Interview: Ace Frehley Talks Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

AceFrehley

As reported earlier, even though KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, the band will not perform at the ceremony in any form. Recently, Revolver‘s Jon Wiederhorn spoke to former KISS guitarist-vocalist Ace Frehley about the nomination and controversy behind it.

REVOLVER What happened, from your perspective, in regards to a possible KISS reunion performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction?
ACE FREHLEY Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted. Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul and Gene decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer]. And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, “Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.” It was shot down, but I think I led the fans to believe there was going to be a reunion. With tickets going on sale the following Monday, I decided to go on Ed Trunk’s show a couple weeks back when I was in Las Vegas recording. I just wanted to let the fans know that last I heard, Paul and Gene decided not to perform with me and Peter [Criss] and opted to perform with Tommy and Eric. It got a lot of people pissed off, but I had to lay it out because I didn’t want fans buying tickets for an event they weren’t going to see. Last I heard, there’s going to be no performance. There has been a lot of negotiating behind closed doors and I’m sworn to secrecy. But last I heard, there’s just going to be no performance. I don’t know what the reason is. And at this point, I don’t care because it was renting so much space in my head, it was affecting my creativity and finishing up my record.

You got onstage with Peter at Eddie Trunk’s birthday party. That was the first time you had played with him in 13 years. Did you see that as a litmus test for future performances together?
Since me and Peter have gone our own ways, we haven’t made any plans to tour together in the future. But it was just a special event for Ed, and both myself and Peter are good friends with Eddie Trunk. He has always supported our careers with KISS and without KISS. So it was something I wanted to do for Ed and it was a lot of fun. I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don’t have it anymore, which is a load of crap. We proved otherwise at Eddie’s party, but aside from that, it’s very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don’t have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is–it’s half a KISS cover band.

But the event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members. Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent–yeah, why not.

Why didn’t the Hall of Fame nominate everyone who has been in the band? Paul had some complaints about that earlier, saying everyone who has ever played on a Red Hot Chili Peppers record has been nominated, why not everyone who has ever played with KISS?
I don’t want to take any potshots at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a cool organization. But it is what it is. Obviously, Paul brought out the inconsistencies. They bend their own rules. I don’t want to get political though because I hate politics. I’ve always said to keep politics and music separate.

 

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  • “SCORPION~KSS~OF~DEATH”

    Playing with the original members for a few songs to honour “KISS” (the original “KISS”) would not help what Gene & Paul are selling & have been for the last 10yrs. They are trying to rewrite ‘KISSTORY’ and sell there version to the new & casual fans who dont know the truth. Paul & Gene are hypocrytes. They know and have said that without Ace & Peter they wouldn’t be able to continue what they are doing now & in the process they are trying to make them sound like they were just playing replacable character’s/members which is far from the truth. I’m sure Ace & Peter did not even consider or think that when selling the rites to there makeup that Gene & Paul would hire impersonater’s to perform as them !…wear there make-up & costumes ,sing their songs ,play their solos ,etc. exactly as they did anyways …very disrespectable to Ace & Peter !! and what a slap in the face & insult to the fans !! BTW …thats what made ‘KISS’ famous in the 70′s and that is why they ,the 4 original memeber’s are getting inducted .
    If ‘KISS’ had started in 1982 (without Ace & Peter) they wouldn’t even be considered for the “Hall Of Fame” based on what they contributed to the Rock scene …the only reason they reunited is because gen & Paul were just scraping by and knew a reunion would be there ticket back to the top ! but not without Ace & Peter. Smart business men G&P were always thinking ahead and them continuing forward once again as ‘KISS’ with 2 impersonater’s (hired hands) with the makeup & outfits AFTER the “Farewell Tour” is nothing more than a Tribute Band to ‘KISS’ which doesnt do there legacy any good considering how much they suck today (just compare concert performances via youtube) gene & Paul are milking every last dime they can outa any fan they can get to finance there Football Team, coffeeShops. etc. over priced merchandise, etc,etc. The whole time playing 90% songs from the 70′s from the original 4 members ..ok they’ve altered their costumes a few times now but that is only to market new merchandise & make the next tour appear different to some degree …I’ve been a Fan since 1977 …gene & Paul have tainted the way I see them now …I guess I’ll continue living in the past ..back when things were. better, or so it seemed ? I wish they would have ended it after The Farewell Tour …Farewell generally means ‘this is it, last time , thankyou & goodbye’ ..at least they would have left when they were on top. Now Gene can barely move on stage now & like Paul ,his voice is shot. I saw them last summer in Victoria,B.C. ..very poor & forgetable except the Spider Stage Lighting & eXplosions, special effects ..If there was a money back guarentee they would giving my $money back !! Anways “ACE” RoCK !! can’t wait for his new CD ! ‘Thank God for other group’s without all the drama !! >>KarL S.<<

    • FuturePrimitive666

      Stop bitching and whining! The past is past, now is now. Sure, everything was better back in the day, including all of the sex and drugs, right? Neither of them have totally excelled without the others, still songs like “New York Groove”, “By Myself” or “Lick It Up” and “Heaven’s on Fire” certainly are no slouches. Actually, the rumour is that they will perform under the moniker “The Originals” together, but I think Gene & Paul are a bit miffed at people like Eric Carr not being acknowledged by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Shame. Politics or not, the KISS Army knows that all members of KISS past and present have earned their right to be acknowledged, and we do – sales proove that and the voting itself that got the band in, as well.

  • Real KISS Fan

    O.k., first off, did anyone listen to Ace’s last album? I have been a KISS fan since the 70′s ( and loved Ace and Peter-then), but they are not anything without the direction of Paul and Gene. Ace’s solo stuff in the 80′s had some good tunes, but his last effort was a misfire! “Outer space” is a great song, but that’s it. Peter hasn’t been able to produce anything solid except for a few good songs off Criss Cat 1 around 1994. I try to support them outside of KISS, but I feel that they aren’t what they were with KISS (actually, I know). Every other member of the band since their departure has done a great job! Paul and Gene have always chosen wisely when it came to hiring great musicians. There has always been that question lingering in my head that now I know the right answer to, and that is… In the beginning if it was anybody else on drums and lead guitar, would KISS have made it? YES!!!! It’s even in Ace and Peter’s books that they even seem to suggest (without their own knowledge, apparently) that Paul and Gene were the masterminds. I can go on and on, but I just have to say… it has been a great 40 years of music and performances!! They have never disappointed me as a fan! Something people should think about that KISS has always been Gene and Paul’s band….just follow their lead! Oh,yeah… I will always give Ace a listen to and I hope his next album kick’s ass!!

    • ecaravello

      So that’s why Ace’s solo record was the best of the four in ’78? Paul and Gene ‘directed’ it? Please, you’re all over the road my friend.

      Besides, Anomaly was a hell of a lot heavier than Sonic Boom.

      • dbrid

        “Heavier” doesn’t make it better…

        • ecaravello

          Fine, does punchier production, a non-muddy mix, better riffs, and non-formulaic song writing?

    • Bill Lockhart

      It seems that you are way too far up Paul and Gene’s ass! Did you listen to Paul’s last solo record?? It sucked! Ace’s last album was pretty good hard rock and roll, and Paul’s was somewhat alternative-pop! The current KISS concerts are a joke, Eric and Tommy playing in Ace Frehley and Peter Criss makeup, doing the same moves etc. The real KISS fans from the 70′s know the real band! By the way, did Gene ever have a great solo record??

    • PK

      Paul and Gene fucked up when they told Tommy and Eric to pretend they are Ace and Peter. They lost all respect when they made that fatal decision.

  • Dave

    All rumors aside, being in a band is complicated sometimes. Especially when you add booze, drugs, ego and millions of dollars. We’ll never know the truth about anything, and you can’t rely on whats said in an interview as the truth. Gene and Paul are greedy, but it’s their band. Yes we’re fans, yes we like what we like, but it’s their band. We weren’t there directly for any of what has happened in the band behind closed doors. Listen to the music and love it, F@@@ the rumors.

  • Dave

    And the Hall of Fame is a joke, they induct rap artists…. who are not rock n roll

  • dbrid

    I think Gene and Paul would have been OK with doing a song with Ace and Peter (without makeup) and then having Tommy and Eric join them. My understanding is that things went awry when the RRHOF only wanted the original band to perform, in makeup. This would have of course, led to rumors and speculation of a full-on reunion which Gene and Paul have made very clear is something that they are not interested in.

  • Dj

    I am not hating on other genres, but the rock n roll hall of fame has some people in there that should not be in there. KISS was eligible 15 years ago, if they wanted the original band to perform they should have inducted them years ago. I’m not even a big KISS fan and this pisses me off. They should include the late Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Ace, Peter, and anybody that ever played in the band. Regardless of all of that, I will see them live this summer for the first time.

    • PK

      for the 1st time? Where the fock have you been son?

  • samiam

    Current KISS sucks. Talk about bad music–not one tune on either of the last 2 releases are good. Not one.

    Paul’s voice is gone. Shot. Too much bad singing between songs in the 70′s and 80′s. His stage raps were/are so stupid. I swear, he’s the weakest front man out there. They are playing tuned down to a D-flat….that’s 3 steps down. And the music sounds like shit.

    Gene is a whore. Period. Appears to have no friends…had to get D-list celebs to roast him….nice. And the worst of KISS decisions have been his. Music from the Elder, anyone?

    Yes, Pete and Ace f’d up in the 70′s/80′s and that’s bad on them. I don’t blame Gene$ and limpPaul for being pissed…to a point….then they need to get off it, shut their damn mouths and retire already. I see they are going out with Def Leppard. Tickets for this crap start at $125. Yeah. Right.

  • dhrooster

    There was never an Ace before KISS and there will always be one after!

    • PK

      That is about the stupidest thing I’ve heard yet. Ace was Ace before KISS you idiot. And KISS is a cover band now. No posers allowed!

  • PK

    The current half a KISS cover band now touring is a sad attempt to capture the magic of the past. They should have quit while they were on top.

  • OhioMan

    Seen two reunion tours Awesome! Seen two with out Ace & Peter, boring, lacking magic, don’t wanna waste my money again. (Mainly wanted to see crue the last time) Seen Ace in M. Beach SC in 08 he Rocked it!

  • Steven Nottingham

    So they won’t play, And Nirvana is really only half of it self. Will there be no music??