ACE FREHLEY - "I'm The Luckiest Guy In The World - I Thank God Every Day"

June 18, 2007, 10 years ago

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The following report is courtesy of Travis Tritten from The Sun News:

He's the spaceman in what fans call the greatest band in the universe.

Iconic guitarist ACE FREHLEY touched down Saturday at Broadway at the Beach for KISS Coffee House's first anniversary.

Fans with KISS paraphernalia, make-up and tattoos waited in line to see the '70s group's guitarist.

Some traveled from across the country and paid $150 to share a moment with Frehley, who signed autographs and hugged his fans.

"I never thought [KISS] would be that big. It was just something we threw together," said Frehley, who designed the band's famous insignia. "It's a phenomenon."

Jennifer Wood drove from Pensacola, Fla., and paid for a meeting and album-signing with her favorite guitarist.

"He's mysterious. You don't see him very often," said Wood, who kept watch of the coffee house Web site and bought her VIP pass the day the tickets went on sale.

It was Frehley's first visit to the one-year-old coffee house, which is adorned with KISS memorabilia and concert video.

After a year and a winter overhaul, the shop is doing brisk business, said owner Brian Galvin.

"Merchandise is a much bigger piece of our business than we anticipated," he said.

Despite the long line of fans waiting to get in Saturday, most of the shop's patrons aren't diehard KISS fans and come in first for the coffee, Galvin said.

But the shop has gotten a boost from KISS bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who have both made appearances and also drew big crowds of fans over the past year.

Frehley, who will release a new album this fall, said it's not his first trip to Myrtle Beach. He came to the beach as a child with family.

"I used to go crabbing here as a kid with my uncle," he said.

The image of Ace Frehley crabbing is a world apart from how many of his fans see him - a spaceman persona with silver stars for eyes and massive platform boots moving through a cloud of stage fog.

"Ace Frehley to me is the greatest guitar player that's been put on this planet from another planet," said Ben Katzman, who traveled 12 hours from his home in Miami Beach, Fla.

For his part, Frehley said he is perplexed by the adoration.

"I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I thank God every day," Frehley said.

To watch Ace at the KISS Coffeehouse First Anniversary Party performing 'Shock Me' with KISS tribute band MR. SPEED click


(Photo by Nissa Benjamin - Ace Frehley poses in a picture with fan Mike Labadie of Canada inside the KISS Coffee House)

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