Monday, November 24, 2014

Ace Frehley at B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill

Paul "Ace" Frehley was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Frehley received an electric guitar as a Christmas present in 1964 at age 13, and taught himself how to play the instrument. Frehley's early bands started earning a series of paying gigs, but he held a string of short-term jobs—mail carrier, furniture deliverer, messenger, and liquor store delivery boy. In late 1972, Frehley answered an advertisement for a lead guitarist and auditioned for Wicked Lester members Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (bass) and Peter Criss (drums). About three weeks later, the band named Frehley as their lead guitarist. By 1973, Wicked Lester decided on a new name – Kiss. While Kiss spent their early days rehearsing and playing in empty clubs, Frehley took a job as a part-time cab driver to pay his bills. He was the lead guitarist of Kiss from its inception in 1973 until 1982. After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarked on a solo career, both under the name Frehley's Comet and under his own name. This was put on hold when he rejoined Kiss in 1996 for a reunion tour. Frehley remained in Kiss until the band's purported farewell performance at the 2002 Winter Olympics. His first album in five years, Space Invader, was released on August 19, 2014, and debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200 Chart - the highest position ever reached by a solo Kiss member.

Frehley and his band came on stage at a jam-packed B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill tonight to the sound of the instrumental "Fractured Mirror" from Frehley's 1978 debut solo album. Guitarist Richie Scarlett, bassist Chris Wyse and drummer Scot Coogan provided the backup as Frehley opened with a rocking "Rip It Out" from the same album. This set the tone for the show -- short on theatrics, long on guitar-driven rock and roll. Frehley dedicated the show to the late Eric Carr, Kiss' drummer in the 1980s; Frehley noted that today was the anniversary of Carr's death in 1991. Frehley and his band performed 20 songs, and half of them were Kiss songs, sung well either by Frehley or other members of the band. Anton Fig, a longtime Frehley collaborator, played on "Breakout," a song from their days together in Frehley's Comet. By the triple encore of "Detroit Rock City", "Cold Gin" and "Deuce," the audience had kome as klose to a klassik Kiss koncert as possible.

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