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.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (2 Aug. 2012)