Justin Benlolo holds a guitar signed by KISS members (from left) Gene Simmons;Eric Singer;Paul Stanley;and Tommy Thayer.
Photo Credit: Dean Snowden , KISS
“I’m never going to play it,” says Benlolo. “I’m going to put it in a glass case and let it sit in my room.”
Benlolo, a 15-year-old Vaughan high school student who performs as Tyler Rhodes, won the guitar thanks to his father Elliot’s successful $10,000 bid at a charity auction Wednesday night.
KISS donated the guitar to “Sylebration”, an event honouring the memory of Benlolo’s uncle Simon “Sy” Benlolo, who died of a drug overdose in Mexico last April. He was 40.
The event raised $54,000 for the Music Therapy Program at the Hospital for Sick Children.
“My uncle got me into KISS when I was seven or eight,” recalls Justin. “The first time I heard KISS, I was in his car and he put on the album Destroyer. When I heard the first song I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to do this.’ I asked my mom if I can play guitar and I started to sing.
“Ever since then I’ve been the biggest KISS fan ever.”
Read it on Global News: Global Edmonton | KISS fan helps Sick Kids and snags autographed guitar