People are fucking harsh. I've been reading some of the banter online, especially on a certain well know site which will remain nameless, about Ace's book and people are just lighting him up. People are pissed because he was a wastoid, people are pissed because he didn't give up enough dirt on Gene and Paul and people are even pissed about the title of the fricken book (I'll come back to that). And you know what? I bet most of these people didn't even read the book, and am sure they are not Ace fans.
KISS was one of the biggest bands of the 70's, 80's and...well, ever...Ace Frehley was the original guitar player and took on the persona of the Spaceman or Space Ace. He wasn't a technical player but played from his heart and played from his soul. He was a hero and inspiration to millions of aspiring young men with guitars, many of whom went on to be rock stars themselves (Slash, Dimebag, Garth Brooks, and countless others!). Ace was laid back, cool, had a guitar that caught on fire and just plain kicked ass!
To any fan of Ace Frehley I think it's obvious that he walks to the beat of his own drummer (Anton Fig for much of his solo career). Let's face it; the guy is a bit of a goof, a dork if you will. But, not only is he a lovable dork, he's the coolest fucking dork in the world! Some of the stuff he does just wouldn't be passable by any other artist. Good grief! Listen to 'A Little Below the Angels', talk about corny! But it's Ace and it works!
To anyone reading the book it becomes apparent that Ace was / is just a dude that wanted to rock. He could see when the whole, psycho, circus was getting to be more important than the music; it didn't sit well with the spaceman, he wanted nothing more than to just rock...(and get wasted). He didn't want or need the big business aspect of it and admitingly missed some business opportunities and places to simply cash in. This may have confused a young Simmons, but that was his gig, not Aces. I think it's safe to say he wanted and appreciated the comfortable rock star life but didn't look for ways to cash in at every turn in the road. He wanted to play his guitar, make good music and be compensated for it. Fair enough.
Ace has some great party stories and his sense of humor shines through all of them. I really liked the stories of his adventures around Westchester County in New York; that is where I was born and my sister still lives. It's hard to comprehend that when I was a just a pup Ace was nearby causing havoc and running amuck! One of my favorites is the classic tale of his high speed chase in the Delorean. And I was surprised to learn that his Dad worked on building the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan New York. He doesn't exactly say that, but references his Dad working on the new power plant that was being built in Westchester in the 50's. It has to be Indian Point, there weren't any others! That place was a trip, I could see it from my Grandma's balcony. I still have the evacuation / survival manual that they mailed out to everyone that lived in the area...crazy!
It is very obvious that Ace is a humble and honest guy. He tells the stories as he remembers them and, much to the dismay of some readers, he doesn't go out of his way to diss on Paul or, what most gossip hounds really want to read and hear, Gene. That's not to say if Gene was being a dick somewhere along the way Ace doesn't call him out, he most certainly does. But, again, some of the comments I read seemed like people just wanted to read a book about what a douche bag Gene Simmons is. I don't think we need a book to tell us that, the tongued one has a TV show that I think illustrates that point pretty well. Ace calls it the way he saw it, or remembers it and if he comes down to a he said / she said, I would side with Ace and not the egomaniacal Simmons.
The book is incredibly easy to digest as most of the rock star books are. I've read a pile of them and Ace's is certainly one of the most fun. He and his ghost writers do a remarkable job of really pulling you into the story making you feel like you are there alongside the Space Ace.
Ace calls his tale 'No Regrets' and as I mentioned earlier people have had a problem with that. Some critics think he should have regrets, he should regret being a drunk, he should regret his drug use...I don't understand telling people what YOU think THEY should regret. Ace's approach is from a place of positivity in that regret is a negative emotion that dwells in the past. Let go of that bullshit and move forward. Regret is nothing but an empty weight drug around by people that are not able to let go of the past and move into the future. Positivity seems to have always been a driving force in Ace's life and he seems happy. When his day comes I am sure Ace will go with a smile on his face knowing that he had a good ride and was loved and adored by millions. Gene will go out with a large bank account.
Notice how pissed Simmons gets being upstaged by Ace? (he talks about this in the book)
Do Ya Want Some Ace?