Ace Frehley recently spoke to the Tulsa World about the general perception that he was the "coolest" member of KISS.
"If you look at polls on the Internet, I was voted the most liked member of the band, so I don't know," he said. "If you believe polls on the Internet, I guess it's true… In my mind, I probably was the coolest guy. Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] didn't really have the street smarts that I had. They lived more of a sheltered life. I had a pretty crazy life before I even joined KISS. I came to the band with a lot more life experience, I think. It made me more prepared for the insanity of the roller coaster ride with KISS."
Asked what he means by "street smarts," Frehley said: "I grew up in the Bronx. I was a member of a couple of different gangs. I had slept with a lot of women prior to joining KISS. It wasn't my first time in the rodeo, so to speak, you know?"
In a 2016 interview with BackStory, Ace said that Stanley and Simmons "never acknowledged" the fact that he was the "coolest" member of KISS. "Many times they didn't think I was cool, because maybe I didn't show up or I was late or I was too loaded," he said. "But it went along with the territory those days. I wouldn't do anything any differently than I did. It was a learning experience for me… I got cool from being in the streets. I grew up in the streets; I was in street gangs. I used to set up my friends with dates, and that's how I got the nickname 'Ace.' I mean, it's just a lot of things. The way I carried myself… I don't know. I think you're either born with it or you're not."
Frehley first left KISS in 1982. He rejoined in 1996 and parted ways with the band once again in 2002 after the conclusion of their first "farewell tour." Since his departure, guitarist Tommy Thayer has assumed the role of the Spaceman.
Frehley's latest album, "Spaceman", was released last October via eOne. Gene co-wrote two tracks on the disc, "Without You I'm Nothing" and "Your Wish Is My Command", the latter of which also features Simmons's bass playing.
Ace has completed work on "Origins Vol. 2", the sequel to his 2016 collection of cover songs that inspired the former KISS guitarist. The disc is tentatively due later this year via Entertainment One (eOne).