Paul Stanley: 'Ace Frehley Threw Away Incredible Potential and Talent'

Stanley talks former KISS guitarist in new interview.

Ultimate Guitar

In the wake of the announcement that KISS will not be reuniting for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Paul Stanley has been talking to Guitar World about his thoughts on former bandmate Ace Frehley.

As Blabbermouth reports, Stanley believes that Frehley wasted an opportunity:

"What we had at the beginning was magical. Not because we were virtuosos. Magic in rock and roll isn't dependent on virtuosity. Ace and I played great together. But in my mind, it's a crime what Ace did. He threw away incredible potential and talent. The Ace I played with when the band first started out was a comet. And not [Frehley's late-Eighties band] Frehley’s Comet! But he was burning bright and really had the ability - and this would rub him the wrong way - to be a real contender. But he stopped practicing. He got involved with a whole lot of things that really diluted and diminished his craft. I saw that comet grow dim."

Stanley also noted that he felt like he was on his own in KISS at the turn of the '80s, when Frehley and Peter Criss were leaving the band and Gene Simmons was trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood:

"There wouldn't have been a band without me. Because when your partner is off doing all kinds of questionable side projects and not only taking time but also involvement away from the band, sure. For me, it ultimately came down to, I love what I do; I don't want this to end. So I decided to bail water, for my own survival."

"It certainly was more lonely and more stressful to know that the only person who was going to get us through the icebergs was me. But I didn't mind that. I only minded the fact that I was still splitting the income and royalties as though I had a partner. That bothered me. The fact that I was running things? Honestly, that's probably what got us through that decade."

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Is it just me or Paul and Gene both seem to be greedy douchebags?
    It's just you...people change and grow apart and sometimes unite again...the fact they have been together this long, especially in their business is amazing.
    Dear UG, Please stop making articles on what each member says or does on a daily basis. You'll eventually end up with articles letting us know when Gene Simmons has a s*** or what he had for dinner. Kind regards, Every sane person on Earth.
    Haha, just imagine it. "Gene Simmons Takes Shit, Posts Photo on Instagram" at first it'll be categorised as "wtf?" but then as it happens more often, it'll be under "general music news".
    No matter what Ace did or what route his personal life took he's still ten times the guitarist Paul will ever be.
    I have to agree with Paul. If Ace were to stay serious in the band after The Elder and if Gene would've have been some hellbent on "hollywood" (What movies exactly, never heard of any of them) The 80's would've probably been better with KISS. Imagine if they went in more of a metal direction like what they did with the Oath. (Although I do love a lot of their 80's albums. Their live shows with Kulick/Carr are some of the greatest shows they've probably had).
    That was supposed to say "wouldn't have been so hellbent". Sorry for the typo.
    "How dare Ace Frehley be a rockstar in the world's biggest rock band! What kind of thinking is that?!" That's basically ALL I hear when Paul and Gene talk about Ace.
    It's ok to be a rockstar. It is not ok to let things get so out of hand to the point where it affects your playing and only show up for concerts and recording sessions whenever you feel like it.
    Sure Ace may have slipped of the rails from time to time in the last 40 years. But he is almost 8 years sober now, and playing guitar like a Mother****er!! Overall probably the most 'down to earth' nicest guy out of the 4 original KISS members.
    chyld fan
    so , paul says he didnt like splitting the money , well then why did he?????
    Ace is so much better than paul on guitar! Where can he say anything about ace? Jealous..... Ace rocks!!