ACE FREHLEY - Rock Soldier

January 30, 2002, 15 years ago

Story & pic by Mitch Lafon

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Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley spoke briefly to BW&BK; days before the November 28th NY Steel Benefit show about his involvement and his future plans. "I'm a native New Yorker and it's my chance to give something back because it's given me so much. I'm just thrilled to be involved," starts off the artist also known as the Spaceman. "It should be a lot of fun. Plus, it's the first time I'll perform with my solo group since '95 (Ritchie Scarlett, Karl Cochran, and Steve 'Budgie' Warner). They're all doing other things, but the minute I told them I wanted to do the benefit for NY's firefighters and policemen. They were all there." Ace has had a special connection with NYC's finest as only he can deadpan: "I've had about six fires and been arrested numerous times," but on a more serious note he quickly adds, "actually, I find it amazing how many state troopers, cops... They're good people you know. They put their lives on the line everyday."

"I was thinking of knitting them a pair of socks," jokingly remarks the Spaceman when asked about any other benefit work, but adds "this is the only thing right now that I'm involved with. We were going to do that thing down in Washington DC, but that fell through. There probably will be something popping up around the holidays. I'm always being invited to jam and there might be a recording of the thing (NYC Steel benefit), but who knows? You know how rock 'n' roll goes."

When asked why Kiss wasn't aiding their hometown Ace candidly answers, "I don't think this benefit thing would have been good for Kiss because we have such an elaborate show. Basically, everybody is going to get up there in jeans and t-shirts. We're just getting up there to perform and raise money for our fallen firefighters and policemen who died in the line of duty. The focus really isn't on us."

As for Kiss, they've just released their much talked about 'mother of all box sets,' but don't expect Ace to be sending it out as a Christmas present this year. "I haven't seen the box set. I looked over the track listing and I thought it was ok. Paul and Gene put the whole thing together. They didn't run any of the artwork by me. Basically, Paul and Gene make their own decisions and do what they want. I hear about it afterwards. I would have wanted more involvement; that would have been nice."

What does Ace have planned for 2002? "Since, I got off the road I've been working on solo material and building my own multimedia studio. I've got a 4000 square foot building on seven and a half acres. It's my homebase. I'll start my own record company and what not. I'll branch off into other things, but right now my focus is on finishing a brand new solo record and getting back my solo career. The solo album will be released whenever it feels right to put it out. I have twenty songs in the can. So, maybe in the spring, but we'll see. There are several labels interested, but I haven't signed with anybody. I may put it out on my own label, but who knows? And as we speak, I'm putting together my internet site ( You'll be able to buy picks from every show," says the Spaceman. And with that my conversation with one of rock's most influential and interesting guitarists winds down with four final words from Ace, "Keep on rockin' Mitch!"

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