Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley will release his new book, No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir, on November 1. The book's publisher, Simon and Schuster, have posted Chapter 1 of the book online, and you can check out an excerpt below.
"People who know me only as the Spaceman probably find this hard to believe, but I was raised in a family that stressed education and religion. My parents also understood the value of the arts and sciences. The way I'm fascinated with computers and guitars, my dad was fascinated with motors and electrical circuits, and he used to build his own batteries in the basement as a child. I know he was very good at what he did because in addition to his work at West Point, he also serviced the elevator motors in the Empire State Building, and was involved in designing the backup ignition system for the Apollo spacecraft for NASA. He had notebooks filled with formulas and sketches, projects he worked on until the wee hours of the morning.
"So my parents emphasized learning, and two of their three children got the message. My sister, Nancy, who is eight years my senior, was a straight-A student who went on to get a master's degree in chemistry; she taught high school chemistry for a while before getting married to start a family. My brother, Charles, was an honors student as well. He studied classical guitar at New York University, where he finished tenth in his class.
"Then there was me, Paul Frehley, the youngest of three kids and the black sheep to boot.
"In the beginning I enjoyed school and team sports, but as I got older, my social life and music began taking precedence over my studies. I remember coming home with B's, C's, and D's on my report card and hearing my parents complain.
"'Why can't you be more like Charlie and Nancy?'
"I'd just throw up my hands. Between bands and girlfriends, who had time to study?
'"You're wasting your life, Paul," my dad would say, shaking his head.'
"Once, just to prove a point, I told my parents that I'd study hard for a semester and prove I was just as bright as my brother and sister. And you know what? I got all A's and B's on the next report card. (Much later, it was the same sort of 'I told you so' attitude that would compel me to challenge the other guys in KISS to an IQ test. Just for the record, I scored highest: 163, which is considered 'genius.') Now, I know I drove my parents crazy, but God had other plans for me. It all stemmed from something I sensed at an early age: the desire to become a rock star and follow my dreams. Crazy as that sounds, I really believed it would happen."
You can read all of Chapter 1 here.