Bob Kulick, the legendary guitarist and older brother of Kiss lead guitarist Bruce Kulick, has died at the age of 70. Kulick performed with W.A.S.P and Alice Cooper and as a session musician with Kiss during a career that spanned parts of six decades.
Bruce Kulick broke the news of his brother’s death in a Facebook post on the afternoon of May 29. Bruce Kulick wrote:
I am heartbroken to have to share the news of the passing of my brother Bob Kulick. His love of music, and his talent as a musician and producer should always be celebrated. I know he is at peace now, with my parents, playing his guitar as loud as possible. Please respect the Kulick Family’s privacy during this very sad time.
Kulick played guitar on the Kiss albums Alive II in 1977, Unmasked in 1980 and Killers in 1982. His younger brother went on to join the band full-time in 1984. In 2004, Bob Kulick won a Grammy award for his production on Motorhead’s “Whiplash.” According to his Facebook page, Bob Kulick was living in Las Vegas at the time of his death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kulick Was Last in the News in 2019 When He Accused His Brother of ‘Backstabbing’ Him With Regard to Kiss Merchandise
In November 2019, Kulick openly accused his brother of “backstabbing” in an Instagram post over Kiss merchandise. Kulick said that in addition to his brother, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Don McGhee were the “culprits” behind the alleged misconduct. Kulick said that his brother had taken out a restraining order against him.
Kulick wrote in part:
The photos below are merchandise items currently being sold by Kiss Army Merchandise with permission from my brother Bruce Kulick only. I have not given my permission for this and have not been accounted to or paid for merchandise sole bearing my name, and photos with my likeness.
This is called copyright infringement and an indication to all of you as to where my backstabbing brother Bruce is in all this! Disgraceful, uncalled for and a situation that will be answered in time!
2. Kulick Co-Wrote WWE Superstar Triple H’s Theme Music
Kulick co-wrote WWE superstar Triple H’s theme music, “The Game,” alongside Motorhead, according to his official website. His website bio also details the fact that Kulick been a part of “14 platinum or gold records.” Kulick also served as a studio guitarist for Lou Reed, Michael Bolton, Meat Loaf and Diana Ross.
Kulick also wrote the theme song for Steven Seagal’s TV show True Justice.
3. Kulick Said That Ace Frehley Was Chosen as the Lead Guitarist for Kiss Because of His Look
Kulick said in a 2017 interview Classic Rock Revisited that he believes Ace Frehley, Kiss’ lead guitarist when the group was founded in 1973, was chosen ahead of him for Kiss because of his look. Kulick said that he answered an ad in the Village Voice for a band seeking a guitarist who was “Led Zeppelin influenced.” Kulick takes up the story:
So I went to their loft and jammed for an hour and Paul called me a week or so later and said, “Remember the guy who came in after you? We felt he fit what we were doing better than you, though you are a phenomenal guitar player, probably better than the guy we’re taking.
Kulick said that he was of the opinion that he was a “pompous musician” who felt that he did not need to wear make-up on stage if his performances were good. Despite not making the band initially, Kulick was regularly invited to jam with the members, which led to his appearances on several albums. At the time, Kulick described his relationship with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as “great.” Kulick concluded by saying, “The fact that I’m sort of the fifth Beatle in this case is neat.”
4. Kulick Said in a 2019 Interview That He Should Have Made $2.3 Million From His Time With Kiss
In an October 2019 interview with Mitch Lafon, Kulick said that he should have made $2.3 million from his work with Kiss. Kulick said that he wouldn’t care about his merchandise disputes with the band if he had the money. Kulick said, “I would just be living in Hawaii. I wouldn’t care anymore.”
When asked about Universal Music Group, Kiss’s representatives, Kulick said:
These people (Universal Music Group), I’ll just say it, they’re chicken s*** cock-suckers. They don’t have any paper-work, but they have expensive lawyers, who should all die horrible deaths.
During the same interview, Kulick described Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Don McGhee as being “on their own planet.” Kulick added that he feels his brother “worships” Simmons and Stanley.
5. Kulick Was Convinced to Do a Solo Record by His Then-Girlfriend, Julie Bergonz
Kulick told Ultimate Classic Rock in a March 2018 interview that he was convinced to do a solo album by his then-girlfriend, photographer Julie Bergonz. Kulick released a solo album in 2017, Skeletons in the Closet. Kulick told the magazine:
Julie said, ‘You know what? You need to do a solo record. You’ve spent all this time and all this effort working with other people, as a support player, a co-writer, a producer but I don’t see a piece of product with your name on it.
Kulick told Rock Music Star in a 2017 interview that it was Bergonz who introduced him to his producer on his solo record, Bobby Ferrari. According to her official website, Bergonz is a Las Vegas-based photographer who specializes in weddings and portraits. Bergonz has a degree in fashion design and merchandising from the Colorado Institute of Technology.
Heavy has reached out to Julie Bergonz for comment on this story.