George Lopez discusses seeing Kiss in concert, meeting Richard Pryor and stealing Freddie Prinze’s headstone in the latest installment of Rolling Stone‘s The First Time.
Lopez kicks off with the first album he ever bought, Kiss’ 1975 Alive! He then asked his grandparents for $14 to see their concert at the Forum in Los Angeles in February 1976. “You would have thought that I was asking for money to buy a house next door to my grandparents, the way my grandfather treated those $14.”
He discussed the origins of the George Lopez television show, the idea for which came in the late Eighties while he was watching Tim Allen perform stand-up at the Indianapolis Comedy Connection, prior to Home Improvement. “Everything that he had in his act was in his show,” he said. “I remember looking at him and thinking, ‘I don’t think I have any of that.'”
Lopez then flashed forward to 1994, when agent Dave Becky suggested he incorporate his personal life into his set. “If it wasn’t for Dave Becky giving me that advice, I don’t think I would have found that on my own,” he observed.
Elsewhere in the clip, Lopez recalled meeting his idol, Richard Pryor. “I went over there and I saw him in the wheelchair,” he said. “He didn’t know me — nobody knew me. And I went over there and I gave him a hug, I kissed him on the cheek.”
His other idol, the late Freddie Prinze, is a different story. “I had a love for Freddie Prinze that I didn’t have for anybody in my family,” he said. After the comedian died in 1977, Lopez would visit his grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
“I would actually leave high school to go to his crypt at Forest Lawn and I noticed one day that the headstone was loose, and I pried it loose and I broke the headstone off and I took it,” he noted. “I slept with it between the mattresses of my bed. And they said ‘Keep it, we’ll put another one up there. Just don’t take the next one.'”