Ace Frehley

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Ace Frehley bigraphy, stories - American musician

Ace Frehley : biography

April 27, 1951 –

Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley ( born April 27, 1951)Gill, Julian. The Kiss Album Focus, Volume 1 (3rd Edition). Xlibris Corporation, 2005. ISBN 1-4134-8547-2 is an American musician best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss. He took on the persona of the "Spaceman" or "Space Ace", and played with the group from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarked on a solo career, which was put on hold when he rejoined Kiss in 1996 for a highly successful reunion tour.

His second tenure with Kiss lasted until 2002, when he left at the conclusion of what was purported to be the band’s Farewell Tour. His latest album Anomaly, was released on September 15, 2009. Guitar World magazine ranked him 14th Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time. In a 2009 interview with Rock N Roll Experience Magazine, Ace stated, "I’m an Anomaly, I’m an un-schooled musician, I don’t know how to read music, but I’m one of the most famous guitar players in the world, so go figure."

Biography

Early years

Frehley was born and raised in The Bronx, the youngest of three children of Esther Anna (Hecht) and Carl Daniel Frehley.http://www.thebridgeband.com/growing.html His father, from Pennsylvania, was the son of Dutch immigrants, and his mother, originally from North Carolina, was from a German immigrant family.{ Biography |publisher=Ace-frehley.com |accessdate=March 8, 2012}} He has a sister Nancy and a brother Charles, a classical guitarist. As a youth, Frehley was in a New York street gang called The Duckies with Steven Edward Duren (aka Blackie Lawless, who would later become frontman for heavy metal band W.A.S.P.). The Frehleys were a musical family, and when Frehley received an electric guitar as a Christmas present along with a pipe and a box of condoms in 1964, he immersed himself in learning the instrument. "I never went to music school; I never took a guitar lesson, but everybody in my family plays an instrument. My mother and father both played piano, his father was the church organist, and my brother and sister both played piano and acoustic guitar." Frehley was always surrounded by music. Frehley started playing guitar at age 13. He lists Jimi Hendrix, Albert Lee, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and The Who as his main influences.

Growing up on the corner of Marion Avenue and 201st Street, off Bedford Park Boulevard (a/k/a 200th Street) and Webster Avenue in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx, Frehley graduated Grace Lutheran School at age 13. However, he was thrown out of two high schools and dropped out of the third. Two of the high schools he attended were DeWitt Clinton High School on Mosholu Parkway and Theodore Roosevelt High School on Fordham Road. It was in his high school years that he got the nickname "Ace" when he had the ability to get his friends dates. His friends said, "You are a real ace." It was also in his high school years that a guidance counselor encouraged him to get into graphic arts. His family did not have a lot of money, and in his teen years, Frehley got involved in street gangs. He would later credit guitar playing for "saving his life" as a member of Kiss.

When Frehley’s band, Cathedral, started earning a series of paying gigs, Frehley dropped out of high school. At the insistence of his family and girlfriend, Frehley eventually returned and earned his diploma. After graduation, Frehley held a string of short-term jobs—mail carrier, furniture deliverer, messenger, and liquor store delivery boy.Leaf, David and Ken Sharp. Kiss: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, Warner Books, 2003. ISBN 0-446-53073-5

Kiss

Frehley spent the early 1970s in a series of local bands. In late 1972, his best friend, Bob McAdams (co-author of the book Kiss & Tell), spotted an advertisement for a lead guitarist in the Village Voice and showed the ad to Frehley. Both McAdams and Frehley went to 10 East 23rd Street above the Live Bait Bar. Frehley auditioned for Wicked Lester members Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (bass guitar) and Peter Criss (drums). Frehley, who showed up wearing one red and one orange sneaker, was less than impressive visually, but the band liked what they heard from his playing. About three weeks later, the band named Frehley as their lead guitarist. By January 1973, Wicked Lester decided on a new name – Kiss. Frehley designed the band’s double-lightning-bolt logo. The band quickly decided to paint their faces for live performances, and Frehley decided to start painting silver stars on his eyes. When the group eventually decided to adopt a stage persona to go with their makeup designs. Frehley became "Space Ace". Later the stage persona would be known as "The Spaceman." The Spaceman While Kiss spent their early days rehearsing and playing in empty clubs, Frehley took a job as a part-time cab driver to pay his bills. In September 1973, Kiss began to receive a salary from new manager Bill Aucoin that paid each member $75 a week. This enabled Frehley to quit his job.