Ace Frehley: Space Oddity
By Jan Uhelszki (Photo by Justin Borucki)
Originally published in Guitar World, December 2009
He was the odd man out in Kiss, but Ace Frehley came into his own on his solo records. Twenty years since his last release, the original Space Ace returns to earth with Anomaly.
Ace Frehley strides purposefully into a sushi bar in North Hollywood, his bearing every inch the rock star. Dark glasses hide the strange downward cast of his eyes—an inheritance from his Dutch mother—and he sports a black beard that gives him the look of an inscrutable warlord, conferring a gravity and a self-assurance that he never had before, not even in 1977, when Kiss were named the most popular band in America by no less an authority than the Gallup Poll. “That gave me a sense of false confidence,” Frehley says of the honor. “For a while I believed that we were better than we were.”
At the time of our meeting, Frehley is just weeks from releasing Anomaly, his first solo album in more than 20 years, which will be issued in September on his own Bronx Born Records label. The new songs ripple with authority and radiate a sense of danger that recalls the wanton spirit and fire-breathing heat of his early years with Kiss. The track “Genghis Khan” is a Kashmiri nightmare wrought in guitar exotica, while the instrumental “Fractured Quantum” picks up the frenetic thread Frehley began on his self-titled 1978 solo debut and continued with on his subsequent records. Then there’s his indulgent cover of Sweet’s “Fox on the Run,” which recalls some of a rock band’s racier exploits. “Oh, I got my share,” Frehley says, when queried about Kiss’ body count.
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