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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.

Ace in the Hole
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 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.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780857204783 | 
  • October 2011
List Price
AU$ 32.99

Read an Excerpt


A BRONX TALE


When I was a kid I used to carry around this awful image in my head—a picture of three men tangled awkwardly in high-tension wires, fifty feet in the air, their lifeless bodies crisping in the midday sun.

The horror they endured was shared with me by my father, an electrical engineer who worked, among other places, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, helping with the installation of a new power plant in the 1950s. Carl Frehley was a man of his times. He worked long hours, multiple jobs, did the best he could to provide a home for his wife and kids. Sometimes, on Sunday afternoons... see more

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About the Authors

Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley is a founding member and former lead guitarist for the legendary rock band KISS, which has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and is ranked among the top-selling rock bands of all time.

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Joe Layden

Cary Elwes is a celebrated English actor who starred in The Princess Bride before moving on to roles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Glory, Days of Thunder, Twister, and Saw, among many other acclaimed performances. He will always be indebted to The Princess Bride, he says, for changing his life and giving him a career that has spanned decades. He lives in Hollywood, California, with his family. Find out more about Cary Elwes on Twitter @Cary_Elwes.

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