Paul “Ace” Frehley has been largely out of sight since he left Kiss for a second time in 2002. “All my addictions and abuses caught up with me,” the guitarist explains.
So he kept a low profile in order to “get clean and sober and get my life back together.” And, Frehley says, it worked. He’s planning an April release for his first solo album since 1990, and he’s touring again, playing a collection of Kiss favorites he was most associated with as well as his solo material.
“I’ve basically been working through the 12-step program and therapy,” Frehley, 56, explains, “changing my friends, hanging out with people who are clean and sober, changing my life, getting in touch with my higher power, turning my life around.
“It’s easy to say ‘I don’t want to drink anymore’ or do this or that. But you can’t do it halfway. You have to follow through. There’s some people who can do that the first time in rehab, then there’s other people who go in and out and end up in rehab a dozen times before they get it, and one day they just get it.
“It took me a long time,” Frehley adds with a laugh. “I’m stubborn. I’m a Taurus.”
Frehley doesn’t foresee rejoining Kiss — “It’s kind of like beating a dead horse to me,” he notes — but says that getting clean has helped him to “get back into the mindset I was in when I did my first solo record,” 1978’s “Ace Frehley,” which featured the hit “New York Groove.” He’s a bit more conflicted about another old song, however — the Kiss track “Cold Gin,” which has long been one of his staples.
“I feel a little funny playing ‘Cold Gin’ ‘cause I don’t drink anymore and I don’t promote it,” Frehley says. “But it’s such a kick-ass song...I think that me talking about the fact I’m clean and sober and I’m not a party animal anymore is plenty. I can still get away with playing it.”
Ace Frehley and the Trews perform Sunday (March 9) at the Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mt. Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32. Call (586) 913-1920 or visit www.emeraldtheatre.com.
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