One of the greatest guitar heroes of the 1970s, Ace Frehley was the original guitarist for the enormously popular glam-rock band KISS, and a major influence on a generation of metal and hard rock play...
Newly-reunited rockers L7 have extended their 2015 European summer gig run by confirming they'll perform at Britain's Download Festival in June (15). The all-girl grunge band will join Andrew WK, Marilyn Manson, Faith No More, In Flames, Billy Idol, Body Count, Godsmack and Testament among the acts lined up for an appearance at the Donington Park event, which will also boast Ace Frehley on the same day as his former group KISS.
Muse, KISS and Slipknot will headline this year's (15) Download Festival.
L7 confirmed their reunion earlier this week (beg25Jan15), revealing they have launched a KickStarter.com campaign to help fund a band documentary, titled L7: Pretend We're Dead.
Former Kiss star Ace Frehley once suffered a severe allergic reaction to the group's iconic stage make-up and feared he had been left permanently blind. The guitarist, who quit the rock group for good in 2002, reveals he forgot to take the face paint off after a show in Paris, France and woke up the next morning with an extremely swollen face.
Frehley was unable to see and feared the reaction had robbed him of his sight for good, telling Loudwire.com, "I was in Paris, and I bumped into a model, a fashion model that I knew from New York. She was doing a photo shoot there. We ended up getting drunk on about four bottles of Champagne, and I ended up passing out in the bed with my makeup on after the show. When I woke up, I had an allergic reaction from not taking the silver off, because it's ground up metal. My eyes were swollen shut. I was blind...
"They (my managers) rushed a doctor over, and they shot me up with, like, Prednisone, an anti-inflammatory that took it down. But for a minute there, I thought I was blind. I didn't know what had happened. It was insane."
Rockers Mr Big have found their drummer Pat Torpey's replacement after Parkinson's disease forced him to cut back on his onstage duties ahead of the group's upcoming world tour. Ace Frehley's longtime sidekick Matt Starr will step up for the band.
He says, "I'm grateful to announce I will be filling in for Mr Big drummer Pat Torpey on their upcoming tour. Pat is an exceptional drummer and an inspiration for many reasons. I am humbled to have the opportunity to sit in his chair. I will remain the drummer for Ace Frehley."
Torpey is expected to hit the stage for the band's acoustic sets for as long as his condition allows him.
Earlier this summer (Jul14), Torpey told Blabbermouth.net he has been fighting symptoms of Parkinson's disease for the past two years, but his diagnosis was only confirmed recently.
He said, "I intend to fight the disease with the same intensity and tenacity that I drum and live my life by and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability."
Rocker Nikki Sixx has urged his fans and radio listeners to end the "Gene Simmons bash-athon", which he started by slamming the Kiss star for ill-advised remarks he made about people suffering from depression. The outspoken bassist became a target recently when he fired off about addicts and depressives in an online interview, suggesting those contemplating suicide should just kill themselves.
Simmons said, "I'm the guy who says 'Jump' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it any more - I'm going to jump'. Shut the f**k up, have some dignity and jump."
The KISS star was responding to a question about his ongoing relations with former bandmate Ace Frehley, who has battled addiction issues.
Among those taking aim at Simmons for his insensitive remarks was Motley Crue star Sixx, who stirred up the controversy on his satellite radio show by calling his one-time tourmate "moronic". Bosses at a leading Australian radio station pulled KISS tracks from the airwaves to protest Simmons' comments.
The KISS star has since apologised stating, "My intentions in speaking very directly, and perhaps politically incorrectly, about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention."
And that seems to have satisfied Sixx, who is keen to end his feud with Simmons.
He says, "This has turned into a bit of an anti-Gene Simmons bash-athon, and I don't condone that. Nor do I support radio stations who are banning Kiss - the guys in the band didn't do anything. Gene said something that has been addressed. Maybe in a moment of bravado he was just being cocksure and pompous? Out of everything in my life that's gone awry, I try to learn a lesson. There is good in everything."
But as Sixx attempts to distance himself from the ongoing drama over Simmons' remarks, British rocker Ginger Wildheart has dived in, demanding filmmakers remove him from an upcoming KISS fan documentary.
The Wildheart star admits he was appalled by what his one-time hero had to say about addicts, depression and suicide and he doesn't want to be associated with him: "I'm truly embarrassed that I was ever a Kiss fan. I'm honestly really happy that everyone hates Gene Simmons. Clueless old f**king w**ker."
Kiss rocker Gene Simmons has apologised after suggesting sufferers of depression should kill themselves in a recent interview. The rock veteran lost his cool when he was asked about his relationship with former KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss during a chat with SongFacts.com.
He replied, "I don't get along with anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over the head and sees themselves as a victim. For a putz 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed. I live in Seattle'. F**k you, then kill yourself."
The comment sparked controversy and attracted criticism from Motley Crue star Nikki Sixx, and led to bosses at a top radio network in Australia banning Kiss music from the airwaves.
Simmons has since posted an explanation for his comments on Facebook.com, and now an apology statement has been sent to Rolling Stone.
The rocker writes, "To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression...
"I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments. I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression."
Bosses at an Australian radio station have banned Kiss music from the airwaves as a protest against comments bassist Gene Simmons recently made about people battling depression. The rocker upset a lot of people when he suggested people with depression and addiction issues should kill themselves in a recent interview when he was asked about relations between himself and former Kiss bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Simmons told SongFacts.com, "I don't get along with anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: 'The world is a harsh place'.
"My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear f**k-all about 'the world is a harsh place'. She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle'. F**k you, then kill yourself.
"I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I'm the guy who says 'Jump!' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump'. Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd."
Motley Crue star Nikki Sixx attacked Simmons over his remarks on his satellite radio show earlier this week (beg11Aug14), and now bosses at Triple M have pulled all Kiss tracks from playlists nationwide following the bassist's "misguided and insensitive" comments about depression and suicide.
Network head Mike Fitzpatrick says, "Depression and suicide are not topics he should be using to further his notoriety or sell records. His desperation to use mental health issues to find relevancy in a modern age is sickening. I can only put it down to a brain fade on his part.
"The Triple M network can't and won't be playing or supporting this d**khead's music. I put the challenge out to other stations across Australia and North America to also drop any of this nudnik's songs until such time as he reconsiders his thoughtless and insensitive position."
Simmons has released a statement on Facebook.com in an attempt to clarify his remarks. It reads: "Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I have not commented on various allegations made in the media, but I want to make this statement for the record and to clarify. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.
"I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intentions in speaking very directly and perhaps politically-incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. And I do not intend to defend myself here and now by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with."
He adds, "My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression."
Motley Crue star Nikki Sixx has blasted Gene Simmons for ill-advised comments the rocker made recently about people battling depression. The outspoken KISS bass player upset many people when he implied that those fighting depression should simply kill themselves rather than complain about their lives, and Sixx, a recovering addict, was one of them.
During his Sixx Sense radio show on Wednesday (13Aug14), the new dad said, "I like Gene but in this situation, I don't like Gene. I don't like Gene's words, because... there is a 20-year-old kid out there who is a Kiss fan and reads this and goes, 'You know what? He's right. I should just kill myself'."
The Motley Crue star added, "For people who are depressed, there is a way out. There are many, many ways out. And I don't want people to listen to an interview from a rock star, who's telling you the only way out is out, when I'm telling you... you can get out of this.
"One in 10 Americans are affected by depression at one point in their life, so this is another thing to think about. At one point in your life, meaning it will come and it will go... They say all bad things must pass, all bad things will pass, so keep that in the back of your mind if you're feeling (the onset of) depression, and don't listen to people who don't know what they're talking about."
Simmons' comments came during a recent interview when he was asked about his relationship with the original members of Kiss, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
He said, "I don't get along with anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over the head and sees themselves as a victim. For a putz 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed. I live in Seattle'. F**k you, then kill yourself."
Former Kiss star Ace Frehley is to join The Roots for a night when he sits in as lead guitarist for comedian Jimmy Fallon's house band on The Tonight Show on Tuesday (12Aug14). The appearance will come just five days before the release of Frehley's new album Space Invader.
Rocker Ian Gillan is planning to pull a Kiss if Deep Purple ever get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - because he refuses to hit the stage with former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. KISS founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons pulled out of a Hall of Fame set in April (14) after they were informed that current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer would not be honoured alongside the pair and former colleagues Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, and singer Gillan insists he'll follow their example if Blackmore's replacement, Steve Morse, isn't included in what many fans think is a long overdue induction.
Gillan says, "It would be unconscionable to think about bringing Ritchie in.
"I don’t have an issue with Ritchie, nor does anyone. I’ve been in touch with Ritchie recently and everything’s cool, so there’s no bitter, personal problem. We’re too old for that and everything’s in the past, but no. That would be out of the question.
"This is the longest that any lineup has ever been together in this band."
Blackmore left Deep Purple in 1993 and Morse has been the band's guitarist ever since.
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.
One of the greatest guitar heroes of the 1970s, Ace Frehley was the original guitarist for the enormously popular glam-rock band KISS, and a major influence on a generation of metal and hard rock players who drew inspiration from his flashy, exuberant style. Decked out in his signature "Spaceman" makeup and sporting a guitar that caught fire and launched rockets on stage, Frehley was a core member of the band from its inception in 1973 through the heights of its fame in the late 1970s. Conflicts with singer Paul Stanley and bassist-mastermind Gene Simmons, as well as rampant substance abuse issues, led to his departure in 1981, and he maintained a modest solo career until reuniting with the band for a massively successful reunion tour in 1996. Frehley again struck out on his own in 2002, when he served as elder statesman and honored guest with such newer acts as Rob Zombie and Dave Grohl. Though as a solo artist he never reached the heights - or excesses - of his time in KISS, his contributions to the group's history and influence on dozens of performers made him one of rock's most beloved guitarists.