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

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

238 Responses

Leave us a comment

  • Dwayne Cole on

    I think Ace and Peter are viewed by Gene and Paul as when you have children. You love your child but, don’t wanna deal with one who’s addicted to drugs. Ace And Peter are clean today and could have remained in Kiss but the bitterness and animosity set in . After reading Ace and Peter’s books, I don’t think I could deal with em either.

  • scott whitaker on

    Paul shouldn’t throw stones because his voice is shot.

    • Brian B on

      Shot from doing countless shows and giving 100% for 40 years. Chemicals didn’t ruin his voice.

    • Jim on

      It’s still shot regardless.

    • Gil Faisan on

      Brilliant retort, Jim. lol

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      It always seems to me that if a person does or did drugs, it is morally OK to bash him regardless why he might be doing drugs. That is just hypocracy, because you might as well ask yourselves out there: why do you drink alcolhol, why do you smoke? Who is telling you that drugs are immoralor destructive within a band context? Gene and Paul told you so! Why did they tell you so? To have a reason any idiot can understand to justify their behaviour towards Ace and Peter, down to the question why they actually only gave them a salary on the reunion tour when it was all the four of them who made that the enormous success it was, even though G & P kind of owned the band at that time. So, was it morally correct to give them so much less money than they could put in their own greedy pockets?? It is simple. It is always easy to depreciate somebody talking about his or her drugs abuse because people out there will automatically go cry: oh god, that is bad …. G & P can rely on the prejudice out there. It is an easy excuse and an easy if not immoral way in itself to blame others to get rid of them. It has become to look ridiculous because P & A are sober and have been or a couple of years now. So wqhy keep on dishing out the old crap? Because they need a reason to go on with the current lineup and justify it exitence when, from a certain perspective, there is none. I for one do not know any recorded Kiss performance where Ace did really fuck it up because he might have been stoned just like I do not know any performance Gene messed up because of his addiction to sex.

    • JB on

      Look a lot of bands have survived drugs and alcohol…Aerosmith for one. The Stones another. However every situation is different. Take Def Leppard for example…original guitarist Pete Willis was kicked out of one of the hardest drinking the bands ever for being a drunk…and yet Steve Clark wasn’t, and died because of being an alcoholic. As was always stated about Willis, he wasn’t a nice person when under the influence…far different than Clark. We know for a fact Peter was a complainer…he even admits in in his book…in fact if people would actually “read” his book, Pete is the poster boy for hypocrisy. Whining one minute how the band could have done that to him and in another saying he could totally understand. I simply think Peter Criss has never been a happy human being and I think Lydia pretty much states that in her book. Fame only gave Peter the ability to be worse. Think about it…here’s a guy who’s already threatening to leave the band on the eve of their first big gig because things weren’t moving fast enough. A year and a half later they’ve toured the states twice in support of two albums. So again…every situation and every person is different under the influence. And another thing on the Reunion tour…Ace and Peter were paid 2 mill apiece. Guaranteed. So whether the tour failed or was successful they were going to get paid that regardless. Okay so Gene and Paul made bank…but the reality was at the time of the tour…no promoter was willing to give Gene and Paul what they wanted because the promoters thought the tour would fail. That is a fact. Kiss did not play for a guarantee on that tour. When the promoters balked and the asking price…Gene risked it all and agreed to a 90/10 split. Meaning if the band sold more than 90% of the house, the promoter would get 10% and Kiss the rest. And if the band didn’t sell 90% of the house…they only got 10%. Now in hindsight that seems great…but at the time it wasn’t. How do I know? Because I worked for the largest promoter in the country at the time…and every booker thought the tour would do 50 -75% business tops. Gene and Paul raked it in…after tour expenses mind you. Hall rental, insurance, travel for band, crew, staff and staging, salaries for all personnel, merchandising costs, per diems…you name it, tours aren’t cheap and again, success or failure…Pete and Ace would have been paid regardless. In essence, all they had to do was show up, play and collect money. They had none of the burden of anything else. Had that tour failed…in would have bankrupted the band.

    • pete lytel on

      Scott, real immature post bro. Btw, I saw kiss twice on their last tour and Paul was great.

    • Jim on

      WTF, Paul can not stay in tune or hit any of the high end or low end stuff. It started during the Phantom shows they had to use a tape recording for his lower register stuff. Not his fault but none the less he was losing slowly then. he’s Like Meatloaf now which is hard to take but true.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      Last two times they played in Germany , 2008 and even more so 2010, his voice was shot. Also saw them on their Reunion and Psycho Circus tours over here before and the difference was so apparent. Listen to the professional recording of their gig in Zurich 2012 or 2013 you can find on YT, it is even more shot. Without Eric covering the high notes or even full chrosusses even the last person in the audience would know that he cannot do a full show anymore, while Gene still seems to be able to. He might have some better days, but the fact is: if he would apply his own rules his always advertising (e.g. that Ace did not commit himself totally to the band and therefore had to be let go) to himself he would have to call it quits.

  • Joe on

    Eddie….can I ask a question? Do you have any TYLENOL???? And here we go YET AGAIN. Years & years of Gene & Paul trashing Ace & Peter has really given me a massive migraine! I mean seriously, this goes well beyond high schoolish shit. Joe in a The Cuse

    • Scott on

      I agree. Can someone please stick a KISS “Hello Kitty” in Paul’s and Gene’s mouths!

    • Gil Faisan on

      As long as you purchase that “Hello Kitty” I don’t think Paul and Gene would mind. Neither would I.

  • Chris on

    Eddie ,
    By any chance the reason why Gene and Paul wont play with Ace and Peter is because of Greed, and egos? They are just using Aces and Peter’s past as a scapegoat in order to look good in front of the HOF. They don’t want to admit the real reason. So they keep on bad mouthing Peter and Ace every chance possible to take away the attention of the truth.

  • Kgcomments2 on

    Not a super kiss fan but I think people just need to deal with it. Gene and Paul created a livelihood with peter and ace but had to move on to continue the livlihood with 2 drug addicted guys. I think they did quite well and honestly Eric Carr and Eric Singer run circles around Criss whether in studio and especially live. Thayer isn’t self centered he is an employee of Kiss and does very well. Gene and Paul own it and they call the shots and personally I think the music became better and more structured when they replaced these guys. Just show up at the RHOF play a couple of tunes celebrate the honor and go on about your personal buisines you will all be remembered forever now.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      The music became better and more structured? Running circles? Anyone who has a bit of knowledge regarding musicality knows that technique is not the only thing that defines good music, it is originality and sound and good songs that make people respond emotionally. In that respect Ace and Peter were highly influential. And anyone not deaf can see/hear that Thayer is just copying!!! what Ace did – where is the new structure in that, may I ask?? And did they rearrange song structures compared to the original versions on the records and those played during the reunion and earlier in the 70s? No, they did not. They have always done songs live 98% like in the studio. Gene and Paul have been busy for a decade now recreating the vibe, hence the success of the reunion tours, that is why the two employees are made to recreate instead of innovate. That is especially true for Thayer copying Ace’s licks note for note. OK, Thayer plays them more accurately , so to speak., But the sound of Ace is the classic sound, it is just what came out his fingers, he does not have to replicate himself, he is what he plays, you can hear, if you are an experienced musician like me, that this is not what Thayer himself would sound like. But back to Paul’s and Gene’s strategy: why would they let their new and oh so talented guitarist do that if not for a certain, very important reason?? So on the one hand G & P are constantly bashing A & P, warming up old stories of drug abuse when they do not really have real arguments, but on the other hand they bought their make up designs, they make their employeees look and sound exactly like the two alledgedly bad musicians and people called Ace and Peter – how do you call that? Hypocracy? Loss of reality? Or just business moves to try to make people think that the current lineup is THE lineup? Now make up your mind.

    • JB on

      While I agreed with what you posted earlier and the point you are trying to make now. The fact is Carr, Singer, Vincent and Kulick were far better musicians than Ace and Peter. And the band sounded far better with those guys. Kiss with Vincent and Carr was quit frankly a juggernaut of a band. I’ve seen them 30+ times dating back to ’77 and I never heard them sound better than on the COTN tour. The fact is, Eric Carr took Kiss to another level musically. One they would have never reached with Criss. And while I agree in your point regarding Ace…he was memorable and one of a kind, I agree with Paul as well. It wasn’t that Ace never evolved, it was that he got worse. As a musician and guitarist myself for 38 years…I love early Ace. It’s great memorable stuff but his playing on the Farewell tour was laughable at best. As an aside…I personally think Thayer is quit possibly one of the most boring guitarists I’ve ever heard…even with Black n Blue. At least Bruce and Vinnie injected some of their own personality into what they were doing…even if Gene and Paul held the reigns.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      Thayer is at least boring because he is copying the classic licks. Maybe his earlier work also shows that he could never have been as unique as Ace or other memorable players in rock history. Another example: there were times when even Jimmy Page was playing shitty, he has again become better afterwards (cf. O2 Arena), but many of the old heroes lose their larger-than-life appearance once we the fans, grow up and take on different perspectives, that is just the way it goes. You cannot say Ace was a great player once you listened to Van Halen, but you can still acknowledge that there is something in both players’ style that seems to touch people and make them feel good. The other former Kiss members you mention are and were great musicians. Having been a guitarist myself for almost the same amount of years as you, I know that I can do better than Ace, technically, actually every rockstar out there who claims Ace to be an influence can do that. The question remains: what exactly was the influence then? The interesting thing is: this band has never been one of the top bands regarding their musical abilities, the answer to their success must be found in something else. That is what I meant by influential. It is a feeling we get when our favourite band plays. I saw the Psycho Circus tour, Ace did not play that well, but I accepted it because it was my favourite band in their original lineup recreating memories by recreating the original look and feel and sound. It is a thing of the mind and the heart. Eric and Tommy cannot do that no matter how good they might be, Ace on a bad day might easily do it for me because – I want him to!

    • JB on

      Good points and I agree. And to clarify on Tommy, I’ve just never been a fan of his. I had the displeasure of dealing with Tommy on the Acoustic tour…he’s a yes man, a robot. And that is exactly what his playing is like…no feel, no passion. He brings nothing to the table for me as a musician.

    • Kgcomments2 on

      The whole reunion tour was smoke and mirrors. All a production all a tape induced sound goods. I seen the Criss band in 88 Ive seen Ace neither were very good. Is kiss still a production band? yes they are but just as good and with the times…… I would put both hired hands up against peter and ace anyday on a dual and put my money on eric singer and tommy thayer. forget the makeup and focus on the music.

    • Gil Faisan on

      I really don’t think anyone wants to attend a Kiss concert and listen to new guitar solos during these songs. Notes are Notes are Notes. Chords are chords are chords. So you think Tommy should change the solos for the sake of not “copying” Ace’s classic solos? That’s silly.

Leave a Reply