“They said they invited us to perform at that show. I never got a phone call. They just said that to sell tickets”: Despite reports, Ace Frehley says he hasn’t heard from Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons about joining Kiss’s last-ever gig

Kiss playing live
(Image credit: Martin Philbey/Redferns/Getty)

Contrary to recent reports, Ace Frehley says he hasn’t been approached regarding the prospect of joining his former bandmates Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for when Kiss take to the stage for the final time later this week.

The glam metal icons are set to play their last-ever gig at Madison Square Garden this Saturday (December 2), and reports last week suggested electric guitar hero Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss had been approached by Kiss about the possibility of making an appearance.

Indeed, when Simmons spoke to 519 Magazine about the gig earlier this month, he said “inviting them was as much for the fans as it was for us”, and that it would have been “fitting to have all of us there, one last time”. However, the bassist and Gibson signature artist went on to suggest, “The only reason they’re not here with us is themselves”.

But, as Frehley claims, he and Criss “never got a phone call” about the concert, and that their names were just used “to sell tickets”.

Speaking to Mark Strigl of SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard (transcribed via Blabbermouth), the former Kiss guitarist commented, “You know what it is? Those guys used my name and Peter’s name months ago. They said that they invited us to perform at that show.

“I never got a phone call. Peter never got a phone call,” he said. “They just said that to sell tickets.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Frehley – who was with Kiss for two stints, first between 1973-1982, and then between 1996-2002 – took issue with some of the “insulting” comments Stanley reportedly made while discussing the upcoming Garden gig.

“Recently, Paul Stanley has made negative statements about me and Peter,” Frehley went on. “For example, I think the last negative statement he said, when people asked him, ‘[Are] Peter and Ace gonna perform at the Garden?’ he said... we would mar the show if we got up and [played] – which is really insulting.” 

While on the topic of Stanley and Simmons, Frehley also compared their respective record outputs in recent years, and speculated on what their reaction would be to his upcoming album, 10,000 Volts.

“I’ve been touring without Kiss for years. I mean, Kiss hasn’t put out an album in, what, nine years; I’ve put out five or six. And my [upcoming] album [10,000 Volts] I think is gonna really turn heads,” he said. “I know Gene’s gonna really like it and tell the press he does like it. I have no idea what Paul Stanley’s gonna say. He usually holds back on any deep praise for me because he’s jealous of me.”

Despite the less-than-amicable exchange between the two parties, Frehley stresses he bears no ill will towards Stanley and Simmons, and says “there’s really no hard feelings” between them.

“I wish Kiss the best, all the best on their final shows for the End of the Road tour,” he says. “There’s really no hard feelings. We say things sometimes in the heat of passion or sometimes our memory isn’t… [we don’t] recall things. But I love those guys. We’re all getting old, our memory isn’t what it used to be, so I just let it roll off my back.”

Kiss will play their last-ever gig this Saturday at Madison Square Garden – without Frehley and Criss. The gig will also be livestreamed on pay-per-view basis. Visit PPV for more info.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.