Ace Frehley Names His Favorite Replacement Kiss Guitarist

Ace Frehley revealed his favorite replacement Kiss guitarist in a new interview.

“Of all the guitar players that have taken my place in Kiss, Bruce [Kulick] by far blows them all away, as far as I’m concerned,” the musician told That Jamieson Show (via Blabbermouth). “He’s definitely the best guitar player.”

The Kiss co-founder also compared Kulick, a band member from 1984 to 1996, to current guitarist Tommy Thayer, who officially joined the group in 2002.

“When Tommy gets up there and does my solos, he tries to play ’em note for note, but he doesn’t have the swagger or the attitude,” Frehley said. “Bruce used to play my solos, but he’d kind of make ’em his own, and he’d switch notes a little, and he had some originality. Tommy is just going through the motions. Bruce, by far, blows Tommy off the stage. It is what it is.”

Frehley — who released a covers LP, Origins, Vol. 2, in September — has previously criticized Thayer in the press. In 2014, he told The Village Voice, “I could sense [Thayer] always wanted to be me — he used to be in a Kiss cover band.

“He didn’t do anything; he was hired by Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos — a business deal. Look, if he wouldn’t have done it, they would have hired somebody else. I walked out on the band; I quit. What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup like they did with [other Kiss replacement members] Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That’s what the fans are upset about.”

Thayer responded to that comment the following year by telling Newcastle Herald, “I don’t want to get into a back and forth, but I’m sure you can kind of assess what you think when you hear all that.”

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Ace Frehley Reveals Why KISS Didn’t Invite Him on Final Tour

KISS legend Ace Frehley has released another covers album, Origins Vol. 2. Along with his newest record, Ace spoke to us about never wanting to perform on another Kiss Kruise, the times Gene Simmons saved his life, not being invited on KISS’ farewell tour in part because of his ex-girlfriend and more.

Frehley last performed on a KISS Kruise in 2019, even playing a short acoustic set with KISS on the ship in 2018. However, Frehley says he’ll never board the ship again because of the way he was treated. “They actually paid me $15,000 not to do a Q&A,” Ace reveals. “What are they afraid that I’m gonna say? I did [the cruise], pretty much, for the money and the fans. Would I ever do another Kiss Kruise? No. I just didn’t like the way I was treated. I did that first set with the guys and then I never heard from them again.”

As for KISS’ “End of the Road” tour, Frehley is still surprised he hasn’t gotten a phone call to join the string of dates. “One of the major reasons I wasn’t invited on the tour was my old girlfriend, who they didn’t really enjoy being around. Supposedly she accused Gene of sexual misconduct. She’s got some stupid videos on YouTube, but I think most of them have been taken down. [The accusations are] completely false and made up. I signed a legal document stating that I didn’t witness anything. I think she was just trying to extract money from Paul and Gene.”

As for Frehley’s friendship with Gene Simmons, the guitarist credits KISS’ demon with saving his life multiple times. “A couple of times I drank too much, got in a pool and he saved my life. Once I fell asleep in a bathtub because I took too many Valiums. The water was up to my mouth and I was ready to drown, then Gene came breaking in through the fucking door with the manager and pulled me out of the bathtub, naked. He saved my life.”

Watch our revealing interview with Ace Frehley below and click here to grab a copy of Origins Vol. 2.

Ace Frehley: Why KISS Didn’t Invite Me on Final Tour

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Ace Frehley Says Kiss Bandmates ‘Missed Out’ by Not Partying

Ace Frehley said his former Kiss bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley “missed out” by not partying during the band’s tours.

While guitarist Frehley and ex-drummer Peter Criss became known for their hard-living ways during the ’70s, the other two members were equally well-known for staying away from the parties.

In a recent interview with the Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown podcast, Frehley recalled having fun on the road with Rush, when the Canadian band served as Kiss’ opening act.

“Invariably, after a certain amount of beers were consumed, Alex [Lifeson] would take a bag and draw up a crazy face on it and put it over his head, and he smoked a joint through the eye because he poked holes first so that he could see,” he said. “And he just had us all rolling around on the floor, and I got a picture of it inside my book, No Regrets.”

However, Frehley noted, Simmons and Stanley didn’t find the trick amusing. “Paul and Gene, those guys never partied,” he said. “They missed out on so much.”

In the 2016 documentary Time Stand Still, Lifeson and bandmate Geddy Lee recalled how much Frehley enjoyed The Bag character. “The Bag would pop up every once in a while,” Lifeson explained. “It was just a face drawn on a big laundry bag. … I’d make two holes for eyes and drew a stupid face on it. The Bag was always drunk and really smart and knew everything.”

Lee added that “usually The Bag appeared in Ace Frehley’s room – The Bag would come over and entertain Ace.” “Most everyone else would be very upset with The Bag,” Lifeson admitted. “Gene was very upset with The Bag, and that made Ace even happier.” You can watch the scene below.

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Ace Frehley Already Plotting ‘Origins Vol. 3’ Covers Collection

Having just released Origins, Vol. 2, former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is already planning to make a third covers album.

He broke the news to AXS TV while talking about his new house in New Jersey, where he lives with his girlfriend. “I’m really excited because we just bought a 6,000-square-foot house with a 3,000-square-foot basement with a nine-foot ceiling,” he said in the video below, “so I’m gonna build an amazing state-of-the-art recording studio there. And I’ll be able to record my next several albums there. I just re-signed with eOne for three more albums. And there will be an Origins, Vol. 3.”

Frehley’s Origins, Vol. 2, itself a sequel to a 2016 set, featured his interpretations of classics, including the Beatles‘ “I’m Down” and Deep Purple‘s “Space Truckin’.” His penchant for recording other artists’ material began with his 1978 solo debut, when he took Hello’s “New York Groove” to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. To date, all of his solo studio albums have included at least one version of someone else’s song, a process he enjoys.

“The great thing about doing a covers record is I don’t have to write the songs,” he said. “So, all I have to do is kind of make it my own, maybe change the solo a little, maybe change the arrangement a little and then get some guest stars.”

Earlier this week, Frehley told Eddie Trunk that he’s not involved with Kisstory, the official documentary about Kiss, because he and the producers couldn’t come to a financial agreement. “I thought the fee was embarrassing,” Frehley said, “because I know how much money they’re gonna make on it. So, either share the wealth, or c’est la vie. So I decided not be involved. … I’m not concerned with the Kiss story. Everybody knows the Kiss story. How many documentaries have we done?”

Instead, he’s considering telling his own story and has pitched it to eOne’s movie division. “I’m the most interesting member of the four founding members,” Frehley continued. “And I have the best stories and the most interesting life. I grew up in the Bronx, poor, lower middle class, living in a one-bedroom apartment, and next thing you know, I’m in one of the biggest rock groups in the world. That’s a huge success story.”

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Ace Frehley: "I’m a Trump Supporter"

Add Ace Frehley to the list of rock stars who support President Trump.

The former Kiss guitarist shared his opinion during an appearance on The Cassius Morris Show, shortly after noting that he tries to stay away from politics as much as possible.

John Lennon got involved with politics, and look what happened to John Lennon. I don’t think politics and rock and roll mix, in my opinion. I try to stay away from that as much as I can. …I will say I’m a Trump supporter. All the politicians have had skeletons in the closet, but I think that Trump is the strongest leader that we’ve got, you know, on the table.”

You can see Frehley’s comments at the 20 minute mark of the video below.

They echo and amplify statements he made about the President back in 2018. “Whether you love him or hate him, if you’re an American and you’re a patriot, you should get behind your president,” Frehley declared. “He was elected. We live under the Constitution of the United States, and you’re supposed to support your president. Love him or hate him, you’re supposed to support him, or go move to another country.”

Frehley’s former Kiss bandmate Paul Stanley has been openly critical of Trump on Twitter recently, calling the President’s comments about the upcoming election potentially being rigged against him “an insult to those who have fought for the free, safe elections that we have,” and accusing the real estate mogul turned politician of implying “that citizens who don’t share your views are the enemy.”

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Ace Frehley Confused by People Who Call Him an Influence

Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley says he finds it “confusing” when other musicians cite him as an influence. He also recalls his doubts as he geared up to cover the Beatles classic “I’m Down,” which was released last week.

The track includes guitar work by John 5 and features the pair trading off against each other toward the end. “I met John 5 when Kiss was rehearsing for the reunion tour,” Frehley tells UCR. “He came to the rehearsal studio, and I met him there. We’ve been close friends ever since. He’s played on several of my albums. and he always does a great job. He’s really, really fast in the studio. Usually, most of his solos are first or second take.”

Frehley notes that John 5 “can play all sorts of music, [like] country – he can fingerpick and stuff. I never really got the hang of that. But I think I do what I do good, supposedly, considering so many guitar players cite me as the reason why they play guitar. Never taking a guitar lesson, it’s kind of confusing to me when I think about it, how I’ve pulled that one off.”

A Beatles fan since he first heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Frehley says “I’m Down” was another favorite, but he was doubtful how to approach it at first. “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to sing a Paul McCartney song, but somehow, I pulled it off,” he explains.

Watch Ace Frehley’s ‘I’m Down’ Video

Now that his new album of cover songs, Origins, Vol. 2,  is all set for release on Sept. 18, Frehley is turning his thoughts to writing new music as well as building a studio at his new home in New Jersey. “The Origins records are a lot of fun, but the songs are written by other people,” he notes. “When you write your own songs, it’s more gratifying when people appreciate them.”

Still, Frehley says he “never [has] a plan – I just write. I sit here and I see where it goes. There’s no concept, there’s no rhyme or reason. I just start writing songs that come into my mind and develop it into a studio record.

“I don’t believe in forcing things. I think things should just happen naturally. To me, the most important thing when I record is having spontaneity and just going for it. If you don’t get it in two or three takes, take a break and go back to it later. If you try to do something too many times, over and over again, it loses that spontaneity.”

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Hear Ace Frehley’s New Cover of the Beatles’ ‘I’m Down’

Ace Frehley has released a new version of the Beatles‘ “I’m Down,” the second track from his upcoming covers album Origins, Vol. 2.

You can hear the song below.

The former Kiss guitarist is joined by longtime Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 on this take of the Paul McCartney-penned B-side, which originally backed the Fab Four’s 1965 “Help!” single.

Ever since his 1978 cover of Hello’s “New York Groove” was a surprise hit, Frehley has included at least one cover song on each of his solo albums. Origins, Vol. 2 follows 2016’s Origins, Vol. 1 as his second collection fully dedicated to songs written by other artists.

“The great thing about doing a covers record is I don’t have to write the songs,” he previously explained. “So, all I have to do is kind of make it my own, maybe change the solo a little, maybe change the arrangement a little and then get some guest stars.”

In July, Frehley shared the upcoming album’s first single, a cover of Deep Purple‘s 1972 Machine Head anthem “Space Truckin’.Origins, Vol. 2 also includes Cheap Trick‘s Robin Zander singing Humble Pie’s “30 Days in the Hole,” Lita Ford tackling the Rolling Stones‘ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and fellow Kiss alumni Bruce Kulick on Jimi Hendrix‘s “Manic Depression.”

Origins, Vol. 2 comes out on Sept. 18. Frehley recently revealed that he’s taking advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown to begin work on a new album of original material, which would be his first since 2018’s Spaceman.

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