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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Ace Frehley of KISS

(Credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Name  Ace Frehley

Best known for  I’m known for playing lead guitar, and as a solo artist, but I don’t know. I like stamp collecting. I like coin collecting. I like collecting knives.

Current city  Northern New Jersey

Really want to be in  I love the Bahamas. I’m going to be there first week of March. I’m doing a six-day cruisewith my band.

Excited about  I’m really excited about my new record, 10,000 Volts.

Preferred format  Vinyl sounds the best.

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:


Are You Experienced, The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I used to walk around in high school with that [album] under my arm and stare at it. I don’t know what was so fascinating about that cover, but it’s a pretty interesting cover. Ironically, in 1970, there was a peace concert on Randall’s Island in Manhattan. I snuck backstage, and they put me to work as a roadie. I ended up setting up Mitch Mitchell’s drums from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. I know that sounds like bullshit. I tell people the story and they go, “That’s impossible.”


Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin

I was in love with Zeppelin from the very first note I heard. Jimmy Page is one of my favorite guitar players. I was determined to figure out all his solos. In those days, I had to slow the record down [laughs] because some of his guitar playing was so fast. I couldn’t figure out the notes unless I slowed the record down. I’d slow the record down, but that was a big pain in the ass back then because when you slow the record down, it changes the pitch. Then I [had] to retune my guitar. Today, with digital sound, you can slow down a song, but the pitch remains the same.


Fresh Cream, Cream

Now, I’ll tell you this funny story behind that. [chuckles] I was 15 years old, and I decided to cut school and go down to Manhattan with a few friends of mine and see Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels because I was a fan of the guitar player, Jim McCarty, who happens to be a good friend of mine. Eventually, we ended up meeting and we toured together when I was doing Frehley’s Comet. 

What the hell was I going to say? I was at this show, and Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels was the headliner, but lo and behold, the two opening acts were The Who and Cream. It was so crazy. This was their first US tour, so nobody even knew who the hell they were, including me. I was just mesmerized. I said, “These bands are going to be ginormous.” The rest is history.


My Generation, The Who

When I saw The Who live for the first time, and Keith Moon wrecked his drums, and Pete Townshend was smashing his guitar into the amps, and smoke bombs are going off – I knew immediately that I wanted to be in a theatrical rock group. That was a huge influence on me. Next thing I know, I’m in this group Kiss, wearing makeup and smoke bombs, fire, explosions. Crazy. It was like destiny. 


Truth, Jeff Beck

I met him and I have a photo of me and him. He was really gracious. He was playing this little club in Manhattan. I mean, nobody plays like Jeff Beck. He was a Hendrix kind of guy. I think, technically, he was better than Hendrix. Hendrix was really good, but he’s not known so much for his guitar work as he is for his innovative style and the way he played, because nobody can copy Hendrix correctly, just like nobody can copy me.