ACE FREHLEY Says PAUL STANLEY And GENE SIMMONS Are 'Trying To Rewrite History'September 18, 2014
Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was interviewed on the latest episode of "One On One with Mitch Lafon". You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.
Asked why he thinks KISS leaders Paul Stanley continue to bash him in interviews, Frehley said: "I think they're compelled to put me down because I quit the group and they're constantly bombarded by KISS fans who're saying, 'Bring Ace back. Tommy's [Thayer, current KISS guitarist] just a cover-band guy.' It's like a thorn in their side. So any chance they can take to somehow minimize my contribution to the band…"
He continued: "I quit the group. I was never fired. I keep reading what Gene is saying, 'Yeah, we had to let Ace and Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] go.' Bullshit. They let Peter go. They didn't let me go. I quit. They wanted me to stay.
"It's interesting how they try to rewrite history.
"I just celebrated eight years sober, and it's sad that they have to continually bash me. I think it makes them look silly."
Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell Tour" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously. Peter Criss has claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004. Both charges have been disputed by Stanley and Simmons.
Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current KISS lineup — guitarist Tommy Thayer and longtime drummer Eric Singer — dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas.
Stanley and Simmons have long been vilified for Frehley and Criss' exits from KISS following their worldwide reunion tours, which began in 1996. Rolling Stone ran an excerpt from Stanley's autobiography, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", in which he explained how Criss and Frehley all but signed their pink slips from the "Hottest Band in The World."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Stanley writes about Peter Criss' unhappiness during his last days on the road with KISS: "Peter posted a sign every day counting down the number of days left on the Farewell Tour. He started painting a teardrop below his eye. I thought it made him look like Emmett Kelly's famous Weary Willie character, the tragic clown who toured with the Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus. And as for the rest of his makeup, it was as if he had forgotten how to do it. He started to look like a panda bear, with big rectangles around his eyes."
He went on to write, "The tour was horrible. Constant drudgery and misery. We spent all of our energy trying to coax Peter and Ace out of their hotel rooms. Ace sucker-punched (roadie and substitute guitarist) Tommy (Thayer) at one of the shows. Peter had his usual handbook detailing how hotel staff had to treat him and which windows had to be covered with tinfoil and all that. There was no reasoning with either of them. We never knew if we'd make it to a show on time, and once we got onstage we never knew whether we'd get through the show. I mean, if a guy has trouble putting on his makeup, how is he going to play? Not surprisingly, the shows could be pretty awful."
Stanley admits that he saw the band falling apart before his eyes, especially when it was frequently up in the air whether Frehley would even make it to the gig on a nightly basis. "I was angry at Peter and Ace for being disrespectful toward everything we had accomplished and everything the fans were giving us," he wrote. "I bought into the idea that this really was it. The end of KISS. There was no place to go. It was unbearable."
After a particularly bad show, manager Doc McGhee leveled with Stanley and Simmons and told them that some cuts needed to be made to keep the band operating at a functioning level. "'This will not do,' Doc said to me and Gene," Stanley wrote. "'These guys are just terrible. I run a management company, not the Red Cross. They don't send me into destroyed countries to rebuild things. I don't save people. You have to make changes.'"
The Pulse Of Radio asked Simmons what it feels like to turn around and see the spitting image of his former bandmates — yet it's someone else. "Y'know, we still have a tug of the heart," he said. "It's like your drunken dysfunctional father who was a bum and you finally had to get rid of him — but you still remember the beginning when he was a good dad. Ace and Peter are beloved, as they should be, for the beginning. For helping launch the band — if you don't mind me saying so — that changed the face of rock 'n roll, literally and figuratively speaking. But equally as important part of the beginning of KISS, it's also important to know that with them in the band today, KISS wouldn't be around."
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