Happy Birthday today to the â€œSpacemanâ€ – one Ace Frehley, the original lead guitarist for the rock and roll all night group KISS, whose frantic, spacial guitar work made him one of the most influential guitar players of the 1970s, when KISS was at its highest powers as a powerhouse, superstar hard rock and roll quartet.
Frehley, who was with KISS from 1973 until he left in 1982 and then from 1996 to 2002 when they embarked on their successful â€œreunionâ€ and â€œfarewellâ€ tours, humbly downplayed his success, even telling Rock and Roll Experience Magazine in 2009 that â€œIâ€™m an Anomaly, Iâ€™m an unschooled musician, I donâ€™t know how to read music, but Iâ€™m one of the most famous guitar players in the world, so go figure.â€ Everything he said in that one statement pretty much encapsulates the career of Ace Frehley.
The group steadily rose in popularity following their self-titled debut release in 1974 to become one of the biggest bands in America. They took the hard rock sounds of the time and mixed it with the glam movement that was also happening at that time, (especially with bands like The New York Dolls and T-Rex) and they created their distinctive look, which was wearing heavy makeup which completely disguised the membersâ€™ identity and sporting outfits on stage that made Alice Coopers garb look positively pedestrian. This style became a main catalyst for their success. By the mid 1970s, the members of KISS were musical superstars. Frehley even sang the popular â€œShock Me,â€ released on their 1976 smash Love Gun.
Frehley became unhappy with the band’s direction and left a few years later. He then embarked on a solo career and released a few albums with his band Frehleyâ€™s Comet, then albums on his own. He continues to make appearances in the music world, but he will always be remembered first and foremost as â€œSpacemanâ€ and for the incredible sounds and style he added to KISS.
So get out your old KISS vinyl today, and let it rip on the turntables as we celebrate the birthday of the incomparable Ace Frehley!