ACE FREHLEY Welcomes Back Drummer SCOT COOGAN For First Time In Five Years
May 7, 2023
Scot Coogan, a veteran session drummer who has played with Ace Frehley, LYNCH MOB, Lita Ford, Stephen Pearcy and L.A. GUNS, rejoined the original KISS guitarist on stage for the first time in five years on April 29 at Reg Lenna Center For The Arts in Jamestown, New York. Fan-filmed video of the entire concert can be seen below (courtesy of YouTube channel Marcus Leeper).
Prior to launching into the KISS classic "Love Gun" at the Jamestown show, Ace introduced Scot, telling the audience: "I don't know if anybody noticed, but I got my old drummer back, Scoty Coogan. He played with me for 10 years; then we parted company. Actually, this is the first time we've played together, this weekend, in five years."
On Friday (May 5),Scot shared an Instagram photo of him sharing the stage with Ace in Jamestown and he wrote simply: "And … This Happened …"
Back in October 2018, Frehley spoke to SiriusXM's "Jim And Sam" about his decision to part ways with the solo band that had backed him for several tours: Richie Scarlet on guitar, Chris Wyse on bass and Coogan. He replaced them with musicians who backed him and KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons on an Australian tour that year: Jeremy Asbrock on guitar/vocals, Ryan Cook on guitar/vocals and Philip Shouse on bass/vocals. He later also recruited Matt Starr on drums.
Speaking about how his former bandmates took the news that they were being replaced, Ace said: "It wasn't a big deal with Chris Wyse, because he's been working with the HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, playing bass, and he's also been doing some solo shows with Joe Perry. He's one of the most sought-out bass players in Los Angeles, so he was pretty cool about it. My drummer, Scot Coogan, he didn't take it too well."
Recalling the conversation with Coogan during which he informed the drummer that he was being relieved of his duties, Frehley said: "I told him I was moving on with Gene's cover band and 'I'm not gonna need you anymore at this juncture.' He goes, 'Ace, c'mon! What are you talking about?' He goes I'm his rock star. 'You're losing a rock star,' he says. Okay — whatever you say. Then he's hitting me up for money."
According to Ace, the "hardest" person for him to fire was Scarlet "because his wife [Joann had] just passed away. And I knew she didn't have very much time to live, because she had Lou Gehrig's Disease [ALS] and there's no cure," Frehley said. "So I was procrastinating for a week not to call him. Finally, I got enough guts up to call him, and he was so drained, because he had been at the hospital every day and so on and so forth. After I told him, he just couldn't grasp it with everything else surrounding his… what he was going through. So he pretty much hung up on me. But I've known Richie the longest — 35 years — so I let a day or two go by and I called him back one evening a couple of days ago, and we made up. He apologized for hanging up for me. We discussed and reminisced about old times. He reminded me that I dated his wife before he did. [Laughs]"
Frehley went on to describe Joann as "a wonderful woman" who "really enjoyed life," adding that "her and Richie had so much fun together and had met so many people."
After his second conversation with Scarlet, Frehley says Richie told him "Ace, whatever's best for you, I want you to go ahead and do it." Ace also revealed that he was covering half of Joann's funeral costs.
According to Ace, the harmony vocals he wanted to hear from his solo group never materialized until he started playing with his most recent lineup. "It just wasn't there," he said. "Chris Wyse, I love him — he's one of the greatest bass players in the world — but he's really not a lead singer. Scoty is the only really lead singer."
Asked if he is good at firing people, Frehley said: "No. I hate it. I don't actually like being a boss. I remember the days I was in KISS where I didn't have to get involved with the business that often. [Paul Stanley and Gene] were more business-orientated, where me and Peter [Criss, drums] were more party-orientated. I didn't fire anybody [while I was in KISS], I don't think."
Coogan offered his version of how the latest split with Frehley happened during a November 2021 appearance on the "This That & The Other With Troy Patrick Farrell" podcast. At the time, he said: "[Ace] called me and said, 'I've gotta use Gene's band. I wanna try to get back into KISS. I've gotta use Gene's band. He's making me use these guys from Nashville.' And I was, like, 'That's fine.' We had the Kiss Kruise coming up; it was at the end of 2018. And it was right before that. Richie's wife was on her death bed. And it was just terrible timing for him to do what he did. And I said to him — I think I texted him and said, 'You're losing rock stars.' Chris Wyse is from THE CULT, and Richie Scarlet's the Rock And Roll Emperor. So I said, 'You're losing rock stars.' But he said in an interview that I said, 'You're losing a rock star,' talking about myself. [Laughs] And that's what was [posted] on Blabbermouth. I slept over at Alex's house, at [Alex] Grossi's, and he goes, 'You're on the front of Blabbermouth, buddy. Wake up.' And I was, like, 'What?' And it says [about] Scot Coogan leaving Ace Frehley [that I said], 'You're losing a rock star.' I never said that. It's just so funny how things get twisted."
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