ORIGINAL KISS GUITARIST ACE FREHLEY DISCUSSES THE BAND’S ROCK HALL INDUCTION, HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FORMER BAND MEMBERS AND HOW HE FEELS ABOUT ANOTHER MUSICIAN WEARING HIS MAKEUP ONSTAGE

acefrehley300pix Andy Greene of Rolling Stone spoke with original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley. Portions of the interview appear below.

RS: Tell me your first reaction to the news that KISS made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Ace: It’s such an honor. I’m so excited. I learned about it last night when my assistant called me. I didn’t sleep very well afterwards.

RS: Did the news surprise you?

Ace: It surprised me, but when I saw all the people we were up against I had a feeling we were going to make it in…It should be a great evening. I’m really excited and looking forward to the night.

RS: I spoke with Gene a couple of hours ago. He said he’s willing to play with you and Peter Criss that night.

Ace: Okay. That sounds like a great idea.

RS: Are you open to that too?

Ace: Absolutely. Are you gonna want us to put makeup on?

RS: Sure.

Ace: It’s been a while for me.

RS: It’s been over a decade, right?

Ace: The last shows I did with KISS was in Australia around 2002.

RS: You have no hesitation about walking back onstage with Paul and Gene?

Ace: Not at all. I think it will be great. I think it will be great for the fans to witness and a lot of fun. I recently performed with Peter at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York for Eddie Trunk’s 30 years in broadcasting celebration. That was a lot of fun. I hadn’t performed with Peter in 12 years. We all still have it.

RS: Gene mentioned that next year is the band’s 40th anniversary. He said he didn’t want a reunion tour, but I got the sense it was somewhere in his mind. Would you want a KISS reunion tour?

Ace: It’s something I haven’t even entertained or even thought about. I hadn’t even realized that next year is the 40-year anniversary. Right now, I’m focusing on my solo career. I recently signed a two-album deal. I’ve been in the music for the past three months.

RS: If a tour was offered to you, would you think about it?

Ace: It’s something I would consider if it was presented in the proper way.

RS: Gene was praising you when we spoke, but in other interviews he will call you a “cancer” or a “loser.”

Ace: I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with Paul and Gene. We parted company on more than one occasion, but there’s always been mutual respect and admiration. I think somehow the press plays it up that there’s a lot of hate between the members. It’s really completely blown out of proportion.

RS: But he called you a “cancer” recently.

Ace: A cancer? I wasn’t aware of that. What does it mean?

RS: I guess that you’re somehow a poison.

Ace: [Huge laugh] I think he gets frustrated that even though they have a replacement for me in the band, fans are continually bombarding him and saying, “Hey, you should get the original guitar player back. Ace is still number one.” He gets that constantly. It has to be frustrating to him and Paul.

RS: Are you insulted that somebody else is in your makeup?

Ace: Well, it’s a choice that Paul and Gene have made. I know the fans aren’t happy with it. I read the comments on the Internet. Paul and Gene have lost a lot of fans because of the move they made. It is what it is.

I’m not happy about it. Most of the comments I read by fans say that, “If you’re going to replace Ace, you should have created a different character.” That’s what they did with Vinnie Vincent when I originally left the group in 1982.

RS: They have Eric Singer in the Catman makeup and he’s singing Beth.

Ace: I didn’t know he was singing “Beth.” [Laughs] You know, a lot of the fans I talk to just tell me they aren’t going to go to the shows anymore. I know concert attendance hasn’t been what they’ve wanted this past year. It is what it is.

RS: Gene has implied he doesn’t believe you are sober.

Ace: That’s kind of juvenile. Does he have blinders on? I know he’s spoken to several people that I know that he knows that have seen me and done business with me over the past several years. I don’t believe they are telling him that I’m not sober. It’s been over seven years for me and I can’t see myself going back. But all I have is today. One day at a time.

RS: I imagine it’s going to be emotional to stand at the podium with the three other guys in the band.

Ace: It’s going to be intense, but it’s going to be great. I don’t foresee any negative vibes. I don’t foresee any bad blood. I think that myself, Peter, Paul and Gene, we’re the four guys that started the group and brought it into international success. I think that sometime in the late 1970s we were listed as the number one group in the world by some polls. We achieved what most people only dream about. I’ll never forget it. And that’s something nobody can take away from me.

Read more at Rolling Stone.

source: rollingstone.com

Comments

  1. Sounds like Gene gave him a script to read so the summer tour can proceed. After what Gene has said I’d rip him a new one about Thayer, being a drunk, etc..

    • If they go on another reunion tour, that will be the end of Kiss for good. I’m glad they are being inducted, they do deserve that, but their fans have given them way too many free passes. First they were supposed to have the original members do a reunion tour, then a farewell tour and now let’s see what happens. It is beyond OLD, but so are they. I’m sad they didn’t want to bow out gracefully and go out on top. I think replacing Tommy and Eric with Peter and Ace was so crazy and then to put them in the same make-up showed they have little or no respect for the intelligence of the fans. I recently met Paul and Gene at a book signing and they were both assholes. I’m done!!!

  2. Brandon Carbaugh says:

    I’m glad they are finally getting inducted ,it will be awesome to see them all performing together again even if it is just the night of induction.

  3. Jimmy Apple (@jimmyapple5) says:

    The guy is taking the high road. With all the bitching and moaning from one side or the other, it’s refreshing.

  4. Na, I think Ace and Gene finally realizes that the fans want the originals together. In gene’s mind it’s about the money I’m sure. It also seems that they both get little digs but nothing serious to keep things in an open state for reunions. And maybe they finally buried the hatchets over time and realize that it was the originals who took the world by storm and forged who KISS is.

  5. i am thrilled thaT kISS is finally getting into the Hall..but enough of this drama B.S.,.they all need to grow up. do i think that its wrong that other band members are wearing Ace and Peter’s make up? yes!

  6. Congrats Ace I have always been a fan of yours. Keep up the good job & keep sober I know its hard , one day at a time.

  7. Brianbates says:

    Eddie
    Ace and Peter are up for a reunion do you think it will happen?
    If the contracts are right I can see it happen and it would be a great way to go out

    • I do not think it happens, but who knows?

      • Geez Eddie, you KNOW there will be a reunion. Gene cares about one thing, and one thing only – the almighty DOLLAR. His decision process with be incredibly simple – what course of action makes the most $$$. I don’t even see a debate here. It shocks me that hardcore KISS fans think it might not happen. There is ZERO chance Gene won’t capitalize on this! Zero!

        My crystal ball tells me there will be issues a la Black Sabbath. Probably with Peter – so they will likely go out with Ace, who obviously needs the money given that one of his houses was just foreclosed upon. The shows will be overpriced and bad, but they will do it. If not a huge tour, at least some select dates.

  8. How about the fact that this interviewer is an asshole…talk about trying to stir up trouble. Focus on the positive side of this story. Not everything is this world needs to negative.

  9. Good interview. Sounds like Ace is going to enjoy the moment, as well he should. There’s not going to be another tour with the original four. Can’t see it.

    • You are soooo wrong DR! All Gene cares about is money. As a demon fan, you must know this!

    • BTW – As a Gene fan, you might find it interesting that I know a girl who was actually one of Gene’s students for the one year he taught first grade back in Brooklyn (I believe.) She didn’t have much to say about it – other than he was a nice guy but didn’t seem too into it.

      • That would be an interesting conversation. It looks like you and I finally found something to disagree on when it comes to a reunion tour LOL. I think Ace could do a tour. I don’t think Peter could hold up (file under Bill Ward). More importantly, I don’t Gene and Paul want to do it. Yes the money would be there. But I liken Gene and Paul’s disdain to that of Axl with Slash. As much as people want the original GNR, Axl isn’t comfortable with it and won’t do it. He wants people around him that he feels comfortable hanging out with and that he can control. Gene and Paul have that now, and Ace and Peter have been wild cards too many times. Despite the money that can be make, Gene is about the brand. And I think he feels Ace and Peter now tarnish it by either being late for gigs, whining about money (Peter), performing poorly (Peter), and falling off the wagon (Ace). I think that’s now more important to Gene than the brand the original 4 created. That might sound crazy, and I would pay to see the original 4 again (like I’ve done countless times before). But sorry folks, I think Tommy and Eric ‘the punk’ Singer are here to stay.

        • We’ll see. I just think Gene puts money ahead of everything. Like UFO, Gene and Paul could tour with the replacements hanging out backstage ready to roll! Gene’s already backtracking on the RRHOF induction. I wouldn’t put anything past him.

          BTW – I know you’re a big Randy Rhoads fan, are you going to order the Bob Daisley book? I’d like to get it, but it’s around $50 with shipping. Pretty steep for a book, though I feel Bob deserves the money. But I have to wonder about his business acumen – I’m sure Amazon rakes people over the coals, but their shipping deals and distribution make me think Bob would sell, oh probably about 100X more books through them and probably make more money in the long run.

          • John,

            Not sure how much weight my opinion carries, but I thought it was an an amazing read.

            Dana from EddieTrunk.com :)

          • Hate to admit it John, but I’m hoping it comes down in price before I purchase. I do want to read it as the whole Randy/Ozzy/Sharon/Bob circus intrigues me. From what I know on the subject matter, I’m on Bob’s side of the argument. But I’m sure he owns part of this fiasco. Just wondering if its 5% ownership or 25% ownership. I’ve always wondered what would life had been like if Randy Rhoads was still here. Would Sharon eventually gone after him as well? Or would Ozzy protect him? I know Randy talked about leaving Rock and going more classical. We’ll never know.

          • My question to you Dana (and yes, I do value your opinion) is whether it’s worth the $50? I’m sure you and Eddie got free copies! And if you want to sell one – let me know!

            DR – The Randy Rhoads question is very intriguing. As great a player as he was, the chances of him making a living playing the classical guitar would likely have been slim. It’s one of those things that there just isn’t a lot of demand for, and he certainly developed a name for himself, but I don’t picture him traveling the world doing concerts with orchestras like the London Philharmonic. Just wasn’t going to happen – he wasn’t at that level. Only a few people can really do that and they have a name when they’re young.

            Maybe he would’ve gone the “rock/classical/fusion” route. That to me would have been interesting as heck, cause if anyone could make music for people to listen to (as opposed to music for musicians, or to impress 14 year old guitar players) – music that would be real people-friendly and interesting, I think it would be him. I just think the money is in rock ‘n roll. and he would’ve been drawn back into it.

            I have a tough time believing guys like Steve Morse play rock and roll cause it’s their first love. I think they do it for the paycheck. I think if Steve could make a great living playing Dregs style stuff, he would. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think a lot of today’s rock ‘n rollers are going for the money, otherwise I think they’d be playing different styles of music. A guy like Ace is certainly a rock ‘n roller all the way through.

          • Hi John,

            Well, it all depends on how much of an enthusiastic fan and/or collector you are, since there are some pretty rare Randy Rhoads candids in the book, taken by Mr. Daisely. The book is a definitive retrospective and contains a plethora of information about all the musicians he had worked with over his prolific career (Richie Blackmore, Dio, Yngwie, Warren DiMartini, etc).

            While I highly recommend it, I know money is dear these days, so I understand your plight.

            I apologize if my response was vague. I know you will make the right decision for yourself.

            All my best,
            Dana from EddieTrunk.com :)

  10. KISS were a giant middle finger to the entire music industry when they started back in 1974. They were anti-establishment. They took whatever ‘Rock and Roll Rule Book’ there was, and tore it to shreds. You would think for that reason alone, the hippies at Rolling Stone Magazine would have loved them. But no – they were too busy lauding the brilliance of people like the Beastie Boys. 3 guys that were actually failed punk/metal ‘musicians.’ Go figure?
    But finally they are in the Hall where they rightfully belong. Gene, Peter, Paul, and Ace as the foundation.
    With gigantic nods to all the others that helped KISS in the following years.
    This is a fantastic middle finger too. to all the KISS haters out there that continue to think that somehow make up writes great songs. It doesn’t.
    I heard some idiot on a local radio station here in Toronto say that “Every real musician knows KISS are hacks. They had to get Phil Spector to write all their songs behind the scenes. They should not be in the Hall of Fame” That’s interesting? KISS writes their OWN songs. So that’s actually quite a compliment to compare KISS’s song writing to Phil Spector’s.
    KISS in the RRHOF. It’s about time!

    • You make some big statements there Tony. How did KISS break the rock ‘n roll rule book? They wore makeup? Alice Cooper did that before. They got signed to a record label? So did everyone else. They played simple rock ‘n roll with a lot of enthusiasm? So did a lot of bands. They toured and toured? So did everyone else. If anything, they were more corporate than every other band.

      KISS were followers in many ways. KISS went disco after Rod Stewart and the Stones went disco. They didn’t lead that one.

      They did lead in marketing. They put their names on everything they could. They belong in the RRHOF – cause you can’t write the history of Rock and Roll without KISS, but they didn’t break any rules.

      • John, I’d say that they broke the rules regarding the merchandising and the hype… And they broke the rules about being as you say “corporate”. No one did that kind of merchandising as Kiss did (to my knowledge at least)… But other than that, you’re right :-)

      • They broke the same kinds of rules that bands before them did but it’s in how they did their business as a band were they were breaking the standards. Casablanca records, their management, their road crew were all doing stuff that nobody else was doing at the time. And certainly the merchandising aspect was all their own. By the end of the 70’s what they starting was beginning to be the industry standards for other bands. Not to mention the fact that they’re probably the most influential American rock band of their time. No one inspired more kids to pickup a guitar than KISS. You should read up on this stuff sometime it’s pretty interesting.

  11. Ace is the reason I picked up music and started on the path to where I am today. Ace and the original members of KISS are a huge influence to so many bands. ~JH~

  12. Did I miss something or did he say, “…when I saw who we were up against, I knew we were gonna make it….”? Tell that to the FAR superior artists Yes an Deep Purple.

  13. ChicagoRay says:

    The reporter Andy Greene was doing his best to start a feud between Ace and Gene. Then again it’s Rolling Stone magazine. Which is crap, hasn’t been relevant for decades and still praises the likes of Elvis Costello and Yoko Ono. I don’t know if Ace is drinking, I hope not, love Ace but I saw them in 2000 and Ace was messed up bad and his playing showed it.

  14. What a bag of shit interview. Gene said this, Gene said that. What a hack. “Yeah he called you a cancer” Are you expecting Ace to fire back with Oh yeah?! Well Gene is a………… You should be embarrassed.

  15. KISS will reunite. But it’s all hype!
    The band has been through all the wear and tear of most bands! Who is left to get back together and didn’t? Izzy, Slash and the Crazy one AXL.
    get it the ring…
    Ps way to slap Dave Grohl and Nirvana, real stupid Mr Gene Simmons. Give me a break. It’s that band that crunched you and metal to the depths of no return!

    • Crunched metal to the depths of no return? That’s pretty deep. And Nirvana was pretty much nothing but rehashed KISS and Cheap Trick anyway. But because they became Rolling Stone darlings they became “important”. And what happened to Nirvana? I’ll give them their merits and even give them the induction as meaningless as it is but as soon as yRS calls a band “important” then you know they’re not much more than hype.

    • So where is grunge today Geo? I think metal is still around.

      • Pearl Jam is still playing major arenas if I’m not mistaken. Let’s face it – “Grunge” bands killed themselves. Cobain and Layne Staley – dead and gone. I guess they lived the Neil Young – better to burn out than fade away song. I don’t believe Gene or Paul are familiar with that one….

        Winery Dogs are the flavor of the moment. For being the top band in many people’s opinion, they’re playing clubs. You could put Motley Crue, Cinderella, Ratt, Poison and Great White on tour and they’d be lucky to fill arenas together.

  16. Ed Gransell says:

    I was impressed with the interview Ace did but thought Rolling Stone was trying to start a fight. What do you think?

    • Lets stick to all 4 receiving the award and playing together and see where it goes from there everyones staring to stir up bad vibes before it takes place

    • I agree. The interviewer focused more on all the drama between KISS and past members of KISS.
      It was almost like he was trying to start a bigger feud. Trying to throw a wrench in the workings of this award ceremony. Lets see if we can stir more shit up and Ace and Peter get so mad they don’t want to show up. I do think that KISS will do a Final farewell tour where and when? Only Gene and Paul know. I would think instead of blowing millions on a tour just do a farewell pay per view at say the Super Dome.

  17. Ron Pecina Jr says:

    I think Rolling Stone and KISS agreed in advance of the announcement that the four of them would reunite for the induction only. I honestly don’t think Peter or Ace could do a full tour and play better than Tommy and Eric, and I’m a longtime fan, and 100% dedicated to the KISS Army.

    • Chris Topolinski says:

      Ace would have no problem holding up on tour, he is a professional and will do what it takes to make it through the tour, that means getting back in touring shape. Peter could also make it through the tour, he just would have to pace himself perhaps, it’s all speculation that they couldn’t do it. Tommy and Eric aren’t spring chickens either, they did do less drugs in there life though, LOL!..Who say’s they need to do a full tour. I rather see a tour of 40 to 60 dates a year with the originals than over 200 with the replacements. To many bands put themselves out their way to long, what ever happen to the mystique of playing less and people wanting more.

  18. len seidler says:

    Its about time Kiss is inducted. Kudos for Ace for being the bigger man. Gene has always seemd to look down on Peter and Ace ever since they left the band the first time. To him its about the money not the friendship or the fact that Peter and Ace r originals and can never b replaced. Ace miss ya still rocking and u r one of the best.

  19. Chris Topolinski says:

    I think people miss Ace Frehley more than any other Kiss member. I believe Ace holds the majority of the true Kiss Fans, I believe they sell out Stadiums with Ace back in the band. He is like the Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, you can’t replace Keith Richards and call it the Rolling Stones. I know Gene and Paul no deep inside that Ace Frehley is very important to the Kiss image, he brings a sense of drama, mystique and bad boy to the band that is sorely needed, plus he keeps them straight with rock songs. I hold Eric Car(god rest his soul) as more of a original member of Kiss than Peter Criss, he also brings a heavier metal style to his drumming, Peter Criss is a jazz drummer, I wouldn’t at all argue if they just brought back Ace and left Peter out and just kept Eric Singer in.

  20. Could the RS reporter throw more gas on the fire…….let them have the moment without trying to start an infight between the 4. Let us all bask in the glory that is KISS HOF 2014 then enjoy them all onstage together smiling.

  21. Chris Walker says:

    I am sorry, but I saw the original line up in 1997 and it was horrible. Yeah, Peter is their original drummer, but man..he was beating the drums so soft…and yeah..Ace is the original guitarist but he acts so generic on stage..it made me want to puke.

    The new guys are MUCH better players regardless of what bias loyalties still exist. Plus..they play ALL the songs and not just the 70’s stuff. Try getting Peter or Ace to agree to play Crazy Nights or Tears are Falling.

  22. Norm Bouthillier says:

    I think they should say thanks but NO thanks!! That would be a statement to the rock and roll hall of fame…. really it would. But I know deep inside it means something to the original 4 especially to the 2 guys who kept it going in the thin 1980’s

  23. Message to Gene Simmons, Kiss fans have bent over backwards overlooking the utterly retarded nonsense you throw on them. there hasn’t been any new Kiss material that can stand along side the early material, I’ll throw in some of the post Ace and Peter stuff, certainly nothing past the late 80’s. the costumes these days are over designed and clumsy looking trying there best to nearly seem as though they belong with the original paint, same goes for the stage show, you lost that classic cool timeless look a long time ago. It would be like the Beatles getting back together and trying to incorporate some new overworked version of the Pepper marching band outfits. no matter how heard you try Gene you have turned kiss into the loudest lounge act on the planet. the only thing that eric and tommy do for kiss is remind us that you and Paul are to old and in some cases to fat to charge what you charge. I realize no new points made here but I think every real kiss fan that knows what it used to be, just feels stupid for ever having spent the money on any of that crap to begin with. Love to Ace, Peter, and the number for a shrink for Paul who despite his money must need severe therapy. Hell even Pauls boobs sag a little too much these days

    • Name one band from the 70’s whose newer material ‘matches up’ to the material they came out with in the 70’s. Were you looking for another Destroyer or Love Gun? BTW how much of those classics were written by Ace and Peter? Please don’t respond with Beth and if all you can name is Shock Me, I wouldn’t respond.

      • Well, Rocket Ride faired much better in the charts than the title track on Love Gun… Cold Gin and Parasite are classics, among hard cores at least… Not to mention Ace’s solo album!

        • Ace’s album was the best by far. But no hit singles that hit radio (New York Groove was popular amongst fans but not radio). Parasite again was popular in the 70’s with fans. Cold Gin would be the only song with legs. That leaves one song with Ace’s fingerprints on it, and zilch for Mr. Crisscola who hasn’t done a damn thing outside of KISS. I think KISS would’ve survived without Cold Gin, which Ace couldn’t even bring himself to sing.

    • Mark: When you mentioned “the utterly retarded nonsense you throw on them”, do you mean the new KISS Arena Football League team that Gene and Paul have been hyping up lately?

  24. Ace always does a great interview. Check out his responce to a question about Paul Stanley s sexuality. He s a funny man for certain.

  25. davidscottlane says:

    It should be a nice one off show. No makeup. Invite Kulick and Vincent. Have Tommy and Eric there also. But no big reunion. Ace and Peter may be the originals but they can’t cut it anymore for an extended period of time. Sonic Boom & Monster were great. Build from that point on into the future.

  26. The Kiss Army lack the fun of Juggalos and the brains of Deadheads. Really, what a bunch of oversensitive babies.

    • speedking: If you are talking about the current “KISS Army”, then I agree with you… However, the mid to late ’70s KISS Army was the bomb!

  27. Rolling Stone mag. all they are trying to do is stir the pot! I don’t buy there mag. and I won’t!! It’s time for Celebration for KISS and the Kiss Army! If you a true 40 year Kiss fan like me, I don’t care who’s in Kiss, just keep making music with or without makeup!! Ace and Peter should be at the RRHOF, If fact Every living member should be there, also I hope they have a family member there for Eric Carr!!! because they are all part of History!!!! The GREATEST Rock & Roll band of all time! One more thing, Thank you KISS !! (Gene, Paul, Ace, Peter, Bruce, Eric C. Vinnie, Mark, Eric S. & Tommy) !!!!!!!

  28. I”m a little tired of everyone ripping on Gene cause he likes to make money. What a shock….Gene likes money! We all know this but that is who he is. But at least he continues to keep KISS alive and put out new music and put on great shows….He has never slacked off and either has any member of KISS. Remember we as fans don’t have to buy the stuff…….LONG LIVE KISS and it’s about fnnn time they were inducted!

  29. Fan since 1975, and the Spaceman was always my favorite. And by Spaceman, that only refers to Ace Frehley. My first guitar was a cheap Global-brand sunburst Les Paul copy from Montgomery Ward. If Gene and Paul perform without Peter and Ace it will totally demean the moment. If the real KISS as inducted isn’t going to play, they should just get one of the quality KISS tribute bands to perform. I think Singer is the bomb – fantastic player, but this is Peter’s moment despite whatever personal history occurred.

  30. Nothing on this great website like a KISS debate. Absolutely love it

  31. All kiss is 4 Alice Coopers on stage (not even as talented). They have even said it in the past themselves.

  32. Kiss deserve to be inducted but Deep Purple deserve it just as much if not more. Oh well Typical Rolling Stone hall of Fame

  33. I just dont get the whole R & R hall debate . Considering who gets in and how they get in , who really cares, from a fan standpoint, other than its the only “official thing” there is to acknowledge rock & roll..

    As far as Kiss. Its crazy how fast time flies by ; 13 years !! .
    I saw The ” real ” makeup kiss over a dozen times from 96-00 alone. And no ” fake kiss ” after Ace & Peter left…..
    Now everybody is talking about the four touring together and how great it would be to see.
    It ain’t gonna happen period !!
    Gene and Paul are perfectly happy paying two impersonators/puppets/yes sir musicians ” way less ” for the last few years of their touring career’s.
    It is comical and pathetic how Gene and Paul try to play off Ace & Peter as no big deal to the history of Kiss . Just a period of time for the band. Those 4 guys made Kiss. If it wasent for those four and the makeup they would have been just another band that would have died in the 70’s imo.
    But, thats Gene trying to protect the brand as usual and not take away from his karoake/tribute version of the makeup kiss. This is wht i have lost all respect for Gene ., I think he’s a complete piece of shit. Although Kiss up to 2000 will always be my favorite band

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