I bought my first KISS album (Rock and Roll Over) when I was 11 years old in 1977 and have been a fan ever since. I hated it when I learned that first Peter Criss, then Ace Frehley had left the band. Gene Simmons gave his account of the band’s history in his own book, now Ace gives us his version.
But where’s the truth?
Maybe that’s an issue for another time. This is an interesting book, if not a masterpiece of storytelling. The first half or so is the best, when Ace talks about growing up and the early years of KISS. After that, though, it’s mostly just anecdotes about who he got wasted with, how he got his drugs, the cars he wrecked, etc. The last few chapters were especially disappointing in that they just seemed rushed and not interesting. He could have told us so much more about his struggle to get clean and stay that way. After a couple hundred pages all about drinking and snorting, I thought he owed us that.
At any rate, for KISS fans, this is a must-read simply for Ace’s take on the band’s early years and albums. It isn’t great storytelling. Ace jumps from decade to decade and back again and sometimes you’re not sure if you’re reading a story from the KISS days or later, or what. Still, it’s an easy read and it’s great to know the Spaceman is sober today.