Ace Frehley (Kiss)

Best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss, the American guitarist and songwriter Ace Frehley, (Kiss, Wicked Lester, and Frehley’s Comet) was born 27 April 1951. Kiss were Formed in New York City in January 1973. Kiss became known for their white and black face paint, flamboyant stage outfits and elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, The 1973–’80 original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) is the most successful. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss) and the performances included levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics.

The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. Stanley became the “Starchild” because of his tendency to be referred to as the “starry-eyed lover” and “hopeless romantic”. The “Demon” makeup reflected Simmons’ cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Frehley’s “Spaceman” makeup was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and supposedly being from another planet. Criss’ “Catman” makeup was in accordance with the belief that he had nine lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn.

However because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley left the group in 1982 and The band’s commercial fortunes waned considerably by that point. After leaving Kiss in 1982, Frehley embarked on a solo career as Frehley’s Comet. However Frehley’s returned when The original line up of Kiss reunited 1996 and The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Reunion Tour became the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. 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 most recent album Space Invader, was released on August 19, 2014. Guitar World magazine ranked him 14th Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time. Frehley is also credited as the inventor of many whimsical guitars, some of which includes Gibson Les Paul guitars which emit smoke from the middle humbucker pickup, produce 360 degrees spinning pyrotechnics as well as a custom Les Paul that can emit light depending on the tempo of the song being played. He plays with a unique ‘wailing’ sound that is hailed to have influenced many other guitarists to start learning the proper usage of the vibrato on the guitar.

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