Eric Carr Related

Art Lindauer (2011)
Guitarist/vocalist discusses working with a pre-KISS Eric Carr in the cover band trio Flasher.

John Henderson (2004)
Musician shares his memories of collaborating with a young Paul Caravellos (Eric Carr) and his memories of Carr's pre-KISS bands

Victor Cohen (2002)
Rhythm guitarist/keyboard player discusses working with Eric Carr in the Cellarmen

David Bartky (2002)
Bassist recalls his musical beginnings and collaborating with Eric Carr in the Cellarmen

Robert "Bob" Pryor (2001)
Guitarist discusses his musical influences and working with Eric Carr in the Cellarmen

Into the cellar with Bob Pryor...

By Julian Gill

This interview was originally conducted for Ericcarrtribute.com, a separate site I was running at the time. I would like to thank Bob for taking the time to answer this Q&A and sharing his memories of the Cellarmen and Paul Caravello with his fans.

KissFAQ: Tell us a little of your background - i.e. where you grew up, your family, etc?
Bob Pryor: Grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn as only child. Had been involved with music all my life in orchestra, chorus, etc. Took up guitar on my own and taught myself.

KF: What sort of music was in your household growing up? Any performers/players? Or, what type of music?
BP: Top 40 stuff, big fan of Dion and the Belmonts, Ventures, really every kind of music.

KF: What artist would form your earliest memory of "music"?
BP: Frank Sinatra, my Dad played it constantly, got to appreciate Frank Sinatra's talent as I grew older.

KF: Which artist first grabbed your attention as a "performer"?
BP: Probably Sinatra, Elvis.

KF: What groups/artists did you enjoy as you became aware of music as entertainment?
BP: Virtually everything; had a wide range of musical tastes.

KF: What was your favorite TV show, growing up, if you had access to a TV!?
BP: Most Science Fiction programs.

KF: How did you get into music, as playing, rather than simply listening or enjoying?
BP: Started singing as early as I can remember, became intensely involved in schools, i.e. orchestra, chorus, etc.

KF: What led you to choose the guitar as instrument of choice?
BP: When I started to learn guitar that was the "fad" at that time. Also, wanted to play in a band and that seemed to be best way to do it.

KF: What was your first guitar, and when and how, did you get it?
BP: An old Dan Electro, Got it from a used sale at music store.

KF: When did you make the transition from simply playing guitar, to joining a band, and what was your first band?
BP: I had a (informal) band for about a year before I joined Cellarmen. We played a few gigs, but nothing of note.

KF: How did you meet Paul Caravello?
BP: I heard through a friend that he was looking for members to start a band.

KF: Please describe your first encounter with Paul?
BP: Went to an audition at his home.

KF: The Cellarmen started out as a trio comprised of Paul and two high-school buddies, Thomas on bass and John on guitar. At what point did you join the band (before, after or at the same time as Dave or Victor), and if you auditioned, what did that even comprise of?
BP: It has been a long time; I believe I started at same time Vic and Dave did, audition comprised of mostly jamming. Not exactly sure on this, it was a long time ago.

KF: The Cellarmen played plenty of cover material, was this initially what the band worked on, or were you interested in developing original material from the start?
BP: We wanted originally to do our own material, but we discovered right away that if we wanted to work, we would have to play danceable top-40 music.

KF: Describe your first proper rehearsal with the Cellarmen?
BP: Not real clear in my mind, probably lots of comparing notes, who knew what songs, etc.

KF: Describe your first gig rehearsal with the Cellarmen? How did it go? Where was it? How many people did you perform for? Any mishaps?
BP: The first paid gig I recall can playing for a political party for my Grandmother in NY. I remember that all night they kept telling us to play lower.

KF: Describe the Cellarmen's best gig? Where/how/what/why?
BP: We had a lot of good jobs; probably the most gratifying was being a house band at the Colonial House, it really helped us develop our act and a big following.

KF: Describe the Cellarmen's worst gig? Where/how/what/why?
BP: Cannot remember any specific, (my age is showing), probably some of the earlier ones, tryouts for clubs we did not get, the usual stuff a new band goes through.

KF: Your band members. From most of the interview material, Paul is described as the "leader" of the Cellarmen. From your perspective, how was the band structured?
BP: In thinking back, Paul was definitely the catalyst for a lot of the things we did. He was the "taskmaster" when things started getting off track in practice. We really never had any official structure; we all contributed and had a great deal of respect for each other's ideas. That is why we were successful.

KF: Who chose, or how was it decided what sort of material that the band performed?
BP: We did that collectively.

KF: "I Cry At Night" and "Your Turn To Cry" were two original songs recorded by the Cellarmen and pressed onto an independent single for distribution. What do you recall about the sessions for these songs?
BP: Somewhat nerve-wracking since it was the first time we were in a studio. Was great fun though.

KF: How many takes did it take to get the songs down?
BP: I think three or four, was not a big problem.

KF: Any transitions in the arrangements that took place while they were recorded?
BP: Really can't remember any dramatic.

KF: Who "produced", and where were they recorded?
BP: In Brooklyn, I believe Jody records.

KF: Was the recording lineup: David/Paul/Bob/Victor?
BP: Don't recall how it was listed.

KF: Any friends hang out during the recording session?
BP: Not that I remember.

KF: Were those songs ever performed live, and if so what do you recall of the first time they were played live?
BP: I think we played them a few times on gigs, don't remember which and when.

KF: The Cellarmen returned to the studio around 1968 (can you confirm date) to record two songs, "Then I Made A Wish" and "I Found You" for a private pressing of approximately 15 copies which was pressed for songwriter's to publish their material. Do you remember who the songwriters/publishers were?
BP: Think it was also Jody. Not sure.

KF: What was the lineup of the band that recorded those songs?
BP: Don't recall.

KF: Where/when were the songs recorded? Any producer?
BP: Don't remember.

KF: The Cellarmen also recorded two songs, "No Matter How You Try" and "When You Grow Tired" as the backing band for Chrystal Collins who was a friend of the band? What do you recall was Chrystal's connection with the band?
BP: I believe that we got the contact from an agent or something, real hazy on this part. Basically we were a band for hire to back up her on her demo.

KF: What was the lineup of the band that recorded those songs?
BP: Don't remember.

KF: Where/when were the songs recorded? Any producer?
BP: In Brooklyn I believe, don't remember the producer.

KF: Any idea what became of Chrystal?
BP: No.

KF: Did the Cellarmen perform or rehearse any other original material? And if so, what were the titles and authors of the songs?
BP: Not that I can remember.

KF: The Cellarmen seemed to "stop" during 1969. What caused the band to split up?
BP: I think it was just at a point where we had been together so long the "creative" juices stopped flowing. I think all of us were just ready for a change. We had been together for a long time.

KF: Victor worked with Paul in other bands following the demise of The Cellarmen, while Dave reportedly worked with Paul's sisters in a band. What happened to you?
BP: I moved to Houston, Texas as my Dad was transferred there. I started a few bands on my own but had trouble finding the right mix. Ended up having a successful career in International Business. I now run my own Management training company. Have stayed with guitar, but not on a regular basis. Had lost contact with the group, just because too involved with my life here in Texas and there was a distance factor. I did not know anything about Paul's joining KISS, and his passing, which has saddened me greatly. I fully intend on staying in regular contact with them in the future.

KF: What have you been doing in the time since your involvement with these two bands?
BP: See above.

KF: Did you ever see a "Things That Go Bump In The Night" rehearsal/gig? Comment?
BP: No.

KF: Did you ever see a "Smack" rehearsal/gig? Comment?
BP: Was a member of Smack. I believe this was a band that we formed for a while after the Cellarmen disbanded. You might ask Victor or Dave on this, it was long ago.

KF: Did you ever see a "Salt N Pepper" rehearsal/gig?
BP: Yes, in a club.

KF: Using just one word, please describe Paul Caravello:
BP: Intense and dedicated to music.

October 2001

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