Legendary guitarist for both KISS and Black 'N Blue, Tommy Thayer will be in town this weekend, acting as grand marshal of the Beaverton Celebration Parade. The parade starts at 10 am, and winds from SW Allen Boulevard through Beaverton's allegedly "historic downtown." Best known as "that guy who replaced Ace Frehley," Tommy's been the Spaceman since 2003, but he's been a part of the KISS family for over 20 years, co-writing songs, producing and directing DVDs, and even teaching ol' Ace how to play his leads before the 1996 KISS Alive reunion tour. Although he's based in LA, the 1978 graduate of Beaverton's Sunset High gets back to Oregon frequently to party with his family and unwind at his gorgeous beach house on the Oregon Coast with his even more gorgeous wife, Amber. When not on axe duty or grand marshalling, Thayer keeps busy with charity work: He's on the board of trustees of Pacific University in Forest Grove and hosts its Legends Golf Classic, and also participates in "I Have a Dream" and "Make-a-Wish" fundraisers, supporting underprivileged children and school band programs. Hopefully Tommy will have time to sign a few autographs after the parade before he jets off to Whistler to join his KISS comrades for a show Saturday night. Beaverton pride!
What are your duties as grand marshal?
I ride in an antique car and look cool and wave. Actually, I hear the Sunset High marching band will be there and possibly play a KISS tune or two. How cool is that?
What are you going to wear?
Any suggestions? I was thinking about a tight black spandex jumpsuit with space rings on the shoulders.
Do you get a crown and scepter?
If I do, I'll wear 'em.
Are you going to wear your spaceman make-up? Who applies that anyway? You?
It's interesting that so many people think KISS has make-up artists that apply the make-up, but that's never been the case. We do our own.
Are you nervous?
No, I can do this!Lots of the next generation will be at the parade. Would you recommend they pursue a career as a rock guitarist?
You should always pursue your dreams and your passions and don't let other people tell you that you can't cut it. I know firsthand, with plenty of hard work and desire, you can do anything.