Carrie Stevens will forever be linked with KISS due to her once in a lifetime relationship with drummer Eric Carr. She’s a celebrity chef (read on), a Playboy Playmate, an actress with credits in movies like “Rock Star” and TV shows like “Two and A Half Men” and most importantly a mother to her budding rock drummer son Jaxon, Still, despite her family, career and life going on following Eric’s death in 1991 , Carrie continues to hold a strong sway in the KISS Kommunity as an insider and flamekeeper. Her unbreakable bond with Eric, as well as his lifelong dedication for being fan-accessible, leads her to be respectful about doing interviews with people like me for the benefit of fans who continue to keep Eric alive in spirit, read on….
LRI: Hi Carrie.Thanks so much for talking to us and gracing us with our first ever Playmate interview. How have you been and what have you been up to so far this 2013???
Carrie Stevens: You’re most welcome. I’ve been busy raising my son, most importantly. I’ve also been working on my own line of Fudge, which will be available in July (www.CarrieStevensInfamousFamilyFudge.com) I love cooking, and I had this concept about creating a catering company called “Centerfold Chefs”. It landed me on the reality show “MasterChef” but it was such an awful experience that I asked to be edited out after the first episode. But I did beat out 40,000 home cooks to compete in the top 100 on the show.
LRI: We are well versed in Playboy history and have the pleasure of driving by the Chicago building often as Illinois residents. After all these years what does it mean to you to be a part of the Playboy family and have that honor on your resume?
Carrie: Becoming a Playmate made me an overnight celebrity. It was my “rock star” moment. I got to go on tour and sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans…much like a musician ….without the talent. After all these years, I still visit the Mansion once a month or so. I consider Hugh Hefner a dear friend. He has been a kind and loving and I feel a part of his family of close friends. There will only ever be one Miss June 1997, and I am proud to have made my mark in Playboy history.
LRI: We are also huge KISS fans and after talking to Eric’s sister Loretta and others we have grown to understand just how special your relationship with Eric was. How has Eric’s passing changed your day to day approach or view on life for better or worse?
Carrie: That is a loaded question. I should say that I have learned to stay in the present moment, but that would be a lie! While Eric was sick, he and I did a lot of spiritual work. We read Louise Hay books. We learned that the point of power is in the present moment, and said positive affirmations and focused on relaxation. Stress is a killer. It’s a daily struggle not to dwell on the past and not to worry about the future. It’s especially hard because I miss Eric to this day and I am sad that he is gone. But in this moment, I feel loved and respected by him, Loretta and his friends and fans and that is what I must be grateful for, in this moment.
LRI: Most fans are aware of just how special and unique Eric was not just as a drummer but as a human being and friend to the fans. Were you ever taken aback by how accommodating he could be or how much he tried to be approachable or give back to us as followers of the band?
Carrie: No. I just didn’t like it when he talked to groupies in the lobby bar after the show (laughs). But now that I have piles of my own fan mail laying around, I look back and I am very impressed that he took the time to open every letter and write back to everyone. He was very appreciative of his fans and made time for them, in person and on paper.
LRI: I know you came from a small town environment and studied journalism in College and have other talents besides modeling and acting. Eric was also a complex guy with many more talents than just drumming. Did you guys connect about things like drawing or creating and stuff like that and do you credit Eric in part for giving you the confidence to approach big time projects like Playboy or TV/Films?
Carrie: Eric and I shared all of that. He was working on the Rockheads and created the character “Cariel” after me and he is directly responsible for my career path. He once said to me “You look like one of those girls, you know the Centerfolds”….he suggested I talk to Shannon Tweed about getting into Playboy, but I never did. I was afraid of her. Then once day at dinner, Eric asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I was embarrassed to tell him that I wanted to be an actress because in the small town I come from, you’d be laughed at for thinking had a chance. But I told him, and he replied, “What can I do to help you with your career?” and from then on he read lines with me, and came to my auditions, and totally supported my dream. I still have a card from him that came with a flower delivery. On the note it reads, “All of your goals and dreams will come true.” What a wonderful boyfriend!!!! Listen and learn, boys! He is a tough act to follow.
LRI: You are a gorgeous, gorgeous woman and by most peoples accounts very sweet as well. My father passed away from cancer and to my knowledge my mom never had a conversation about her moving on or life without him. My point is… it is NOT easy to move on from a once in a lifetime relationship. Do you feel that you will always be connected with Eric and his family even if you were to someday marry or become committed to someone else?
Carrie: Ha. I have to laugh. I am not sweet to everyone. I am nice to people I like. I have a very strong side. I stand up for myself and for what I believe in, and I don’t kiss ass. I’m tough. But lucky for most people they haven’t seen the wrath of Carrie! Thank you for saying I am gorgeous, but with that comes an assumption that I am weak or stupid or both, so I end up having to prove myself smart, and some people misread that as bitchy. Honestly, I don’t really care what people think, because I can’t please everyone. I am just explaining. Anyway, Eric and I did have a once in a lifetime relationship and I have dated men since who seem jealous or threatened by my history. Ultimately, the right man for me will not be insecure about my past, and will accept me for who I am. I really cannot move on from Eric since the internet has proclaimed me his eternal girlfriend, so whoever I commit to in this lifetime best just realize how lucky he is to be alive and have the opportunity to love me, because Eric can’t exactly trade places, ya know? Anyway, I am so sorry about the loss of your father. I am not surprised your parents didn’t speak of death. Eric and I never spoke about it either. We were in denial, I guess. I never imagined he would die. I thought I’d be taking care of him forever…I thought I would be buttoning his shirts and brushing his teeth and I would have. But you know, he wouldn’t have wanted that life for me. I can feel him telling me that as I say this.
LRI: I got the sense from speaking with Eric’s sister Loretta that while she thinks events towards the end of Eric’s life could have been handled differently she also believes that Gene and Paul have been gracious to her in many ways. Do you feel that to be true in respect to you?
Carrie: None of Eric’s illness was easy for anyone and we all did the best we could to deal with it. Gene and I have spoken about it. I even told him that I hated him for the way they treated Eric…because I saw Eric and his family and close friends upset about it. They weren’t exactly supportive or compassionate but Kiss is an empire and they made business decisions. People get deluded into thinking bands are all best friends and it’s one big party. That’s not true. I am sure Gene loved Eric. I am sure Paul liked Eric…I don’t really know but the bottom line was that they based their decisions on business, not friendship. What I respect about Gene, is that he wanted to hear all about why I didn’t like him….and for that, I do like him a lot.
LRI: Has there been any one credit like Two and A Half Men or any one acting job or endeavor that you have enjoyed most over the years since Playboy? Are you more than comfortable still being cast in “sexy mom” type roles???
Carrie: Yes, I am more than comfortable being cast in “sexy mom” roles, but I don’t always play a mom just because I am a mom. I have that conversation with my agents. That is type casting …not that I want to be cast as a sexy grandma just yet. Ha! No, I don’t have a favorite credit. I have unique memories from all the projects I have worked on. Since this is a rock interview, I’ll mention that I loved playing Zakk Wylde’s wife in “Rock Star”. He is an awesome guy. I auditioned for that movie in Eric’s tour jacket. He said it looked better on me than him, so he gave it to me. The casting director asked me about it…and it turned out they were looking for actresses who knew the rock scene in the 80’s. So, Eric actually helped me get the part, nine years after his passing! I love that jacket. It has brought me luck.
LRI: Bruce and Eric are very special guys to those of us who didn’t grow up on 70s KISS but instead on the music of the 80s. We just wish more of their creative input could have been showcased through the years! Do you think if Eric were still with us that he and Bruce might still be collaborating on work together and do you still follow Bruces career or stay close with him?
Carrie: Yes, I adore Bruce. I just bumped into him at Guitar Center the other day. My 11 year old son plays drums and bass so we went in to get my son an amp and there he was…I call him Uncle Brucey. I am sure he and Eric would still be writing and jamming together, they’d probably have started their own band. My son goes to the School of Rock and his first gig, when he was 8 years old, was in a Kiss Tribute Show and Bruce came and jammed with the kids. That was very cool.
LRI: Thank you sooo much for taking the time to share with us a bit. While it might come off that we are huge KISS fans it should be dually noted that we are MASSIVE fans of Miss June 1997…. Last question… Any last comments to readers or advice on where can fans stay up on your latest happenings or contact you about autographed pics or bookings/appearances??
Carrie: Thank you so much. I have a web site, www.CarrieStevens.com where you can find my photos. You can tweet me @CarrieStevensXO and I have a Facebook Fan page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carrie-Stevens/167783483272209?fref=ts . I am not currently planning any appearances, but I’d love a shout out on the web. Rawk on!!!!
For more info on Eric Carr and the upcoming Carmine and Vinny Appice Drum Wars Tribute to Eric JUNE 29th visit www.ericcarr.com