What’s The Rockbrat Reading Today: ACE FREHLEY – NO REGRETS (2011)

Honesty is a quality not normally associated with KI$$ in recent years. That quality that, certainly extends to Paul ‘Ace’ Frehley. This is indeed, an honest account of Frehley’s life, in KI$$, and out of it. It was a very engaging read, and I read it in about 6 days from front to back. Frehley is a very humble person, never lacking in humility. He has never denied his problems with drugs and booze, and in this book, he sugar coats nothing. He gives the facts, warts and all. With the exception of Peter Criss, on a personality level – he was so different to Simmons and Stanley, particularly Simmons. Those differences were put aside for the sake of the success of the band, and KI$$’s success was beyond massive back in the 70s. But buy the late 70s, he’d had enough. With the sacking of his mate Peter Criss, he held on until 82, but that was it. This book is full of KI$$ stories, and if you are like Mr Rockbrat, a lifelong Kissaholic since 1980, or just a casual fan, you will enjoy this immensely. I remember buying the 7” of ‘Talk To Me’ back in 1980, so I guess I’ve been along for the ride with Mr. Rockbrat most of that time. I really enjoyed the stories about Ace’s pre KI$$ years, being in bands, growing up in the Bronx, doing drugs with Belushi, and so much more. Sure, there’s many KI$$ stories, from the time they recorded their killer demo in 73 with Eddie Kramer at Electric Ladyland, to a verbal account of the Tom Snyder interview, and many  more in between. I enjoyed the swipes he took at Gene $immons in particular. For Ace, it was always about the music, for Geno, it was about $. When is too much enough money ? For Ace, he grew tired of Simmons and what he represented. In 2000, when Ace was late to a show, he arrived just in time for the show, only to see Tommy Thayer dressed in his spaceman outfit. When Ace bought his girlfriend backstage once, Thayer challenged Ace about the “no wives or girlfriends backstage” rule. Ace belted Thayer. Ace was kicked out of the band, and Thayer filled his shoes. One of two hired guns, the imposter story is another good one that Ace tells in candid detail. It’s easy to see why Ace is so well liked. He is genuine. He is humble. He is not deceptive like Simmons. He has human qualities that we can all relate to. He has no regrets – I have one. I should have got off my ass and seen his show in Sydney in 2010!

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