Ask a modern day rock guitarist who his influences were, and more often than not the name Ace Frehley is on the list.
Considered by those in the know to be the musical genius behind KISS, Ace “Space Ace” Frehley was an original member of the band when it formed in 1973, and was a mainstay of the group until his departure in 1982 to pursue a solo career.
Having written and recorded some of KISS’s most identifiable tunes such as Cold Gin, Shock Me, Parasite, Rocket Ride and New York Groove , Ace was more known for his blistering guitar licks, and his patented smoking guitar that added to the band’s over the top stage antics.
After leaving KISS, Ace formed the band Frehley’s Comet with Anton Fig, John Regan and Tod Howarth, and performed together beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1990. Ace remained popular with fans and critics alike, and continued to be respected in music’s inner circle as the musical force that drove the KISS machine. To this day, those in the music industry acknowledge that KISS was never the same after Ace moved on.
Ace reunited with the original members of KISS in 1996, and toured throughout the world until his departure in 2002. His last appearance with KISS was the closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.