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THE MUSIC, THE MAKEUP, THE MADNESS, AND MORE. . . . In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice: “GUITARIST WANTED WITH FLASH AND ABILITY.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ’n’ roll history. He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted s THE MUSIC, THE MAKEUP, THE MADNESS, AND MORE. . . . In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice: “GUITARIST WANTED WITH FLASH AND ABILITY.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ’n’ roll history. He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted stars on his face, Ace Frehley transformed into “The Spaceman”—and helped turn KISS into one of the top-selling bands in the world. Now, for the first time, the beloved rock icon reveals his side of the story with no-holds-barred honesty . . . and no regrets. For KISS fans, Ace offers a rare behind-the-makeup look at the band’s legendary origins, including the lightning-bolt logo he designed and the outfits his mother sewed. He talks about the unspoken division within the band—he and Peter Criss versus Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—because the other two didn’t “party every day.” Ace also reveals the inside story behind his turbulent breakup with KISS, their triumphant reunion a decade later, and his smash solo career. Along the way, he shares wild stories about dancing at Studio 54 with “The Bionic Woman,” working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and bar-flying all night with John Belushi. In the end, he comes to terms with his highly publicized descent into alcohol, drugs, and self-destruction—ultimately managing to conquer his demons and come out on top. This is Ace Frehley. No makeup. No apologies. No regrets.


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THE MUSIC, THE MAKEUP, THE MADNESS, AND MORE. . . . In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice: “GUITARIST WANTED WITH FLASH AND ABILITY.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ’n’ roll history. He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted s THE MUSIC, THE MAKEUP, THE MADNESS, AND MORE. . . . In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice: “GUITARIST WANTED WITH FLASH AND ABILITY.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ’n’ roll history. He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted stars on his face, Ace Frehley transformed into “The Spaceman”—and helped turn KISS into one of the top-selling bands in the world. Now, for the first time, the beloved rock icon reveals his side of the story with no-holds-barred honesty . . . and no regrets. For KISS fans, Ace offers a rare behind-the-makeup look at the band’s legendary origins, including the lightning-bolt logo he designed and the outfits his mother sewed. He talks about the unspoken division within the band—he and Peter Criss versus Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—because the other two didn’t “party every day.” Ace also reveals the inside story behind his turbulent breakup with KISS, their triumphant reunion a decade later, and his smash solo career. Along the way, he shares wild stories about dancing at Studio 54 with “The Bionic Woman,” working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and bar-flying all night with John Belushi. In the end, he comes to terms with his highly publicized descent into alcohol, drugs, and self-destruction—ultimately managing to conquer his demons and come out on top. This is Ace Frehley. No makeup. No apologies. No regrets.

30 review for No Regrets: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Ace Frehley is why I play guitar. Oh sure, those who know me know all about my love for Jimmy Page and everything Zeppelin did, and that's still true (although lately Page has been a supreme douchebag to his fans), but it all started with KISS and their Alive! album. 40 years later, and I still play it and Ace's solos (not to mention Paul Stanley's underrated harmony work) have the same effect on me as they did when I was 14. It gets my blood racing. So this is Ace's memoir of his KISS days. He'l Ace Frehley is why I play guitar. Oh sure, those who know me know all about my love for Jimmy Page and everything Zeppelin did, and that's still true (although lately Page has been a supreme douchebag to his fans), but it all started with KISS and their Alive! album. 40 years later, and I still play it and Ace's solos (not to mention Paul Stanley's underrated harmony work) have the same effect on me as they did when I was 14. It gets my blood racing. So this is Ace's memoir of his KISS days. He'll never win the Pulitzer, but to read his side of things and his history as lead guitarist in the Hottest Band in the Land, this is a must read if you were a KISS fan. Ace talks about growing up on the mean streets, his beginnings as a musician, and surprisingly, his self-consciousness and nervousness in the studio. It's great to read about a guy like this, as big as he was, being so self assured as a live performer, playing off the vibe of the crowd, but feeling the the pressure of sitting down to precisely nail a piece for a studio cut. Not only would I love to jam with Ace, but he'd be a real fun guy to hang with. If you want a perfect example of the personality dynamics in KISS, you won't get better than their interview with Tom Snyder in 1979. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jzve... Ace discusses this famous interview. He was blasted, of course. Wine in the limo, more drinks in the green room, and a couple of lines of coke to take the edge off. He was a riot, and the best thing about all this is Gene Simmons uptight and sulking at being upstaged. Ace was hilarious and after all was said and done he writes, "How seriously can you take yourself when you're sitting there in a superhero costume and full face makeup?" "Gene never got it" is a recurring refrain throughout the memoir, and Ace is well vindicated to lash out at this guy after all Simmons has said about him. Simmons did some really mean shit to Ace and Ace's daughter, and later on in the book Gene really does come off as one sad and lonely asshole. I knew a lot about the bickerings within KISS beforehand, but this memoir shed more light on it. It's well known that Gene and Paul (I so hate to say this about Paul because I very much admire him as a showman and vocalist/guitar player) are control freaks and it's all about the money for them. Whatever they're selling right now, it's not KISS. My KISS includes Ace and Peter. I still can't believe they are marketing their brand with Tommy Thayer as Ace's Spaceman. Thayer should be ashamed of himself, and Gene and Paul? Neither of you really get it now. Highly recommended for Ace fans.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Ace Frehley's memoir is for Kiss & Ace Frehley fans only. I can't imagine anyone who isn't a fan being interested in all his anecdotes of sex, drugs & rock 'n roll. We all knew Gene Simmons is an asshole who sold his soul for the money. We all knew Ace had a serious drinking problem and has since found sobriety. But what is interesting is when he writes about his creative process, and the music he created with the band, especially about his 1978 solo album. Also interesting was how Gene & Paul s Ace Frehley's memoir is for Kiss & Ace Frehley fans only. I can't imagine anyone who isn't a fan being interested in all his anecdotes of sex, drugs & rock 'n roll. We all knew Gene Simmons is an asshole who sold his soul for the money. We all knew Ace had a serious drinking problem and has since found sobriety. But what is interesting is when he writes about his creative process, and the music he created with the band, especially about his 1978 solo album. Also interesting was how Gene & Paul stole some of his ideas, and have since tried to erase his presence from "Kisstory" since his second departure from the band. But Ace has moved on. Good for him. Here's hoping he's still got some really good tunes in his pocket.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    I almost didn't bother with this one. I was never really a KISS fan, although I did have friends who were. When they played their reunion show at the now sadly demolished (I'm not even going to start on that evil son of a bitch Mike Ilitch) Tiger Stadium in 1996, a lot of my friends & acquaintances were there, but not me- the Sex Pistols were playing about half a mile away at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit that same night, and for me that was the most obvious no-brainer choice ever. Of course I wen I almost didn't bother with this one. I was never really a KISS fan, although I did have friends who were. When they played their reunion show at the now sadly demolished (I'm not even going to start on that evil son of a bitch Mike Ilitch) Tiger Stadium in 1996, a lot of my friends & acquaintances were there, but not me- the Sex Pistols were playing about half a mile away at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit that same night, and for me that was the most obvious no-brainer choice ever. Of course I went to the Sex Pistols show instead!!! Having said that, I had eventually realised some time in the 1980s that almost all the KISS songs I actually liked were Ace's, and besides that, someone had given me a copy of the Ace Frehley solo record at some point, and it was not bad; I kind of liked a couple of those songs too. One of my best friends (John 'Sabre' Bartels, 1967-2012 R.I.P.), who, unlike me, was a charter member of the KISS Army, sadly passed away last December. He had told me this book wasn't that good, so when I came across it the other night while helping his widow sort through his things I almost stuck it on the shelf with his other rock'n'roll books, but something told me to read it, and homeboy's lady was kind enough to lend it to me. Like I was trying to say above, I believe Ace Frehley was easily the most talented member of KISS. I also think he's the most sympathetic character from that band- Peter Criss is a typical drummer (i.e. quiet & something of a nonentity), Paul Stanley is simply Gene's sidekick and gets more pathetic every year, and Gene Simmons is one of the most unpleasant individuals I have ever seen or heard of (just in case some dumb-ass gets the idea I'm being anti-semitic, I would like to point out that I have basically worshiped Leonard Cohen and Robert Capa all my life, and as a little kid with an eye-patch in the early '70s I really admired Moshe Dayan as well. I could go on and on if I were so inclined, but I'm not, so look at my bookshelves or go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut instead...). This book is actually not bad at all. It's certainly not the best music memoir I've read, but it's also far from the worst. It was an enjoyable read for me- I was quite surprised by how much I have in common with Ace, both as a man and as a musician. Anyone who enjoys this genre would probably like this book, and if you happen to be a KISS fan, so much the better...

  4. 4 out of 5

    N.N. Light

    Ace Frehley is a polarizing person. While he's a brilliant musician and is a rock icon, personally he's an asshat. In his own words, he explains his life and what it means to be a rock god. I expected him to be cocky but man, he's way over the top. It's a trip to read and if you like all things rock, you've gotta read this! My Rating: 5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    East Bay J

    Ace Frehley! Hell, yes! I’m a big KISS fan and I love Ace Frehley. The first record I ever picked out for myself, when I was about five years old, was Destroyer. Ace Frehley would prove to be a pretty major influence on me as a guitarist and classic KISS remains an all time favorite all these years later. At first, No Regrets comes off as somewhat disingenuous. It’s, like, “I was a kid! It was great! I almost joined a gang! It was great! I started playing guitar! It was great! I almost got killed Ace Frehley! Hell, yes! I’m a big KISS fan and I love Ace Frehley. The first record I ever picked out for myself, when I was about five years old, was Destroyer. Ace Frehley would prove to be a pretty major influence on me as a guitarist and classic KISS remains an all time favorite all these years later. At first, No Regrets comes off as somewhat disingenuous. It’s, like, “I was a kid! It was great! I almost joined a gang! It was great! I started playing guitar! It was great! I almost got killed! It was great!” Soon, though, you start to get a sense of the optimism and peace of mind Frehley found over the years. That image of Ace giving his thumbs up to the world actually sums up the man pretty nicely. Some of this is due to this his incredible luck. We should all be so lucky! Ace says straight out that his memory is hazy, so you kind of have to give him a pass when he confuses Dust manager, Kenny Kerner with Dust bassist, Kenny Aaronson. Fortunately, he had friends and family around to jog his memory for this book. Ace’s autobiography is fun, interesting and very blunt. The booze, coke, ladies, cars, guns and fistfights are all laid out for examination. Fortunately, this is no confessional. Probably the best thing about No Regrets is that Ace literally has no regrets. Rarely do you see this when a rocker releases their tell all bio. Oh, he’s a little bitter about this and that, maybe carries some resentment towards some deserving souls, but this guy is remarkably well adjusted and sincere. When he tells you he did it for the music, never the money, you believe him. Frehley refrains from dishing too much dirt, but there’s enough to keep things very interesting. There’s no doubt he views Gene and Paul as money hungry and motivated mostly by greed. It’s difficult to refute this (KISS Kruise, anyone?). The fact is, the current incarnation of KISS would be more accurately referred to as The KISS Tribute & Review Extravaganza. Because it sure ain’t KISS. Which is fine, but you can understand why Ace finds it odd that there’s another guitarist with his makeup on and another drummer with Peter’s. And you’d have to be incredibly naïve not to realize Gene and Paul saw how tepid, boring and below par most of their post makeup output was, saw the massive success they had when the makeup went back on and decided it didn’t matter who wore the makeup as long as the money made it into their pockets. The story about Ace showing up late to a show and finding Tommy Thayer in his costume and makeup, ready to go onstage is telling. Very telling. I saw that reunion tour in Spokane. A friend and I went and were screaming like school girls. We had a great time! Having seen footage of the current lineup, I thank my lucky stars I got to see the real KISS live. Oddly enough, there are times when Ace’s comments about Gene make the Demon seem more human. No friends, uptight, sex addict. It makes you go, “Hmmmm.” More human and filthy! Simmons was disgusting! What a slob! Leaving his garbage around! Spitting on the hotel room floor! And when Gene got crabs, everybody got crabs. “We packed lightly and we traveled fast. As a consequence, our costumes were often thrown together in a single pile and packed into one suitcase, sometimes without even being washed. You can imagine how that worked out – the suitcase filled with hot, sweaty leather, crabs jumping gleefully from the Demon to the Starchild to the Cat and the Spaceman. Must have been like a giant petri dish. And sure enough, within a few days we’d all be walking around, tugging at our crotches, scratching incessantly.” Eeew. It’s refreshing to hear a talented old school rocker stick it to the marginally talented new school pop stars, “prefab, cookie-cutter pop stars with shitty voices made listenable only through the magic of Auto-Tune.” And you know he walked the walk; Ace doesn’t have the best singing voice in the world, but he sold it when he sang it. “Rocket Ride”, “New York Groove”, “Talk To Me”, “2,000 Man” all come across because Ace makes you believe it. No Regrets is a fun, refreshing read about one hell of a character. I won’t go so far as to say it’s an inspirational read, but there is inspiration to be found. And Ace never gets preachy. I love when he says, “The fact of the matter is, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with [drugs and alcohol]. Unfortunately, in excess, they’re just not very healthy for you. But many people function quite nicely while using drugs or alcohol on a recreational basis. The trick is moderation. If you can handle it, go for it!” I started out unsure about No Regrets, but ended up thoroughly enjoying the ride. KISS fans, Frehley fans, rock fans, you will dig it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Detroit

    Like many hemp-addled, cheap sonic-thrill-seeking Detroit teenagers in the mid-70’s, I was a fully-paid member of the Kiss Army, proof of membership tucked tightly in my wallet right next to my D.R.E.A.D. (Detroit Rockers Engaged in the Abolition of Disco) card. “Detroit Rock City” dontcha know? Any questions? But by the time Ace Frehley either left or was fired shortly after “Creatures of the Night,” an album he apparently didn’t play on despite his face on the wrapper, the bloom was fully off Like many hemp-addled, cheap sonic-thrill-seeking Detroit teenagers in the mid-70’s, I was a fully-paid member of the Kiss Army, proof of membership tucked tightly in my wallet right next to my D.R.E.A.D. (Detroit Rockers Engaged in the Abolition of Disco) card. “Detroit Rock City” dontcha know? Any questions? But by the time Ace Frehley either left or was fired shortly after “Creatures of the Night,” an album he apparently didn’t play on despite his face on the wrapper, the bloom was fully off the rose, the band’s panic at being left for dead and choking on the fumes of dance music and punk/new wave laid bare by their hurdling the shark into disco (the “I Was Made for Loving You” single), a dodgy prog concept album (“Music from the Elder”), and bland AOR pap (“Unmasked”). The less said about the four simultaneously-released solo albums, which still line the bins of used record stores across the planet, the better. Apparently they were unfamiliar with the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” At this point, I regrettably stepped off this bullet train to nowhere for 14 long years, passing on a series of guitarists (Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick) who may have technically knocked Frehley into a cocked hat but sorely lacked the Spaceman’s attitude, charisma, and “Let’s see, now where was I?” flair for six-string torment. Until the June 28, 1996 reunion show at Tiger Stadium, that is – original members, greasepaint, “Destroyer” costumes, the lamentable “Psycho Circus” still on the horizon - an evening of triumph, retribution, and living in the past via a calibration of the wayback machine to Cobo Hall, circa 1975, and a fountain of watered-down stadium brew. Although he often seemed a minor head injury away from eating his own feces, Frehley was the straw that stirred the Kiss drink, a front man in dire need of a creative outlet and probably the real reason he packed it in rather than any concerns on the part of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley about his liquor guzzling or powder hoovering. Last time I checked, drunk, stoned, and irresponsible was part of the job description. Far from all-inclusive (there are gaps in the plot here bigger than the holes in the ozone layer punched by Frehley’s brain going up in flames), “No Regrets” is a trove of Kiss tales, gossip, and yards of dirt for the Kiss fanboy that still beats within the teenage heart of a lot of us aging hipster doofuses. And you gotta love these pearls of wisdom: ”I really don’t want to sound like I’m preaching or making a stand against drugs and alcohol. The fact of the matter is, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with either of them. Unfortunately, in excess, they’re just not very healthy for you. But many people function quite nicely while using drugs or alcohol on a recreational basis. The trick is moderation. If you can handle it, go ahead. Knock yourself out!”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Perkins

    As a biography, this is not a bad effort. Ace always was smarter than a lot of people gave him credit for, and that comes through in this book. But, as somebody who always appreciated his gifts as a guitar player, I have to say that ultimately the book convinces you that his inability to grapple with his own irresponsible streak ultimately showed him to be a lot dumber than he ought to be. The early stories -- of his childhood, how he came to be a guitar player, how things were when KISS got star As a biography, this is not a bad effort. Ace always was smarter than a lot of people gave him credit for, and that comes through in this book. But, as somebody who always appreciated his gifts as a guitar player, I have to say that ultimately the book convinces you that his inability to grapple with his own irresponsible streak ultimately showed him to be a lot dumber than he ought to be. The early stories -- of his childhood, how he came to be a guitar player, how things were when KISS got started -- are the best material in the book. When he gets into the material detailing when his chemical needs took over his life, particularly after he first discovered cocaine, it is at first revealing about just how intense his addictions could be. But after the fifth or sixth time that he's crashed his car, or when you realize he's been indulging in the same reckless behavior for two decades, it's no longer entertaining -- it's just sad. Ace Frehley had a real gift, but never discovered the maturity or self-control to make the most of it. As someone who followed him from a distance all my life, that is the discovery to be made in hearing his story in his own voice. I was thrilled for him when he began to assert himself on later KISS albums as more of a creative force in the band, but now understand why he ultimately failed to sustain that. To title a book about this "No Regrets" is just silliness, or worse, engaging in the same kind of self-delusion that enabled his addictions and got him into so much trouble for so many years. It turns out that the only outside anchor who can slow down his self-destructive streak that comes out in the book is his daughter, Monique. He should thank God for her. Unfortunately, it's also true that Ace wrote a candid, poignant song on his album "Anomaly" called "A Little Below the Angels," in which Monique is featured. It includes the line, "Alcohol was a friend of mine, it almost got me dead/I crashed some cars, got into fights, some things I now regret." Seems more than a little odd to write such a song a couple of years ago and now opt for a book title of "No Regrets." Ace ought to have regrets. He's wasted a lot of his gifts. Even if he doesn't have his own regrets, I have some for him as a fan who is a little wiser to what is really driving this gifted, but troubled (dare we go for clueless?) artist. He spends a lot of time in this book taking shots at Gene Simmons, and while Gene can be validly criticized on any number of fronts, the ultimate truth by book's end is clear -- if not for the discipline of vision that Gene and the other members of KISS had for the band in the formative years of the 1970s, Ace would likely never have had a career that anyone would have heard about.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nick Cato

    As a fan of KISS since I was five years old (maybe even younger), I had a blast reading about the early days of the band, and as a major ACE fan, I LOVED the stories about the recording of his classic 1978 solo album. Like most rock n roll memoirs, there's plenty of drug and alcohol stories, as well as car crashes and near-death experiences. So as a KISS and Ace fan, the book is a lot of fun, especially when Ace trashes Gene and Paul on nearly every other page, then offers something positive abo As a fan of KISS since I was five years old (maybe even younger), I had a blast reading about the early days of the band, and as a major ACE fan, I LOVED the stories about the recording of his classic 1978 solo album. Like most rock n roll memoirs, there's plenty of drug and alcohol stories, as well as car crashes and near-death experiences. So as a KISS and Ace fan, the book is a lot of fun, especially when Ace trashes Gene and Paul on nearly every other page, then offers something positive about them (although toward the end Gene really comes off as a total scumbag). What I DIDN'T like about NO REGRETS are several sections where it's painfully obvious Ace's two co-authors did all the writing, using language that just doesn't fit with the majority of the book's Ace/Bronx attitude and lingo. Sure, Ace is lucky to have one brain cell left after all these years of cocaine and beer parties, but a book released on a major label like this could've taken the time to make each chapter sound like they were part of the same book. A small complaint, but one that I found distracting despite the quickness of the read. I'm assuming any KISS fan will find much of this interesting, although fans of Ace's solo bands (if there ARE fans of JUST his solo bands) might be a bit disappointed as there's little time spent talking about them. Ace's recollections of his times hanging out with John Belushi are worth the cover price IMO, and he comes off as a cool old-school neighborhood guy you'd want to hang out with. And judging from this book, it seems Ace bagged almost as many women as Gene Simmons! Fun stuff for fans.

  9. 5 out of 5

    T.W. Brown

    If you have ever been the child caught in the middle of an ugly divorce, you know how it felt for KISS fans over the years with the Gene/Paul vs. Ace/Peter thing. Ace does say that Gene was all business from day one and that the Frehley approach was more about having fun being a rock star. I see both sides...or at least I did until Frehley shared one instance that really hurt him. During the reunion, Gene was putting the movie Detroit Rock City together. He invited Ace's daughter to come to Calif If you have ever been the child caught in the middle of an ugly divorce, you know how it felt for KISS fans over the years with the Gene/Paul vs. Ace/Peter thing. Ace does say that Gene was all business from day one and that the Frehley approach was more about having fun being a rock star. I see both sides...or at least I did until Frehley shared one instance that really hurt him. During the reunion, Gene was putting the movie Detroit Rock City together. He invited Ace's daughter to come to California and be in a bit part. She was thrilled and Ace thought it was an amazing gesture from Gene...until the movie came out and his daughter's scene was cut. And, since Gene was in control of the edits, Ace feels no choice but to take it personally. His thoughts were basically, "Do what you want to me, say what you want about me...but when you hurt my kid..." I never took sides in this breakup until that revelation. In any case, the book is a must for KISS fans and a good read. I would also suggest it for people battling with addiction since Ace spends a lot of time talking about his own struggle.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Uncle

    Back in the '70s it was Ace's screaming solos on 'Kiss Alive' that inspired me to pick up a guitar. This book is the most honest, real books about the myth and legend of the band. This is NOT a tell all book about the band, but about Ace and only Ace. I think that his honesty about his addictions, risky behavior and irresponsibility shed a tremendous amount of light on why the band split up and the 'bad blood' between him and Gene. It's an excellent read for an Ace fan, a good read for a KISS fa Back in the '70s it was Ace's screaming solos on 'Kiss Alive' that inspired me to pick up a guitar. This book is the most honest, real books about the myth and legend of the band. This is NOT a tell all book about the band, but about Ace and only Ace. I think that his honesty about his addictions, risky behavior and irresponsibility shed a tremendous amount of light on why the band split up and the 'bad blood' between him and Gene. It's an excellent read for an Ace fan, a good read for a KISS fan, and an 'ok' read for the curious. Rabid fans who think that Gene and Paul walk on water will not like this book. It amazes me that bands in the music biz 20+ years ever survive that long given the excesses and grueling tour schedules. Rockin' and rollin' all nite and partying everyday has a price and I think Ace conveys that clearly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    Entertaining, but not fantastic. It had that ghostwritten feel. The language style is inconsistent and so some of it didn't ring true. Example (p197): "Don was practicing his golf swing and I guess you eluded his peripheral vision". Really? More likely: "Dude! How the f*** are you still alive?". But, it's great to read the stories nonetheless.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Bach

    The thing I loved about The Ace was that he was funny. This book has very few laughs. In a book entited "No Regrets", with a chapter about driving drunk on the wrong side of the road, one would think maybe there would be just one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    I hate to rate Ace's bio against the other members of KISS but its nearly impossible not to. That being said, its better than Gene's but not quite as good as Paul's (to be fair I haven't read Peter's yet.) What makes Ace's stand apart is a very different POV during the formative and hayday years of KISS. The storytelling is fueled from Ace's addictions. Often the timeline is non-linear making it a bit rough around the edges, just like Ace! With Paul and Gene's books you get a story of the life of I hate to rate Ace's bio against the other members of KISS but its nearly impossible not to. That being said, its better than Gene's but not quite as good as Paul's (to be fair I haven't read Peter's yet.) What makes Ace's stand apart is a very different POV during the formative and hayday years of KISS. The storytelling is fueled from Ace's addictions. Often the timeline is non-linear making it a bit rough around the edges, just like Ace! With Paul and Gene's books you get a story of the life of KISS. With Ace, the narrative is a life of addiction. Sure I've heard the stories of Ace being fucked up all the time but I could never appreciate how bad he was until I read his own accounts. It is amazing he is able to live to tell the tale. This book is chock full of "remember the time..." stories and anecdotes. Its not told in a totally linear fashion but more grouped together in a thematic way. All in all, NO REGRETS is a good read for KISS fans. Its not another regurgitation of the history of KISS. This is the memoir of a member of KISS with a completely different point of view from the more controling members of the group. A quintessential read for any member of the KISS Army no matter your rank.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    I grew up in the 70s while the KISS phenomenon was taking over the world. It was a great time to be a kid. Strange that a band whose lyrics are centered around sex would be so targeted toward preteens, but most of that went over my head. Every kid my age wanted to be one of the guys in KISS. I wanted to be Gene, no doubt because of my love for all things horror, but as the years went by and the enigma that was KISS was revealed (even right down to a reality TV show starring my old idol) it was c I grew up in the 70s while the KISS phenomenon was taking over the world. It was a great time to be a kid. Strange that a band whose lyrics are centered around sex would be so targeted toward preteens, but most of that went over my head. Every kid my age wanted to be one of the guys in KISS. I wanted to be Gene, no doubt because of my love for all things horror, but as the years went by and the enigma that was KISS was revealed (even right down to a reality TV show starring my old idol) it was clear that Ace was the nice guy in the bunch. Yes, he had a drug problem, but he had musical integrity, wasn't greedy, and from what I learn from this book is an easy guy to like. He's that person you know who you have a hard time picturing getting pissed off, especially over anything trivial. I put my rating at 4 stars because I was hoping he'd talk a bit more about some of the later albums, particularly UNMASKED, but they weren't as dissected as the earlier stuff. Also, I was hoping to hear a bit more dirt. I feel like he was pretty easy on the other guys. Good for him. After reading the book I wish I could hang out with the guy. I've got my own Les Paul with decades of playing under my belt. We could throw down. Awk!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    I have mixed feelings about this book. The positives I took away from this book, particularly his insight with meeting his musical heroes (He talks about meeting Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and some of his funny experiences with Les Paul)and his breakdowns of the various KISS albums over the years, were great. Regardless of what anyone thinks, Ace Frehley influenced a lot of kids to pick up the guitar. Where the book let me down, was all the stories about drinking, dr I have mixed feelings about this book. The positives I took away from this book, particularly his insight with meeting his musical heroes (He talks about meeting Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and some of his funny experiences with Les Paul)and his breakdowns of the various KISS albums over the years, were great. Regardless of what anyone thinks, Ace Frehley influenced a lot of kids to pick up the guitar. Where the book let me down, was all the stories about drinking, drugs, partying. If you took away all those stories, you'd only have a quarter of the pages the book has now. For some people that's great, but for me it was a disappointment. Another thing that irritated me was sometimes what the book lacked; For instance, when he starts talking about the late Eric Carr, all he can talk about was Eric's refusal to sniff model glue with him. He goes into very little detail about the other members of KISS, outside of disagreements between him and Gene. He also talks very little about the reunion tour. Overall it's something I'd recommend to anyone that ever liked the early lineup of KISS. And I'm glad the man lived through all that and still managed to tell the tale!

  16. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    Like band mate Peter Criss's autobiography, this tome tells a tale of alcoholism, drug addiction, enabling roadies, and preferential treatment by lawful authorities. It gets mentally exhausting reading of his antics as they weave throughout the book. Still, Ace has always been a loveable character, so I indulged him as I read it much as he indulged his own vices. I've read all four KISS members' autobiographies, and somehow I enjoyed this one the least. Perhaps it's because his life just wasn't Like band mate Peter Criss's autobiography, this tome tells a tale of alcoholism, drug addiction, enabling roadies, and preferential treatment by lawful authorities. It gets mentally exhausting reading of his antics as they weave throughout the book. Still, Ace has always been a loveable character, so I indulged him as I read it much as he indulged his own vices. I've read all four KISS members' autobiographies, and somehow I enjoyed this one the least. Perhaps it's because his life just wasn't as colorful or interesting as the other members. He didn't go into very much depth about his one marriage and the birth of his daughter. He also didn't elaborate about his sexual escapades like Peter Criss did in his book. Ace's book concentrated more on his alcohol and drug addictions. Although Peter and Ace share the burden of screwing up their careers in KISS, at least Peter Criss's book was far more forthright and revealing. I bought Peter Criss's book on sale for $2.99, but felt like I got much more out of it than Ace's book. Supposedly, Ace is writing another book. Perhaps it is because he didn't do a good enough job on this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Price

    I thought I might skim through this book and read about the early days of KISS, but I ended up reading it cover to cover. The tone is conversational and engaging, and it reads quickly. The stories about Ace's childhood and teenage years are fascinating, and some of the early KISS recollections are downright bizarre. Especially rooming with Gene Simmons on the road. Toward the end, I felt like the narrative began to get disjointed as anecdotes were strung together less logically or flowing. I also I thought I might skim through this book and read about the early days of KISS, but I ended up reading it cover to cover. The tone is conversational and engaging, and it reads quickly. The stories about Ace's childhood and teenage years are fascinating, and some of the early KISS recollections are downright bizarre. Especially rooming with Gene Simmons on the road. Toward the end, I felt like the narrative began to get disjointed as anecdotes were strung together less logically or flowing. I also felt like I never got a good sense of Ace's marriage and how he rectified all the groupies with the stress of maintaining a relationship. I enjoyed the stories that involved his grown daughter; I feel like just one or two small stories like that about his ex-wife would have made the book feel more rounded and complete. As it was, it seemed like she was only mentioned in passing. I found myself thinking a lot about commercial success vs. artistic expression, as well as the ramifications of being a public figure and the pitfalls of success. A must-read for any KISS fan.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    I have been a fan of many rock bands including KISS, especially the earlier stuff. So I enjoyed reading about the earlier exploits of this mega-band. Ace has been the living embodiment of that lifestyle, the sex, drugs and of course the music: Rock n Roll. This book is a quick read, and filled with all the stories that you would hope to read from a member of the biggest band on the earth. But what I enjoyed was Ace's self a facing style. Telling it with honest and bluntness that allows the reade I have been a fan of many rock bands including KISS, especially the earlier stuff. So I enjoyed reading about the earlier exploits of this mega-band. Ace has been the living embodiment of that lifestyle, the sex, drugs and of course the music: Rock n Roll. This book is a quick read, and filled with all the stories that you would hope to read from a member of the biggest band on the earth. But what I enjoyed was Ace's self a facing style. Telling it with honest and bluntness that allows the reader to make up their own mind as to what the truth really is. One of my favorite sayings is: There are 3 sides of every story, one for each person and in the middle is the truth. I agree that Gene is probably a self-centered control freak bordering on narcissistic, but even Ace seems to have a soft spot for the guy who probably has the most to do with him leaving KISS. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to any fan of the band, of this type of music, and any fan of the Rock n Roll lifestyle.

  19. 4 out of 5

    A

    I was a fan of KISS when I was five years old. My Love Gun album made an appearance in kndergarten show-and-tell and my mother dressed me like "The Catman" for Halloween when I was six. I still have my albums and still have a love for KISS of that mid-seventies era. Even after they removed the make-up I had no idea what these guys really looked like until years later. Ace's No Regrets takes me back to those days when could skateboard without a helmet and play lawn darts with metal tips. If you l I was a fan of KISS when I was five years old. My Love Gun album made an appearance in kndergarten show-and-tell and my mother dressed me like "The Catman" for Halloween when I was six. I still have my albums and still have a love for KISS of that mid-seventies era. Even after they removed the make-up I had no idea what these guys really looked like until years later. Ace's No Regrets takes me back to those days when could skateboard without a helmet and play lawn darts with metal tips. If you like Ace, you will probably like this book. If you like Gene, it may not be your cup of tea. If you are just a fan, it is well worth a read. The best line of the book "I remembered I had a few weather balloons in my trunk." Who carries a stash of weather balloons? Of course the Spaceman does.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Simple and straightforward, this unpretentious ride through Ace's career is a bit short on details but long on honesty and the Spaceman's own take on things. This is a much better read than Peter Criss' book, as Ace doesn't spend most of the time blaming everyone but himself on his shortcomings and his struggle with addiction. It's also much easier to read, prose-wise. It's not something I need to ever read again (or even consult) but I'm glad I did. He handles his love/hate relationship with Ge Simple and straightforward, this unpretentious ride through Ace's career is a bit short on details but long on honesty and the Spaceman's own take on things. This is a much better read than Peter Criss' book, as Ace doesn't spend most of the time blaming everyone but himself on his shortcomings and his struggle with addiction. It's also much easier to read, prose-wise. It's not something I need to ever read again (or even consult) but I'm glad I did. He handles his love/hate relationship with Gene and Paul with class, admitting their good qualities when they come up but not dwelling on the bad. He seems to have the attitude of, "Shit happens. Wipe your ass and move on," about his times in KISS. I'd recommend this to any KISS fan but those who aren't interested in the band on an obsessive level can give it a pass.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Part One: A friend loaned this and Gene Simmons' book and I read them during a brief hospital stay. I enjoyed Ace's book more simply due to the fact that he's not as arrogant seeming as Gene. Ace tells a self-deprecating tale of the Rock Monster that was Kiss. He freely admits that he was a drunken f*ck-up. He was just having a good time enjoying the ride. His fun led him into quite a bit of trouble and his absences led to his being dismissed from the band It was interesting to see how few blatan Part One: A friend loaned this and Gene Simmons' book and I read them during a brief hospital stay. I enjoyed Ace's book more simply due to the fact that he's not as arrogant seeming as Gene. Ace tells a self-deprecating tale of the Rock Monster that was Kiss. He freely admits that he was a drunken f*ck-up. He was just having a good time enjoying the ride. His fun led him into quite a bit of trouble and his absences led to his being dismissed from the band It was interesting to see how few blatant contradictions there were between the two books. And how vehement Gene was to point out that these discrepancies were Ace's fault. This is entirely possible, since his memories, as he admits, are clouded by the alcohol and drugs. All in all 'No Regrets' was a very enjoyable read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arnie

    I have been a Kiss fan since I was about 9 years old (1977 ). I have read each of the band members books. I have to say, I believe Ace's is probably the most honest. He points no fingers. He comes right out and says what a disaster he could be and is open about his drug use and it's effects on his actions. I think he is honestly just greatful to still be on the planet. I met him at a performance in the early 90's He was a mess. I was devastated to see one of my idols like that. it soured my opin I have been a Kiss fan since I was about 9 years old (1977 ). I have read each of the band members books. I have to say, I believe Ace's is probably the most honest. He points no fingers. He comes right out and says what a disaster he could be and is open about his drug use and it's effects on his actions. I think he is honestly just greatful to still be on the planet. I met him at a performance in the early 90's He was a mess. I was devastated to see one of my idols like that. it soured my opinion of Ace for a long time. I saw him perform again several years later. He appeared clear headed and sober. The show was great. I am glad he seems to have a guardian angel. He is definitely one lucky guy!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I feel very confident in my assessment that the members of KISS are just horrible, horrible people. Really, just terrible. I know it's not much of a book review, but save yourself some grief and move on from these tools. edit to add: This is based on the biographies of Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, who could've made themselves look really good in their own books but lacked the self-awareness to see the incredibly crummy picture they painted. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley loudly proclaim their horr I feel very confident in my assessment that the members of KISS are just horrible, horrible people. Really, just terrible. I know it's not much of a book review, but save yourself some grief and move on from these tools. edit to add: This is based on the biographies of Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, who could've made themselves look really good in their own books but lacked the self-awareness to see the incredibly crummy picture they painted. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley loudly proclaim their horribleness to the world at every opportunity, but Peter and Ace don't have the same opportunities, mostly because of Gene and Paul.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teric Darken

    An interesting autobographical read from rock's premier guitar superhero, Ace Frehley. Included within are zany stories from the life of the "Space Ace" while under the influence of alcohol and other clandestine substances. Fans of Mr. Frehley are sure to have a laugh or two at the author's self-inflicted misfortunes, but those searching for "the dirt" on the rest of the KISS members will more than likely be disappointed as Ace refuses to cross the line of slander. Of note is Ace's sobriety, exte An interesting autobographical read from rock's premier guitar superhero, Ace Frehley. Included within are zany stories from the life of the "Space Ace" while under the influence of alcohol and other clandestine substances. Fans of Mr. Frehley are sure to have a laugh or two at the author's self-inflicted misfortunes, but those searching for "the dirt" on the rest of the KISS members will more than likely be disappointed as Ace refuses to cross the line of slander. Of note is Ace's sobriety, extending beyond five years as of the book's completion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I've been a KISS fan since 1978, and Ace was always my fave. Reading Gene's book a few years ago was a eye opener! Ace confirms much of what Gene said, Some things he ignores, and I wish he hadn't. (Gene's claims of Ace having Nazi thoughts for one) This is a fun read, and it's cool to see Ace's take on the birth of KISS. I wish he's been more open about Peter. And he never mentions the death of Eric Carr. All in all though, I enjoyed this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Treanor

    Wow, Ace, maybe you should have tried a little harder. And maybe revisit the steps and come to terms with your past before writing your autobiography. All kinds of passive-aggressive snarkiness directed at Gene and Paul, I'm sure all of it deserved, but lazily put together. I love Ace, but Jesus Christ, it's your autobiography, make it good!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Juliew.

    I thought the writing in this was pretty decent for a rock bio.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Goudreault

    Great read with interesting perspective.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Felix

    The title is “No Regrets,” but I feel as though Ace Frehley's life is full of them. Drugs, alcohol, jail time, fights, almost died (multiple times), high-speed car chases, and crashing expensive sports cars were all a part of his life. I enjoyed the book all the way though, I felt as though it allowed Ace to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight for a change. The book was very well written, and it felt as though I was listening to my friend talk. The beginning was probably my favorite p The title is “No Regrets,” but I feel as though Ace Frehley's life is full of them. Drugs, alcohol, jail time, fights, almost died (multiple times), high-speed car chases, and crashing expensive sports cars were all a part of his life. I enjoyed the book all the way though, I felt as though it allowed Ace to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight for a change. The book was very well written, and it felt as though I was listening to my friend talk. The beginning was probably my favorite part. He talks a lot about his life as a teenager and early adult starting his life of music, and some of the stories are absolutely bizarre and very engaging. For example, he was involved in a gang, he lost his diploma in a movie theater, he snuck into the New York Pop Festival and pretended to be a part of security, and he managed to get backstage at a Hendrix concert. The reason I rated this ⅘ stars is because I didn’t really like how Ace mainly focused on his drug and alcohol addiction. Though that was a major part of his life, I really wished he would have expanded on some other things as well. It felt boring when he went on and on, when he could have just wrapped it up and began another topic. I also felt as though Ace kept a lot out, like his marriage or him and Peter Criss vs. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. The book leaves out a lot during his departure from the band since he can’t remember anything from the copies amount of drugs and alcohol. But other than those things, I think the book was very insightful and much different from the other KISS members’ autobiographies. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about KISS -- more specifically, Ace Frehley. This book has a lot of interesting stories of Ace’s life before KISS, whilst in the band, and when he left the band, kicking off his solo career. If you aren’t a fan of KISS, or don’t want to learn about Ace, I don’t think you’d enjoy learning about a typical rockstar life. But, if you’re a KISS fan, or do want to learn about Ace, then you would absolutely love this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David Cordero

    A must read for any Kiss fan.

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