Origins Vol. 2
A few years ago Ace Frehley stood on stage in a venue in Wellington, New Zealand. There was maybe 100 people there, maybe 150 if he was lucky. There might even have only been double figures actually…and mid-set he rambled on about his old bandmates Gene and Paul being try-hards and doing too much blow and struggling to sound as good as they did.
Gene and Paul are terrible. And a few years ahead of Ace’s visit the two custodians of the KISS name had played here and struggled. But it was still in a stadium, to thousands. And I was never the target market. There were probably people there that night that really loved it.
Ace’s deluded, un self-aware rant was the real embarrassment. Not Gene and Paul.
And that same sac-less sense of bravado is in full, er, swing here with this set of classic rock covers.
Songs you’ve heard a million times get the Ace Frehley retread. Now, granted, he can have a way with a cover. His rendition of New York Groove is one of the highlights of his ‘solo’ album from when all four members of KISS released albums under their own name in 1978. And much as I think Ace is pretty awful it was his album that stood out above the others. But New York Groove wasn’t a big hit, wasn’t super well known. Certainly wasn’t Lola or We Gotta Get Out Of This Place or even Deep Purple’s Space Truckin’.
Ace is newly sober, and that was obviously necessary. And congrats to the Spaceman on that. But this album and these cover versions is the musical equivalent of that silly rant on that embarrassing night in that undersold venue. And to make matters worse here he covers a Gene Simmons song.
The real story is never the one Ace Frehley is trying to tell you.
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