera Saint (lead vocals)
Dave Steele (guitars)
Eric Carr (drums) -- unconfirmed !! --
Bobby Eccles (bass ?) -- unconfirmed
On January 16, 2021 the son of guitar player Dave Steele
mentioned on the
that he found a demo CDR which lists Eric Carr.
His father was a guitarist in the around 1974 - 1985 in NJ/NY
scene. He had a few stage names one, of which was Dave Steele.
Dave Steele past a decade ago and his son recently discovered
his father had a storage room filled with old musical items.
Amidst his stuff his son found a 3 song / 12 minute CDR with
“Dave Steele, Eric Carr, Pantera’Saint written on it.
From there on the search began. So far I've contacted Rik Fox
and Jack Starr.
Julian Gill, the forum, and I came with the following results.
Dave Steele was one of the 2 guitar
players in an early version of Rik Fox' band
SIN. Formed in 1976/1977, SIN was a
New York area cover band, doing covers of David Bowie, Led
Zeppelin, Van Halen, Queen, Aerosmith a.o.
During the late 70's Dave Steele was in a band named HOOKER,
which late 1979 line up was :
Debbie Pantera Saint - vocals
Dave Steele - guitars
Gerry Laufer - guitars
James LoMenzo - bass / vocals
Gael de Courtivron - drums
Debbie Pantera Saint was Eric Carr's girlfriend.
James LoMenzo became the bass player
in White Lion.
Track 01 : Danger Zone - Songwriter registration credits
Registration Number / Date: PAu000267459 / 1981-02-09
Application Title: Come with me into the danger zone.
Title: Danger zone / words and music by Jack Starr.
Description: 1 p.
Copyright Claimant: Jack Starr
Date of Creation: 1980
Names: Starr, Jack, 1951-
Track 02 : Rock Is - Songwriter
Registration Number / Date: PAu000270560 / 1981-02-19
Title: Rock is : 2/8/81 / music by David Bland ; words by
Description: 1 sound cassette.
Copyright Claimant: David Bland & Pantera Saint
Date of Creation: 1981
Authorship on Application: words: Pantera Saint, pseud.
Track 03 : Love Is Hard - Songwriter registration credits
Registration Number / Date: PAu000267460 / 1981-02-09
Title: Love is hard / by Jack Starr.
Description: 1 p.
Notes: Words, melody & chord symbols.
Copyright Claimant: Jack Starr
Date of Creation: 1979
Names: Starr, Jack, 1951-
Jack Starr's own version of "Danger
Zone" ended up on
VIRGIN STEELE's self titled 1982 debut
album, while Jack Starr's original demo version of "Love
Is Hard" ended up on a 2001
compilation album with early demo tracks (1975-1980), mostly
4-track recordings, entitled "Before
The Steele: Roots Of A Metal Master".
Because 2 of the demoed songs are written (as well as recorded)
by Jack Starr, I (KRR) decided to contact Jack.
Jack Starr's reply to Kiss Related
"Hi Jelle, to be honest I am surprised
that they (= Eric Carr and Debbie Pantera Saint) never mentioned
to me that they were going to do some demos of my songs, they
never told me and yes, I knew Eric Carr and they came to my
house with Pantera. I even have some pictures of Pantera when
she and Eric came to see my band Virgin Steele play at a club on
Long Island called My Father's Place. She was very nice looking
and everyone that ever saw the picture of me and her thought
that she was Donna Summer.
I am sure that Eric Carr played drums on these demos
because number 1, it sounds just like him and no 2 at the time
when I was seeing him and Pantera they told me that they were
making demos for the band with Pantera and hoping to get a
record deal with them ...... But they never told me that they
liked my music which would have made me proud at that time
because Eric Carr had just become a member of Kiss and that
would have been good publicity for me so even though it's forty
years later I am happy and proud that Eric Carr and Pantera
liked my songs.
At that time I made recordings of a few other songs including
one called "Seventeen"
which was recorded (in
1978) by the French metal band
Gari Saint Hillaire who was a good friend of mine and who helped
me record most of my songs in the seventies. He also played back
up guitar and sang harmony, he later got a record deal with his
TANGIER. Gari Saint lived in the same
little town on Long Island that I am from (Huntington).
One other thing that's funny my son Julian was 1 year old at
that time and I bought him a Kiss doll of Gene and the next
morning when he woke up I was trying to tell him that the night
before one of the Kiss guys came to our house.
I thought it was it was cool almost like Santa Claus coming to
your house .
When Bill Aucoin called me to audition he said he liked my
playing and if I had a gig coming up they would come and see me
and so Gene and Eric came out to a show we were doing and I have
link, it was a hundred years ago and
it all turned out for the good as far as I am concerned. All the
Best, Jack ".
Starr auditioned for Kiss in 1982
Back in the 1980s Mike Varney ran the Shrapnel record label that
was responsible for unleashing a whole generation of guitar
heroes onto the scene including Yngwie J Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore
and Tony MacAlpine.
KISS called Mike for advice about a possible new guitarist and
one of the guitarists that Mike recommended (along with Yngwie
and Michael Angelo) was Jack Starr from the band Virgin Steele
that had appeared on a compilation album on Shrapnel Records
called ‘U.S. Metal Volume 2’.
So I rang Jack to get the full story. He told me that KISS had
called and asked him if he was interested in auditioning but
first they’d like to see him play live if he had any upcoming
shows in the area. As it happened he had a show coming up at a
club called Cheers in Long Island, New York. So Gene Simmons and
Eric Carr arrived in Eric’s Porsche to see him play.
JACK STARR : I knew Eric previously, before he was in
KISS which was kind of cool. I thought I played well that night,
I had a Dean Flying V, a Marshall 100 watt head. I was getting a
Jack told me that after the show Gene said to him:
"You played great but KISS is more than a band, we’re an
extravaganza. You don’t fit the part.”
JACK STARR : He towered over me, I felt like one of the
little people. “You played great but you don’t fit the image.” I
was overweight at the time which did not help. We spent a long
time talking about music, about bands like Blue Cheer and so on.
JACK STARR : I asked Gene what he
thought of this band the Music Machine and Gene said he thought
they were great and seemed to agree with my assertion that they
may have been the very first heavy metal band I told Gene that
what I thought was amazing about this band was that thought they
came out in the hippy flower power days, they wore all black and
even dyed their hair black and sang about non hippie subjects
like alienation and the dark side of life.
JACK STARR : Gene seemed to agree
but I did not push the subject because I suspect that this band
the Music Machine which was only a footnote in the history of
rock had a profound effect on the making of KISS at least from
I’d never heard of the Music Machine before but when I had a
look online I kind of saw what Jack meant. All us old school
KISS fans know that KISS were influenced in their music and
image by other bands of the era but this was one that I’d
personally not heard at the time.
Then Gene said an interesting thing to me. “To be a great metal
musician you have to be a fan as well. I’m just a regular guy
who got lucky. Gene told me, “Next week we’re seeing Steve
Mironovich from the band Cities”.
I knew Steve and said “If you don’t take me you gotta take
Steve!” I think I would have added a neo-classical side to KISS,
a little progressive. I think we could have gone a little more
like Dio or Queensr˙che. But I guess when you have a formula
that works like KISS…
My experience was a good one, who knows what would have happened
if I had been in KISS but I’m happy where I am in life these
days still making better and better music.