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Last year, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley told Yahoo Entertainment that he was willing to join KISS’s “End of the Road” farewell tour “for the right price” — but in light of a nasty, newly escalated feud between Frehley and his ex-bandmate Gene Simmons, that now seems highly unlikely.
Frehley, who acrimoniously left KISS in 1982 and temporarily returned for a massively successful reunion tour in 1996, took to Facebook Tuesday evening to blast Simmons, threatening that “THE S*** WILL HIT THE FAN” and “the gloves are off,” calling Simmons an “a**hole” and “sex addict,” and even accusing Simmons of groping his wife at a 2018 event.
Frehley was apparently incensed by a new interview Simmons did with Guitar World, in which Simmons addressed speculation regarding whether Frehley and original KISS drummer Peter Criss would participate in KISS’s “End of the Road” farewell tour. Simmons described the former band members as unreliable and declared they were “never going to be in KISS again.”
“Ace and Peter have gotten three chances,” Simmons stated. “They were in and out of the band — fired — three times. For drugs, alcohol, bad behavior, being unprofessional … they weren’t carrying their load. … Would we welcome Ace or Peter to jump up onstage for a song or two? Of course. Could we depend on either Ace of Peter to do a full set night after night? Not on your f***ing life.”
Frehley then lashed out on Facebook, noting that he has been sober for 12 years and claiming that he quit KISS and was never fired. “Your slanderous remarks about my bad habits over the years has cost me millions of dollars. … You and Paul [Stanley] have tried to derail my solo career multiple times over the years unsuccessfully,” he wrote. “I’ve tried to be nice and friendly … but today’s comments have made me realize you’re just an a**hole and a sex addict who’s being sued by multiple women, and you’re just trying to sweep it all under the carpet!”
The biggest bombshell came when Frehley alleged that one of the many women who have been sexually assaulted by Simmons is Frehley’s own wife — and he hinted that he may even take legal action against his former bandmate.
“The icing on the cake was when you groped my wife and propositioned her in Los Angeles at the Capitol Records building behind my back, when I was trying to help you out at one of your ‘Vault Experiences’ which I only found out about several weeks later,” Frehley wrote. “She was planning on pursuing a suit against you, but I told her to call it off!!! …Well now the gloves are off after your terrible comments today and I’m thinking that this really may be ‘The End of the Road Tour’ for you guys!!! Without a complete and heartfelt apology, an offer to give me my old job back, and removing [current KISS guitarist] Tommy [Thayer] from the throne that I created… THE S*** WILL HIT THE FAN AND THEY’LL BE NO STOPPING IT — IT’S ON!!!”
As of this writing, Simmons has yet to respond, let alone apologize, and KISS’s publicist has not responded to Yahoo’s request for comment. But suffice to say Frehley probably won’t be “jumping up onstage for a song or two” on KISS’s “End of the Road” tour, which kicks off on Jan. 31. However, Stanley has actually suggested that KISS could theoretically continue indefinitely without any original band members — that is, with other musicians, handpicked by Simmons and Stanley, wearing the iconic greasepaint, stepping into those hydraulic platform boots and even spitting up Gene’s blood.
When asked about this possibility, Stanley told Yahoo Entertainment: “Well, KISS ultimately is an ideal. KISS ultimately is a philosophy about giving people what they deserve, giving respect to the audience, showing other bands how it’s supposed to be done — and ultimately they follow. That’s why there’s KISS DNA in every show you go to see, no matter whether it’s a rap star, a rock star, you name it. It’s KISS DNA. That’s not something that we own. [Editor’s note: Actually, Stanley, along with Simmons, holds the ownership and licensing rights to KISS’s four original makeup designs.] We’ve nurtured it. And if the time were right, do I think that KISS could rear its ugly head again, in all its glory? You betcha, because people need it and people want it!”
Stanley promised that the current KISS lineup — which includes above-mentioned guitarist Thayer (controversially wearing Frehley’s signature Space Ace makeup) and drummer Eric Singer — will deliver “an explosive, unapologetic, bombastic KISS show that will show you exactly why we’ve lasted this long.” Added a calm and collected Simmons: “We’re apolitical. We don’t care what you believe in, or what you don’t believe in. That’s not the point. Our lyrics are about nothing except extolling, which is another way of saying, ‘Enjoy life.’ And then you die, so while you’re here, you may as well have a what? Party. Enjoy it. Have a great time. That’s what our concerts are all about.”
Until recently, it seemed like Frehley, Simmons and Stanley were on good terms. In 2018, Frehley performed with Simmons in Australia and as part of Simmons’s Vault Experience, and Simmons even co-wrote two tracks and played bass on Frehley’s 2018 solo album, Spaceman. Stanley also appeared on Frehley’s 2016 album, Origins Volume 1. In November 2018, Frehley reunited with KISS for the first time in 17 years for an acoustic performance on the KISS Kruise. But now it seems like that might be the final time these three share a stage.
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