Robben Ford Reveals His Weirdest Gig

Robben Ford
(Image credit: Jun Sato/WireImage)

40 years ago this month, New York City rock legends Kiss released their landmark Creatures of the Night (opens in new tab) album.

With a change of image beckoning, this 1982 LP was the last to feature Kiss wearing their trademark face paint before the release of Lick It Up (opens in new tab) the following year.

It would also be Kiss's last album on Casablanca Records – the label that had nurtured the band since their eponymous debut (opens in new tab) release in 1974.

Kiss 'Creatures of the Night' album artwork

Kiss's tenth studio album, Creatures of the Night (opens in new tab), was originally released in October 1982. (Image credit: UMe)

All was not well in the Kiss camp during the recording of Creatures of the Night (opens in new tab)

Casablanca founder Neil Bogart sadly passed away that year, and co-founding guitarist Ace Frehley was in absentia.

Although Space Ace’s face is featured on the album’s cover he did not play on Creatures of the Night and quit the band shortly after its release.

He was replaced by Vinnie Vincent who recorded guitar parts on several tracks including “Keep Me Comin',” “Danger,” “War Machine,” “Saint and Sinner,” “I Love It Loud” and “Killer” (though he was not appropriately credited for his work at the time.)

Robben Ford

The "weirdest gig" of Robben Ford's career involved spending nine days in the studio with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. There he cut guitar solos for the Kiss tracks "Rock and Roll Hell" and "I Still Love You." (Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Although Kiss were aiming to return to their hard rock roots with Creatures of the Night in an effort to reconnect with fans, they extended a somewhat surprising studio invitation to jazz fusion whizz Robben Ford.

Known for his work with the likes of L.A. Express, Yellowjackets, Miles Davis and Larry Carlton he seemed an unlikely choice.

And Ford couldn’t agree more.

In this interview for D’Addario (opens in new tab), the guitarist responds to a question from a fan who asks what his weirdest gig was.

I’d heard a lot about their stories and was playing music that I don't play, and I never listen to

Robben Ford

Tentatively, Ford begins with the disclaimer: “There's been a lot of water under the bridge,” before confirming that his weirdest gig was, in fact, “doing nine days in the studio with Kiss.

“I played on their record Creatures of the Night… It turned out there are two guitar solos on that record from me. ‘Rock and Roll Hell’ was the first song and the other one is kind of a rock ballad called ‘I Still Love You.’

“I spent nine days in the studio with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. And that was rather unusual. That whole situation there was rather unusual. I’d heard a lot about their stories and was playing music that I don't play, and I never listen to.”

Pre-order the Creatures Of The Night 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Box Set here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.