Ace Frehley Gives Us a Ride Around His Old Bronx Stomping Grounds

Katherine Turman | Village Voice

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Rob Menzer

Two Naked Cowboys, one Spanish-speaking SpongeBob, a headless Hello Kitty, and an ersatz version of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” all vie for attention on a teeming, muggy, late-summer Times Square afternoon. Unbeknownst to the masses, though, the coolest cartoon character of all is dining on salmon sushi on the second floor of nearby Bluefin restaurant. Ace Frehley, Kiss’s onetime Spaceman, is still spacey after all these years: to wit, his just-released solo record, entitled Space Invader. It’s the 63-year-old guitar icon’s fifth solo outing since his self-titled effort back in 1978.

Frehley, in sunglasses and a striped button-down shirt, flashes back to that moment before the coordinated September 18, 1978, release of all four Kiss solo efforts. “We all had a big meeting sitting around the table prior to going our separate ways for those records, and the others were a little cynical to me, kind of hinting, ‘Hey, if you need any help, we’re here if you need us.’ As if I did need help, you know?” remembers Frehley with a slight hint of aggro. “It kind of just put fuel on the fire for me to work twice as hard on my solo record. We all know what happened.”

What happened was Frehley’s nine-song LP was both the critics’ favorite and best-selling of the solo discs (it went Platinum), thanks in part to a song that would become his hallmark, the Russ Ballard (Argent)-penned stomp-along anthem “New York Groove.” On August 12, some 37 years after he first recorded it, Frehley sat in with the Roots to play the song on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the band laughingly following Frehley’s orders — “I think it’s just a cunt-hair faster,” he instructed between commercial breaks in his trademark nasal Noo Yawk drawl, as the tuba blatted out the tune’s signature riff.

Three or four times during the course of recording Space Invader, which took 10 months, Frehley “sat down and threw on my old ’78 solo album. I tried to take elements from that record and incorporate into this new record, because fans are always psyched that it’s their favorite Ace record.”

See also: Photos: Ace Frehley’s Space Invader Listening Party

One of those fans is Tom Morello, the revolutionary Rage Against the Machine guitarist who inducted Kiss into the Hall of Fame in 2014 with an elegant, on-the-money speech and was the band’s biggest champion in the behind-closed-doors nominating committee meetings. “I don’t think anyone, even the members of Kiss, would argue that Ace’s ['78 solo album] was the best one. It was fantastic,” Morello says. “His core sensibility was that he just wanted to rock, he had no artistic pretense, there was no aiming for hits, and it was just a great rock ‘n’ roll dude making a rock record.”

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Gene Simmons Incorrectly Observed That Rock Is Finally Dead

David Rolland | New Times

genesimmons1Kiss’ bassist, frontman, and legendary tongue, Gene Simmons, made headlines last week for saying these four very wrong words in an interview he did with his son for Esquiremagazine: “Rock is finally dead.”

You should always be hesitant to expect too many profound thoughts from athletes, entertainers, or straight men who wear makeup. But anyone would be curious why a guy who cowrote “I wanna rock and roll all night” would now be quoted as saying, “The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered.”

Could the reason Gene Simmons thinks rock is dead be because nothing being produced right now interests him? Could it be that he thinks audiences have moved on to other forms of entertainment? Maybe it was an observation on how guitars have become less and less noticeable in modern music. Or maybe he thinks no rock stars out there are pushing the envelope.

Those might be valid reasons for his comment, but in reading the interview, nowhere in there does Simmons say there’s a lack of quality. He even shows good taste in raving about psych Aussie rockers Tame Impala. Rather, Simmons’ big thesis is that it’s not lucrative for kids to focus on a career in rock anymore.

He then goes on an Ayn Rand-inspired rant about how file sharing and illegal downloading of music has killed the dream of a 15-year-old kid who hopes to become rich by playing music that provokes an immediate reaction of: Fuck that hypothetical kid. Let him become a hedge-fund manager or design an app if he wants to be rich. If profit is his goal, he’s going to make some crap music.

The best rock ‘n’ roll has always been inspired by a desire to get laid, look cool, or, at the very least, start a revolution. Look at your favorite bands and you can see the quality of their music spiral downward the longer they have been gifted with wealth; think Elvis or Axl.

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Bad news headbangers: Gene Simmons declares ‘rock and roll is dead’ thanks to music piracy

Metro

Never one to shy away from controversy, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has made possibly one of his boldest statements yet, hailing the demise of rock.
Cindy Ord

Cindy Ord

‘The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered,’ he declares.

‘It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible,’ he adds during an interview with Esquire.

But everyone loves a guitarist in a band, right?

‘You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I’m not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them.’

Harsh man, harsh.

So what was the ultimate cause of death for rock and roll?

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Be part of the new KISS book at the New Jersey KISS Expo, Saturday September 13, 2014

NJKISSExpo.com

Lynn Working_Gene2ATTENTION – Legendary photographer Lynn Goldsmith will be photographing and interviewing fans for an up-coming KISS book at this year’s New Jersey KISS Expo – be sure to dress the part to be included in this piece of KISStory!

Lynn produced some of the most recognizable photos of KISS as well as many other rock bands of the ‘70s and ’80s, (in the Land of Hype and Glory TV show from ’77, she is the photographer on the stage yelling, “gimme more tongue” to Gene, to give him motivation). A simple Google search will show you the astonishing amount of iconic KISS photos she is responsible for that we have loved for decades!

"Lynn is the boss. When she picks up her camera, my dragon boots buckle at the knees. She makes me do things I wouldn't do, unless I was in jail". - Gene Simmons

Lynn also has photo credit on album covers for many other artists including Ted Nugent, the Village People, Police, Grand Funk Railroad, Frank Zappa and has also worked with Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, the Ramones, Prince and Ozzy Osborne, just to name a few.

Do not miss the opportunity for the chance to meet Lynn and be part of her new KISS book. Come dressed in your KISS costumes or wear all your KISS paraphernalia for the photo shoot!

See more of Lynn’s work at lynngoldsmith.com.

"Lynn is the boss. When she picks up her camera, my dragon boots buckle at the knees. She makes me do things I wouldn't do, unless I was in jail". - Gene Simmons

“Lynn is the boss. When she picks up her camera, my dragon boots buckle at the knees. She makes me do things I wouldn’t do, unless I was in jail”. – Gene Simmons

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New Three Sides of the Coin co-host Mark Cicchini

Michael Brandvold

markWe would like to make an official announcement that we are welcoming Mark Cicchini (Chic keen ee) as our new co-host on Three Sides of the Coin. Mark brings a lot of knowledge and passion for the band to this show and we feel very comfortable with him. Chemistry with a new co-host was the number one priority. He feels like the right fit for us and we hope you agree.

We want to thank each and everyone of you that submitted a video for consideration. We are humbled by your support and interest. We hope you will welcome Mark and make him feel comfortable as he transitions into his new role.

We would also like to thank all of the listeners of this low budget, no budget show as we searched out our new co-host.

Thank you Michael & Tommy

KISS to (finally) perform in Israel

Shalom Life

x400_300_kiss_.jpg.pagespeed.ic.iu9e41JqfxIf you’re a KISS fan in Israel then you’re in luck. Frontman Gene Simmons announced on Facebook this week that the band will be performing in Israel as part of their world tour.

Simmons was born in Haifa under the birthname of Chaim Witz, and emigrated to the States when he was only 8 with his mother, who’s a Holocaust survivor. Simmons and his fellow bandmates formed KISS in New York in 1973, and have gone on to sell over 100 million albums and have 28 gold records to their name (and counting). The band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, though they refused to perform.

Simmons, known for his candid opinions and outright political view, has openly said he’s pro-Israel and publicly defended the country in the wake of a media outcry following their recent war with Hamas. Simmons has also spoken out about artists who refuse to play in Israel as part of their pro-Palestinian tactics or who encourage other artists to cancel their Israeli performances to put pressure on the country.

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Ace Frehley talks about his last KISS album

Ultimate Classic Rock

Ace Frehley‘s new album, ‘Space Invader,’ includes a song (‘What Every Girl Wants’) that makes use of the phrase “shakin’ sharp shooter.” As fans may recall, this isn’t the first time Frehley’s used those words in song — in fact, he originally tried to use them on his last album with Kiss, 1998′s ‘Psycho Circus.’

“‘Into the Void’ on ‘Psycho Circus’ used to be called ‘Shakin’ Sharp Shooter,’” Frehley tells Ultimate Classic Rock in an exclusive video interview, which you can watch above. “That was a song I originally wrote with that music, and [Paul Stanley] and [Gene Simmons] didn’t think it was working with the rest of the songs the the record.”

Determined to wrangle a songwriting credit onto the album, Frehley pressed on undaunted. “I said to Gene, ‘Give me half an hour,’ and I went up into another room in the studio and I wrote all the lyrics for ‘Into the Void’ — boom!” he laughs. “I work good under pressure.”

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New Jersey KISS Expo – Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Jersey KISS Expo

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The New Jersey KISS Expo returns Saturday, September 13 in Edison NJ at the NJ Exposition Center at the Raritan Center. Growing bigger and bigger every year, this show is slated to be our best yet!

We still have a few Dealer Tables left – click HERE to reserve yours!
Tickets are on sale now – Discount if you buy in advance HERE!
All info and directions are HERE!

KISS figure sculptor appearing at the NJ KISS Expo with exclusive Expo variants!

NJKISSExpo.com

farrowBIGThe NJ KISS EXPO is proud to announce Danny Anniello, ‘The Farrow’ – sculptor behind the current line of KISS action figures.

Under an exclusive arrangement, he will be creating OFFICIAL 12 and 8 inch figure variants for sale ONLY at this year’s New Jersey KISS Expo! Yes, these are OFFICIAL items endorsed by Figures Toy Company! Each extremely limited figure will be specially enhanced from the regular figures as well as SIGNED and NUMBERED by The Farrow.

Also, The Farrow will be showcasing prototypes of upcoming KISS figure releases including a 12 inch Gene Simmons variant that spits blood! Yes, actually SPITS BLOOD!

d9f9f934011ed09b__64436.1404318218.1280.1280“The Farrow” Danny Anniello is currently the official lead Sculptor for Figures Toy Company on the well-known KISS product line. A self taught sculptor who got his start creating custom 1-of-a-kind, high end, incredibly detailed, life-like figures of his favorite bands KISS, Motely Crue, Eddie from Iron Maiden, Punky Meadows from Angel, etc. An eye for detail, and the ability to sculpt realistic figures, eventually lead to professional work for Figures Toy Company and Neca, (licensees for many Music, Superhero, TV, and Movie product lines). He has sculpted many Mego-style figures for Figures Toy Company such as KISS, BATMAN 66, EVEL KNIEVEL, and with many more to come!

The Farrow also plays with ‘LORDS OF MERCY’, a band rising fast and has played with legendary acts Ace Frehley, Michael Schenker, Twisted Sister, Accept and will be touring with ANVIL in October 2014.

See all of The Farrow’s figures on his official website HERE.