Ok here's the thing.. I love Ace Frehley. So no book he writes is going to change my opinion of him. As far as I'm concerned, he got the crappy end of the deal with a band he really didn't want to be in from the beginning. But this book review is about his book, not my love for Ace. So here goes..
Over the years I've read the really awful trash-talking about Ace from Gene Simmons, Wendy Moore (ex-girlfriend) and ex-friends Gordon Gebert and Bob McAdams. I only read them for the KISS information, because quite frankly their books are repulsive. Except Gene's -- whose book was written to please the eye with fancy words and interesting stories to tell. But to be honest, I can never even remember Wendy Moore, Gordon Gebert, or Bob McAdams' names without looking them up here because they are just such money-grubbing unknowns who took an easy route to make a few bucks by bashing Ace - a known partyer and tell their stories to make a buck. As for Simmons, it's always about making money, and telling tales about Ace's partying was an easy target. Let's face it, KISS -- the original lineup had four unique members that people all loved, and many had a favourite in Ace, and probably bothered Gene to the point of girlish jealousy.
Anyone can pick on pretty much any rock star to tell these same stories, but I was hungry for Ace to finally tell his, and set the record straight on these bullies who found a publishing company who would let them beak-off about Ace, figuring if Ace hadn't written a book by now he never would.
But here's the thing about No Regrets... I did get what I wanted: Ace's side of the stories. But the book was like sitting down with a fun friend retelling some old drunken tales of back-in-the-day with a mild form of self-depreciation just to let you know you're reading about a real guy. Someone who just wanted to play the damn guitar and make it big.
From the beginning, I noticed something odd about Ace's recounts. He never seems to give much emotion on how something made him feel about anything. He meets his future wife, and.. nothing
.. he doesn't describe the way she made him feel as a man, whether it was good or bad, and doesn't even describe her looks or personality whatsoever. I had hoped he would describe his feeling about meeting the guys in KISS, the birth of his daughter, or how horrid his drug use was. Instead, everything was spread so thin, that whether it was something great or something horrible - you would never know the difference with the way Ace quickly describes things.
Is this Ace, or his co-writers who decided to do this? I know Ace has proven himself to be an intelligent man, and likely has the extenstive vocabulary to hold his own, but to just ignore the personal feelings he had towards very important occurrences in his life?--I felt like Ace was either guarded to tell all, or else maybe due to legal reasons he couldn't mention as much as he'd like to. That.. or maybe he's just a guy who's talent is playing the guitar -- not writing books.
I guess I just wanted more Ace. Sure the funny stories are nice, and getting some jabs in on how unbearable Gene really is was gratifying, and finally hearing why Ace was flippant towards KISS now makes sense. I can now piece it all together (pretty much ignoring Wendy Moore's and Bob & Gordon' piece of shit books) with Gene's recounts and now I can get a better idea of what really happened in those hotel rooms, backstage, and in the studio and why. I see how Gene became frustrated, and why Ace became distant.
I'm glad Ace wrote this book, I just wish I got more Ace out of Ace, if that makes sense.