During a brand new interview with Guitar World magazine, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was asked why he thinks his former bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are always so quick to disparage him publicly. "I don't know," he replied. "I think they're just cranky.
"For years, when I was fucked up, Gene used to say that I was a drunk and a drug addict and that I was unemployable. Kick a guy when he's down, right? But they can't do that anymore, so it's like they're scratching their heads trying to come up with new ways to insult me. The most recent thing was that I'm anti-Semitic, that I'm a fucking Nazi. That's just below the belt. Next I'll be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. And my fiancée is Jewish! My whole life I've worked with Jewish people in all different capacities — my accountants, my attorneys, people on the road. Jesus Christ, I can't believe the stuff that comes out of their mouths. But the truth is that I don't want to be negative. I just want to keep everything light and be happy.
"Paul has been so goddamn cranky lately. I mean, what's wrong, Paul, aren't you happy? I know they must be frustrated because people are always writing about how Ace was the real guy or Ace was the real deal. It's gotta rub them the wrong way. They would like nothing more than for me to start drinking again, start taking drugs again and end up as a bum on skid row. But that's not gonna happen.
"Anybody who says anything bad about me is foolish, because a lot of people like me. You're gonna make enemies when you put down Ace Frehley. And that's because I'm a straight shooter — I tell it like it is. Gene is that way too. He'll sit across from you in a room and say this or that and tell it like it is. Whether you like it or not, he lays it out, right to your face. Paul will tell you one thing, then walk out the door and stab you in the fucking back. That's Paul Stanley. And now he's trying to take credit for the fucking KISS logo? Unbelievable. I designed the logo — all he did was draw straighter lines.
"And you know, I told Paul to wear the star on his eye. Do you know what his makeup was before he put the star on his eye? It was a round circle. He looked like the dog from the 'Little Rascals' [Pete The Pup, a.k.a. Petey]. It told him it looked kinda silly and that he should put one star on his eye. But do I go around taking credit for that? No. I let him say he designed it. Who cares, you know? Let's not be petty.
"You would think that if Gene and Paul had half a brain, they would realize what's going on and start saying good things about Ace. I mean, keep bad-mouthing me. No one's gonna show up at your fucking tour this summer."
After weeks of bad-mouthing each other in the press, the four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello, with all four — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — delivering warm, nostalgic and even sweet-natured speeches that put aside the simmering tensions for at least 12 minutes.
KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.