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No Regrets
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Born into a regular Bronx family, and inspired by the likes of Hendrix, Led Zepellin, and the Kinks, Ace Frehley first picked up his brother's guitar at the age of 12. He had already performed in a number of bands when, in January 1973, he auditioned for an ad that read: "Guitarist wanted with flash and balls." Within a week he was invited to join - the band was KISS. Frehley explains how the band developed their style in the early days, making their own clothes, wearing make-up and platform shoes. Ace himself even designed the band's double lightning bolt logo. Before long his persona 'the Spaceman' was born and the familiar KISS look established - almost overnight they left behind 1,500 seater theatres in the Midwest and were playing sold-out stadiums around the world. Life in KISS was a whirlwind of accidents, overdoses and excess. Ace partied with the likes of John Belushi and Nic Nolte and enjoyed the seemingly endless supply of fringe benefits that came from being in one of the most successful bands in the history of rock 'n' roll. But soon problems with substance abuse would lead to his leaving the band in 1982, before returning for a second tenure in 1996. No Regrets is the story of KISS but much more than that - it's the story of a kid from the Bronx who found purpose and salvation through music and rose to the top. It's the story of a guy who lived life to the fullest and almost forfeited his own life as a result. And ultimately it's a survival story - Ace is alive and kicking, still making music and influencing a new generation of guitarists.
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Bronx, NY, native Frehley wanted to play guitar for a living, and he got his wish in 1972 when, responding to a Village Voice ad, he met Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley. After a slow start, their band, Kiss, exploded and became a brand that appealed to millions of kids and adults. However, Frehley found rock 'n' roll stardom inseparable from sex, drugs, brushes with the law, and near-death experiences. Unhappy with the band's direction and concerned for his well-being, he quit Kiss in the early 1980s. The following years brought him more close calls, a solo career, and a Kiss reunion (and another breakup). Now five years sober, he continues to record and perform for his loyal fans. VERDICT Frehley's memoir is a blast-candid, conversational, and funny. He seems to enjoy recollecting his alcohol- and drug-fueled shenanigans and is never preachy but makes it clear he knows how lucky he is. Required reading for all past and present Kiss Army members, as well as fans of rock/pop-culture memoirs. (Photos not seen.)-Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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