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A funny, candid, New York Times bestselling memoir from the former lead guitarist of the legendary rock band KISS, Ace Frehley.
The legendary guitar god who exceeded all limits and lived to tell takes fans on a wild ride through KISStory.
He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted stars on his face, Ace Frehley transformed into “The Spaceman”—and helped turn KISS into one of the top-selling bands of all time. Now, for the first time, the beloved rock icon reveals his side of the story with no-holds-barred honesty . . . and no regrets.
For KISS fans, Ace offers a rare behind-the-makeup look at the band’s legendary origins, including the lightning-bolt logo he designed and the outfits his mother sewed. He talks about the unspoken division within the band—he and Peter Criss versus Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—because the other two didn’t “party every day.” Ace also reveals the inside story behind his turbulent break-up with KISS, their triumphant reunion a decade later, and his smash solo career. Along the way, he shares wild stories about dancing at Studio 54 with “The Bionic Woman,” working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and bar-flying all night with John Belushi. In the end, he comes to terms with his highly publicized descent into alcohol, drugs, and self-destruction—ultimately managing to conquer his demons and come out on top.
This is Ace Frehley. No makeup. No apologies. No regrets.
looked one of the security guys right in the eye. He gave me a quick, visual once-over, head to toe, and nodded approvingly. I returned the gesture, didn’t even smile (couldn’t break character, after all), and walked on by. Just like that, there I was, backstage at the New York Pop Festival. Now I had a dilemma: Watch the show from the best seat in the house, right next to the speakers? Or hang out backstage and try to chat up my idols? A little of both, maybe? Next thing you know, I was
Cult was the headliner, with Iggy Pop and a band called Teenage Lust on the undercard. KISS? Nowhere to be found. Not that we gave a flying fuck. We took the stage and made it our own, playing a ferocious half-hour set. Near the end, during the song “Firehouse,” Gene spewed kerosene onto a handheld flame, lighting up the stage and prompting the audience to go berserk. It wasn’t a KISS crowd, obviously, because there was no such thing. Not yet. It was just a good, solid rock crowd. I’m sure
little story be used as the basis for some sort of big multimedia, cross-platform vehicle for KISS. Part of the plan, apparently, was a “concept” record. As anyone who knows rock ’n’ roll can tell you, concept records can be career killers even for the most talented bands. The problem is that instead of ending up with a masterpiece like Tommy, you could end up with Saucy Jack, Spinal Tap’s unproduced rock opera about Jack the Ripper. I cowrote two songs for the record. One was called “Escape
was aching. But we both got out of the car and walked away—amazing, considering the car had been crumpled to half its normal size. We both declined medical treatment, and the police officers who investigated the accident were incredibly nice and accommodating, offering to give us a ride back to my house. “Wait a minute,” I said. “We have a cooler full of trout in the car.” I popped the rear hatch of the Porsche, not sure what carnage would present itself. But the cooler was intact, so we moved
paraphernalia: my scales, chemical testing kit, coke vials, etc. I buried whatever coke I had left in the woods behind the patio under a big rock. The days passed slowly, eventually turning into weeks. Finally I decided that I needed to clean up. And not just for health reasons. I figured that if my dealer had in fact ratted me out, it would look much better to a judge if I was actively seeking help. My first and only real experience with traditional rehab was a mental hospital called Silver