KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer has commented on "VH1 Rock Honors", the first-ever show to pay homage to the legends who influenced the sound of hard rock. This year's celebration honors the music and influence of JUDAS PRIEST, KISS, QUEEN and DEF LEPPARD. Premiering on Wednesday, May 31 at 9:00 p.m., "VH1 Rock Honors" was taped Thursday, May 25 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will include performances by all of the honorees as well as tribute performances by GODSMACK (who are paying tribute to JUDAS PRIEST), FOO FIGHTERS (QUEEN) and THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS (DEF LEPPARD). Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley and ex-GUNS N' ROSES axeman Gilby Clarke joined an all-star band consisting of Rob Zombie (vocals), Slash (guitar; VELVET REVOLVER, ex-GUNS N' ROSES), Tommy Lee (drums; MÖTLEY CRÜE), and Scott Ian (bass — yes, bass; ANTHRAX) for a rendition of the KISS classic "God of Thunder" as a tribute to KISS. Meanwhile, QUEEN guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor made a surprise appearance with FOO FIGHTERS, who were paying tribute to QUEEN at the event.
Commented Thayer: "WOW! What a fantastic three days in Vegas and what a thrill to be a part of such a phenomenal and historic event! I took me 24 hours to fully recover and actually recall what happened! The four honored bands — DEF LEPPARD, JUDAS PRIEST, QUEEN and, of course, KISS — are literally my all-time favorite bands. The all-star jam with Slash, Scott Ian, Gilby Clarke, Tommy Lee and especially Ace was incredible considering the fact that I'm also a huge fan of Ace, MÖTLEY, GUNS, and ANTHRAX. The afternoon of the concert, Eric [Singer, KISS drummer] and I hung out at the pool with Brian May and Roger Taylor (of QUEEN) and Taylor Hawkins from the FOO FIGHTERS — great guys! Later, as we were walking to the cars for the ride to the backstage area, I saw Ace for the first time in about four years. He gave me a big hug and told me how great it was seeing everybody again — he was pumped up for the evening. One side note, I was curious why Bruce Kulick wasn't there. Bruce was the lead guitarist of KISS for 12 straight years, a huge slice of KISStory. If for some reason he doesn't receive a Rock Honors ring, I'm giving him mine. We ended the night with a massive display of pyro, our show kicked ass and we left Las Vegas on a high. It was a great celebration for the fans and the bands, and I was truly honored to be a part of such a monumental event."