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Interview:
Ace Frehley at Token Lounge, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Paul "Ace" Frehley is, and will always be, known as the original lead guitarist in Kiss, the "Spaceman" who fires pyrotechnics from the end of his instrument and sings about the virtues of "Cold Gin."



But Frehley has done plenty away from the makeup, too.



Working his way out of a variety of acknowledged alcohol and substance addictions, he's been on something of a roll, with four studio albums during the past decade. 2016's "Origins, Vol. 1," covered some of his rock ’n’ roll favorites, while last year's "Spaceman" featured a pair of songs co-written with Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons.







Frehley, who ended the last of his Kiss stints in 2002 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band, has another "Origins" set on tap for 2020 — and will most likely take his old band up on its offer to be part of the final Kiss show on July 17, 2021.



• Among the songs on "Spaceman" is "Rockin' With the Boys," which came from a chorus Frehley, 68, wrote during the ’70s. "For some reason I could never get a verse and a bridge that I liked that went along with that chorus. I figure if a chorus is great, the rest of (the song) has to be equally good. Up until when I started recording 'Spaceman' I wasn't able to come up with anything, and then it just came to me in one day." Frehley filmed the song's music video during an August 2018 concert in downtown Detroit.



• Frehley says by phone that working on the two "Spaceman" songs with Simmons — "Without You I'm Nothing" and "Your Wish in My Command" — was like riding bike. "It was a lot of fun. I had done a Vault Experience (show promoting Simmons' archival release) with him up in L.A., and I think I just emailed him a few days later. I did him a favor, so I said, 'Hey, why don't you come down to my place and try writing a song or two?' and he said 'Great!' and within a week he was down at my studio, and within three hours we came up with both of those songs. It was painless."







• Frehley acknowledges that his 12 years of sobriety has helped reunite him with his former Kiss mates — including Paul Stanley, who guested on "Origins, Vol. 1." "We're on the same level again. Years ago I was loaded half the time and we weren't on the same plane of consciousness, so to speak. A lot of the things they said about me made sense to me once I got sober — that's why I don't hold any grudges. I hate being around drunk people now, too."



• As for his overall relationship with Simmons and Stanley, Frehley notes that "we were always brothers, but sometimes brothers get (angry) at each other. Luckily at this juncture in my career I'm on really good terms with Paul and Gene and Peter (Criss). I was always on good terms with Peter. When I quit the band they weren't happy, and then I quit the band a second time after the (1996) reunion, that farewell tour. There was some bad blood, but that's water under the bridge at this juncture."



• Frehley had expressed hope that he would be included in the entirety of Kiss' farewell tour, which has not happened. He has not yet publicly responded to manager Doc McGhee's offer to be part of the final show. "I haven't spoken to Paul and Gene about it. I've just read a couple of articles where they made certain statements but alluded to other things. Who knows what's going to happen. I think they'd be foolish not to include me in some capacity. ... If you go on the Internet and see what the fans are saying, they want it, and Paul and Gene usually don't have a deaf ear to fans. They try to make the fans happy, during the ’cause that's who pays our rent."



Ace Frehley performs Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Token Lounge, Westland. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 at 734-513-5030 or thetokenlounge.com.



Web Site: www.thetokenlounge.com

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