Mark: It actually sounds like it was written for you, it works that well, it’s a great song and you add a bit of ‘Ace’ to it!
Mark: Obviously a lot’s happened this year and I loved reading “No Regrets” when it came out, do you think Paul Stanley’s comments on yours and Peter’s books was a publicity stunt? Do you think he was trying to stir things up a little?
Ace: Oh, I don’t know! Paul’s been acting pretty crappy lately, complaining about anything and everything, so I don’t know!
Mark: How’s your new book coming along? Are we likely to see it soon?
Ace: I have a couple of chapters written, it’ll be along the same lines as the first one. I don’t believe in bashing people, I don’t believe in a lot of negativity, so most of the stories in the book are going to be about me, funny stories and funny situations on the road, all stories about me in the Bronx growing up, and so on and so forth. There wasn’t much in the first book about the “Frehley’s Comet” years, and there’s plenty of stories along those lines, there’s still plenty of Kiss stories, and plenty of stories of me growing up. I probably have enough stories for five books!
Mark: Do you put aside time to write or does something just come to mind and you jot it down as you go?
Ace: Every day I wake up and I remember something else that I completely forgot about! You know, I just turned 63; I’ve lived a lot in my life. The latest thing was I was just talking to my fiancée, Rachel, about the time I went over to John McEnroe’s house, the famous tennis player, and I remembered something! I’ll have to give John a call and document it for my next book!
Mark: That would be something worth reading in the next one definitely! I remember he was quite a good guitarist who looked up to your playing!
Ace: Yeah, that’s a story I gotta document, it’s going to be as good, if not better than the first book.
Mark: As someone who is cited as being a major influence of many guitarists, who would you say were your main influences?
Ace: As a teenager I grew up with Hendrix and Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Pete Townsend, and those five guys were probably the biggest influences on me in my formative years.
Mark: And which riffs do you think you have heard repeated by most guitarists, outside of Kiss?
Ace: Some of my trademark riffs are derivative of other guys and it’s only rock and roll after all, there’s nothing 100% original in rock and roll, and everybody kind of steals a little from everybody. It’s very flattering that so many guitarists cite me as a major influence, it’s a big honour.
Mark: I think it’s the fact that you’ve got that distinctive sound and that appeals to a lot of people. You’re one of the few guitarists that have that individualism - you can hear a piece of music and instantly say, “That’s Ace!”, and there are not a lot of guitarists out there especially these days where you can actually say that. I notice that there’s no tour dates scheduled for you this year as yet, are you looking at taking the album out on the road soon?
Ace: Yeah, we’re planning on doing some shows in the U.S. in the fall, and hopefully we’ll get down to Australia at the end of the year, or early next year, and Europe is asking us to come back. I haven’t been to Japan in a long time, and usually when I do Japan, I do Australia too because they’re close to each other, so maybe I can tie that together.
Mark: That would be great, the last tour was fantastic down here and you packed the venues to bursting!
Mark: If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any album, at any point in time, what would it have been for you, and why?
Ace: The Beatles, “Sgt Pepper”. That’s the first one that comes to mind or maybe “Fresh Cream”, and “Disraeli Gears”. Cream were a major influence on me, it was amazing how much music they made with just three guys.
Mark: Finally the easy question, what is the meaning of life?
Ace: Oh, I don’t know. I think the most important thing though, is to be true to yourself, and follow your dreams, and if you do that, there’s a good chance you’ll have a good life.
Mark: I think so! Well, thank you so much for talking to The Rockpit today; it was a pleasure for me. I have a small confession to finish if that’s OK? I used to, when I was young, one of my party tricks was I recorded all of your guitar solos, from “Kiss” to “Unmasked” and I used to be able to name each song after two or three notes!! I had to confess that to someone, and it might as well have been to you!! So, you have made my year, thank you so much! Good luck with the new album.
Ace: That’s great. Someone just told me the other day that they took all my instrumentals and put them all together on one CD, I guess the guy has to add “Starship” now!
Mark: I love that song, and the way it’s bass-driven as well. It’s a little bit different for you as far as instrumentals go.
Ace: Chris Wyse is playing bass on that, the bass player with The Cult.
Mark: Oh really? I caught up with him when he was down here last year, lovely guy and a great bassist. Hopefully we’ll see you back in Australia soon.
Ace: Yeah, I’m going to try and get Chris in my touring band.
Mark: Now that would be great. Thanks again, Ace, take care.
Ace: Thanks a lot Mark, you have a great day!
I hang up on my 15 minute slot (Rolling Stone is next I hear as they click in) and with that my interview with Ace is done. It might have been 30 years in the making and it might not have been the best set of questions I’ve ever asked, but I made it. I talked to Ace Frehley! The guy I used to paint my face like when I was a kid. He may have changed, I may have changed and for sure the world has changed immeasurably since I first heard his guitar; but you know what? When I hear it now I still feel the same. That lifetime tie to my youth is still there, and that my friends is what music is all about... It makes you feel like nothing else on earth ever could…
Ace Frehley spoke to Mark Diggins July 15 2014