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Ace Frehley - No Regrets - Reviewed

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  • jimsmegos
    Mego Dork
    • Nov 9, 2008
    • 4519

    Ace Frehley - No Regrets - Reviewed

    Hey gang! I got the opportunity to read this over the past couple days and wanted to share my take on it. At this moment the review is in the pre-posting phase. The reason for starting the thread now though is to hopefully trigger the Amazon banner to recommend the book upon entering this thread. I'm pushing for those that are encouraged by my review to buy the book via the Museum's Amazon banner. I needed the link before I publish so pardon me for this 'teaser'.

    Ace Frehley - No Regrets reviewed in the Toy Box coming soon!
  • jimsmegos
    Mego Dork
    • Nov 9, 2008
    • 4519

    #2
    I still have to do the pics but I can't leave those interested hanging... it really is a good book...

    ‘Ace Frehley – No Regrets’ – Amen, Spaceman. | Jims Toy Box

    Comment

    • MIB41
      Eloquent Member
      • Sep 25, 2005
      • 15630

      #3
      I'm picking that up to read this weekend. Thanks for the tip on where to buy. I'm in Target alot and wouldn't have thought to look for it there. I've heard alot of groaning from fans on KISS sites. And these are coming from long time KISS fans too. The complaint seems to be that Ace was sparse on details, and incredibly uneven in his ridicule of others without leveling the same accountability for his own lack of judgement or contributions when the band needed him. Others felt his sense of contribution was exaggerated as well given his tendency to be incapacitated while the band was in the studio. And the last major criticism seem to be that many felt Ace was perhaps less of a reformed alcoholic, so much as someone pretending to be one. Perhaps this came from his lack of remorse for much of anything he did which, for those who are recovering, may feel disingenuous. It's been interesting listening to the reviews though. So I'm picking the book up this weekend to see what I think. I appreciate your review and the point of purchase reveal. I'll post my opinions next week on your thread after I am done reading it.

      Comment

      • Werewolf
        Inhuman
        • Jul 14, 2003
        • 14595

        #4
        Did he mention that Tommy Thayer had to reteach him how to play his own guitar licks for the Kiss reunion tour?

        I really dug Kiss in the 70s. They were like living super heroes. Ace's solo album was the best, in my opinion, and his Frehley's Comet solo stuff was also pretty good. But during his time with Kiss he was wasted most of the time and they had to have studio musicians fill in for him. Even though he still got credit on the albums. He is a good (not great) guitarist that exaggerates his greatness that got very lucky and became very wealthy.
        You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

        Comment

        • MIB41
          Eloquent Member
          • Sep 25, 2005
          • 15630

          #5
          Originally posted by Werewolf
          Did he mention that Tommy Thayer had to reteach him how to play his own guitar licks for the Kiss reunion tour?

          I really dug Kiss in the 70s. They were like living super heroes. Ace's solo album was the best, in my opinion, and his Frehley's Comet solo stuff was also pretty good. But during his time with Kiss he was wasted most of the time and they had to have studio musicians fill in for him. Even though he still got credit on the albums. He is a good (not great) guitarist that exaggerates his greatness that got very lucky and became very wealthy.
          I think that is a pretty fair assessment. The tragedy of Ace is he COULD have been so much more than just a member of KISS. When both he and Peter left the band, Paul kept KISS going and spent all of the 80's keeping the band alive while Gene wandered into aimless Hollywood projects. And Peter received royalties as an equal partner until '88 when Paul and Gene bought out his interests. So when I hear Ace or Peter complain about the "politics" of being in the band, I essentially roll my eyes because they have received a lot of free paydays for what amounted to five years of work in the 70's before the band reunited in 1996. And even during those initial years, their contributions are in great question since both developed huge drug and alcohol problems.

          Ace, without question, has alot of natural talent for the guitar. His playing has feel that most guitarists can't mimic. Tommy can't touch him. He may have shown Ace the notes as played from Alive & Alive II, but having to "reteach" him is a description handed out by Gene to downgrade him. I don't buy that at all. When they reunited, they wanted to duplicate the songs from those two albums, so everyone had to go over those notes again. Ace was not by himself. Paul and Gene did too. Ace is interesting on a variety of different levels. He's right up there with Keith Richards with regards to someone who has abused their bodies far beyond the realm of medical science to explain. Yet they continue to live and live fairly well. He's the rock n' roll equivalent of the "Dude" from the Big Lebowski.

          Comment

          • Werewolf
            Inhuman
            • Jul 14, 2003
            • 14595

            #6
            Originally posted by MIB41
            I think that is a pretty fair assessment. The tragedy of Ace is he COULD have been so much more than just a member of KISS.
            Ace had natural talent and good stage presense. But I don't think he would be so idolized as a guitar legend if it had not been for Kiss. I liked his Frehley's Comet albums but they showed he really wasn't popular enough to sustain a long term solo career. He didn't seem to be in high demand by other bands either.

            When both he and Peter left the band, Paul kept KISS going and spent all of the 80's keeping the band alive while Gene wandered into aimless Hollywood projects. And Peter received royalties as an equal partner until '88 when Paul and Gene bought out his interests.
            Peter was not on the level of talent as Ace and should be continually thanking his lucky stars for having the blind luck of being in Kiss. Eric Carr absolutely smoked Peter as a drummer.

            And even during those initial years, their contributions are in great question since both developed huge drug and alcohol problems.
            I agree with that.

            He may have shown Ace the notes as played from Alive & Alive II, but having to "reteach" him is a description handed out by Gene to downgrade him.
            I've read interviews with Ace, in his more honest and lucid momments, where admits to not remembering large chunks of time do to his heavy sustance abuse. So, yeah, Tommy having to reteach him how to play those songs is not that hard to believe.
            You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

            Comment

            • boss
              Talkative Member
              • Jun 18, 2003
              • 7204

              #7
              this is on my Christmas list. thanks for post the review.
              Fresh, not from concentrate.

              Comment

              • ddgaff1132
                Persistent Member
                • Oct 3, 2007
                • 1693

                #8
                I'm just amazed he's still alive!!! WWolf got it on the target tho' Seeing Ace Sans-makeup the first time back then was a BIG tell of how much alcohol abuse the man was under! I remember staying up late to see them on NBC. (With Dad's permission) Only to have my Old Man point out how wasted they were!
                Check out my picture library of Mego-ish compatible vehicles with ID data.
                MEGO MOTORS

                Comment

                • jimsmegos
                  Mego Dork
                  • Nov 9, 2008
                  • 4519

                  #9
                  Looking at the comments here, I think it's fair to say that both of you (and boss too) will enjoy the insight from this book. Having read both of Gene's books and following the KISS story forever I got to tell ya that Ace's take in this book is very enlightening. I think once you read the book you won't find the arrogant Ace of legend and previous interviews. He genuinely comes off as honest and shooting straight.

                  As far as Ace's attitude towards Gene and modern KISS (which I personally view as nothing much more than a KISS tribute band) I feel it's fair. Despite what the critics and naysayers say had he and Peter not been their for the founding of the band and the sacrifices THEY made we wouldn't be talking about KISS today. Sure everyone has an opinion in regards to the influence each member had to the whole but honestly had any of those first four not been there we wouldn't have KISS as we know it. It took those four personalities and their respective talents working together to make it happen.

                  Of course everyone will draw their own conclusion but as for me, I gotta tell ya, of all of the tell- all's and legend about KISS I really feel that what Ace presents here is quite revealing sans a blow by blow examination of every nuance which this book doesn't do. But then again I don't believe it was intended to.

                  Comment

                  • MIB41
                    Eloquent Member
                    • Sep 25, 2005
                    • 15630

                    #10
                    Originally posted by ddgaff1132
                    I'm just amazed he's still alive!!! WWolf got it on the target tho' Seeing Ace Sans-makeup the first time back then was a BIG tell of how much alcohol abuse the man was under! I remember staying up late to see them on NBC. (With Dad's permission) Only to have my Old Man point out how wasted they were!
                    You likely were watching the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. That's considered the most classic KISS interview of all time because... and yes you already said... Ace was drunk. But he was hilarious in that interview. What made it so funny was the other were not and his antics were really getting under the skin of Gene. Here's an excerpt...

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbDq_...eature=related

                    Comment

                    • MIB41
                      Eloquent Member
                      • Sep 25, 2005
                      • 15630

                      #11
                      Originally posted by jimsmegos
                      Looking at the comments here, I think it's fair to say that both of you (and boss too) will enjoy the insight from this book. Having read both of Gene's books and following the KISS story forever I got to tell ya that Ace's take in this book is very enlightening. I think once you read the book you won't find the arrogant Ace of legend and previous interviews. He genuinely comes off as honest and shooting straight.

                      As far as Ace's attitude towards Gene and modern KISS (which I personally view as nothing much more than a KISS tribute band) I feel it's fair. Despite what the critics and naysayers say had he and Peter not been their for the founding of the band and the sacrifices THEY made we wouldn't be talking about KISS today. Sure everyone has an opinion in regards to the influence each member had to the whole but honestly had any of those first four not been there we wouldn't have KISS as we know it. It took those four personalities and their respective talents working together to make it happen.

                      Of course everyone will draw their own conclusion but as for me, I gotta tell ya, of all of the tell- all's and legend about KISS I really feel that what Ace presents here is quite revealing sans a blow by blow examination of every nuance which this book doesn't do. But then again I don't believe it was intended to.
                      Jim you got me very excited to read this! I can't wait!

                      Comment

                      • Evel KMego
                        Museum Daredevil
                        • Apr 26, 2006
                        • 1444

                        #12
                        Will definitely pick this up. Ace was my favorite member of KISS. As many here have said, he definitely had the most talent of the group, but never really lived up to it. I am sure his substance abuse had a lot to do with it, but also his personality - he's the type of person who just doesn't have the business drive like Gene. He was happy just cruisin' along.

                        Comment

                        • Werewolf
                          Inhuman
                          • Jul 14, 2003
                          • 14595

                          #13
                          Originally posted by jimsmegos
                          He genuinely comes off as honest and shooting straight.
                          It's his opinion of what happened and nothing more and by his own admission, which he has stated numerous times, his recollection of the era is spotty at best.

                          Despite what the critics and naysayers say had he and Peter not been their for the founding of the band and the sacrifices THEY made we wouldn't be talking about KISS today.
                          Ace has had limited solo success out of Kiss and Peter has had none. To call any non Peter and Ace era of Kiss a tribute band isn't remotely fair. Eric Carr was in the band much longer than Ace or Peter and doesn't get enough credit for it. Also, in my opinion, if there is a true unsung hero or heart and soul of Kiss, it's Paul. The band went on fine when Ace and Peter were being credited on albums done by studio musicians and went on fine after they officially left. The band went on during Gene's I want to be actor phase. The only one I see is irreplacable is Paul. No Paul, No Kiss.

                          Of course everyone will draw their own conclusion but as for me, I gotta tell ya, of all of the tell- all's and legend about KISS I really feel that what Ace presents here is quite revealing sans a blow by blow examination of every nuance which this book doesn't do. But then again I don't believe it was intended to.
                          Your review reads like a fan of Ace and there is nothing wrong with that. But it obviously lacks real objectivity when you see comments like wanting Ace's book to out sell Gene's. As an objective reviewer, you shouldn't care. I don't care if it sells poorly or millions of copies. We have no stake in it. And no, for the record, I'm not the biggest fan of Gene in the world. Never cared for his womanizing persona.
                          Last edited by Werewolf; Nov 17, '11, 9:46 PM.
                          You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

                          Comment

                          • Dark Shadow
                            Creature Of The Night
                            • May 14, 2011
                            • 1027

                            #14
                            Shouldn't a thread about Ace Frehley be under the Sci-Fi heading?

                            I love Ace Frehley, I really do. Back in the day, he had a stellar stage presence, a fun-loving personality & his hypnotic leads were, without question, instumental (pardon the pun) to the signature sound of KISS.

                            Unfortunately, Ace couldn't hold the smoke. He has outright admitted that he could not handle the pressures that come with constant touring. He also admits, point blank, that he does not have a head for business and cannot cope with conflict. When the going gets tough, self-admittedly, Ace prefers to take the nearest escape route...a classic substance abuser characteristic.

                            All of that is fine. We all have our strengths & weaknesses. What bugs me is that Ace continues to publicly assign blame outside of himself for his shortcomings and refuses to accept personal responsibility for his destructive behavior & and the impact his actions had on those around him.

                            No Regrets? A substance abuser, a lifelong substance abuser, has no regrets? Really? What about what he put his daughter through? His wife? His family? Those closest to him? His bandmates? His accident victims? Hotel proprietors ?

                            When asked in a recent interview what he would do differently, he states that he would have gotten sober sooner (prior to his first departure in '82). His reasoning is that he thinks that if he weren't constantly wasted he would have been able to negotiate & debate more effectively with Paul & Gene and would never have had to leave the band.

                            Sounds like one hell of a regret to me, not to mention a subconscious admission that he was ultimately the problem, not Gene & Paul.

                            Still can't help but love the guy, and I do think that he'll eventually arrive at self-acceptance. I just hope it's sooner than later cuz I'd hate to see him fall off the wagon yet again.

                            Comment

                            • jimsmegos
                              Mego Dork
                              • Nov 9, 2008
                              • 4519

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Werewolf
                              It's his opinion of what happened and nothing more and by his own admission, which he has stated numerous times, his recollection of the era is spotty at best.
                              Have you read it? I'm not being snippy in asking that I'm just confused as to where your getting the opinion aspect of your points. He does offer up some opinions to a point but he really doesn't 'blame' everyone else for his personal problems. In most cases though you find Ace taking the responsibility for his actions.


                              Originally posted by Werewolf
                              Ace has had limited solo success out of Kiss and Peter has had none. To call any non Peter and Ace era of Kiss a tribute band isn't remotely fair. Eric Carr was in the band much longer than Ace or Peter and doesn't get enough credit for it. Also, in my opinion, if there is a true unsung hero or heart and soul of Kiss, it's Paul. The band went on fine when Ace and Peter were being credited on albums done by studio musicians and went on fine after they officially left. The band went on during Gene's I want to be actor phase. The only one I see is irreplacable is Paul. No Paul, No Kiss.
                              In my opinion to have anything released nationally is success in the music biz. But if you want to get into a whizzing contest, success has not fallen on Gene or Paul's efforts outside of KISS either. Mind you Gene's 'reality' TV show is a moderate hit but that's because its well planned and feeds into peoples need for 'real' TV. And to clarify in the tribute band statement I mean the KISS of NOW with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. I'm sorry, they are pretending to be Ace and Peter. Period. If KISS was a solid as you believe why couldn't they have created new characters for the pair like they did with Eric and Vinnie? Plus to the best of my knowledge I have yet to hear a Eric Singer or Tommy Thayer penned tune on a new KISS album. I think your right and wrong about Paul. Without him yes, there is no KISS - HOWEVER - if Paul decides to quit or passes away (God forbid) and Gene still has it in him to play the "Demon", a new "Star child" will be found. Business is Business.


                              Originally posted by Werewolf
                              Your review reads like a fan of Ace and there is nothing wrong with that. But it obviously lacks real objectivity when you see comments like wanting Ace's book to out sell Gene's. As an objective reviewer, you shouldn't care. I don't care if it sells poorly or millions of copies. We have no stake in it. And no, for the record, I'm not the biggest fan of Gene in the world. Never cared for his womanizing persona.
                              As far as my reviewing style, yes I am biased toward Ace over Gene, but as far as my intention when it comes to making a recommendation I feel that I am more interested in sharing with potential buyers whether or not this book is worth $20. My intent is not to judge Ace, love him or hate him, he is who he is. My intent IS to say that the book is worth that same picture of President Grant with the stipulation that you are an Ace or KISS fan in the first place and if not stay away and put that $20 into a new Re-Mego.

                              And while as you say we 'have no stake in it' I must disagree. If we didn't you and I wouldn't be having this discussion / debate about the validity of Ace's testimony. Plus I assure you that if I thought it sucked and wasn't worthy of the $20 I would be equally ranting. I'm a fan but not a sucker.

                              Comment

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