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Tommy Thayer (born November 7, 1960 in Portland, Oregonmarker) is an Americanmarker musician and the current lead guitarist of the rock group Kiss.


Thayer was a fan of such bands as Alice Cooper, Kiss, Rory Gallagher, and Deep Purple, which inspired him to pick up a guitar at age 13. Thayer attended Sunset High School, home of the Apollos, in Beaverton, Oregon. In high school, Thayer met drummer Jaime St. James. After playing guitar in several rock groups, Thayer formed a band with St. James; the band was originally named Movie Star, which morphed into the band Black N' Blue in late 1981. By that time, St. James had given up his drumsticks for a microphone, and he became the lead singer of Black N' Blue. "Woop" Warner on guitar, Patrick Young on bass, Pete Holmes on drums, and Thayer on lead guitar rounded out Black N' Blue's lineup.

After Geffen dropped the band, Thayer quit Black N' Blue. Thayer and St. James were later reunited in a Kiss tribute band called Cold Gin, with Thayer playing Ace Frehley, and St. James playing Peter Criss. The band didn't go unnoticed by Kiss themselves, and they were invited to play at Kiss rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley's birthday party. Consequently, Gene Simmons, co-founder and the bassist of Kiss, offered Thayer a job as his assistant; Thayer immediately seized the opportunity. Thayer was an all-around gofer for Simmons, sometimes making coffee, sometimes traveling the country securing hotel venues for Kiss' KISS CONVENTION tours, and even painting Paul Stanley's house and cleaning Gene Simmons' gutters.

The Spaceman
When Ace Frehley left Kiss in 2002, Thayer was the band's choice to replace Frehley. Thayer had assisted Frehley in relearning some Kiss guitar licks for the Reunion Tour. Kiss wanted to retain the classic look of the original lineup and chose Thayer to don Frehley's "Spaceman" makeup. In March 2002, Thayer played his first show as a member of Kiss at a private function in Jamaica. The next month, he appeared at the 50th anniversary show of Dick Clark's American Bandstand, again playing the Spaceman. Since then, Thayer has played for Kiss in the Kiss Symphony show at Melbournemarker, Australia, on a mini tour of Japanmarker, on tour with Aerosmith, on the Rock The Nation World Tour, and in several other single shows. He is also playing lead guitar for Kiss on their Alive/35 North American tour, which began on September 25, 2009 at Cobo Centermarker in Detroit, MImarker.

Thayer has also been involved in the production of various video and CD products related to Kiss including the Kiss Symphony: Alive IV DVD, the Second Coming DVD,KissOlogy, and the main title sequence for the film "Detroit Rock City".

Thayer was elected to the board of trustees of Forest Grove, Oregonmarker's Pacific Universitymarker in 2005. In July 2007, Thayer hosted the inaugural Pacific University Legends Golf Classic, an annual golf tournament held in Portland, Oregon which raises money for Pacific Universitymarker Athletics.

Black 'n Blue played one reunion show on December 8th, 2007. The concert was a benefit for a crew member of the band, Kenny Nordone, to help pay for his cancer bills.

On March 16, 2008, Thayer sang the Ace Frehley classic "Shock Me" for the first time on the opening night of the Kiss Alive/35 World Tour in Melbourne.

In 2008, Thayer released a signature amp by Hughes & Kettner based on their classic amp the DuoTone Head.


Black 'n Blue



  1. Kiss and Make-Up, Gene Simmons (ISBN 0-609-81002-2)
  3. Pacific Legends Golf

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