acefrehley300pix Jon Wiederhorn of Revolver spoke with original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley about the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. The interview appears in its entirety below.

Revolver: What happened, from your perspective, in regards to a possible KISS reunion performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction?

Ace Frehley: Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted. Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul and Gene decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer]. And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, “Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.” It was shot down, but I think I led the fans to believe there was going to be a reunion. With tickets going on sale the following Monday, I decided to go on Ed Trunk’s show a couple weeks back when I was in Las Vegas recording. I just wanted to let the fans know that last I heard, Paul and Gene decided not to perform with me and Peter [Criss] and opted to perform with Tommy and Eric. It got a lot of people pissed off, but I had to lay it out because I didn’t want fans buying tickets for an event they weren’t going to see. Last I heard, there’s going to be no performance. There has been a lot of negotiating behind closed doors and I’m sworn to secrecy. But last I heard, there’s just going to be no performance. I don’t know what the reason is. And at this point, I don’t care because it was renting so much space in my head, it was affecting my creativity and finishing up my record.

Revolver: You got onstage with Peter at Eddie Trunk’s birthday party. That was the first time you had played with him in 13 years. Did you see that as a litmus test for future performances together?

Ace Frehley: Since me and Peter have gone our own ways, we haven’t made any plans to tour together in the future. But it was just a special event for Ed, and both myself and Peter are good friends with Eddie Trunk. He has always supported our careers with KISS and without KISS. So it was something I wanted to do for Ed and it was a lot of fun. I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don’t have it anymore, which is a load of crap. We proved otherwise at Eddie’s party, but aside from that, it’s very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don’t have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is–it’s half a KISS cover band.

But the event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members. Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent–yeah, why not.

Revolver: Why didn’t the Hall of Fame nominate everyone who has been in the band? Paul had some complaints about that earlier, saying everyone who has ever played on a Red Hot Chili Peppers record has been nominated, why not everyone who has ever played with KISS?

Ace Frehley: I don’t want to take any potshots at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a cool organization. But it is what it is. Obviously, Paul brought out the inconsistencies. They bend their own rules. I don’t want to get political though because I hate politics. I’ve always said to keep politics and music separate.

source: revolvermag.com

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  • DC on

    With all due respect to Ace, he hasn’t had “it” for a long time. I’ve seen a ton of live videos from his shows and his playing is atrociously bad.

    • Eddie on

      That may be the case in your opinion, but why does anyone not talk about Paul’s voice last few years? EVERYONE erodes some with age, just seems like fingers only get pointed at the usual suspects..

    • DC on

      Oh, you’re absolutely right. No argument there. But in comparison to how bad Ace’s playing is, it’s not that bad.

    • DR on

      Right now, if I had the choice over Ace’s playing or Paul’s screeching, I’m going for the Space Man. Stanley had one of the best voices in rock, but it is gawdawful to listen to now. How that dude is going to tour and keep ‘singing’ is beyond me. Hopefully Mr. Singer’s pipes are in good shape.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      Just this once, I have to agree – Paul is 80% dependent on Singer compensating for his loss today. But instead of calling it quits, with a hundred million dollars piled up, he goes on tour yet again – do poeple/concert goers not notice that, the ones saying he still has it, Kiss still delivers?? Are they deaf? Just listen to the Zurick concert in HD on YT – it hurts.

  • Bill on

    Hey, what about Mark St. John, nobody ever brings him up? Just kidding, Ace is my favorite, always has been! Saw him a couple of years ago at Harrahas casino in Iowa. Small show, but one of the best shows I’ve seen ever! Rock on Ace, you’re the man!

  • David on

    Don’t know what to tell you, Ed. Saw them on The Tour in Nashville in 2012 and Paul was tearing it up. He made sure to keep “singing” his “oh yeahs!” and “how ya doin people’s!” just to prove the point that his voice was fine. He sounded great. Didnt he get vocal surgery done right before that? I know his voice was shot prior to that but he sounded just fine at the gig I saw. Just my experience.

    • pete lytel on

      Sounded great in St. Louis too

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      Must have been Singer you heard “singing” the high notes:-)

  • John Stockman on

    Great comments from Ace. Gene/Paul are still throwing insults around about the other two original members, yet Ace can still be civil. I saw an interview with Paul where he completely bashed bands like Yes, ELP and a few others. And how they weren’t real music and only KISS is. It seems the idiocy from those clowns Gene and Paul is very much alive. At least those bands Paul ragged on never did a disco record. I saw Peter and Ace play during Ed Trunk’s b-day thing and saw/heard nothing wrong. Sure, maybe not up to touring, but Gene and Paul are delusional, as usual, about those guys not having “it” anymore. They didn’t even have enough creativity between both of them to come up with new make-up schemes when Peter and Ace left. Popularity has nothing to do with quality, especially regarding music.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      Bashing muscial giants like Yes only shows that his ego is actullay very small, he knows his band and himself cannot hold a candle to the musical quality of bands usch as Yes (even though I do not like ithem, but that is just a matter of taste noot of quality) so he has to bash them to make Kiss seem much bigger than they are. It is pitiful how much he seems to need it. It may also be the reason he keeps on bashing Ace because he knows of all the average (compared to others) talent in Kiss, Ace had the most of it by far. It is always the smallest dog barking the loudest to make itself heard and noticed …

    • Dale Carter on

      To the point of talent and skill on their instruments, Thayer and Kulick smoke Ace, while both Carr and Singer do the same to Peter. That said, none of the “new guys” (all of whom have been in the band as long, or longer than the originals) have written a Detroit Rock City, Deuce, Black Diamond or Strutter, yet. So there’s that… but then you have the “Bob Ezrin/Bob Kulick” problem where Ace is concerned on Destroyer and Alive II studio tracks, plus Anton Fig covering for Peter after his accident on Dynasty, not to mention LOTS of Gene’s bass lines being recorded by studio pros… KISS used a LOT of outside writers and studio musicians over the years, even during the “Ace and Peter” years, so the creative process is pretty muddy.

      I admire what Ace and Peter did in helping to create the greatest Kiss songs of all time. I don’t know how much of a role they had, but they were there. The overwhelming majority of the songwriting was Gene/Paul/outsiders. The only major standouts I see are Ace with “Cold Gin” and “Shock Me”, Peter with “Beth” (with Penridge, lyrics/piano/strings rewritten byBob Ezrin and title changed by Gene), but I stand to be corrected on that front. I know the collaborative process that brings about great songs and the songs they helped create were the best KISS ever recorded, regardless of the “percentage” role they played.

      To be clear, I am not bashing Ace or Peter. They were awesome and gave us great KISS albums, but the romantic memories of them is not based in fact.

    • Dale Carter on

      Paul bashing Yes and ELP, was a, clearly, a stupid thing to say. I am a pro bassist (30 years) and drummer… I LOVE Yes and ELP. They play circles around EVERY member of Kiss and their is NO way Stanley didn’t know that to be true. I’m betting he was repping the “You wanted the best, you got the best” bombast aka “marketing”. It is a VERY common trait for guys in a band to think their band is best and the others suck 🙂

      One point, Gene and Paul DID come up with new make-up schemes when Peter and Ace left the band. Eric Carr was “The Fox”, Vinnie was the “Ankh Warrior”, then they “unmasked”. After the reunion tour, they returned the drummer to “the Cat” and guitarist to “The Spaceman”. I agree they should have kept the makeup different. Peter and Ace earned that bit of respect because THEY were those characters.

      To the point of “those bands Paul ragged on never did a disco record”… true, and where are they now? Say what you want about Gene and Paul, and there is PLENTY of bad to say, they kept the band around and relevant. IF they had not done so, there would be no Hall OF Fame induction to argue about.

  • Dale Carter on

    I have a different take on this whole “Gene and Paul vs Peter and Ace” and it is going to piss off a LOT of people. Please hear me out and read the entire post before ripping me a new one 🙂 Trust me, I understand…

    First, I love Ace and Peter and they would be a MUCH better hang than Gene or Paul, Gene especially. I think the songs they did are STILL the best KISS songs, especially Detroit Rock City, Rock And Roll All Night, Strutter, Cold Gin, Black Diamond, Deuce, Shout It, on and on

    I applaud, loudly, their victories over substance abuse and am very happy to see them come out the other side, instead of dying.

    That said….

    Imagine that you are Gene and Paul and, after a decade of ass busting hard work, KISS has scaled the heights to the TOP. Two members of the band are working their asses off and (pretty much) keeping their acts together, while the other two screw it away on “partying” to the point that the shows, recordings and band are harmed. How pissed would you be that those two were gambling with YOUR future and YOUR hard work? This isn’t to say that Ace and Peter didn’t work hard, they certainly did, but they also, repeatedly, screwed up. They both admit their problems with substance abuse.

    Then you decided to fire your friends (no matter what you think of Gene and Paul, that could not have been easy) and keep the band alive for another thirty years until it can come back out on top again. One of your rewards (along with sold out tours, unbelievable merch sales and a lucrative “reality” show) is to have some of your fans talk about how great the original lineup was… I have been a pro drummer and bassist for 30 years and you know what? Singer and Carr smoke Peter Criss and Ace can’t hold a candle to Bruce Kulick. Props to Peter and Ace for helping create the greatest KISS songs ever, but, as musicians, it isn’t even close. Yeah, Paul’s voice sounds like crap these days (how good does your grandpa sing?) and Gene’s bass lines could be played wearing boxing gloves, but KISS was NEVER about great musicianship. It was about the show.

    Ask yourself this…. If Gene and Paul had not kept going after Peter and Ace crashed and burned in the beginning of the ’80’s, would there even BE a RnR HoF induction for ANY members of the band?

    Time served in the band? For the guitarists, it’s pretty close. Ace played for 10 years (plus almost 2 in the reunion), Bruce Kulick for a little over 10 and Tommy Thayer for 10 and still going. For the drummers, not so much. Peter was in the band for 8 years, Eric Carr for 11 before his untimely death and Eric Singer for 23 years. Who deserves to be there? The guys who worked their asses off for the longest times or the guys who screwed away the dream of a lifetime? The induction is for the original four, but I can see why Gene and Paul don’t want that lineup to perform. I mentioned the newer lineups keeping it going earlier, but, without the original four, there would be no band to continue? A valid point because the answer is a clear “no”.

    I agree that the Cat and Spaceman makeup should be retired. Those are Peter and Ace. New characters were created for drummers and guitarists, no reason they shouldn’t be used. It’s a respect thing, that I think Ace and Peter earned.

    Dislike Gene and Paul all you want… God knows there is plenty of reason, especially Gene… and I don’t think they have handled the aftermath very well at all. I would have preferred to see Gene and Paul, especially Gene, not talk about Ace and Peter’s problems so much, but they were addicts who fucked up their lives, weren’t they? Should Gene and Paul have let Ace and Peter’s problems drag them down to the basement, too? Ace and Peter screwed themselves out of this deal.

    Bottom line – For me, I love Ace and Peter for what they helped create and think they are the two coolest guys of the original four. I, also, understand Gene and Paul’s position. There is room for both.

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