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Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley says he really tried to appear at band’s final concert

In an exclusive interview with Rock Candy magazine for a comprehensive 14-page cover feature, Ace Frehley, a founding member and highly regarded guitarist, shared with writer Andrew Daly the reasons behind his absence from the stage during KISS‘s final show at Madison Square Garden last December. This marked his decision not to join the band for their farewell performance, having last parted ways with them in 2002.

“Fans would constantly reach out to me and say, ‘Ace, please come back to the band,'” Frehley explained. “So the fans were and are my primary motivators, and I want them to know that I did try, but I couldn’t make it happen. They never asked me.”

Frehley rejects the notion that his well-documented struggles with drugs and alcohol could have been a factor in former bandmates and KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley not reaching out to him.

“I’m sober, and all my friends and associates will tell you as much,” he stated categorically. “I got to the point in life where drugs and alcohol had taken me over, and I’m just so happy to be away from all that.”

Amidst the widely reported conflicts with Simmons and Stanley over the years, Frehley maintains that he still cares about his ex-bandmates, saying: “I want people to know that I do love Paul and Gene. I wish things would have been different, but it wasn’t to be…” Nor does Frehley hold any animosity towards his replacement Tommy Thayer.

“He’s a good guy and deserves a break,” Ace said. “He’s not me, but he was never going to be me. In a lot of ways, his task was impossible.”

Explore the 14-page Ace Frehley special in Rock Candy, along with captivating stories about MEGADETH, FOGHAT, MADAM X, DAMN YANKEES, and more in issue 42 of the magazine.

For additional information, visit www.rockcandymag.com.

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Rock Candy is a 100-page, full-color bi-monthly rock magazine originating from the U.K. It captures the essence of the greatest era in hard rock music, the ’70s and ’80s, and was conceived by respected U.K. rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson, and Malcolm Dome—frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine during the golden era.

Commencing its farewell journey in January 2019, KISS faced an unexpected halt in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe.

Initially slated to culminate on July 17, 2021, in New York City, the “End Of The Road” tour underwent an extension, which stretched into late 2023.

Ace Frehley has also unveiled a series of U.S. tour dates for the first half of 2024.

The former KISS guitarist is set to kick off the schedule with three shows in Kentucky and Indiana at the end of the month, followed by participation in the Monsters Of Rock cruise in early March. March through early April will witness Frehley rocking five East Coast shows, and he will cap off the tour with a concert in Illinois in June.

You can get the full listing of tour dates below.

Ace Frehley 2024 U.S. tour dates:

Jan. 25 – Frankfort, KY – Grand Theatre
Jan. 26 – Anderson, IN – Paramount Theatre
Jan. 27 – Nashville, IN – Brown County Music Center
March 2-6 – Miami, FL – Monsters Of Rock Cruise
March 28 – New York, NY – Sony Hall
March 29 – Woonsocket, RI – Stadium Theatre
March 30 – Rutland, VT – Paramount Theatre
April 12 – Rome, NY – Rome Capitol Theatre
April 13 – Carteret, NJ – Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center
June 28 – Marion, IL – Marion Cultural & Civic Center

On February 23, 2024, Ace Frehley will unleash his latest solo album, “10,000 Volts,” via MNRK Music Group (formerly eOne Music). In late November, the official music video for the album’s title track, directed by Alex Kouvatsos from Black Wolf Imaging, was released. This upcoming album will mark Ace Frehley‘s next venture into original compositions following “Spaceman,” released in October 2018 via eOne.

YouTube video