The drummer for U.S. chat show David Letterman's house band was once a member of Kiss for a night. Revered session musician Anton Fig, who had played on two KISS albums as well as guitarist Ace Frehley's debut solo record, was initially drafted in to replace Peter Criss in 1980, but he was dismissed hours later when Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons decided to go in a different direction.
Frehley recalls, "We were looking for a new drummer and we auditioned about a dozen drummers, including Eric Carr. I called up Paul and Gene, because I had been working with Anton on my solo record, and I said, 'Why don't we get Anton Fig to play drums?' and they both agreed.
"So I called up Anton and said, 'You're in the band'. He was thrilled. He couldn't sleep all night. The next day, Paul and Gene calls (sic) me and says, 'You know what, I don't think Anton's a good choice'. So I had to do the dirty work and call Anton and say, 'Sorry, Anton, you're not in the band'. He was elated and then he was let down."
Criss officially left KISS in May, 1980, prompting the band to postpone a European tour. He was replaced by Eric Carr.
Gillian Anderson has wowed critics with her turn as Blanche DuBois in a London stage revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. The X-Files actress stars as the troubled Southern belle in the revered Tennessee Williams play, which opened on Monday (28Jul14) at London's Young Vic Theatre.
British reviewers praised the performances of Anderson and her co-stars Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby, but there were reservations over the constantly revolving stage setup.
Charles Spencer from The Daily Telegraph calls the show "an absolute knockout" and adds, "Never have I seen a production of the play that was so raw with emotion, so violent and so deeply upsetting... The performances are superb, Gillian Anderson giving the performance of her career..."
Michael Billington from The Guardian writes, "There's no doubt that Gillian Anderson gives a stellar performance... (she) captures both Blanche's airy pretensions to grandeur and her desolate loneliness."
The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts calls the production "an ingenious take powered by four ace performances, with an A star for X-Files' Anderson".
However, the critics had mixed opinions on the revolving stage, with Billington calling it "distracting" while Stephen Dalton from The Hollywood Reporter branded it "hypnotic".
The production, the fastest-selling in the theatre's history, runs until 19 September (14). It will be broadcast in cinemas worldwide on 16 September (14).
We may have discovered photographic evidence of the most adorable playdate in history. Thank you, Jessica Simpson:
Roc and Ace @caceecobb @donald_aison
Simpson's new baby hung out with Donald Faison's baby boy, and that makes us incredibly happy. These two are the cutest.
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Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley scored a great deal while planning to record his new album Space Invader - a fan offered him the use of his studio in remote California a cut-price rate. The rocker was hoping to complete his latest release on a budget and feared studio costs would spiral out of control and lead to him having to rush the project, but a mega-fan came to his rescue.
Frehley tells WENN, "My studio in Westchester burned down and I was looking for somewhere special, and I have a very dear friend, Matt Swanson, who lives in Turlock, California and he's a real big businessman in Turlock and he owns stores and acres and acres of crops and he's a huge fan and we met about five years ago. Leading up to the recording process he told me, 'I've got my own recording studio up in Turlock, you've got to come and check it out...' so I took him up on it and I loved the studio. He gave me an incredible deal.
"Before that, I didn't even know where Turlock was - it's in the middle of nowhere, farming community. It was ideal for me because I have Attention Deficit Disorder from all the years of drink and drugs, so working in a studio where there's not a lot of traffic, in a town where there's not much going on and there's no nightlife, I found that very appealing.
"I'd record for eight or 10 or 12 hours, then you go back to the hotel and go to sleep. You wake up and go back to the studio. There's nothing else to do there, which means it's the perfect place for me to record."
Former Kiss star Ace Frehley is hoping to give his fiancee a big musical boost after collaborating with her on his new album Space Invader. Rachael Gordon tasted a little success in Europe over a decade ago and now her rock star boyfriend is keen to get her back in studio after using her lyrics on two new tracks, Change and Immortal Pleasures.
He tells WENN, "She writes lyrics a lot differently than I would. It shows a different side of me. It was a very good collaboration and a nice surprise for both of us.
"It was a little awkward at times because she's not a musician, but when I nailed the chords and she wrote all those lyrics it worked out great. I'm sure we're gonna collaborate in the future because she's got some great ideas."
But marriage will have to wait because, as Frehley explains, "I still have to get divorced."
The guitar great is still legally married to first wife Jeanette Trerotola. They wed in 1976.
Guitar great Ace Frehley is recording a new album of "covers and remixes" with some very special guests. Just weeks before he releases Space Invader, his first studio album in five years, the former KISS star is already looking forward to getting back in the studio to record his next project.
He says, "My next album is going to be all covers and remixes and there will be some guest stars on it. We should have it out by next year; I've already started working on it."
Meanwhile, Frehley has recorded a version of Steve Miller's The Joker for his new album, which will be released next month (Aug14).
"Paul (Stanley) and Gene (Simmons) were saying that Kiss will eventually continue without them too. That's like Mick Jagger going in the press and saying the Stones will continue without me and Keith. Gimme a break. That's ludicrous." Guitarist Ace Frehley insists the only true Kiss is the band he helped form.
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons refused to regroup the original Kiss line-up for a performance at the band's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction because they were afraid fans would demand a reunion tour, according to guitarist Ace Frehley. Stanley and Simmons pulled the plug on a performance at the big bash in April (14) after Hall of Fame bosses refused to honour their current bandmates alongside Frehley and drummer Peter Criss, so the live spectacular fans had hoped for was nixed - and now the group's original guitarist tells WENN the KISS army will never forgive his old bandmates.
He explains, "After 40 years, you think they could have given the fans 15 minutes that night. Peter and I wanted to perform, the Hall of Fame wanted us to do it, but Paul and Gene shot it down. It was a moment in history that was lost and some of the fans will never forgive them for that.
"But I'll tell you why Paul and Gene didn't wanna perform with me and Peter - they were afraid of history repeating itself. When me and Peter performed with them on the MTV Unplugged sessions in 1995, the place went completely crazy and they had to scrap their album that they had just recorded with Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer and they had to do a reunion tour.
"They're on tour right now with Tommy (Thayer) and Eric (Singer) and they didn't want anything to overshadow that. They were afraid that everyone was gonna demand a reunion again if we played."
And Frehley has used his new WENN interview to respond to fresh criticism from Stanley, who recently stated his former lead guitarist was not fit "to wear the uniform" of KISS, explaining, "If you no longer can uphold your end or live up to the stature that we set for ourselves in the beginning, if you are compromised by drugs or alcohol, if you've lost sight of how lucky we are to be in this position, then you no longer deserve to wear the uniform."
Frehley insists he was never as bad as his former bandmates paint him - and he hopes his new album Space Invader, his first in five years, will prove he's still got what it takes.
He adds, "It's a joke. In concert, I always delivered, and 95 per cent of the time I delivered on record. It's there, it's history. All they're trying to do is discredit me, so it validates the new line-up. They'll look foolish when my new album comes out.
"I think they're just cranky that every time they go on the Internet they have to read fans saying, 'Get Ace back'."
Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are among the sports stars who have sent handwritten messages of support to critically injured Michael Schumacher while he is recovering from a serious head injury. Retired driver Schumacher was hurt while skiing in the French Alps in December (13). He woke from a coma in June (14) and is now receiving rehabilitation treatment in Switzerland.
His fellow Formula One racers have now sent him moving handwritten notes of support.
A letter from Lewis Hamilton, obtained by Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, reads, "You are always in my prayers. May God show you the way back to your family, fans and friends."
Button wrote, "He's fighting his greatest battle and I know everyone at Formula One will hope that he will win again."
Schumacher has also received messages from former Formula One driver Niki Lauda, German soccer player Lukas Podolski and former tennis ace Boris Becker.
Schumacher is reportedly using his eyes to communicate and doctors hope he will soon be able to use a wheelchair which can be controlled by his mouth.
Newlywed Jessica Simpson has no plans to give her daughter Maxwell and son Ace another sibling. She revealed the news on Sunday (20Jul14) as she posted an Instagram shot of herself posing with pal Kathryn Sykora's son Jack. In the accompanying caption, she wrote, "I love you Jack, but I do not want another!!." The singer wed former American footballer Eric Johnson earlier this month (Jul14).