Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley says Paul Stanley has seven days to apologize to him for the comments he made about the band’s original lineup on a recent edition of “The Howard Stern Show”
Earlier this month, Stern asked Paul Stanley why he and fellow original KISS member Gene Simmons didn’t perform with Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss at the Rock Hall induction ceremony back in 2014. Stanley replied: “[The Rock Hall organizers] were demanding, quite honestly, that we play with the two original guys, Peter and Ace, and at this point, that would be demeaning to the [current KISS] band, and also would give some people confusion. ‘Cause if you saw people on stage who looked like KISS but sounded like that, maybe we should be called PISS.”
While making an appearance this past Wednesday (March 29) on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk“, Ace replied to Paul’s comments, saying: “You know what it is? It’s Paul’s frustration and insecurity that he has to use backing tapes. And we’re only six months apart, and I can still get up there and belt it out and hit the keys, and he can’t. And it’s very unfortunate. And I’m very sad [about] the fact that he’s using backing tracks. It’s cheapening the brand, which affects my bottom line, because I still get paid from KISS on merchandising and whatever else they do. And I’m pissed off about it.”
Frehley added: Those guys have been badmouthing me since I quit the very first time in 1981, 1982, calling me a drug addict, calling me an alcoholic, saying I’m unemployable, I’m undependable. And then, when we did the ‘Unplugged’ thing for MTV, all of a sudden I’m offered millions of dollars to come back to the band. Oh, what happened? Now I’m not a drug addict and I’m dependable and you’re willing to take a shot at hiring me again? In fact, they offered me more money than they offered Peter.
“The reunion tour was one of the most successful tours KISS ever did,” Frehley continued. “It grossed over 250 million dollars the first year. It was the largest-grossing tour of that year, by any band in the United States and Europe. And I got paid, and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll see you guys. I’m going back to my solo [career].’ And then all of a sudden they said, ‘No. We’re thinking about doing a farewell tour.’ I said, ‘Okay. What kind of money are we talking about?’ And it was acceptable. And I said, ‘Why not make a few more million dollars?'”
Once again addressing Stanley’s comments, Ace said: “Let me tell you something, my brother and the fans. Nobody knows this, but when I was living in San Diego with my [then-]girlfriend, I got a phone call from Paul, Doc [McGhee, KISS manager] and Gene.
“We did a conference call, and they were asking me to play with them on stage. They wanted me to play. They wanted to do it. And I said, ‘I’m not getting up on stage with Tommy [Thayer, current KISS guitarist] if he’s wearing my makeup. You expect me to wear makeup. There will be two Spacemen. Are you crazy? I’ll do it if it’s just us four — the original founding members who created something very special.
“For the last 15 years they’ve had other people playing what Peter did, and Tommy’s copying every solo I ever wrote, and trying to copy my moves, and trying to be cool on stage, but unsuccessfully [laughs] — unfortunately. But with all the bombs and the smoke and mirrors, they’re getting away with it. Personally, I don’t give a shit as long as I’m getting paid by them.
“But as far as what he said on Howard Stern, I’m going to make a statement to Paul Stanley right now,” Ace said. “And Paul, if you’re not listening, I’m sure one of your associates in the KISS group are. And I’m telling you that I want my formal apology for what you said and a retraction and an apology within seven days. And if I don’t get that within seven days, I’m coming back on Ed Trunk’s show and I’m gonna tell some dirt that nobody knows about Paul and Gene that I’ve always kept to myself because I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t talk about this. I like to talk about the positive stuff.
“You’ve read my book. You’ve read Paul’s book. You’ve read Peter’s book. A lot of times those guys are just throwing people under the bus,” Frehley noted. “I mean, in Paul’s book, he even threw Gene under the bus. What I tried to do was have a fun, entertaining book with interesting stories, and this is the way I am. I’m not the kind of guy who kisses and tells. When it comes to negativity, and we’ve all done things that we regret over the years — it’s there. I have a 120-page manuscript that I wrote after I finished my book.
“My attorney has it in a safety deposit box. God forbid anything happens to me. My attorney is instructed to release it to The New York Times, Rolling Stone, API [sic], everybody. So they can’t intimidate me with trying to hurt me or say, ‘You’d better not say anything about me live on the radio.’ Because then they’re totally screwed. Their careers will be ruined.”
That being said, Ace did go on to say that he would still be willing to share the stage with Paul and Gene when KISS plays their final shows in New York City this December. “I was actually hoping that maybe they’d invite me to come back for a third time, not because I really wanted to play with them because we created something really special and I’m the best fit in that band,” he said. “Always was, always will be. You think Tommy Thayer can do what I can do? Impossibility.”