INTERVIEW: Ace Frehley

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Ace Frehley. Just the mere mention of his name is enough to send a jolt through the veins of those with even a passing knowledge of KISStory. Whether you subscribe to the mythology of ‘Space Ace’ being a visitor from the planet Jendel or you tend to go with the less colourful version of the story (he’s from the Bronx), Ace represents a certain combination of earthiness and exoticness. In his days with KISS his iconic Spaceman character brought comic book mystique to established guitar hero tropes. His post-KISS career has seen him explore material that’s generally a little more ‘street,’ with more overt nods to his bluesier inspirations. But that doesn’t mean Ace is averse to an occasional trip back to his home planet: last year he released Space Invader, a self-produced album of mostly original tracks along with a very Ace-ian cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker” which enjoyed a #9 debut on the Billboard 200 charts – the only time a solo album by any past or present KISS member has hit the US top 10. And Ace returns to Australia in April and May with his triple-pickup Les Pauls in tow. Tickets here. Read More …

Ace Frehley Reunites With Ken Kelly For Cover Art

Ace Frehley Space Invader coverPRESS RELEASE: Founding KISS guitarist and 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ace Frehley has tapped long time friend and artist Ken Kelly to create the album cover for his upcoming LP SPACE INVADER, due out July 8th. The reveal comes exclusively through Rolling Stone today. Kelly, who created the iconic cover art for two of KISS’s best selling LPS, Destroyer (1976) and Love Gun (1977), says, “It was very exciting when I was approached with the idea of doing an album cover for Ace.” Read More …

New Ace Frehley Album Announced

Ace_Frehley_Press001557db1Friend of the site (hey, if Stephen Colbert can say it about people who have been on his show a few times, I can say it about someone I’ve interviewed twice) Ace Frehley is releasing a new album in June. Titled Space Invader, it’s his first release since 2009’s Anomaly and it’ll feature nine new tracks as well as a cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker.” Ace’s last album had a pretty cool cover of “Fox On The Run” – dude seems to have a knack for picking interesting cover choices. Anyway, I can’t wait to hear this one and hopefully we’ll have another chat with Ace some time soon for some more info on the album. Here’s the press release: Read More …

INTERVIEW: Ace Frehley

It’s the Les Paul that launched a million guitarists: the 1974 Cherry Sunburst three-pickup Gibson Les Paul used by Ace Frehley during KISS’s breakthrough era. The guitar, known as the Budokan Les Paul in honour of the historic Japanese venue where it was given one of its best-known public showings, left Ace’s stewardship a few years ago, and it was long since retired from the road. But now it’s back, in spirit at least, in the form of Gibson Custom’s new Ace Frehley “Budokan” Les Paul Custom. This limited edition instrument will be available in four versions: fifty signed guitars aged by Tom Murphy in the Gibson Custom Shop; one hundred aged (but not signed) pieces; a further 150 finished with Gibson’s VOS (Vintage Original Spec) process; and 1000 pieces of an Epiphone version which retains most of the design features of its Gibson big brother. Ace took some time to talk with I Heart Guitar about the new guitar, the 30+ year old classic it’s based on, and his future plans.

 

Click here to buy the Gibson Custom Ace Frehley Les Paul Custom V.O.S. Electric Guitar or here for the hand-aged version.


“It was my favourite guitar that I used pretty much exclusively through the 70s and 80s, I guess,” Frehley says of the original instrument. “I continued to use it even with Frehley’s Comet. I don’t even remember when I got it! It was some time around 1975, 76. I had three or four backups, but the particular one that they just released, which is called the Budokan guitar, it was always my favourite guitar, my number one. It just felt the best and played the best.”

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