Ace Frehley talks Kiss, his solo career and life in San Diego

George Varga | San Diego Union-Tribune

Dove Shore

For many musicians, joining the right band at the right time can be a life-changing experience that leads to fame and fortune. For Ace Frehley, leaving Kiss in 1982 was a life-changing experience of an even more dramatic nature.

“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. 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. So I think it did save my life.”

One of the most influential rock guitarists of the 1970s and ’80s, Frehley rejoined Kiss in 1996 for six years. That stint also ended in acrimony between him and Kiss co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

Happily, he and Stanley buried the hatchet last year when Stanley sang the classic Free song “Fire and Water” on Frehley’s latest album, “Origins Vol. 1.” Their chemistry seemed better than ever

“When we were shooting the video for the song, it felt so natural being next to Paul onstage,” Frehley said. “Because we have so much history together and I think it came across in the video. He told me he had a lot of fun. I sure enjoyed it. Who knows what lies ahead?”

In a separate interview from his Beverly Hills home, Stanley was equally enthusiastic, if more doubtful of any further reunions.

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Gene Simmons: No more KISS albums until there is ‘a financial model that works’


According to Gene Simmons, there isn’t going to be another KISS album unless there are some major changes in the way music is consumed..

While the band’s popularity, at least at the consumer level, has ebbed and flowed over the years, their last couple of albums have been major disappointments from a sales perspective. KISS have released twenty studio albums only four of which have not gone, at a minimum, gold (500,000 units sold). 1981’s Music From “The Elder” has sold about 375,000 copies while the more recent Carnival of Souls (1997) is at 181,000, Sonic Boom (2008) at 325,000 and Monster (2012) with 200,000.

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Paul Stanley of KISS Babysat My Daughter Yesterday

Cheryl Baehr | Riverfront Times

I couldn’t find a babysitter.

It’s happened to everyone – well at least everyone who is a parent with two X chromosomes. At some point, despite your best efforts, your childcare will fail you. And when it happens, it won’t be a low-key day at the office. It will be the day of a big presentation, the morning of an important hearing.

Or in my case, the day I was supposed to interview KISS.

I’d been trying for days to find someone to watch my three-year-old while I met with rock and roll royalty at the newest outpost of their restaurant chain, Rock & Brews, but no one was available. On the morning of the event, my one last hail Mary option dropped the pass.

There wasn’t really a choice. Sure, I could cancel my interview because I’m a mom, but who was I kidding? I’d have to bring her. It’s the one thing I have down after three years of this stuff: When in doubt, just push through.

Yet I was cringing all the way. “Uh, that’s fine,” the 20-ish woman working the door said with a condescending half-laugh, half-sigh when I explained my situation. “I mean, it’s fine for this, but we don’t really allow kids at the actual events.” The event in this case was a luncheon for local veterans and active duty members of the military, celebrating the grand opening of Rocks & Brews’ two-month-old Chesterfield location. So, no lunch, but I could still do the media interviews ahead of time. Fine.

I sat my daughter down beside me and was unpacking my notes when a shadow fell across the table. There was Gene Simmons, towering above me. “Uh, Mr. Simmons,” I stammered. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t find a babysitter…”

He cut me off.

“Don’t worry about it,” and he reached out to give my daughter a fist bump — and for probably the first time in his life, someone left him hanging on it.

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The KISS Room, January 2017

The KISS Room

“THE GEARHEAD DIVA” herself, RACHEL DEBARROS and the debut of her cover of “Detroit Rock City”! ADAM SMITH from KISSTORY SCIENCE THEATER! A musical birthday salute to PAUL STANLEY with a live performance from THE KISS ROOM HOUSE BAND, Steve Campagna, Steve Foerst, and Fran Galanti All of the KISS talk and KISS tunes that you expect every month in THE KISS ROOM! Originally broadcast on Friday, January 13, 2017 via Montco Radio, where Music and Minds meet.

Ace Frehley / Gene Simmons Stoke KISS Reunion Rumors

Amanda Wicks |

Peter Cade

Will 2017 finally be the year that KISS’ original lineup reunites for a farewell tour? Former guitarist Ace Frehley thinks so.

Speaking with Louder Noise in late 2016, Frehley admitted, “I haven’t heard anything from Paul and Gene, but if it’s going to happen it should happen next year, I would assume. 2017 seems like a ripe year.” If that sounds hopeful, Frehley was quick to caution. “But, you know, we’ll have to wait and see,” he added.

Paul Stanley disagreed, though. After appearing on Frehley’s solo album, Origins Vol. 1, he batted away rumors about a full reunion. “I don’t see it,” he said.

While Stanley may seem dubious, Gene Simmons hasn’t completely ruled it out. He shared a photo of KISS’ original lineup on Instagram two weeks ago with only a question mark as a caption.

Gene Simmons Dives into details of new KISSino as well as Rock & Brews Locations

The SDR Show

Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS have teamed up with Kaw Nation to ready a KISS Casino and Rock ‘N’ Roll Resort in Oklahoma. Founding KISS members seek to bring an “All-Thrill Rock ‘N’ Roll” ambiance to the new casino and resort, located near the Kansas state line, including a hands-on approach to the design and feel directly from Gene and Paul.

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Paul Stanley’s Soul Station 2017 Shows

Soul Station will hit the stage at Pasadena’s The Rose on February 1, San Juan Capistrano’s The Coach House on February 2, Solana Beach’s Belly Up on February 3 and Agoura Hills’ The Canyon on February 4!
Paul Stanley/Soul Station Dates 2017
Date City Venue
February 1 Pasadena, CA The Rose
February 2 San Juan Capistrano, CA The Coach House
February 3 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up
February 4 Agoura Hills, CA The Canyon
Tickets on sale now!

Gene Simmons: ‘The sun never sets on Planet Cool, and that’s where I live’

Death and Taxes

Larry David once said that “blind people and assholes” are the only people who wear sunglasses indoors. With that in mind, Gene Simmons took a break from slapping a KISS logo on ever spare piece of plastic in a 500-mile radius to appear on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” Wednesday wearing some Steve Dallas-style aviators.

When asked what Donald Trump is like to work with, Simmons managed to wrangle the focus back onto himself and his predilection for wearing shades indoors. “I wear sunglasses in the middle of the night, “said Simmons, “because the sun never sets on Planet Cool, folks, and that’s where I live.”

Damn, Gene, it sounds like your home planet needs you.

After the panel spent valuable airtime fumbling a botched Corey Hart reference before they got to the ostensible reason why the human tongue was on the news show in the first place: Donald Trump and/or to promote his Rock and Brews Casino.

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KISS rock and rolls into St. Louis for Rock and Brews grand opening

Fox 2 Now

CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI)-Shout it out loud! Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS have arrived in St. Louis for the grand opening of their restaurant Rock and Brews.

The family-friendly restaurant located in the Chesterfield Valley features great food and brews with a rock and roll flair. Tonight’s grand opening will celebrate and pay tribute to veterans.

Simmons and Stanley say they are excited to bring their rock and roll restaurant to St. Louis, which they first visited in the early ’70s. Among the rockstars favorite menu items are the pulled pork sandwich, ribs and pizzas. The restaurant also serves more than 50 craft and international beers, with one bar dedicated exclusively to local Missouri craft beers.

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Gene Simmons Talks Business, Donald Trump’s ‘Dangerous’ Tweeting

The Street

Kiss legend Gene Simmons isn’t just a god of rock and roll, he is also quite an established businessman. He is a founding partner of emerging restaurant brand Rock & Brews, which has 20 locations across the country. In addition, he is the mastermind behind the gold mine that is Kiss merchandise, which boasts an astounding 5,000-plus branded items.

Oh, and did we mention he also likes dabbling in the stock market? TheStreet talked with Simmons about his business career and outlook for the markets in the year ahead. Simmons pulled no punches when asked about the impact to stocks that President-elect Trump’s lively Twitter page is causing.

“That’s dangerous, and I believe he is going to see the effect,” Simmons said. “I think there is going to be a learning curve that he, and we, are going to have to learn–being an individual citizen is one thing, and tweeting as the most powerful human being on the face of the planet can have positive or negative repercussions,” Simmons added.

KISS My Boots, episode 1 – First KISS First Licks

Kiss My Wax

Join your co-hosts Jason Herndon, Andrew Sgambati, and Byron Salzano on the brand new KISS My Boots podcast as they discuss KISS bootlegs and bootleg collecting. The purpose of the show is to shed some light on all of the audio and video recordings out there of the band. KISS My Boots is purely an informational podcast. We do not sell or distribute any of these recordings in any way.

This week, we take a look at some of the earliest recordings of the band: the Eddie Kramer demos on audio from 1973 and the Coventry show from Queens, NY December 22, 1973 on video.

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Bruce Kulick performs the Star Spangled Banner at the LA Staples Center

Damien Fanelli | Guitar World

On December 23, former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick performed the National Anthem at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The occasion? A super-exciting matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Clippers.

Kulick joined Kiss in 1984 and stuck around for 12 years—from the Animalize tour through the band’s 1996 reunion tour. Let us not forget, he’s also the axman behind Michael Bolton’s 1985 album, Everybody’s Crazy

“Kiss is one of those bands the whole world knows, and usually, people that aren’t really a fan will only think of makeup as Kiss, because that’s what, of course, made them famous and they’ve been back in that for so many years,” Kulick told California Rock News. “But a real fan knows there’s a whole wealth of material—over a decade of years that are non-makeup, which is… I kind of wave the flag for all of that.

“If you, for example, didn’t know there was a makeup Kiss, and there wouldn’t have been a version for me to join if it wasn’t for the makeup Kiss, but the truth is… When I was in the band, we kept it going, we had hits, we had gold, platinum records, toured the world—arenas, the whole thing… But I find, even with them continuing, and they turn on new generations of fans. So they… For instance, they were in Japan not that long ago, and now they’re going to South America, and now I’m seeing a lot of people following me on Twitter and Facebook [from] South America.

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Goldmine Magazine KISS feature issue, January 2017, out now

876_Jan17Cover_revise.inddGoldmine Magazines‘s January 2017 issue is a special KISS issue with a rare concert photo of Gene Simmons on the cover. The issue includes an interview with Gene Simmons and a detailed diary of experiencing rock ‘n’ roll life on the successful Kiss Kruise (by KISS author Ken Sharp, with plenty of experiences from fans on the cruise). The January issue is on sale now until January 9 at select record shops and Barnes & Noble stores.


If you cannot find on the newsstand call 715-445-4612, Ext. 13369 or email to order print copies.