Virtuoso guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen said in an interview with Eon Music that many bands tried to hire him over the years and one of them was Kiss. The musician recalled the call he received and explained why it didn’t work. He also stated that he thinks that it looks like Deep Purple‘s Ian Gillan doesn’t like him.
“Yeah, of course. Quite a lot, actually. I was offered a gig in UFO, I was offered a gig with David Lee Roth. There was some murmur about the Ozzy thing. Ronnie James Dio, he talked about it all the time. When I actually lived in Sweden, I was offered a gig in Kiss!”
“They wanted to talk to me. They called me up, and I was in Sweden, right, and the guy said; “are you hot?”, and then he asked me; “are you six feet tall?”, and I’m metric, right? I’m 6’3, I’m actually quite tall, I’m 192cm. So I said; “no, I’m 192”, and he goes; “what the fuck’s that?!”, so they never called back, so I didn’t end up with an Ankh on my face!”
“There was murmurs. Me and Roger Glover always got along. I got along with Richie Blackmore too, but Ian Gillan, for some reason he… I did a show with him once, and we had the greatest time, it was a lot of fun, but then I did a tour with him a few years ago, and he didn’t seem to like me a lot, so I don’t know.”
Malmsteen was born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck in Stockholm, Sweden, the third child of a musical family. At the age of ten Malmsteen created his first band, Track on Earth, consisting of himself and a friend from school playing the drums. At the age of twelve he took his mother’s maiden name Malmsten as his surname, then slightly changed it to Malmsteen and altered his third given name Yngve to “Yngwie”.
As a teenager he was heavily influenced by classical music, particularly 19th century Italian virtuoso violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini as well as Johann Sebastian Bach. During this time, he also discovered his most important guitar influence, Ritchie Blackmore. Malmsteen has stated that Jimi Hendrix had no musical impact on him and did not contribute to his style. However watching the TV news reports on 18 September 1970 of Hendrix’s death, which included footage of Hendrix smashing and burning his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967, made Malmsteen think, “This is really cool.”
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