ACE FREHLEY ON CURRENT KISS GUITARIST TOMMY THAYER: “I COULD SENSE HE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE ME”
Oh KISS’ current guitar player, Tommy Thayer, who also happens to wears Ace’s Spaceman makeup when performing:
“I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a KISS cover band [L.A.’s Cold Gin],” Frehley says. “He didn’t do anything; he was hired by Paul and Gene to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos — a business deal.
Look, if he wouldn’t have done it, they would have hired somebody else. I walked out on the band; I quit. What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup like they did with [other Ace replacements] Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That’s what the fans are upset about.”
Guitarist/singer and former Runaway Lita Ford concurs, though she observes, “I always thought that anyone could hide behind Kiss’s makeup. The band could grow old and no one could see through the makeup: a brilliant idea. Tommy Thayer is one hell of a nice guy but he is not Ace Frehley and shouldn’t be in Ace’s shoes. There is only one Ace!”
Well, technically, now there are two, and Thayer is currently pimping a guitar (created with Epiphone) called the Space Man. “I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?” snorts Frehley. “But I don’t really want to talk about Tommy Thayer,” he adds, half-apologetically. “Let’s talk about me.”
Discussing his former bandmate, Gene Simmons:
“The press made out that we hated each other, which wasn’t true. I called Gene just a few months ago when I was mixing my record. I was driving up to L.A., and after five minutes of talking, he started bringing up stuff that happened in the ’70s, when we used to drive around in station wagons. We were on the phone for almost half an hour,” he recalls. “He wouldn’t let me off the phone. There’s all this rivalry that the press tries to draw out of us, to have a dialogue going on.”
Talking about who possibly invented the two-handed tapping technique when playing guitar:
Frehely doesn’t know if he or Eddie Van Halen did it first. He does remember, though, that “Gene discovered Van Halen. He wanted to produce their first album, and we told him ‘No.’ Gene was always going off half-cocked, trying to do more things … like he still does today.” He added, “If Kiss would stop fooling around with football teams and restaurants, they might put out a better record next time.” Despite a few barbs, it’s clear Frehley, still retains a fondness for Simmons — if akin to the true brotherly love-hate you might find in the Kinks or Oasis.
Read the entire at The Village Voice.