Lost in the Ozone?
That Ace Frehley were about to release an autobiography raised many eyebrows when the news first came out. What would the man really remember from the decades of substance abuse before his sobriety was one of questions that were asked when the news was leaked. Would we get the story from the «other part» of the band at last?
Gene and Paul have more or less told their story in Gene’s book, interviews and in the audio commentary for Kissology. And many fans have more or less been pissed on them because they believe especially Gene uses every possible moment to make negative comments about Ace and Peter. Would ‘No Regrets’ be Ace’s chance to prove them wrong. Had all his decisions about Kiss over the years been taken for good reasons that Gene and Paul just didn’t understand?
So as you understand I was really excited about this book. Especially when I heard that Ace were getting help because he didn’t feel that he would remember most of the details good enough because his substance abuse during the years. And I didn’t get less excited when the first parts of the book about his childhood and youth were published online before the book came out.
The first part of the book about his formative years is really good. In one way It reminds me much about Gene’s autobiography. The first period with Kiss I also find quite entertaining also. But as a Kiss fan with some knowledge about the bands history and facts I found that the rest of his «Kisstory» just went downhill from there. The book never goes deep or in details about anything later to his career. It just brushes lightly over the major events during the years and gives Ace’s feelings about what happened. Even those are treated quite lightly. And the closer we get to today the faster the book goes. It almost seems like they have been in a rush to finish the book.
I really miss that someone could have painted a larger picture so could Ace tell his story in a context. When you get other people to work with you on a book, they really should be used to fill out the black wholes. I really miss a lot of details. And It feels that the book is mostly written for the general public and not Kiss fans who are the ones that will be buying the book.
His relationship with his wife is also treated very lightly and what Kiss and his abuse has done with his relationship with his family over the years. An what about humour. If there is one thing Ace is famous for beside being a great guitar player is his humour. I more or less expected It would be all over the book. But there are not many traces of It in the book.
What we do get a lot of and in some detail is stories about his substance abuse and his feelings for Gene and Paul, especially Gene. It seems that It is very important for him to justify his actions, and paint Gene as the person who nobody likes and that has no friends. Something he doesn’t succeed at all with in my opinion. I probably even have more admiration for Gene and how he and Paul held the ship above water during almost 40 years, and less for Ace’s choices. Some of them just seem stupid to me. Like his reason to quit the band again in 2002. You have to be quite paranoid to really believe that he is reason is right (read the book yourself to find out why).
There are also factual faults and a tendency to paint a prettier picture than we know that are reality. Like him being on tour with Eric in Canada and telling that he chose to tour and not record after Trouble Walking. That makes me wonder what other parts are not the actual truth. We all know that Ace never toured with Eric in Canada. And that he was dropped by his label because of substance abuse and could not get a new deal with a major label in the beginning of the 90’s even if he wanted one.
So do I hate the book? No, not at all. It’s entertaining. But It could have been so much more. This is a book that should have been up there with Keith Richards «life» that came out last year. It should have been twice the size and had much more detail. The book ended up very similar to Gene’s “Kiss and Make up”. Not a great book but a book worth reading and a book all Kiss fans should have read. As with “Kiss and Make up” I will probably reread It more than once.