KISStorian digs ACE FREHLEY’s deep “Space Invader”

thI have now fully digested Ace’s Space Invader at home and in the vehicle. It’s a rock and roll party. For the first few weeks it was an everyday endeavor which was the first indication that Ace was back, even if he had neglected to say so.

SI is a nice kick in ass from Mr. Excitement. I give it high rankings …. perhaps his 2nd or 3rd best ever. It is that good and will provide a lifetime of spins for this Rock Soldier to be sure.  Put it this way, if I made a double disc Ace Frehley bestie “Space Invader” cuts would be featured nicely.

First off, super catchy rocking numbers like “What Every Girl Wants”, “I Wanna Hold You”, “Gimme A Feelin'” and “Immortal Pleasures” make it a must have for any true rock fan, especially any KISS fan.  Secondly, “Space Invader” has more guitars than stage right at a Cheap Trick show (ah, Rick) and they are meaty, beaty, big, bouncy and inspired. He stretches out a bit too with some new feels. The outro guitar solo on the title cut is arguably some of Ace’s hottest guitar work ever. The sustain drone and coincidental random feedback chimes that happen when he gets to the very top of the register near the end of the tune are magic. He does a couple of these Hendrix pull-off trills that recall the rapid-fire harmonic tweaks on the “Makin’ Love” solo on Alive II. Ace sounds relaxed (isn’t he always?) and smartly gives  himself plenty of runaway for flight, allowing him time to get lost in the cascading rock, further propelling him back into the void for another ‘Ozone’ mission.

What I love about the record though, the thing that has really grabbed me, is the content. Yes, the content. The lyrics. The vibe. The messages. The love. The best illustration to me lies in the revelatory platitudes on the dark yet triumphant “Change”. It’s Ace offering some encouragement to those suffering from addiction and letting us all in on a little secret, in fact ‘the secret’ —- “that you can hold the world in your hand”. I think Ace is talking about projection, positive thinking, the laws of attraction. Reality. He’s a semi-cosmic spiritual cat, a child of the 60’s, a man of peace and a hippy at heart who has grown up enough now to set everyone in the conversation straight when he confides “it’s the changing that counts, now open your eyes”. Um ….fuck yeah bro.

I also dig “Past The Milky Way” quite a bit, a love song in which Ace admits he may not make it to Venus because he’s already “traveled very far”, instead proposing a “rendezvous on Mars”. A very reasonable request in light of all he’s been through really. Plus, his computer has been telling him he’s lost. Alas, the Spaceman is able to gather his thoughts enough to sing about becoming a better man. Sure, he’s “running out of oxygen”, we all are, but in Ace’s case he’s still got his guitar. He has traveled half way across the universe in more ways than one just to hold this chick in his arms. Amen.

Thank goodness and thank you Ace for the mammoth rock vision (and good time) that is “Space Invader” — you bring us great happiness from Jendell, AWK!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

KISStorian attempt on the Space Bear @ Dome Room ’95

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”

 

 

 

 

 

Space Invading Joker to reenter atmosphere

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!

cropped-scan0020.jpg“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

 

ACE FREHLEY @ Gibson

meace1Thanks 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”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8M2-TVhIHU

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!!!