Gene Simmons Regrets Not Being Tougher on Frehley and Criss

Gene Simmons Regrets Not Being Tougher on Frehley and Criss

Gene Simmons Regrets Not Being Tougher on Frehley and Criss

Gene Simmons, the iconic bassist of Kiss, recently opened up about one of his biggest regrets in his long and storied career. Reflecting on the band’s history, Simmons expressed remorse over not being stricter with original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss regarding their substance abuse issues. These problems ultimately led to their departure from the band.

Kiss concluded their legendary career with a final show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, marking the end of their End Of The Road tour. However, Frehley and Criss were notably absent from this farewell performance. Instead, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer joined Simmons and Paul Stanley on stage. Thayer had replaced Frehley in 2002, while Singer became a permanent member a few years later.

Looking back on Kiss’ 50-year journey, Simmons shared his thoughts in an interview with Backstage Pass. “I’m sad in retrospect. You know, hindsight’s 20/20. I’m sad that I wasn’t more hard on Ace and Peter, the two original guys who played guitar and drums in the band,” he said. Simmons acknowledged the significant contributions of Frehley and Criss to the band’s early success, noting their unique voices and personalities.

“Ace and Peter have as much credit for the beginning of the band as Paul and I do. There’s no question it was that chemistry. And they both had unique voices, unique personalities and all that. And they should have been here with us 50 or 55 years later and enjoying the fruits of their labor. But sadly, they’re not,” Simmons lamented.

Despite his regrets, Simmons emphasized that Frehley and Criss were ultimately responsible for their own actions. “They were in and out of the band three different times. They were let go three different times because of the same old thing,” he explained. Simmons pointed out that substance abuse issues are not unique to Kiss, but are common in many bands.

“It’s not even unique. Go to almost every band and you’ll find people ingesting stuff more than the bum on the street corner, except they’re richer and they can afford to ingest more. It’s sad,” Simmons added.

Ace Frehley, born Paul Daniel Frehley, grew up in the Bronx and was known for his melodious guitar play and spontaneous rock style. His contributions to Kiss were significant, and his chemistry with Simmons and Stanley was a key factor in the band’s success. Despite the challenges, Frehley remains an active musician, recently releasing a cover album titled “Origins, Vol. 1.”

Frehley’s autobiography, “No Regrets,” offers a glimpse into his life and career, including his upbringing in the Bronx. He grew up in a loving and musical family, with all members playing instruments. Frehley’s interest in the electric guitar was sparked by hearing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and he received his first electric guitar as a Christmas gift at the age of 12.

Frehley’s early years were marked by a mix of music and mischief. He formed his first band at 13 and was influenced by British musicians like Paul Stanley. Despite his musical talent, Frehley had a wild side, joining a gang named the Ducky Boys and getting into trouble on the streets of the Bronx.

Frehley’s high school years were tumultuous, as he changed schools three times due to his rebellious nature. He eventually completed his education with the support of his girlfriend, who later became his wife. Despite the challenges, Frehley’s passion for music never waned, and he continued to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star.

Gene Simmons’ reflections on his time with Kiss highlight the complexities of managing a successful band. While he regrets not being tougher on Frehley and Criss, he acknowledges that their substance abuse issues were ultimately their own responsibility. As Kiss’ legacy continues to inspire new generations of musicians, the contributions of all its members, past and present, remain an integral part of rock history.

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