Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ace Frehley - Back from the Dead?

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a couple of months, or knows me, knows that I cite Ace Frehley as my earliest guitar influence and for sure one of the top five reasons I play guitar today. Whatever you think of KISS, you can't deny that from 1974-1976 Ace was a smoking hot guitarist (pun intended) and that his 1978 solo album Ace Frehley is one of the brightest spots in KISS' recorded history.

As a kid, I ripped the cellophane from the new KISS albums to hear which songs ACE did. And I was rarely disappointed. In that context, his solo album was some sort of crazy oasis.

Of course, in my opinion, since leaving KISS in the late 70s, Ace languished. I didn't like his 80s stuff and stories of his drinking and general "assaholism" abounded. I was elated to see the reunited KISS in 1996 and thought Ace sounded pretty good although the years were not kind to his makeup design (a nice way to say he looked like crap).

But then history repeated itself and Ace fell off the wagon and was again freed from the shackles of KISS after the aptly titled "Farewell Tour." He then slinked off into oblivion to clean up and record a "solo album" that rivals Chinese Democracy for the longest hype cycle for an album that does not exist.

Or does it? NYC DJ Eddie Trunk, who knows Ace well, posted this to his Blog last week:

Stopped by an visited my old friend Ace Frehley last night at the NYC studio where he is now mixing his upcoming CD. Ace is doing so well, is totally healthy and just in a great place now. I am very proud of him. Ace has recorded 10 new songs so far and is completing 3 to use as a demo for now. I can tell you there is some strong label interest so he will no doubt have several options to release it. I heard 2 of the 3 new songs that are being finalized and I must say I was really impressed with them. It is classic sounding Ace singing and playing. One track had a vocal from Ace that almost had a Beatles type vibe, but still rockin. You will also be happy to know that Ace plays all guitar and sings all vocals. The recordings were made with a trio of Ace, Anton Fig on drums and new bassist Anthony Esposito (Lynch Mob). The touring band will be Ace, Anthony and other players TBA. Ace also told me he wrote all the songs just before going into the studio, so this is all fresh stuff. I'm really excited by the two songs I heard. It is by far the most "Kiss-like" music from any past or present member of the bands respective solo albums. We hung out for a couple hours, talked about the old days and had some Japanese food. Really fun night and was great to see him as always. More news when I can share it and of course keep an ear on the radio shows and to this site for all the exclusive Ace news and music. Ace is back!

So I will cut Ace some slack and say great job on staying sober and I look forward to hearing the music sometime this decade! Shock Me!

No comments: