Sign in | Register now | Like us on FacebookLike Us | Follow us on TwitterFollow Us

Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Hi: 51
Lo: 41
Hi: 41
Lo: 20
Hi: 28
Lo: 17
Advertise on
Kulick will judge the School of Rock "Battle of the Bands" at Summerfest. (PHOTO: Neil Zlozower)
Kulick will judge the School of Rock "Battle of the Bands" at Summerfest. (PHOTO: Neil Zlozower)
Kulick played lead guitar in KISS for 12 years. (PHOTO: Jim McGuire)
Kulick played lead guitar in KISS for 12 years. (PHOTO: Jim McGuire)

Kulick talks KISS, Summerfest and more

Ask prolific guitar player Bruce Kulick why being a judge for the School of Rock "Battle of the Bands" June 29 and 30 at Summerfest is important to him and the former member of KISS says that "seeing them be creative or just cover a classic rock tune is truly a joy to me."

It’s that love of music that has fueled a career that has continued to climb since 1975. Kulick debuted as a touring member of Meat Loaf’s band playing dual guitars with his brother Bob. From there, Kulick rocked in Blackjack with Michael Bolton, opened for Ozzy Osborne with the band The Good Rats, played on Billy Squier’s "Tale of the Tape" and perhaps most famously, held down lead guitar for 12 years for the "hottest band in the world," KISS.

Kulick is kind, warm and well spoken. A workaholic and animal lover, Kulick is refreshingly down to earth, but still possesses little eccentricities that communicate he is a highly creative individual. Dressed sharply in designer denim, a tailored jacket, fabulous shoes and tasteful "rocker" jewelry, he exudes a confidence and mastery for his craft that only comes with the experience he has garnered working with some of the music business’ biggest and "baddest."

Could there be anyone left for Kulick to shred for? He says, "I always wanted to jam with Paul McCartney! I love that he still rocks and he is in his 70s. A real inspiration for all."

With a resume that reads like a who’s who of rock n’ roll, Kulick offers some great advice for the up-and-coming artists he will be judging this weekend on the Summerfest stages:

"Be patient, and follow your instincts. Being a clone of another band is never a great idea. Be influenced by the bands that you love, but don't copy them exactly. Put yourself into your own idea of what a band or artist should be."

School of Rock is a national, franchised music education program that utilizes the expertise of stars like Kulick for mentorship and instruction. The Summerfest "Battle of the …

Lindsay lopped it all off - on one side, that is.
Lindsay lopped it all off - on one side, that is.
Before and after.
Before and after.

Girly Skrillex

I went back and forth for years – yes, years – on whether to do the half-shave/Skrillex haircut that has littered the fashion and music world for quite a while now. After completely bleaching my entire head multiple times and way beyond its texture recognition, first for blonde-ish and then for a mermaid’s mane of blue/teal/green, my hair hung limply from its follicles, displaying none of its virgin bounce, curl or wave.

When I refer to my hair texture, this is to it air-dried, because I am LAZY – all caps - with my hair. After spending eight years of wearing dreadlocks, I was accustomed to devoting more time to other beauty rituals, like makeup application so, when those strands went Sayonara, my haircuts had to be wash-and-go, taking advantage of my natural texture.

But now that I had no texture, I thought, eh – what have I got to lose? I’ll cut half of it off and see what happens. I even posted a pre-cut cry for help and advice on Twitter, asking "Is too late for me to jump on the #undercut #halfshave #skrillex haircut #trend?" Only to receive one response – which was a thundering "hell no."

Tell me no – and I am more likely to advance, however. And so I did. I booked an appointment for two weeks out, and then changed it for a week out and then texted my stylist, threatening to lose my guts to cut if we did not get my rear in the chair in the next 24 hours. She obliged, eager to wield her scissors and razor in a way they don’t usually get a workout.

I went back and forth the night before, but went the "change is good" route. I emailed my stylist almost 25 photo references to be sure we were on the same page. I knew we would have to get a little creative, since two weeks before she had shaped my fringe into a "New Girl" curve. We’d be camouflaging and growing that out with this new ‘do, my "Girly Skrillex," as I like to call it.

I audibly cringed as she lopped off the left side of my locks and wildly stared into the…

Lindsay loves Trophy Strap's boho look.
Lindsay loves Trophy Strap's boho look.

Catching up with Trophy Straps

Wisconsin has bred some of music’s most creative innovators, from bands like The Violent Femmes with their unmistakable sound to Les Paul, inventor of the solid body electric guitar.

Included in this group is Greendale’s Glenn Boren, proprietor and designer of Trophy Straps, a company that locally manufactures instrument straps. These straps are so strongly tied to Wisco that their flagship straps have ends made from the same leather used in Harley motorcycle seats.

Trophy was founded in 2011 primarily making guitar straps, but Boren is excited to announce that "just this year we have expanded to include Cotton Mandolin and Ukulele straps, as well as a line of adapters that will retrofit any strap for banjo, mandolin, ukulele and acoustic guitar, as well as a buckle adapter that will extend the length of any strap to fit any player, no matter the size, as well as those who like to wear a strap really, really low."

All Trophy items are available through its web store, eBay and Amazon.

Boren’s designs include original and custom motifs and also reissues of historical guitar strap patterns, like his wildly successful Lennon "Rooftop" and "Peace" tribute straps.

Boren adds: "These two straps have gone on to become the de-facto go-to straps for the worlds finest Beatles tribute acts, including Let It Be London, Let It Be Broadway, (hitting the stage this July,) Rain, American English, The Fab Four, Legends In Concert, Them Beatles, The Beatlez and many more."

Insistence on local production, unique, original designs, integrity of materials and details like being the only strap manufacturer to use natural cotton web for strap backing sets Trophy apart and is an integral part of its success that boasts a thriving Ebay store with a 100 percent feedback score from 22655 reviewers. 

Now, Boren has his sights on bringing the same quality, "Made-in-Milwaukee" philosophy and patterned straps to the fashion world.

He is currently test marketing "Purs…