Ace Frehley

Beloved rock 'n' roll guitarist Ace Frehley will perform Thursday at World Records.

Longtime customer Heath came in recently to buy the new Tool CD. So funny to see him staring at the Ace Frehley concert poster with a mixed-up look on his face. Finally he pointed and said, "You know. I must have it wrong. I thought F-R-E-H-L-E-Y is how Ace Frehley of KISS spells his name. Who's this guy?"

I simply said, "No. That's how it's spelled." And Heath said, "What?! Ace Frehley! The real Ace Frehley is coming here?!"

Because there are so many KISS tribute bands out there, I understand all the callers asking "This is an Ace Frehley tribute band, right?" And several calls like this: "So, Ace Frehley is coming to a record store in Bakersfield to sign his book?"

Yeah, we went for it. Ace Frehley. The real Ace Frehley. Who is out on tour with his smokin' band and his new album, "Spaceman," the 11th of his solo career. And he's coming to World Records on Nov. 14. Sure, hard to believe it's real!

Before this show, take the chance to read and watch and listen and learn about the artist who is the very embodiment of rock ’n’ roll.

The kid from the Bronx who never had a music lesson, who practiced and practiced and went to every rock ’n’ roll concert he could afford or could sneak into. He studied Clapton, Hendrix, Townshend, Richards and Page, and often snuck backstage to get close to his heroes. Frehley scraped by on dead-end jobs, and lived with his parents, and dreamed that one day of something bigger.

Fate stepped in when he saw an ad in a local art paper that three NYC guys were looking for a lead guitarist "with flash and ability." Paul "Ace" Frehley got in line at the auditions and eventually was asked to join the band. The four settled on a name, Frehley drew up the logo, and they went to work writing songs, and playing whatever gigs they could get. An amazing story. These guys were still living at home. Still needing rides from their parents. 

KISS became the biggest band in the world ... period. Nine years of unlimited money and fame, releasing albums that were instant platinum smashes, playing to the biggest crowds in the biggest arenas all over the world ... and Frehley walked away. He didn't like that KISS had turned into a business and said he wasn't having fun anymore. How rock ’n’ roll is that?

After a break, Ace Frehley took off the makeup, put together his own band, released an album and pursued his own career on his own terms. After battling addictions, he's now 12 years sober, is enjoying a burst of creativity, has released three albums in the last five years, and is on tour with his band.

This tour includes playing a concert at an independent record store, the one with its own elite concert theater, the one that does its concerts without commercial sponsors or ticketing service charges, the one opened by two childhood friends who went to their first concert together in 1977, sitting eighth row center at the Los Angeles Forum to see their favorite band ... KISS.

And that's rock ’n’ roll! The real thing!

Pat Evans is the owner of World Records.

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