Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has offered an update on his current war of words with former bandmates Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons
Ace made another appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” yesterday (Wednesday, April 5), a week after the guitarist threatened to “tell some dirt that nobody knows about Paul and Gene” if they didn’t apologize for the negative comments they made about KISS‘s original lineup on a recent appearance on “The Howard Stern Show“.
When Ace was asked if Paul Stanley contacted him after the ultimatum was issued, Ace said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Yes, he did — not long after the show was over. And I was blindsided by the phone call because I saw his name come up on my cell phone. And I spoke to him a hundred different times on that number, and that can be verified by Verizon, who is my cell phone carrier.
“I figured he was calling me maybe to apologize or at least explain why he said that. Maybe he meant it really more towards Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] than me, and whatever the case may be. But instead of an apology, I got a five-second phone call which said, ‘Fuck you, Ace. I’m not gonna apologize,’ and hung up. He wasn’t even man enough to let me give a rebuttal and explain why I’m so upset or anything like that…. It wasn’t a text.
“It was a phone call. And the only reason I picked up it is because it said ‘Paul S’. When it comes to the guys, I never write their full name [into my phone]. God forbid somebody finds my phone. They may not figure out that it’s Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and I would never give out their phone numbers.”
When Eddie Trunk asked Ace if he is sure the call came from Paul Stanley, he replied: “Absolutely. And I did screengrabs from [my wireless carrier] Verizon on… It’s the same day as our [previous] interview, and it says [the call lasted] five seconds… Some idiot out there might say, ‘Oh, well. Ace is a graphic artist. He’s really good at Photoshop. He could have probably Photoshopped it.’ Well, guess what. It’s still on the servers, and I’m still gonna get a bill from Verizon that’s gonna say a five-second phone call from ‘P.S.’, Paul Stanley. And God forbid I sue them for defamation of character, a judge can order them to pull it off the servers, because it’s still there.”
According to Ace, he been in contact with KISS‘s manager Doc McGhee regarding the incident. “I told Doc McGhee this whole story, and you know what he came back with? He said, ‘Paul said he never called you,’ number one. Number two, Doc said to me [Paul] uses AT&T — not realizing that it really doesn’t matter if he calls me from Tokyo from [some foreign] cell phone company,” Frehley said. “My carrier documents every phone call I get. I can’t believe Doc said that to me. I thought he was a little smarter than that when it came to cell phones.”
Ace added that he “would have been happy if Paul had just called me one on one like a man and apologized. That would have sufficed,” he explained. “But after cursing me out on the phone, the gloves are off… And I’ve known Paul for almost 50 years, and we’ve always had a really good rapport on the cell phone. But I recognized his voice. If you know somebody 50 years, you know their voice. I would never lie about something like that, and I can prove it. We’re living in a world with technology that has footprints.”
As for that “120-page manuscript” that Ace wrote that would supposedly “ruin” Paul and Gene’s careers, Ace says he’s had a change of heart.
“I spoke to several good friends of mine who are God-fearing people and I go to AA [alcoholics anonymous] meetings with, and they said, ‘Don’t ever sink to their level. That’s what they do. That’s what they’ve been doing for years. Why are you goonna sink to their level?'” he said. “So, then I came to the realization that I don’t even have to bring up anything that I have hidden away in my attorney’s safe deposit box. I can just talk about things that they’ve said about me in black and white. They can’t come after me after that because they said it — it’s in black and white.”
When Ace was asked if all this means that “the ship has sailed” on the possibility of him playing with KISS at the band’s final shows in New York City in December, Ace said: “Not necessarily. Money motivates me, just like it motivates them, but I don’t put money before God. If I got a quarter of a million dollars a night, and I can make half a million dollars for playing three or four songs, five songs, I’d take the money. [I’d] buy a Ferrari… buy a Maserati. [Laughs] I don’t really wanna play with those guys ever again after what they’ve done, but money can change my mind.”
Frehley continued: “Look, I’m a capitalist. I grew up in America. But I’d never put money before people’s feelings. I like money as much as the next guy does, but money isn’t my God, like it is theirs. They’re all atheists. Whatever they can do or say, whether it’s true or false, as long as it makes them the most amount of money, they’re gonna do [it].”
Frehley also touched on whether he would perform with KISS at the band’s final concerts while adorning his trademark “Spaceman” makeup. “Sure. For a quarter of a million dollars,” he said, explaining that “I’m a good-looking guy. I don’t need the makeup.”
When Ace was pressed about what he thinks the odds are of him playing with KISS at the final concerts in New York, Frehley said: “It all depends on money. If I get a formal invitation with a check, I’ll be there. But they’ve gotta have deep pockets… If they don’t wanna pay me, I won’t be there, ladies and gentleman.”
Ace also made it clear that he has never received a formal invitation from Paul and Gene to perform with them again at their last-ever shows. “Absolutely not,” he said. “From what I understand, the shows are sold out. The only reason they sold out is they made innuendos that me and Peter were gonna be there, [that] they invited us.
“I wasn’t invited. They lie all the time. Haven’t they said, ‘We’re inviting Ace and Peter to come up and play?’ Or at least me? Multiple times. So, people bought the tickets. But I haven’t been given a formal invitation or given an offer monetarily. And I’m probably not gonna get one now after this interview. And guess what: I don’t give a shit.”
Ace added: “Look, the bottom line is this: deep down in my heart, I love those guys, because we created something so special that it will be remembered for years. When we’re all dead and buried, there will still be people listening to KISS music. And I’m overjoyed. But I want my legacy to be cleared of any of this bullshit and lies.”