“When I sign any guitar I buy, it doubles or triples in price – so I can always make money”: The time Ace Frehley sold a ’59 Les Paul to fund a gambling trip

A rather convenient income stream for the former Kiss man…

Ace Frehley performs

Image: Gary Miller / Getty Images

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When you’re as legendary a guitarist as Ace Frehley, your signature comes with quite a bit of value. In a new interview with Guitarist, Frehley remembers the time he sold a signed ’59 Gibson Les Paul – which he originally bought for $4,000 – for $18,000 following his 1982 departure from Kiss. And the reason he did so, he reveals, was to fund a gambling trip to Atlantic City.

To sell his Les Paul, Frehley hopped on a helicopter – as you do – and visited New York vintage gear retailer, We Buy Guitars. While Frehley pocketed a healthy sum, he says he’s not entirely proud of his motivations for doing so. “That was the biggest regret,” he recalls. “It was after I quit Kiss; I was still getting fucked up and I wanted to go to Atlantic City because I love to gamble.”

While the $18,000 Frehley earned in 1982 pales in comparison to what would be the guitar’s current market value, he isn’t phased about the monetary loss. As he’s learned, his signature can immediately inflate the price of any guitar he wants to sell. “When I sign any guitar I buy, it doubles or triples in price,” he says.

And as he tells Guitarist, he’s accumulated too many over the years. “I have more than 120 guitars here and I just want to get rid of some of them!” he reveals. “When I was on the Alice Cooper tour [in 2022], I was going crazy hitting pawn shops; I must have bought 35 guitars!”

While he’ll always regret the sale, Gibson has since provided Frehley with a recreation of his beloved guitar.

Built using high-res photos of the original, the guitar is near-identical to the Les Paul Frehley sold. “Gibson got a hold of that guitar from the guy who bought it, and they took high-resolution photographs,” he told Guitar Player. “So when I came out with my ’59 Les Paul, it was pretty much a duplicate of that guitar.”

Check out 10,000 Volts, title track of Ace Frehley’s latest solo album, below:

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