By Ace Frehley, Joe Layden, & John Ostrosky
VH1 Books, $26.00, 320 pages
Ace Frehley’s No Regrets delivers the quintessential tale of a rock and roll icon. Cue to humble beginnings in New York suburbs, replete with first time gigs played before a crowd of only the bartender, then onward to a series of fateful decisions that led Ace to answer a Village Voice ad for a guitarist of a conceptual rock band. The rest is history as retold by the Spaceman himself.
This book appeals to both KISS fans and pop culture history buffs alike. Frehley includes all the glorious details of a life of excess – the drugs, girls and car crashes you’d expect from a man who has inspired legions to pick up a guitar. He tells all with equal weight – stints in rehab and subsequent sobriety, his love for his daughter, and his beef with the other members of KISS. Frehley is a loveable jerk, but he is equally unapologetic and honest about both his weaknesses and accomplishments.
No Regrets is fluffy and light as the reader is presented with a portrait of a guy who always believed in himself. It is enjoyable as a look into a man who just wanted to make his fans happy, and cringe-inducing as Ace regales us with accounts of his bad choices and sexism. (There are less than a dozen quick mentions of his wife, but a seemingly endless stream of groupies.) The story of KISS as told by Frehley is a wild ride through the mind of man who had a simple desire to rule the world through rock and roll—and No Regrets is how he did it.
Reviewed by Giovanna Marcus