KISS’ PAUL STANLEY SAYS ORIGINAL GUITARIST ACE FREHLEY “THREW AWAY INCREDIBLE POTENTIAL”

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paulstanley400 The bitterness between the current and former members who founded Kiss will not be quelled anytime soon. It’s been a little over a week since the group announced that it would not perform “in any lineup” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, following Ace Frehley’s comment that he would not perform with current guitarist Tommy Thayer wearing Frehley’s sometime makeup. Now, in a new interview with Guitar World, vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley has questioned Frehley’s talent.

“What we had at the beginning was magical. . . Ace and I played great together,” Stanley said. “But in my mind it’s a crime what Ace did: He threw away incredible potential and talent. The Ace I played with when the band first started out was a comet – and not [Frehley’s late-Eighties band] ‘Frehley’s Comet!’ But he was burning bright and really had the ability – and this would rub him the wrong way – to be a real contender. But he stopped practicing. He got involved with a whole lot of things that really diluted and diminished his craft. I saw that comet grow dim.”

Stanley added that after KISS fired drummer Peter Criss in 1980, he decided the band needed to reinvent itself, and that’s why they removed their makeup in 1983. It’s a decision he now feels hurt the band. “Rather than saying, ‘We’ve built these iconic figures together and we’re going to continue on with what we built,’ we bought into the idea of, ‘We have to have a new character,'” he said. “That watered it down. Some people may argue with me, but I feel that Batman is Batman whether he’s played by George Clooney, Christian Bale, Val Kilmer and on and on.”

additional source: Rolling Stone

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238 Responses

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  • S.Falls \m/ on

    Honestly, I am sure Ace would do some things over in his past if given a chance.
    Wouldn’t we all? Thanks Paul for throwing Ace under the bus once AGAIN.
    Wanna beat the dead horse one more time? Man, so sad.


    • rob on

      @S.Falls well said, everyone has things they would do different…


    • Injun Joe on

      Yes, beating the dead horse once again. Drumming up what someone did thirty years ago–it’s tired and old and too easy. (In contrast to twelve steps and making amends and making up for lost time, which is not easy). By all appearances, Paul and Gene are making a deliberate effort to alienate their older fans. We are now an inconvenience. Somehow, in Gene and Paul’s minds, the way to sell the current version of Kiss, the franchise, is to say that Ace was never that great. Give me a break.


  • joey vitello on

    Paul please stop talking about the past!!! Enough of the whole drugs and alcohol angle!!! The dude has been clean and sober for over 5 years, Peter the same. How come no one ever puts Gene down for being addicted to sex? Or getting herpes all over and stuff? Bury the past and KISS and make up. Not for us fans, but for your own souls!!!


    • Gil Faisan on

      Paul and Gene keep bringing up Ace and Peter’s addictions because they had an adverse effect on the band. Gene’s sex addiction did not make him late for planes, rehearsal, etc….


    • Rich on

      Gil,

      It’s ancient history. Ace and Peter have moved on. The other two cannot help but rehash stuff that happened over 30 years ago. Ace and Peter have actually grown. Gene and Paul have stagnated or worse. Stop making excuses for rehashing crap that has no bearing anymore.


    • Gil Faisan on

      Gene and Paul are asked questions about the history of band. They don’t just start an interview by saying, “oh and yes, I always start an interview by talking about Ace and Peter, so I will begin…..” When asked about their relationship with Ace and Peter are they supposed to say, No Comment?


  • John G on

    There’s a lot of truth to that. Watch Ace playing in clubs with KISS in the earliest days and Ace is playing really well. I don’t think he improved as a player as time went on. But that’s the way it goes.


    • Jim on

      Ace is like 60 how good is going to get? He’s 60 give the guy a break.


    • John G on

      Not talking about now. The article was about history – did you read it? Watch Ace in 72’/73′ and his playing never got any better and basically got worse. Most musicians get better after 4 or 5 years on the road. That being said, they have Thayer playing his same style and licks, so it doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.

      Regarding all the talk about Paul’s voice. He’s lucky it’s held as long as it has. He’s still competent with a lot of the material, but can’t hit some previous highs. Let’s see, we have Geddy Lee, David Lee Roth, Robert Plant and others. Plant started losing his high end around 1972! Geddy hasn’t been able to come close to what he could do in the 1970s and early 80s. DLR’s voice has been shot for the past 20 years or longer.


  • brian on

    I agree with this time! Ace is not even near the guitar player he used to be. The drinking and drug use took away his playing. I saw him in 87 at toads place he was so fucked up he could stand. He was singing the wrong lyrics to wrong songs and keep playing solos to different songs. Being a fan of kiss since I was six Ace was a super hero to me and seeing him fall apart on stage really knocked me down. The crowd basically walked out half way through. Don’t get me wrong his solo stuff is great but his playing is not. Just listen to him at Eddies party and you see how bad he sounds now. He should stick to releasing great studio albums and stay off the stage. Love Ace super super happy he is a sober man now! Just the abuse already took it’s toll. Can’t wait for the new studio CD but def will not see him live ever again.


    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      You saw him in 1987. that was 17 yeras ago. How can you tell what he is like today? I saw him three years ago in a club over here and it was killer. All the energy still there. I am not saying his solo playing was technically superb, actually it never was, never had to be to be influential. But it is his signature style that compensates for that. So talk about sth. you know about, please.


    • Rob Reibold on

      1987 was 27 years ago


    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      🙂 Right. makes it even worse.


    • pete lytel on

      Hi Brian, I ackowledge your dissapointment. I believe, there is slight exageration here. I don’t believe the audience walked out halfway through the show LOL. I saw him in 08 and he was GREAT! In your defense, we did kind of expect a less than stellar show…for a reason.


  • Dwayne Cole on

    I often wondered, If there had been no reunion with Ace or Peter, Would Kiss have put the make up back on at some point. I see no reason for them to take it off now.


    • Roland on

      I’ve always wondered had Eric Carr not died what would KISS had been like in the 90s with Kulick and Carr still in the band. I think eventually Gene & Paul would have reunited with Ace & Peter. Although the Hot in the Shade tour was great, their album was not, and the music scene in the U.S. was shifting to grunge at that time. KISS was nearly a forgotten band until the reunion happened in 96. Your thoughts Eddie?


    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      I think: no reunion in 1996, no Kiss today. Kiss is still on that reunion tour, so to speak, just that the people underneath the make up and inside the costumes habe been changed, but the look had to stay the same to keep selling tickets to sentimental fans like me.


    • JB on

      Excellent points Klaus. The fact is Kiss became nostalgia as soon as they put the makeup back on…they ceased to be relevant in terms of moving the band forward and being a “modern” band. And Paul has said…they reunion would have happed even if Carr had been alive. At that point they had no other career choice. Nothing wrong with that…no different than VH when they added Roth back into the mix. It’s all about nostalgia now. They crazy thing is…and many people forget this but when Kiss decided to do the Reunion, they were all in their mid 40’s which looking back now isn’t that old. The band musically and from a live perspective was better than ever at that point. Revenge was a great album and the tour was even better…people had simply lost interest at that point though. Odd that 2 of Kiss’s best tours and best albums (COTN, Revenge) were largely ignored.


    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      I also really think that Revenge is one of the best Kiss albums, no matter who was involved, just like I think Ace’s solo record is among those very best Kiss records. If we are honest with ourselves we know that we buy tickets today because we hope for SOME kind of recreation of the old spirit which, of course, can never happen, and if it happens for two hours or so, it only happens in our minds. G & P know that, of course. It is the same with the HOF induction, so many people wanted another reunion just because of nostalgia. the one thing I really do not like about Paul and Gene is that they are NOT honest with the fans, they try to hide the fact that they are on a business venture only, they try to hide the fact that at least Ace left because he thought Kiss time was over, they seem to need all that unfair bashing to erase the memroy of the original lineup, which again is futile and ridiculous. I do not like the fact that Kiss has become associated – or a trigger for – with business ventures like Rock’n Brews and LA Kiss, just to squeeze the lemon a bit more. Maybe Ace was wrong when he left but you are right in saying that Kiss has not evolved one bit since then, on the other hand making the two “new” guys copy the old … but would we want AC/DC to “evolve” and “innovate”?? Or do we rather expect them to deliver exactly what we came to love abut them in the first place? It is a complex matter because people’s hopes cannot be hamronized with the band’s business plans and because four egos want to be pleased.


    • stevedrums on

      Paul has said that had Eric lived Peter would have still been brought back for the reunion.


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