RockEyez.com recently conducted an interview with former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick. An excerpt from the interview follows:
RockEyez.com: Did you think that Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] would ask you back after Ace [Frehley] left again?
Bruce Kulick: "You have to remember Ace left in a very strange way. I'm real clear about it. It's as if Tommy Thayer has been Ace's understudy since the reunion tour teaching him the riffs. Tommy did a great Ace in the band COLD GIN years ago. Not all the KISS fans are aware that KISS had situations where they had to do some things with Tommy. They did not really announce it during a tour. A TV thing here… a private gig there. There was every intention for Ace to do it and Ace just didn't come. With Ace being such a part of the dysfunctional family being KISS, I think it really put the pressure on Gene and Paul to move ahead and figure out what to do. They usually took the path of less resistance.
"I never looked at me not having the opportunity to be Ace in KISS as a bad thing. It made sense to have Tommy do this. Like I said, Tommy was the understudy and obviously at one point it would happen. I know it is hard for KISS fans to understand. I know having the original members has more value for the promoters or at least it has been recently.
"The AEROSMITH tour was really important and when Ace wouldn't commit to that (which is crazy) and they had to move on. That would have been such a blast to play and hear AEROSMITH every night. But that is why Peter ended back in the band. Ace wouldn't commit. So Tommy is on guitar and Peter's on drums. That is a whole other thing then say, having Eric Singer playing the drums (who was earlier playing drums in KISS just prior to that tour down in Japan and Australia.) But by the time they were going to Australia to do the symphony tour, Peter didn't show up so Eric was now the drummer.
"So this past year they just gave up. Peter was useless and not interested and Ace was lost. So Eric and Tommy replaced Ace and Peter. It has nothing to do with musical talent or personality thing. It made more sense for Tommy to do that thing with KISS. Plus I have a really great gig now playing in GRAND FUNK. It's a terrific band, I love the guys and they pay me well. What if I was suddenly in KISS and there is no guarantee and Ace wants to come back next month? What am I supposed to do? I don't want to lose a good gig with GRAND FUNK. What happens during a month Ace needs some money and says, 'Hey, Gene, what's up this month?' You know they will take him back right away."
Read the entire interview at this location.