30 Years Later, Ace Frehley Looks Back on His Solo Debut, ‘Frehley’s Comet’: Exclusive Interview

Matthew Wilken | Ultimate Classic Rock

Five years after his unceremonious and somewhat mysterious departure from Kiss, guitarist Ace Frehley made a long-awaited return with a new band and album — both named Frehley’s Comet.

“I was on a downward spiral and really needed to get away from the whole music business, and try and get a grasp on reality and take a step back,” Frehley told the San Diego Union Tribute when looking back on his 1982 departure from his former group. “I’d really lost my identity, being ‘The Spaceman’ in Kiss for so long. I needed time to be away from that character and the whole crazy world of touring.”

A couple of years later, Frehley began to get a solo band together and perform in the New York City area. “He had been doing live shows, selling out two-night stands at L’Amour in Brooklyn,” radio host Eddie Trunk, who at the time was working at Megaforce records, tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “So, he was out there but nobody had really had many dealings with him. A lot of people hadn’t even seen him without his makeup yet.”

“Every time I bumped into a fan, the first thing out of their mouth was, ‘When are you going to come out with your own record?’” Frehley tells Ultimate Classic Rock. But major internal and external changes had taken place during the half-decade the guitar hero was out of the public eye.

In Kiss, Frehley was hidden behind the band’s trademark makeup and served as the George Harrison of Kiss, ceding a majority of the songwriting, lead vocal, promotional and concert-frontman duties to Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Now, not only was he revealing his real face to the world as the leader of his own group, he was returning to a hard-rock musical landscape overrun with hairspray and keyboards.

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