Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book review: No regrets by Ace Frehley

When I was a kid growing up in Ekerö just outside of Stockholm the wasnt really too much to do. You could play sports or listen to music...that was pretty much it. I was useless at sports so music became the easy option.

We spent our afternoons backtracking thru rock n roll history listening to my classmate Peter Lithners big brothers record collection. Anders had impeccable taste. At least when you are ten. We listened to all of the classics. Accept, Quiet Riot, Dio, Thin Lizzy but the band that caught my attention and probably a lot of other ten year olds was Kiss. The best thing about Kiss was that even you hated the music there was so much else going on. The makeup, the stage shows the album covers. C´mon what other bands had a demon and a spaceman in the lineup from the BEGINNING?

So maybe it isn't all that strange that I picked up a copy of Ace Frehleys biography, No Regrets at my supermarket. One of the many funny things about the title is that publishing this book should have easily have qualified as one. It cost me 4 dollars. A brand new either they are having a sale or they have slashed the prices to try to spread Ace Frehleys important message to as many people as possible.

Ace Frehley seems to be a nice enough guy but as a writer he comes across as being somewhat slow and dare I say it....stupid. Apparently a writer has helped put this together but the writer must be doing all of the drugs and booze that ace isnt because this, my really awful. I think the smartest move they did was leaving the stories about the alien abductions until the end. If those stories had been in the beginning of the book nobody would have finished reading the thing. Now the alien stories are at the end so it becomes a matter of reading suspecting that the man is somewhat of an idiot and then when you get to the alien abduction section you get your receipt. Yes, he is actually an idiot. I also understand why the aliens returned him to earth. They don´t want him either.

This is a picture of another guitarplayer in Kiss. Vinnie Vincent. 
I put this picture in here because it lightens up the mood a bit. 

Everything feels like it was written in a rush and it ends up sounding a bit like a drunk uncle at a christmas party "have I ever told you the story about....". Also...You get the feeling that Ace Frehley is the worst possible writer in the world to write about Ace Frehley.

Also because of the sloppy writing you feel pretty cold about the characters in the book. He will talk about Peter Criss for instance who seems like a nice guy  (one of my favorite quotes in the book is Aces very apt observation " hes not actually like a cat at all....") but never follows up. Is Peter Criss still in Kiss or has he joined some kind Marine Explorer group? His amateur psychological evaluation of Gene Simmons will probably not grace the table of the Nobel committee either. "Is he a sex addict or not?...i dont know, maaaan"

Gene Simmons is (according to Ace) an asshole whos main concern is to make us much money as possible. I have played in bands my entire life. If someone in my band was working his ass off to make money and I have a 25% cut of everything Id be encouraging that guy to work his ass off...not complain about it....seems a bit weird.

Another big problem for me is of course that I don't really care too much about the fates of the members of Kiss. Noone has ever said in the studio...."how about a bit of a Kiss vibe on this?".
I have read another book about Kiss and it's a bit like reading a book about a very popular cardboard box. There is no substance. AFAIK There are no Nietzsche or Munch references in shout it out loud or I was made for loving you. There is just nothing there. What are you going to write about?

If ten year old Mattias read this book review he'd probably say

"He hates it because he doesn't understand, He doesnt "get it", he is like all the other grown ups"

And I would look that little Swedish fresh faced boy straight in the eye and say.

"Shut the fuck up about this Kiss rubbish and go work on your double stroke roll. Dont ask me why, just do it. It will make sense in seven years time. Oh yeah and when Tord Lindman says we can sort it out in the mix. Tell him to go fuck himself and do another take instead"

I give this book the following rating:

"Please mr Alien would you please reconsider and take him anyway and take his horrible book with you too, best regards Mattias "

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