Purple Ace

I took this pic at HOB Chicago on the ‘Anomaly’ tour and it’s yet another Frehley ‘anomaly’. I believe Ace’s guitar started smoking during either the “Shock Me” extended outro solo or “Cold Gin” ….while the whole band was still on stage!! Everyone in the crowd went ape shit and so did the band, as is witnessed in the pic with bassist Anthony Esposito rockin’ out behind the Ace. I am not aware of another instance when Ace’s guitar smoked when he wasn’t alone on stage. To outsiders this may all sound rather trivial, if not down right Spinal Tapish, but to KISStorians, it’s KISStory. Trippy purple haze, the 2000 Man is like the headless horseman of rock & roll in this shot – AWK!

PurpleAce1

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KISStoric ‘Anomaly’ finds FREHLEY at his best

IMAG0357That’s right; Ace Frehley‘s last solo effort, Anomaly, deserves a revisit and is in my opinion (in need of) a little more love. It was like no one really gave it the recognition I thought it deserved. I didn’t have this blog then. I might have gone Postal on it. Maybe the only critics who reviewed it wanted metal. What they got was a well-rounded rock record with several well-played left turns by Frehley that may have thrown them off.

The fact is this album shows us Ace at his very best breaking new ground that shows a continued maturation, if intermittent, of the scope of his material. There are at least five, maybe six songs on Anomaly that I feel show how great Anomaly was and Ace.  I don’t know how anyone, even if they had never heard Ace, could come away from it thinking anything other than that he is a crafty, fun songwriter, a bitchin’ guitarist and a really cool singer with his own sense of style on all fronts. Singular ….an Anomaly, on several levels. All it should have taken was one of the really great tunes from Anomaly for someone to shout out to the music world “Wow, this is really good shit!” but, when you are a former member of KISS, there are few pats on the back. That’s not conjecture, that’s KISStory. Hey, it’s not like (even) the old band mates are gonna put in a good word either, right? To prove the point, I present (via Youtube)  “Change The World”, an evolved-Frehley masterstroke full of love with all kinds of here-to-fore unseen Spaceman influences coming into blurry view. It may the best song he has ever written, with “It’s A Great Life” and “A Little Below The Angels” and as close 2nd and 3rd. Ace mentioned the summer of love at the Rock Hall induction in April and this tune harkens back the youthful optimism of the hippy generation he was very much a product of.  Maybe that’s why it possesses a reflective nature and sincerity seriously lacking in KISS in general. Scan0009 (5)Sure, I love the classics, and it’s hard to beat “Rocket Ride”, but these are superior tunes by and large. And, yeah, you can’t beat the first solo record but, in a way, Anomaly betters it at several key moments that frankly eclipse all KISS-related recordings, all KISS forefathers included. As Ace suggests in “Pain In The Neck”…take a reality check — once you’ve added “Genghis Khan”, “Foxy & Free”, “Pain In The Neck” and the emotive continued Frehley reprise of “Fractured Quantum” to the mix, what you’ve got with Anomaly is a bit of a, hate to say it, monster record. I sure hope Ace knows how good Anomaly was and continues right where he left off with his forthcoming Space Invader.

SCOT COOGAN talks shop

ScotCoogan

1.0 – When did your love affair with the drums start?

I was about 5 years old, went to my Uncle Frank’s house and saw a real drum kit set up. The Beatles “White Album” was on, guess I didn’t see any sticks around, so I picked up a Barbie Doll Leg and a Lincoln Log. I started hitting the drums in time with the music, after that, all I wanted to do was play drums!

2.0 – What was your first full kit? 

When I  was 11 yrs old, my dad bought me a used mid 70′s Butcher Block Maple Ludwig Kit. I still have the kit, it’s very sentimental to me. I use it for recording sometimes. It’s in mint condition.

3.0 – Which band was ‘the one” for you growing up, or were there many? 

Hands down, The Beatles.

4.0 – What’s it like playing now with someone like Lita Ford versus say Sinead O’Connor?

Besides hairstyle, nothing compares to… lol. Ok, seriously, they each have a completely different approach and style to their music. Sinead is a melodic pop artist, Lita Ford is the Queen of Metal, her tracks are more guitar driven. Interestingly enough, I performed with both artists during a time in their careers when they were making a come back of sorts. Sinead’s “Faith and Courage” was her first original release in three years. Lita’s latest effort “Living Like a Runaway” is a return to her rock and roll roots. Both women are very empowered by their music. They both pour their heart and soul into their songs and performances. It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with each of them.

5.0 – How did your gig with Ace Frehley come about and what was your favorite part about working with him? 

I flew to New York for the audition with Ace 2007 and he offered me the job immediately. Besides having the opportunity to perform and interact on a regular basis with one of my childhood hero’s, I would say singing lead vocals while playing drums for a good part of the set list was my favorite part of the gig.

6.0 – Drummer jokes aside, do you have an overall philosophy that you bring to the table as a musician?

Yes, music for me is about feel, emotion and personality. Whether I am writing music on  a piano or an acoustic guitar, I find that creating a melody, which moves over chord changes, while establishing a proper drum groove is the foundation for a song.

SCOTDRUMSVOCALS7.0 – Do you have a pre-show ritual to get you in the right frame of mind for a show?

Before a show I stretch, warm up by doing rudiments on practice pad, perform vocal exercises and drink hot throat coat tea with honey.

8.0 – “Moby Dick” aside, what are the three hardest Led Zep tunes to get on drums?

I would say these are the most challenging:

1. “D’yer Mak’er” because there is no consistent or repeating pattern.

2. “The Crunge” because it’s one of a few Zeppelin songs that changes from an odd meter, 9/8 to 4/4 time.

3. “Fool In The Rain” because it’s one of Bonzo’s sickest shuffle drum grooves next to Bernard Purdie and Jeff Pocaro.

9.0 – What advice would you give to a younger player joining a veteran touring act?

It’s a great opportunity to work with veteran artists, you can learn a lot by LISTENING and use this experience to further your career. Have a positive attitude, perform your best at each show, be respectful of space on the tour bus and BE ON TIME.

10.0 – You are given one free time-travel-ticket to any concert in history, what are your coordinates Scot?

January 26, 1969 Led Zeppelin at the Boston Tea Party in Boston, Mass. It was the last of four nights at the venue. They only had an hour and a half of music to play, but they performed four and a half hours. They played their set twice and then did music by The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Epic Concert!

Visit Scot online at, you guessed it, ScotCoogan.com or say hello on Facebook