Ace Frehley Shares Very Early Stories With KISS

Ace Frehley Shares Very Early Stories With KISS | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via AceFrehleyVEVO / Youtube

KISS wouldn’t be KISS without the Spaceman. Ace Frehley, the iconic guitarist known for his facepaint and cosmic persona, recently shared some behind-the-scenes stories from his time with the band.

In an interview with 95.5 KLOS radio station, Frehley reminisced about the early days of KISS, back when they were just starting out and far from the legendary rock stars they would become. 

Get ready for a short peek into KISS’s pre-millionaire days, filled with the camaraderie and struggles of a young band chasing their dreams.

The early KISS days were rough

In the said interview, Frehley recounted a story that paints a vivid picture of KISS’s early struggles. He recalled a time in Atlanta, Georgia, when the band found themselves without gigs for three long weeks. Their record company, perhaps more focused on budget than comfort, decided to house the band in a Ramada Inn.

Frehley explained the reasoning behind this unconventional accommodation. Apparently, the cost of transporting equipment and setting up elsewhere outweighed the expense of simply keeping the band in one location.

“I remember we were down in Atlanta Georgia, we didn’t have shows for three weeks and the record company said, ‘We’re just gonna put you up in Ramada,” the Spaceman recalled. This glimpse into KISS’s pre-fame existence highlights the band’s determination and the resourcefulness required to survive on the road before the rock and roll lifestyle kicked in.

The brotherhood before the big bucks

Frehley also described how the bandmates doubled up in rooms during a slow period, with him sharing space with Gene Simmons and Peter Criss bunking with Paul Stanley.

The guitarist emphasized the contrast between this experience and their future success. He acknowledges the perks of later fame, where each member had their own luxurious suites.  However, his focus is clearly on the strong bond they shared before the millions rolled in.

“There was a brotherhood going on back then, it was before we became millionaires. We were still trying to top the next guy and it just broke wide open with the live album,” Frehley reminisced.

Simmons was open to reuniting with Frehley

Despite a well-known history of friction after Frehley left KISS, a glimmer of hope for reconciliation has long emerged and been discussed. The band’s former rhythm section has had a famously rocky relationship, marked by long-lasting feuds. 

In a separate interview, Simmons was asked about the possibility of reuniting with Frehley for new music. His response, while guarded, hinted at a potential shift. Simmons acknowledged, “I’m open,” suggesting a willingness to put past conflicts aside.

He emphasized the importance of timing and opportunity but also highlighted the existing strengths of a potential reunion. “We got the right musicians, we got the right guys,” he stated, acknowledging their musical talent and personal connection. “I like them, we like hanging out with each other, so that’s good.”

Simmons’ helping hand

Simmons even shed light on a surprising moment of collaboration. He acknowledges the band’s history of conflict but uses a family analogy, suggesting that even families have problems.

Simmons goes on to illustrate this point with a specific anecdote. He reveals that even amidst their differences, Frehley reached out for help on his 2018 solo album, Spaceman. Highlighting his own availability, Simmons readily agreed to co-write two songs for the record. 

“I drove out there, started off with the titles that I had, and co-wrote two things that appeared in Ace’s last record. There’s plenty of time to do anything, but you’ve gotta make the time because other stuff just gets in there,” Simmons shared.

Frehley feels undervalued in KISS

A separate Frehley interview shed light on a lingering sense of underappreciation within the band. Despite being a core member from 1973 to 1982, with a later reunion tour in 1996, Frehley feels his contributions weren’t always fully valued by his bandmates, particularly Paul Stanley and Simmons.

Frehley specifically mentions his guitar solos, a signature element of the KISS sound. He laments the lack of enthusiastic praise, stating, “I really never got praise from Paul and Gene.”  

His description of their typical response, “Okay, that’s the one. Good take,” paints a picture of a transactional dynamic rather than genuine appreciation for his talent. Frehley’s comments suggest a deep-seated wound, highlighting a potential source of tension within the band.

Watch the 95.5 KLOS interview below.