Thayer was a fan of such bands as Alice Cooper, Kiss, Rory Gallagher, and Deep Purple, which inspired him to pick up a guitar in the early 1970s. In high school, Thayer met drummer Jaime St. James. After playing guitar in several rock groups, Thayer and St. James formed the band Movie Star, which morphed into the band Black N' Blue in late 1981. By that time, St. James had given up his drumsticks for a microphone, and became the lead singer of Black N' Blue. "Woop" Warner on guitar, Patrick Young on bass, Pete Holmes on drums, and Thayer on lead guitar rounded out Black N' Blue's lineup.
After Geffen dropped the band Thayer quit Black N' Blue.
Thayer and St. James later were reunited in a Kiss tribute band called Cold Gin, with Thayer playing Ace Frehley, and St. James playing Peter Criss. The band didn't go unnoticed by Kiss themselves, and they were invited to play at Kiss rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley's birthday party. Consequently, Gene Simmons, co-founder and the bassist of KISS, offered Thayer a job as his assistant and Thayer immediately seized the opportunity. Thayer was an all-around gofer for Simmons; sometimes making coffee, sometimes traveling the country securing hotel venues for Kiss' KISS CONVENTION tours, even painting Paul Stanley's house and cleaning Gene Simmons' gutters.
When Ace Frehley left Kiss in 2002, Thayer was the choice for replacement. He had assisted Ace in relearning some Kiss guitar licks for the Alive/Worldwide Tour. Kiss, who wanted to retain the classic look of the original lineup, chose Thayer to don Frehley's makeup. In March 2002, Tommy played his first Kiss show, at a private function in Jamaica. The next month, he appeared at the anniversary show of Dick Clark's American Bandstand, playing the Spaceman. Since then, Thayer has played for Kiss in the Kiss Symphony: Alive IV show at Melbourne, Australia, a mini tour of Japan, a tour with Aerosmith, the Rock The Nation World Tour and several other single shows.
Tommy has also been involved in the production of various video and CD products related to Kiss including the Kiss Symphony: Alive IV'' DVD, the Second Coming DVD, and the main title sequence for the film "Detroit Rock City (Movie)".
Black 'n Blue played one reunion show on December 8th, 2007. The concert was a benefit for a crew member of the band, Kenny Nordone, to help pay for his cancer bills
Thayer has released a signature amp by Hughes & Kettner based on their classic amp the DuoTone Head.Hughes & Kettner proudly announces the launch of the 'Tommy Thayer Signature Edition' DuoTone Head March 2008
Black 'n BlueEdit
- 1984: Black 'n Blue
- 1985: Without Love
- 1986: Nasty Nasty
- 1988: In Heat
- 1998: One Night Only: Live
- 2001: The Demos Remastered: Anthology 1
- 2001: Ultimate Collection
- 2002: Live In Detroit – 1984
- 2005: Collected (box set)
- 2007: Rarities