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THE MUSIC, THE MAKEUP, THE MADNESS, AND MORE. . . . In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice: “GUITARIST WANTED WITH FLASH AND ABILITY.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ’n’ roll history.
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 in the world. 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 breakup 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.
|Publication Date:||November 01, 2011|
|Product Length:||9.33 inches|
|Product Width:||6.43 inches|
|Product Height:||1.14 inches|
|Product Weight:||1.19 pounds|
|Package Length:||9.2 inches|
|Package Width:||6.1 inches|
|Package Height:||1.3 inches|
|Package Weight:||1.15 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 287 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 287 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 94 found the following review helpful:
How does this guy have any brain cells left? Nov 03, 2011
By Michael J. Coleman
I bought this book because I've been a fan of Ace's since 1975 when I was just 6 years old. The first album I ever bought was "Dressed to Kill". Anyway, this book was an easy read and gives some insight into Ace's personality and work ethic differences between him and the rest of the band. His comments on the other guys are actually fairly minimal. He saves most of his wrath for Gene. Most of it is pretty mild though. He understands his differences between Gene's workaholic/businessman/controlling nature and his won creative/restless/do a bunch of cocaine nature. Ace's upbringing and early life is well detailed here and he got into trouble quite a bit at an early age. He started drinking heavily when he was young and as the timeline of the book progresses so does his drinking and drugging.
On the surface Ace seems like a fun loving party animal, but after a while it is the usual sad story of a man not in touch with his true feelings about life and the reasons for numbing himself out. He's kind of a sad clown in this, but the true musical soul of the band. When he leaves KISS it is because he has grown tired of the grind and the staged nature of their image and show. What he doesn't realize is that he actually needed that structure to live a meaningful life. On the other hand the pressures were too great and he surely would died or killed himself if he had stayed. What is revealing to the outside observer(reader) is that he came close to doing that anyway! He was damned either way. It is nice to see that he has gotten sober. He takes responsibity for most of his actions, but isn't too apologetic about it. I think he sees his former life as some kind numbed out dream state where he just didn't care if he lived or died, he was just on a roller coaster of music, money, sex, drugs and booze. I read this book over a day and a half because I found it engrossing. The bulk of it is from his period in KISS and I wonder if it's just because he cannot remember much of the 80's or 90's. He was extremely messed up at that point. On a dissapointing note, Ace's treatment of women as something other than sexual opportunites leaves a lot to be desired. What is also interesting is he makes no mention of the Kiss and Tell books that so clearly savaged him. He probably just assumes that he was so loaded during those years that most people take it for granted that his judgement was severly impaired. All of that being said, I really have no lower opinion of the man. He's seems pretty honest about his failings and flaws as human being.
55 of 59 found the following review helpful:
Should have been better Nov 03, 2011
By Eric James Cooper
This book should have been a lot better. I am a really big fan of Ace (and KISS for that matter) and I was hoping for a lot more insight from the Spaceman. Ace hasn't made it a secret that he needed help remembering a lot of his past due to drug and alcohol problems, and the lack of content in this book is a by-product of that. While it's nice to know where he grew up, how he learned to play guitar, etc, it would have been great to know more about his days in KISS - and to get a better perspective on those years. I have heard the Lakeland, FL electrocution story enough times. I wanted more than that and was disappointed that it wasn't there.
For example, Ace just glances over some of the albums in a paragraph or two. I wanted to know more about his working relationship, or lack thereof, with all the band members. Basically, I wanted more dirt and this was the prime opportunity for Ace to share it. He certainly has a right to do that because any KISS fan can tell you that Paul and Gene(especially Gene) have never pulled punches on their opinion of Ace. Instead, Ace makes mention of his love-hate relationship wuth Gene but rarely says anything about Paul. Peter is described as his partner-in-crime, but again, not in a lot of detail.
I thought Ace could have expanded more on the following:
Why was Peter fired?
The Reunion Tour (barely covered for how huge that was)
The Psycho Circus Tour (again - barely covered)
The Farewell Tour (covered in even less detail)
Perhaps Ace was taking the high road? Maybe he simply can't recall the events? Whatever the reason, the lack of detail made for an average book. Nothing special. Too bad.
26 of 27 found the following review helpful:
Interesting read, but very light on details Nov 07, 2011
By David Burke
I'm a huge KISS & Ace fan & was looking forward to more insight into the people & situations that I have read about numerous times over the last 34 years. The book, while enjoyable is a light read filled mostly with random stories of Ace buying drugs, using drugs & crashing cars.
Once KISS really starts rolling a lot of things are skimmed over, for example, the period between Destroyer & the making of Phantom the Park (76-78), the recording & touring of Dynasty & Unmasked, the firing of Peter, the hiring of Eric, the forming of Frehley's Comet to name just a few.
The period between 82 & 95 is sorely lacking in a cohesive chronology or any real detail about his solo career. From reading the book one would think his solo career was pretty successful, but I remember Ace playing in clubs to a couple hundred people by the early 90's.
The KISS reunion years & Peter's & Ace's 2nd departure from KISS are also quickly glossed over. I was really hoping that this would be a substantial part of the book.
If you are interested in Ace or KISS it's worth reading, just don't expect any particularly new revelations about the inner workings of the band.
16 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Disappointing Jan 06, 2012
By M. Collins
OK, like so many on here I have been a KISS fan since the mid 70's. I was totally hooked the moment my cousin let me hear their first album. when that guitar solo in "Strutter" kicked in I was hooked. Like so many others I have been greatly influenced by Ace as a guitarist. I copied every lick I could off "Alive!". Ace was the man as far as I was concerned. Now, after reading the book I must agree with so many others here: it is definitely lacking in sbustance. Ace was the best musician in KISS at the beginning. His sound & style carried them musically. His work ethic was incredible (as was the other members). I believe him when he writes how he was in it for the music initially. After KISS made it big all of that changed. Ace changed too; for the worse. I got disgusted reading about his childish antics & how he caused so much grief to everyone around him. After reading this book I fully understand why Gene & Paul were so anxious around Ace. Think about it; you work as hard as these 4 guys & finally make it. Yet, this one clown is just a second away from destroying all of it at any time. All of it down the tubes because of this idiot. Geesh, poor Gene & Paul considering what they went through. In reality these 2 saved Ace's life. After "leaving" KISS Ace went downhill quick. Seems he needed the structure Gene provided more that he thought. And as far as Gene's addiction to sex, well Ace continuiously brags about how great he was with the ladies. Who cares?
I wanted more information about equipment, song lists, studio, etc. Instead all I got was the ramblings about a rebellious addict that has a problem with any type of authority; be it Gene, Bob Ezrin or Carl Frehley. Ace says he had no relationship with his dad. Gee Ace, I wonder why? However, for me the straw that broke the camel's back was where Ace talked Eric Carr into buying him some glue (against Eric's wishes)to sniff. Then Ace talks crazy about Eric because Eric wouldn't participate in sniffing the glue! Give me a break! Good for you Eric!
In the end the book is mis titled. No regrets? I beg to differ; I sense Ace had tons of regrets, probably more regrets that comfortable decisons over his life. Sorry Ace, but your book lost me as a fan.
I have a better title for this book. How about: How lucky can one guy get?
13 of 15 found the following review helpful:
Depressing aftertaste Mar 06, 2013
Ace was a hero of mine - not for his musicianship but because of his great personality in interviews and because I doodled in Junior High and the pictures were usually the Spaceman face.
What a depressing life no matter how he spins it.
This guy has a very unhealthy obsession with Gene Simmons, who saved his life two times and is entirely responsible for Ace's financial ability to even write this. He is a childish person who attacks other band members 'sex addiction' but then every other story is about the 'female companionship, feminine charms, always been good with the ladies... etc. vomit).
He seems to put his nose up when he says that Gene and Paul are anti-drug! WTF! Ace admits to DUI over and over again - even exciting contrived police chases that always end with "when they realized who I was, they asked for an autograph and laughed as I drove away" - drunk. What a loser. He even drove a boat drunk and busted up a neighbor's boat dock. Many years later, he 'just happened to meet a boy who's father owned that dock" - how did that come up in conversation with a busy rock star. Then he goes on to say, "I gave the kid a 'free' autograph'. Now I'm no autograph collector but why would a successful rock star have to charge a fee for a signature?
How is it that when he had a bar fight he jumped in his Porsche only to run into a wall of 'Black Cars"? Did the guy he just slug arrange for two black cars to be blocking Stroker Ace?
He repeats over and over that he is a Taurus, the bull, the bull-headed guy who never gives in, fighting all the way. But then he complains that he just let Gene and Paul make all the decisions even if he didn't agree. Sounds a bit duplicitous.
He is terribly self-conscious about his guitar 'chops'. Let's face it, Ace barely cracked the Guitar World top 100 at 92 and it cannot be argued that he even made the list because of the influence of KISS on at least three generations. Frehley is truly over-rated. If you list all of his solo hits he mentions, he admits that all were written by others or were cover tunes - even 'Back in The New York Groove" was a cover of an oldie.
Lately we learned that Ace' home is being foreclosed on. He owes 700,000 on a 730,000 mortgage and has 30,000 in other debt... but that awful awful money man Gene Simmons will leave a legacy of over 200 million dollars to his wife and kids. Did Ace even spend a reasonable amount of time with his own child?
The biggest insult to his own provider/father figure, Gene Simmons, is that Gene has no friends! Well, a quick review of the book shows that all of Ace's friends "work for him" in some capacity. Not exactly the sort of people who look out in your best interests - he was paying for friends.
Let's not forget his hammer of a fist. Everytime he hits someone, they go 'down for the count'. Only in the movies does an untrained boxer knock anyone out with a single punch and that it happened nearly 10 times is laughable.
I could go on and on but I won't.
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