Gene Simmons and his former KISS bandmate Ace Frehley performed together onstage for the first time in over sixteen years last night (Wednesday, September 20) at The Children Matter benefit concert to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The event at CHS Field Stadium in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota saw the two musicians sharing vocal duties for three classic KISS songs: "Parasite" from the 1974 album "Hotter Than Hell"; "Cold Gin" from KISS's self-titled 1974 debut; and "Shock Me" from 1977's "Love Gun".
"Before you were born, 1973, in New York City, this guy and I — and two other guys — put together a band we'd never seen onstage," Simmons said while introducing his former bandmate. "Let's hear it for Ace Frehley! He still looks great, goddamn it — doesn't he?"
Video footage of the reunion can be seen below (the clips were shot and uploaded by Mike Brunn).
All proceeds from The Children Matter benefit concert will be directed to the hurricane relief efforts of the nonprofit Matter. The nonprofit works in partnership with on-ground relief organizations to source and ship the items needed most, such as: Matterbox Meal Kits, sanitation and contamination prevention supplies and more to the children and families affected displaced by the hurricane.
The Children Matter is a collaborative initiative created by Simmons and the nonprofit Matter on the simple belief that the lives of children matter. Regardless of race, income, gender, religion, or location, every child deserves the same access to a full and healthy life.
Frehley told StarTribune that he approached Simmons about being a part of the St. Paul concert.
"I just did four shows on the East Coast, and I looked at my calendar and I noticed I was off today," Frehley said."I had to head back to San Diego eventually where I live, so I figured I could make a pit stop here. I called Gene, and he was really excited about me being involved, and it's that simple."
Ace recently collaborated with Gene on two songs for the former KISS guitarist's next solo album.
Rumors about Frehley's return to KISS gained strength last year after he teamed up with KISS lead singer Paul Stanley on a cover of FREE's "Fire And Water", marking their first collaboration since 1998's "Psycho Circus".
Frehley's version of "Fire And Water" appears on his covers collection "Origins, Vol 1", which received great reviews and landed in the Top 25 on the Billboard album chart.
Even though Frehley reached out to Simmons a couple of years about contributing to "Origins Vol. 1", the bassist/vocalist ended up not appearing on the record because "either [Gene] didn't get the message or he was just too busy," Frehley told the WPDH 101.5 FM radio station last year.
Stanley told Billboard earlier this year that he had no interest in a reunion of KISS's original lineup.