Gary Corbett knew from an early age he wanted to be a musician. He started piano lessons when he was four years old. By the time he was 10, he was already earning money playing gigs. One of his major influences was pop radio, so by the time he started High School, he played every weekend in a variety of different styles. His first tour was in 1976 with punk rock singer Cherry Vanilla. After that, he spent most of the 70s touring New York hotspots and doing studio recordings. The song She Bop he co-wrote with Steve Lunt propelled him to the forefront of the music industry. Several years after this, he was at Electric Lady Studio’s completing a project. He struck up a conversation with Lou Gramm about his upcoming solo career. This conversation took Gary on the road. Before that tour was over, he was asked to go on Kiss’ ’87 Crazy Nights tour and play keyboards. He stayed on the road with Kiss until 1992.
Touring With Kiss
According to laweekly.com, Gary Corbett never played the group’s iconic song, Beth. He never played keyboards on stage. He thinks it because the keyboard didn’t work with the band’s image. Corbett was the keyboardist on three Kiss albums Crazy Nights, Hot in the Shade, and Revenge. While on tour, he played every song at every concert when he toured with the band. Instead of filling up time with a piano, he used his engineering training to double up rhythm guitar parts and add a heavier synthesizer sound. There was only one time he was seen during his days touring with Kiss. Then, during the 1988 Monsters of the tour, he inadvertently wound up on camera. Later he found out 60000 Kiss fans saw his face.
Corbett stayed busy during his touring days with Kiss. In addition, he was the musical director for Debbie Gibson. In 1991, after he stopped touring with Kiss, he joined Cinderella’s Heartbreak Station Tour. This portion of his career also earned him a Platinum album for his work playing the Wayne’s World Soundtrack song.
In 1997, he left the rock scene and worked with Miami’s reggae musicians, even playing at the Bob Marley Festival. Each step in his career led to the next, and this one helped him start working with Marley’s mother on gospel and children’s records. His work with Damian Marley earned him another Grammy for Welcome to Jamrock. Looking back, Corbett sees the recording sessions with the Marley family as some of his favorites.
As this recording work was wrapping up, he decided to build his studio in New York. Many projects were produced there, including Debbie (now Deborah) Gibson’s 2000 CD. In 2003, Corbett met with Gramm when he toured with the Southern Rock Group Molly Hatchett. This was when he realized that he hadn’t lost his love of traveling. Shortly after that, he moved to Nashville and decided to go back on the road with the group Cinderella, who was headling the tour Rock Never Stops. Even though he returned to earlier touring days with Cinderella, he was intrigued by the Nashville music scene. So he started his tour of spots like BB Kings, Wildhorse Saloon, and the Legendary Tootsies. Although he went back and forth on the country scene for quite a while, he joined Capitol Records in 2006. Even while sampling new genres of music, he went on tour with Cinderella three more times.
Besides studio work, Corbett loves all genres of music and is constantly exploring every avenue to use his craft. In 2014, he wrote the score for the Emmy Award Winning Hunger in America documentary that James Denton narrated. Much like other projects, this led Corbet down another path. He decided to study ORchestration and learn even more about the technical side of music.
On June 18, 2021, Gary Corbett revealed he is battling lung cancer. Unfortunately, the cost of the treatment is so astronomical; he set up a gofundme campaign. Since Corbett and his wife are in a dire financial situation, they have turned to fans to help them cover things like medical expenses and mortgage payments, according to Blabbermouth. Currently, Corbett is undergoing an aggressive form of radiation therapy and immunotherapy with occupational treatment planned. Many fans understand that musicians don’t have health insurance, and even if they do, it doesn’t cover things of this magnitude. So the couple is caught in a horrible situation. They can’t pay the medical bills, but they can’t stop his treatment. Additionally, they know that there will be a long road to recovery beyond the current treatment.
Corbett is a lifelong learner who is always seeking new projects and ways to expand on his craft. Hopefully, fans will be able to reach out and help him with the mounting medical bills so that the world can see what his following projects will be. Gary Corbett has had an extensive career in many different genres, always tackling projects and letting them guide him in a new direction that almost always produces a successful project that is met with success. On his website, there is a link to contribute to the singer’s gofundme campaign. It details the challenges he is having as well as portions of his storied career. According to the website, “If you know Gary, he’s as nice as they come. He’s an extraordinary talent and has touched the lives of many people through his generosity and kindness.” Underneath this, they add some details people may not know about him, including writing the soundtrack for Hunger in America pro bono. Although he would never say it, Gary Corbett has put others before himself throughout his entire career. Now, those closest to him are hoping that fans will return some of the love.