Ace Frehley Biography
Known to his many fans as “Space Ace” because of his influential role in the rock band, KISS, Ace Frehley was born Paul Daniel Frehley on April 27, 1951. Born in The Bronx, Frehley joined a street gang called The Duckies where these bad influences lead to being kicked out of a number of schools. He excelled at both music and the visual arts, but soon found his love for music. Due to his parents influence with his father a church organist and siblings that played the guitar and piano, Ace turned to music which he would credit as saving him from a life of gangs and crime.
Christmas of 1964 was a turning point in the life of Frehley when he received his first electric guitar and without ever taking a formal lesson he soon excelled as a guitarist. Unfortunately his zeal for music eclipsed the importance of education and he soon dropped out of high school and began playing in bands to earn a living. Although Frehley was earning money playing in a band called Cathedral, he returned to high school to get his diploma before entering the workforce. With jobs ranging from furniture deliverer, mail carrier and liquor store delivery person, he knew he was destined for more.
An advertisement for a lead guitarist placed in a local newspaper, the Village Voice can be considered the major turning point in Frehley's life. As he went to the audition he found himself playing in front of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss who at the time were part of a band called Wicked Lester. Sure enough, Ace “aced” the audition and was added to the band that would soon change its name to KISS. Unfortunately success didn't come immediately and Frehley needed to find a job as a taxi driver to pay the bills until the group had a record deal. Soon enough Frehley was given a $75 per week salary and was able to quit his job and focus on the band.
In 1974 Kiss released their first album which included one song written by Frehley called Cold Gin. Over the next many years Frehley would write or co-write many songs for the band and also perform vocally on many albums and at concerts. Kiss had finally found major success worldwide and it seemed everything was going well for the band. Unfortunately the appearance was not true as drummer Peter Criss was unhappy with his role in the band. Criss decided to leave the band, leaving the band with an uneven number of voting members for band decisions. Because Simmons and Stanley always voted together, it left Frehley out-voted on most band decisions. Unfortunately Frehley was not able to have his concerns addressed and he left Kiss in officially in March of 1983. Although he left the band, he had a contract to split the earnings until 1984 so he was able to collect profits from two albums the he did not take part in musically.
Although professionally, Ace appeared to have it all, he was struggling with a substance abuse problem. After leading police on a high speed chase, Frehley had his license suspended for a time. In 1984 after officially leaving Kiss, Frehley formed a band, Frehley's Comet which would go on to record an album titled Frehley's Comet in 1987, starring David Letterman drummer Anton Fig. The band experienced some success and a single titled Rock Soldiers would hit #27 on the charts. Unfortunately this success was soon followed by a number of albums with poor sales that lacked to resonate with fans.
1996 proved to be an exciting year for Kiss fans everywhere when both Frehley and Criss reunited with Kiss and a world tour was announced. Two tours followed and then finally a Farewell Tour in 2000. After the farewell tour, Frehley would no longer be part of the band, except to play a performance for the closing of the 2002 Olympics. 2007 saw Frehley once again in the news, but this time because of a rumor that he had committed suicide, which proved to be false.
Today Ace Frehley is still in the music business with having just completed a tour called Rocket Ride World Tour and with a Greatest Hits Live album released in 2006 and another album titled Anomaly scheduled for release in 2009. True to his rock roots, Ace Frehley continues to rock the world and show his fans that he is still very mush a talented guitarist and musician.