For the first time in over 20 years, Kiss had brought former guitarists Ace Frehley and Bruce Kulick back onstage for the first time ever to kick off this year's KISS Kruise VIII, their traditional acoustic sail-away show.
Kulick explained that they only had a few hours notice to prepare for the big show. "In the middle of the afternoon, on the day we boarded, I got a text from [drummer] Eric Singer: 'Heads up, I think at the sail-away, something's going to happen, and you're going to play.'"
Kulick hadn't brought an acoustic guitar onboard but was lucky to have Kiss' current guitarist Tommy Thayer share his with Kulick.
Kulick tells UCR that Thayer uses the same Chet Atkins acoustics as himself so he went up to his room to ask if he could borrow one. "He had two guitars, one that definitely played better than the other. I jokingly begged him, 'Look, if you're going to give me the majority of the lead guitar work for 'Domino' and 'Hide Your Heart,' give me the 'A' guitar -- just hand it over onstage, it'll look good.'"
Later, Kulick was asked to stay onstage while Frehley sang two songs; then all six of them teamed up for two last numbers, "Nothin' to Lose" and "Rock and Roll All Nite".
"I had no idea I'd be up there for six songs," Kulick claimed. "I told Tommy, 'I don't want to solo, if you're giving me back the 'B' Chet Atkins, you do it, or you figure it out with Ace.' Ace just laughed and said, 'I don't wanna play this freaking thing, you do it!' So Tommy did it, and he did a great job. I know it looked great and it felt great and the fans got a great treat."
Watch the complete set in the video below.