>> SPACE TRUCKIN’ – hard, heavy, foxy ‘n free spaced Deep Purple (slight return), ample G-forces to take your breath away just long enough to ascertain the Space Bear is M.I.A. again, riding’ high in the saddle with Blackmore’s gang
How did your relationship with KISS begin? It all started when in was a kid digging through my older brothers record collection. I found Kiss Alive II and then knew my life would never be the same.
Can you explain why being a KISS fan is typically a life-long affliction? I have no idea why being a fan has lasted all my life. It would be impossible to pin down just one reason. But if I had to narrow it down I would say It’s their raw energy.
How did you show in Berwyn at Cigars & Stripes BBQ Lounge come about? A friend of ours works at a BBQ place and found out there was this Halloween BBQ fest in Berwyn on the Saturday the 28th there …We love BBQ and Berwyn’s the home of the Son of Svengoolie. How could we refuse?!
Who is in PHAT KISS? Our current line up is Stan Pauley guitar / vocals, Beans Simmons bass / vocals, A.C. Crisps drums / vocals.
You have a dual role in the band — you’re the ‘Starchild’ but you also play all the leads. Is there room in PHAT KISS for a ‘Spaceman’ at some point? We are definitely open to finding an ‘Ace’, It’s very important to us to find someone that will fit with our chemistry.
What’s your live set up in terms of amps & guitars? Marshall stack, Gibson guitars, though I do use a Iceman here and there.
What are the staples of your set and which cuts seem to go over best consistently? We try to do a mix of the hits and deep cuts As far as shows are concerned …”Love Gun”, “Strutter”, “Detroit Rock City” and “I Was Made For Loving You” always get a great crowd reaction!
Are there any songs you tried live that were soon to get nixed? We’ve done some 80’s stuff like “I love It Loud” and “Tears Are Falling” but they never seem to stay in the set. We are still exploring some of that, I think we’re probably gonna throw in “War Machine” here soon.
What’s your favorite KISS album? Kiss Alive II will always hold the top spot. That open guitar riff on “I Stole Your Love” just rips!
What is the best KISS concert you ever attended? I’ve seen them maybe 10 times but I would have to say the last one at Chicago Open Air festival this summer rocked. They have so much material it went on for over 2 hours and their stage show always gets progressively better. Absolutely nothing beats when Gene flies during “God Of Thunder”.
Do you have a KISS ‘happy space’ you would share with fellow KISStorians? I don’t know what you mean by ‘happy space’ but for some reason KISS always sounds best to me cranked up while driving.
Did Vinnie Vincent save KISS? There is a case to be made for Vinnie, but ultimately it’s Paul and Gene who are the driving force of KISS.
If you were mod your Harley Davidson KISS style, what would you do to it in a perfect KISS world? Such a weird question …The only way to go there if I had to would be some sort of demon bike with glowing eyes and so its fire from the tail pipe like some tricked out 70’s chopper.
What’s your favorite track by each original KISS member?
Paul – “Love Gun” ….Man it’s “Love Gun”!!!
Gene – “Cold Gin” …Just a nasty riff and all the hoopla that goes with it.
Ace – “Rocket Ride” …Just a driving song that keeps pushing the limits and some really clever guitar work. Also, it’s about getting a blow job.
Peter – “Black Diamond”.
Do you believe KISS will continue without Gene or Paul as stated for years by both original founders? Epic. KISS will live forever, if not the original band In some way shape or form but in bands like us willing to carry the torch of The KISS Army.
Do you think they ever deputize / co-brand KISS cover bands worldwide? I’d like to think there is some kid out there right now learning the solo for “Detroit Rock City”. Man …I have no idea what they would do.
This is your chance for a shout out to the boys because they are reading this — what say yee? All I know is we’ll keep doing it as long as the crowd is into it. Take us on THE KISS KRUISE!!
ACE FREHLEY – 1978 — The crucible salvo that defined Ace’s sound for all of his future KISS & solo offerings and that served as the ‘shot over the bow’ that woke KISS fans to the fact that Ace was even cooler than we had thought ….if you don’t like “Rip It Out”, ‘What’s On Your Mind?” …I hope you suffer!
ANOMALY – 2009 — A transcendent Ace album that, although a little light on song count, takes us out of the KISS stratosphere completely in terms of message and style with Frehley left turns “A Little Below The Angels”, “Change The World” and ‘It’s A Great Life”. Buttressed by several cool rockers, the best perhaps being “Foxy & Free” and the brooding explosion that is “Pain In The Neck”, Anomaly is a celestial unveiling.
TROUBLE WALKIN’ – 1989 — A great back-to-basics rock record that was a kick in the teeth to anyone who thought Ace was “down & out” after Second Sighting, Trouble Walkin’ finally tapped the rock solid promise of his original ‘Comet line-up by (re)enlisting ‘Rock Soldiers’ Richie Scarlet on guitar & Anton Fig on drums. “Shot Full of Rock” says it all when Ace opines … “Ain’t got time for posers!”.
FREHLEY’S COMET – 1987 — A state-of-the-art Eddie Kramer produced 80’s rock tomb and a key moment in KISStory, the debut of ‘The Comet’ hailed the return of a made-over Ace with a competitive record and cache that inadvertently restored some credibility to the slightly faded KISS brand.
SPACE INVADER – 2014 — A return to hard rock form for Ace in response in part to those thrown off by the evolved scope of Anomaly, Space Invader takes us again off planet to a rendezvous on Mars and other spacey guitar-a-thon revelations like the title cut. Had the production been as stellar as other Ace passages, Space Invader might have eclipsed them all cuz tunes like “Gimme A Feelin'” and “What Every Girl Wants” kick so much universal ass.
ORIGINS, Vol. 1 – 2016 — A bitchin’ ‘Space Ace’ time machine that takes us back to the bands & tunes that sealed Frehley’s rock & roll fate, ultimately sending smoking Les Paul‘s skyward for all to see. Although a collection of covers, it also includes a couple hot re-workings of classic Frehley-penned KISS numbers in “Parasite” and “Cold Gin”, both still staples today whether seeing the Ace Frehley Band or the new KISS.
LIVE + 1 – 1988 — Although it’s in essence an EP, and only includes one studio newbie in the (seriously shoulda been a single!) “Words Are Not Enough”, Live +1 is a great snapshot of ‘Frehley’s Comet’ live that includes an awesome drum solo by Anton Fig. Recorded at The Aragon Ballroom here in Chicago, I was lucky enough to attend, remember the excitement Ace and the band generated and feel it’s captured well here.
SECOND SIGHTING – 1988 — A near-miss by Ace in terms of material & focus on what would turn out to be the ‘Comet’s swan song, Second Sighting has it’s fun moments and great Ace sluggers like “Insane” but ultimately left us wondering if ‘the Comet’ was might burn up on re-entry if they continued on this trajectory.
It was August 8th, 1995 – and Ace was back, again. It seemed he was coming through a lot around then ….China Club, Cubby Bear, The Avalon. We were there and I gotta say I miss those times on my Ace timeline, when you had no idea what might happen.
That aside, this was an ultra-weird venue for an Ace Frehley show. It was downtown in the tourist district as it were and the Dome Room was really just a dance club: a bullshit, over-priced pick up joint that felt like the live set from Purple Rain. It was lightly attended in ‘Ace in Chicago’ terms largely because the venue was not on rock fans radar and, even if you did know about it, was basically “not our scene man”. We almost got arrested outside the correctional center pre-show…long story.
Anyway ….Ace and his band were loose, rockin’ and surprisingly dialed if characteristically sloppy. I heard “Sister” live for the first time that night….seemed pretty fresh in Ace terms: like Parasite met the 80’s on an octane bender, very Ace.
At one point we all lost track of my (then) girlfriend. She was gone. WTF? (No cell phones then kids). We waited till the floor cleared post-show to see if she emerged but still no sign of her? We waited a bit longer and then had no choice but to walk out of the club only to find her sitting on the front steps apparently fine and pretty charged up.
So yeah, get this ……she had been “ejected from the club when I tried to steal the Space Bear for you!!”
Uh …. you fucking what? ….are you crazy! She quickly confirmed….”When they left the stage just before the encore I climbed up when the lights were low and snagged the Space Bear off Ace’s amp ……but they saw me … the roadies …. they we’re fucking pissed!!!!…. they grabbed me and picked up and took me backstage, past Ace and the band and all the way to the backstage door and threw me out!! One of the guys said “you’re lucky your alive bitch” and slammed the door. Ahh, I see, you’re ok….. holy shit babe.
“Now do you know how much I love you?” she asked laughing along hilariously with our drunken friends. I replied delicately, all things considered, I guess still in shock? ….. “to be honest babe, I’ve got mixed feelings”
Ace’s new album ‘SPACE INVADER’ will be out in June and is to include a cover of Steve Miller’s ‘The Joker’, hey now!
“Life on Earth has been very good to me, and the body of work I’ve created over the years has withstood the test of time. Today I see no obstacles before me and my creativity has never been more fine tuned. Growing up in an Alien world has enhanced my senses and allowed me to succeed where others would have failed. The best is yet to come!” – AceFrehley.com
I picked this up at a Kiss convention somewhere in Chicagoland and didn’t notice till years later that Paul has just busted the low E string on his Gibson Marauder and is grimacing as he tries to pull it off the neck so he can play the other five strings without the busted one lying on the neck, clanking about and getting in the way. Since it’s signed, I imagine he was going to bust it soon and distribute to the Army accordingly. Rare shot, til now I guess?
Thanks to my pal Dusty Wright of CultureCatch.com I got sit in on an interview with Ace Frehley done by Director of Artist Relations at Gibson’s NYC Showroom Jim Felber about the release of the Epiphone Ace Frehley Budokan Les Paul Custom. Ace was so mellow and cool; he had just been on with Matt Laurer of NBC’s Today Show that morning in conjunction with the release of his autobiography No Regrets and was now doing a photo session as well as interview at Gibson. Good times.
Just prior to the interview as we were mic-ing him up for the interview, Ace picked up the Epiphone guitar and handed it to me saying softly, “can you tune this and give me a little distortion? yeah?…. thanks”.
Two nights before I had caught Ace at BB Kings in New York and he had fallen off the stage. He could have been hurt. When I told him I was at the show he said “yeah, that was a drag….falling…. the funny thing is the bridge of my Les Paul really took all the force of the fall and it snapped the bolts…. if it hadn’t I might have broken an arm or leg”.
Ace was not really what i had expected. Being completely honest with you: he came off like a wise old indian chief. He knew how to make everyone feel at ease and welcome and seemed happy to be there but not hell-bent on being the most important person in the room. Engaging but mellow.
And get this: at one point before the interview Ace’s right hand man /co-hort Jon Ostronomy picked up my folder and started leafing through it remarking “whose is this?” and when I motioned it was mine Ace interjected…”dude, it’s Dave’s ……what are you doin?” (laughter)
It’s hard to tell on the video because of his shades but during the interview Ace would look around as he was telling a story and the couple moments we connected still fills the sails with a fresh Frehley “AWK” air!!
At one point Ace said, after playing a bit, “I’m better with my band” which really showed me a level of humility I had not really anticipated either. At was as if he assumed we were all guitarists there anyway and he was just another guy into them. That’s when I saw it for the first time; Ace the reluctant hero. The underdog who can jam, The dude you were rooting for, waiting with each other for the guitar solo, picking his moments tp shine. Hey, lady space? you better wake up fast!!!