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Tommy Thayer – Kiss Guitarist From Portland Oregon

Tommy ThayerBy PDX People

Born November 7th 1960, in Portland, Oregon, Tommy grew up in the nearby suburb of Beaverton, Oregon.

Tommy Thayer grew up during the pinnacle of Rock and Roll which saw many great bands including the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Cream, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin come to the scene.

What’s unique about Tommy Thayer’s musical background is that his mother was a classically trained on the violin and once he reached age 13, Thayer along with his sister and three brothers had a passion for classical music along with pop music and the rock ballads of the day.

Black ‘n Blue

 By 1978 Kiss was already one of the top Rock and Roll bands in the world and Thayer was ready to become a musician when he graduated from Sunset High School and after playing in several area bands before co-founding Black ‘n Blue.


After touring with Black ‘n Blue, writing new music, and collaborating with the Scorpions, Thayer’s time with the band was over. By the late 1980’s he began working with Gene Simmons of Kiss in the studio on their album “Hot in the Shade”, this lead Simmons to hire Tommy Thayer to work for the band full time on future projects.

Following the rise of rap music and one hit musical wonders of the 1980’s like Milli Vanilli, classic rock from the 1970’s was more in demand than ever before and by this time Tommy Thayer had been with Kiss for a number of years, performing with them in the studio, managing their concerts and helping the band prepare for it’s 20th anniversary which included an MTV unplugged concert, feature films, and shows.

Kiss continued going strong during the 1990’s and by the early 2000’s Tommy Thayer was playing a more integral role in the band as original lead guitarist “spaceman” Ace Frehley was eager to leave the band to start his own solo career and Tommy Thayer stepped in to fill his role in the band.

Part Of Rock And Roll History

After being with the band for over 20 years, Tommy Thayer can now officially be considered part of Rock and Roll history. As the band approaches it’s 50th year it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down even though the original members of the band are now in their late sixties, and Kiss continues to remain an in demand act than fans want to see live, especially in the United States and Japan.

At the age of 56 Tommy Thayer continues creating new music with Kiss but he’s also remained an important part of Oregon since he’s raised money for various local military charities and he currently sits on the board of trustees for Pacific University in Forest Grove.





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