Saturday, May 30, 2020

Guitarist Bob Kulick, Co-Writer of 'Sweet Victory' Passes Away Aged 70

Guitarist Bob Kulick, best known for his work with rock band Kiss and for co-writing "Sweet Victory", which features in the fan-favorite SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Band Geeks", has reportedly died at the age of 70.

The record producer's cause of death is unknown, but Bob’s younger brother and former Kiss member Bruce Kulick revealed the news on Friday.

Bruce wrote on Facebook, alongside a photo of his late brother shredding on the guitar: “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.”

Brooklyn-born Bob auditioned to be the lead guitarist of Kiss in 1972, but he was ultimately beat out by Ace Frehley, who had demoed right after him.

Though he never got the job, members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss were impressed with his skills and asked him to record in the studio with them on a few of their projects.

He played guitar, uncredited, on various songs from four Kiss albums — Alive II, Unmasked, Killers and Creatures of the Night.

His brother Bruce later joined Kiss as a lead guitarist after the late Mark St. John quit the band, soon after joining, upon being diagnosed with reactive arthritis.

Bob had his own music projects, though, including co-creating a beloved song that played on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants.

In 1997, he and singer-songwriter David Glen Eisley co-wrote a rock ballad titled "Sweet Victory" that later garnered major popularity when it was featured in the "Band Geeks" episode of SpongeBob. The song has since become a cult favorite among SpongeBob fans, who campaigned for the song to be played during the Super Bowl Half Time Show in 2019 following the passing of the show's creator, Stephen Hillenburg from ALS in November the following year. APM Music also donated proceeds of "Sweet Victory" to the ALS Foundation in honor of Hillenburg.

“It’s hard to make magic,” Kulick said in a 2016 interview, “but that song in that context was magic.”

Bob also played guitar for Lou Reed, Michael Bolton and W.A.S.P. on a few albums and had a long-running gig with Meat Loaf's touring band, Neverland Express.

Over the years, he had formed a few of his own groups, like Balance, Skull, Murderer's Row, Blackthorne and Observation Balloon.

R.I.P. Bob Kulick, January 16, 1950 - May 29, 2020.

Original source: The Sun; Additional sources: New York Post, Anime Superhero Forum /@RainbowCupcake.

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