“The best guitar solo is a song within a song. I’ve been doing that my whole career”: Ace Frehley on the mystery of his guitar style, influences, and how his genius IQ works best when he's half-awake

Ace Frehley
(Image credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

As the lead guitarist in the original line-up of Kiss, Ace Frehley is a hugely influential figure in American rock ’n’ roll – an inspiration to countless guitar players that emerged in the ’80s and ’90s, including Dimebag Darrell, Tom Morello, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, and Stone Gossard and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.

Frehley’s guitar wizardry is most powerfully illustrated in the songs he wrote and recorded with Kiss in the ’70s – Cold Gin, Shock Me, and Rocket Ride among them. In 1978, when solo albums from the four members of Kiss were released on the same day, it was Ace’s record that rocked the hardest – and sold the most. 

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.