Bruce Kulick Pays Tribute to Brother Bob With ‘I Still Love You’
Bruce Kulick recently teamed up with Gabriel Connor and Paulie Z to record an emotionally charged cover of Kiss' "I Still Love You" as a tribute to family members each musician has lost in recent years.
The former Kiss guitarist originally intended to send just a video shout-out to the David Z Foundation's All-Star Fundraiser, an event that aired earlier this month. But after Paulie Z showed him a stripped-down version of the Creatures of the Night song he made with Connor and suggested the trio complete it as a tribute to their loved ones, Kulick quickly changed his mind. "So, now I was, like, of course I'm gonna do this," Kulick tells UCR. "I was blown away with the track they gave me."
Kulick's performance on the song, which features slight lyrical tweaks to change the subject matter from a romantic breakup to the death of a loved one, is dedicated to his guitar-playing brother Bob Kulick, who died of heart disease last May.
"It's three guys that probably wouldn't have worked together in this way if it wasn't for the pandemic and it wasn't for our losses," Kulick notes. "A proper memorial [for Bob], due to COVID, didn't happen, but I'm just so grateful for this video. It's an emotional and musical way to share [the moment] with some powerful singers, doing a powerful Kiss song that will connect with my fan base and more. It's a real great loving tribute. People were crying when they were watching it live."
Paulie Z is known for his work with ZO2 and Steve Priest's recent revival of Sweet, among other projects. His brother David Z, who played with Jeff Scott Soto and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, was killed in a 2017 highway accident while touring with Adrenaline Mob. Paulie created the David Z Foundation to honor his brother by helping low-income and high-risk children to pursue careers in the music industry.
Connor is the lead singer and bassist for Red Devil Vortex and performed in honor of his father, Mario Milleo, who died after a battle with COVID-19 in October.
You can watch the video below.
Kulick and Connor had met earlier, when the younger musician paid for a virtual meeting with Kulick through a fan-meet app called MeetHook - but it wasn't for guitar lessons. "There were no instruments on hand - he wanted to pick my brain about the industry, how to make it, how can you improve your level of success," Kulick recalls. "I was very impressed with him."
He was also delighted with Connor's work on the new video, which was stitched together from separate recordings each musician filmed at home just days before the event. After setting up some electric candles and lights in front of a red velvet curtain, Kulick filmed his part "in two hours up in my bedroom, which is kinda weird. He did a fantastic job editing that thing, I'm very very happy with it. Editing that the way he did takes a lot of time. I'll probably ask him to do a video for me and [bandmates] Brent [Fitz] and Todd [Kerns], he's got a good eye for that."
It's the latest accomplishment in what's been an active pandemic year for Kulick, who also launched an "Isolated Riffs" video series, covered Kiss' "Heart of Chrome" with Chris Jericho, performed an acoustic Kissmas concert and even judged a contest where fans created Kiss makeup designs for him.
"It's really incredible how creative people have been," Kulick says. "I've learned so much during this entire COVID period. I'm grateful for that. I'm not happy about anything to do with the pandemic otherwise, how it turned everyone's life upside down. But I do want to focus on the positive, what I forced myself to do and learn. I also do think I've stepped up my connections to the people who are fans with mine - to a degree I probably wouldn't have if it had been a normal year."
You can donate to the David Z Foundation by visiting their official site.