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des's blog: "Spirit"

created on 10/29/2006  |  http://fubar.com/spirit/b19014

MARK ST. JOHN, THE DEF GUITAREST THAT PLAYED WITH KISS ON THEIR ANIMALIZED ALBUM.... SORRY I'M A LITTLE LATE ALL BUT I JUST GOT THE MEMO, HE PASSED AWAY APRIL 5TH 2007 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Mark St. John (born Mark Leslie Norton February 7, 1956 in Hollywood, California – April 5, 2007) was a guitarist best known for his short stint with the rock band KISS. St. John was featured on the album, "Animalize" recorded during mid-1984. During work for the album, St. John clashed with the other members of the band, and eventually developed arthritis (Reiter's Syndrome), which caused his hands and arms to swell. He was all but unable to perform live as a member of KISS, and only played three (one in full) shows during the "Animalize" tour, with Bruce Kulick filling in for the rest. He was officially replaced by Kulick on December 8, 1984. Gene Simmons has stated that St. John was going to be dropped from KISS anyway as he was "changing the classic solos." This was reported in the book "KISS Alive Forever." Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket St. John's only video appearance with KISS is in the video for "Heaven's On Fire". Regardless, Mark played on KISS’ most successful studio album of the unmasked period and any line-up apart from the originals.[citation needed]. Before joining KISS, St. John was a well known and respected teacher and guitarist for the SoCal cover band Front Page. Musicians from all over SoCal would follow Front Page just to see what Mark would do next. Mark also worked in a band featuring David Donato (Vocals), J.R. Saenz (Drums), Glenn Hughes (Vocals/Bass). Demos that the band had recorded with producer Andy Johns and guitarist Neil Citron, prior to Mark joining, apparently led to Donato's equally short tenure with another legendary band: Black Sabbath.Garry Sharpe-Young/Rockdetector Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket In January 1985 Mark teamed up with David Donato and Barry Brandt (Angel) to work on developing some demo ideas. By March he was playing live again, appearing at an all-star jam session at the FM Station Club. The lineup included Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge (KISS Revolution, April/May 1985). Mark also performed at "a sold-out audience at a benefit Jazz concert for Greenpeace. Some of the legendary Jazz musicians playing alongside Mark included: The Steve Hooks Band, Stu Nevitt (Shadowfax), Slyde Hyde (Tom Scott/Supertramp), Al Aarons (Count Basie) plus other special all-star guests." (KISS Force) Mark and David soon formed White Tiger, becoming the first ex-KISS guitarist to release an album (1986, pre-dating both Ace Frehley and Vinnie Vincent's efforts). They had written most of the material for the album by mid-1985 and set out to complete a line-up with which to record. The band also included Mark's younger brother, Michael, on bass, but was completed with the addition of Brian James Fox on drums. While the independent release did well on that level selling some 50,000 copies, and the band gigged around California, they didn't manage to break and split while working on demos for a second album in 1988. St. John teamed up with Jeff Scott Soto in 1988 to make a demo. Mark also did some session work performing lead guitar on "Livin' For My Lord" on Ken Tamplin's 1990 album, "Axe To Grind." Ken is an insiprational Christian rocker more famed for his involvement in the band "Shout". Tamplin has also cowritten material with Gene Simmons of KISS. Mark also worked with former Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff, even appearing in one of his videos ("Is Everyone Happy"). Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket St. John made a demo in 1990 with fellow former KISS member Peter Criss. This band, known as "The Keep," became what was essentially White Tiger, with Peter Criss replacing Brian Fox on drums, and David Donato using the alias Michael McDonald. This lineup performed live just once, on May 2, 1990 at a drum clinic at the Guitar Center music store in Lawndale, CA. When the band started shopping their demo (credited as "Peter Criss") around the response was universally negative. One cassette demo to circulate simply featured "Love For Sale," "Long Time," and "All Night Long," though they had also covered Lee Michaels' 1971 hit "Do You Know What I Mean," and had other original material such as "Between The Lines." By early 1991, the difficulty shopping the demo, and Mark's need to get on with making a living, led to friction between Peter and him, and he left the band (which eventually became "Criss"). Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket He was in a short lived band with Phil Naro called the Mark St. John Project that released a limited edition EP in 1999. He later released an all instrumental CD in 2003 called "Magic Bullet Theory." In later years, St. John did not make many public appearances. However, he was rumored to have returned to his pre-KISS gig as a guitar instructor in the SoCal area. St. John died on the morning of April 5, 2007 of a cerebral hemorrhage. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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