Guitarist Ace Frehley pens new memoir set for Fall release
Growing up, the rock 'n roll band KISS was one of my favorites and it's easy to see why. With albums that included posters and other inserts, their marketing was only rivaled by The Beatles. The line had everything from lunch boxes to baseball cards to comic books and dolls. Can you imagine Fleetwood Mac marketing dolls?
My first memory of seeing the band dates from their 1979 Dynasty tour when cameras rolled tape on a date in Abilene, TX for a PBS episode of 3-2-1 Contact. The piece showed crews putting together their stage set and behind the scenes as roadies gave crews cues to run lights, explosions, fire and more. These over the top stage theatrics and their music and lyrics were a perfect fit for pre-teen and teenage boys. The sensitive singer/songwriter, country-rock group or neo-folk musician need not even try to appeal to this audience.
With a major stage show including fire, explosions, blood, and lights, KISS had characters in makeup wearing wild rhinestone emblazoned outfits that include studded leather, boots and chains while playing guitars and drums. Finally, the mystique (until 1983 at least) was that you never saw the band members real faces without the makeup. Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were like super heroes. What's more appealing than that really?
Of course, everyone who liked the group had their favorite member. Often the band member's style similarly fit the fan's own personality. My personal favorite member of KISS was always Frehley. He exuded a cool, laid back attitude and had the chops to solo with some of the best guitarists of the era. Not exactly me, but he was not as crazy or as outlandish as bassist Gene Simmons and not as flamboyant and wordy as rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley.
Nearly 30 years after he left Kiss, Frehley gets to tell his story about his career with the famous rock band and discuss some of his demons with alcohol that led him to quit in 1982 for a solo career. Published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Shuster, No Regrets: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Memoir is scheduled for a November 1, 2011 release date available both in stores and for Kindle. At 288 pages, the book report for English class should be no sweat.
In an interview with Jaan Uhelszki, one of the founding editors at Detroit’s legendary Creem magazine, posted late last week by the Morton Report, Frehley discusses some thoughts and feelings about being in the "Hottest Band In The Land." The guitarist discusses what he's learned about the music business over the years, rooming with Simmons in the early days, his 1976 on-stage electrocution and how his talent was overlooked by The Demon and Starchild during that time. After all that, I'm really looking forward to what Space Ace has to say.
If anybody at Simon & Schuster or the Ace Frehley camp want to send along an advance copy I'd be happy to give it a read. (Hint Hint)