“Ace’s solos on the first two Kiss live albums are so perfectly composed”: Paul Gilbert compares “perfect” Ace Frehley to Bach

He has nothing but praise for the former Kiss guitarist.

Paul Gilbert and Ace Frehley split image

Image: Scott Dudelson/Gary Miller via Getty Images

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Paul Gilbert has heaped praise on ex-Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley in a new interview, going as far as to compare him to legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Speaking to Guitar World, Gilbert gets onto the subject of Kiss’s live albums Alive and Alive II, released in 1975 and 1977 respectively, and in particular Frehley’s musicianship on the two records.

Discussing the latter album, he says, “Ace Frehley has infallible feedback magic! The intro feedback note of King of the Nighttime World quickly transforms into its high harmonic, and Ace sustains it at full force with soulful, dramatic, and perfectly controlled vibrato.

“Then Ace’s unaccompanied solo at the end of Shock Me has more of this beautiful guitar feedback and vibrato. I love it!”

And Gilbert had plenty of compliments for The Spaceman’s solos in particular, calling them “perfectly composed”. He added, “They remind me of what Bach would do if he had a Les Paul, a Marshall, and a space alien costume.”

It seems as though Mr. Big guitarist Gilbert has a higher opinion of Frehley’s guitar playing than the former Kiss man himself. In a 2009 interview, Frehley said of his guitar skills as a younger musician, “I was good; I wasn’t great … There are guys that play circles around me. But it’s a combination of my songwriting, my voice, my attitude, my persona … It’s the package. I know great guitar players that don’t have any image or personality. And you need it all.”

And Frehley has revealed in the past that “serious musicians” wrote the band off as “clowns”, despite a number of huge names throwing plaudits at him specifically. Indeed, everyone from Eddie Van Halen to Dimebag Darrell praised Frehley in the past.

Meanwhile, he said a couple of weeks ago that his upcoming solo album is complete, and might be the best one he’s done. He described his former bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as trying to “destroy my credibility,” and said of Stanley, “Well, when this album comes about, it’s gonna make him look like an imbecile.”


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