Kiss and Tell
by Gordon G.G. Gebert and Bob McAdams
Either this book is nothing but lies and damned lies or ACE FREHLEY IS THE MOST VILE, DESPICABLE, LOUSY PILE OF HUMAN GARBAGE TO EVER WALK THE PLANET! The authors, two of former and now reunited KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley’s best friends, formed an alliance against old Ace, and this book is just the start.
Two world-shattering events happened in 1963: I was born and Bob McAdams met up with an ugly kid in the Bronx named Paul Frehley. From then on. Paul “Ace” Frehley would use and abuse McAdams for every purpose under the sun. Later on, in 1978 Gordon Gebert flashed on the scene, meeting “Ace” in a bar. The rest is history, or, rather, KISStory.
In this oftentimes offensive, lewd, horrific book you learn the inside story of Ace Frehley, second in ugliness and aggressive drug abuse to KISS drummer Peter Criss (who you learn a bit about as well).
We see Ace’s disgusting carcass with a few pretty women, even his wife. We learn about his campaign against personal hygiene, his awful sex habits — from discovery as a teenager (McAdams was there) to full-grown groupie groper (to the authors: you know, there are some things you really shouldn’t tell people about yourselves). There’s the incredible amount of drug abuse, starting fights in bars, the drunk driving, the car accidents, the showing up late for shows, the performances while on dope, etc., etc. Almost all of which happened in my (David Lee Beowulf’s) current backyard! This dude was/is the scourge of Westchester County, New York! Why he isn’t dead after a sickening car accident astonishes me. Why he isn’t dead from drug abuse astonishes me. Why he isn’t dead from any number of venereal diseases (it’s disgusting, ugh!) astonishes me. Why he isn’t in jail for gun violations that the Militias can only dream about astonishes me. Why his other friends, like Anton Fig, haven’t killed him yet astonishes me.
Extremism in laziness, indulgence, and complete and utter lack of respect for anyone and anything is the road map of Ace Frehley’s life. It would seem that he’s been drunk, stoned, and high for forty years straight, how is this possible? Can it be true?
I think it’s true, because back in 1992, I ran into the man myself at the Candlelight Bar in Scarsdale. There he was, not holding court or anything. He was playing quarters (as I recall, but it’s hazy) with some chick and a dude (probably Gordon Gebert). This was Ace Frehley? He looked like your typical Westchester trash out getting loaded. If I’d known then what was in this book, I’d have mugged him, because he apparently carries thousands of dollars in cash — in a purse — everywhere he goes.
Now all this is fine and dandy: trash Ace because he’s a dick. He lies, cheats, and steals — everything. He’s the kind of guy who will steal your ground beef and beans, then make chili, later on offering you some and then hitting you up for a couple of bucks for the meal he just provided you. But isn’t that rock and roll? The history of rock and roll is full of self-destructive people, right? Right. But they usually destruct at one point or another.
Ultimately, what I found fascinating about Kiss and Tell was not so much the dirt on Ace but the non-dirt on Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. According to Gebert and McAdams, Gene Simmons does not drink, smoke or do drugs at all — just like he says. Gene makes up for it in women. Paul Stanley is the same way. And both of them are extraordinary businessmen, which should be expected: you don’t keep a mega-vaudeville act going all these years if you don’t know what you’re doing.
However, this seems to be the real reason for Ace’s downfall. The real reason Ace was booted from the band? He was a die-hard Nazi racist piece of excrement, that’s why. He openly referred to Gene and Paul as “the Jews,” and took way too much pride in his German heritage. He went so far as to don a Nazi uniform and bust in to Gene’s hotel room one night while Gene was in bed “with” a young woman. Paul didn’t appreciate this either. Then there was the time when Gene was dating Diana Ross, and after she and her entourage visited a sound check, Ace called out on the PA: “Hey Gene! Someone left spears all over the stage! There’s spears everywhere!” Bottom line: Ace is a good candidate for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s rock asshole wing. Whoo boy!
Why was this book written? Well, it seems, documentation included, that Ace quite literally ripped off all of his friends when he declared bankruptcy (can you believe he didn’t pay his taxes between 1977 and 1991? He owed more than two million dollars!) right before the lucrative KISS reunion tour. According to Gebert, that was really the last straw, among other things, and in actuality this book was drawn from the on-going legal records.
The list price of this book is an insulting $19.95. I can understand the desire to make back some of the money lost on being a friend of Ace, but twenty bucks is too damned expensive for this poorly edited, common, and lowbrow tome. Then again, if you must know about the gay (yes) antics of Ace and Peter, and if you want to read about how Keith Richards and Ted Nugent cut Ace down to size one night at the Palladium, go for it!