ACE FREHLEY Talks How He Ended Up Being JIMI HENDRIX’s Roadie For A Day – “I Snuck Backstage”
June 18, 2016, 5 years ago
Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was the first guest on KFM-BFM Radio's new music series called Origins.
Asked if it was true that he served as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix at the guitar legend's last concert in New York prior to his death, Ace said: "Yeah. There was a peace concert at Randall's Island, which is right next to Manhattan Island in New York City. I went to the show. I snuck backstage. I just kind of walked in. I was watching people walk in and out. I was watching the bands walk out to see other bands, and then I watched them walk back, and they'd just walked up with their head high and looked like they were somebody. So I just kind of walked in with this presence like I was in one of the bands, and the security guy just figured I was in one of the bands. So I'm back there about fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, and people were starting to say, 'Who is this fucking guy?' (Laughs) Finally, one of the road guys came up and said, 'Are you in one of the bands?' I said, 'No. I snuck back here.' He said, 'Well, can you do anything?' I said, 'Yeah.' Next thing you know, I'm seting up Mitch Mitchell's (Hendrix's drummer) drums. It was crazy. And then Mitch Mitchell walks over. But he he had changed his look. Because originally he started off with the afro, like Noel (Redding, Hendrix bassist) and Jimi, and then he changed his image; he got the beard and he got the headband. So when he initially walked over to check out the drums prior to the show, I didn't realize it was Mitch. And here I am walking around in high school with Jimi Hendrix's first album under my arm every day, and next thing you know, I'm talking to Mitch Mitchell and I didn't realize it was Mitch Mitchell. The roadie goes to Mitch, 'Hey, Mitch, what snare are you gonna use tonight?' And I (thought), 'Jesus Christ! It's Mitch Mitchell.' And that whole thing was a surreal day."
Frehley stopped by the Guitar World studio to talk about his new covers album, Origins Vol. 1, and to play a few classic KISS riffs. Check it out below:
Frehley recently released a video interview via 95.5 KLOS, filmed on set immediately after the video shoot for his cover of Free’s 1970 hit “Fire And Water”, which features none other than KISS frontman Paul Stanley. The six minute clip is the first time the two have been interviewed on camera in over 15 years. The last time the two sat for an interview was during the KISS farewell tour in 2002 in Australia.
The video notches itself into rock and roll history as the first time both Frehley and Stanley appear in a music video since KISS’ music video for “Psycho Circus” released in 1998. It’s also the first time in 14 years that the two shared a stage since KISS’ appearance at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Finally, it’s the first time Frehley has released a music video since 1989, which was Frehley's cover of "Do Ya" released by both The Move and ELO.
Last month, Ace Frehley cracked the US top 10 with his latest effort Origins: Vol. 1 charting at #1 on the Billboard Hard Music Chart, #3 on the Billboard Rock chart and #6 on the Billboard Current Chart selling more than 16k units in its first week of release according to Nielsen Soundscan. Internationally, the LP most notably came in at #2 on the Sweden Hard Rock Charts and #05 on the England Indie Album Breaker Charts.
Origins: Vol.1 and its success serves as the follow up to Space Invader, which debuted at #9 on the Top 200 Chart in 2014, the same year Ace Frehley was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as an original member of KISS.
Ace Frehley released Origins Vol. 1, a collection of 12 newly recorded classics from Ace’s formative years featuring some of the biggest names in rock and roll on April 15th. This collaboration marks the first time that Ace and Paul appear on the same studio recording since KISS' 1998 reunion album Psycho Circus.