Ace Frehley, former guitarist for legendary rock band KISS has hit the charts in a whole new way. His recent book, "No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir," is set to debut on The New York Times Bestseller List, bowing at a very respectable #10.
The book chronicles Frehley's life, from humble beginnings in The Bronx, New York, to his stint as a roadie, working for such 60's luminaries as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, culminating in his rise to super-stardom as a founding member of KISS. There are plenty of juicy stories about Gene Simmons and the rest of the band members, including a pretty hilarious tale about Simmons' pre-fame bout with crabs. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Frehley elaborated:
"It wasn't that funny at the time. Our road manager would pack all our leather outfits together in one crate and of course they jump from one costume to the other, so we all ended up with it. After that went down, we decided to keep our costumes separate."
The memoir isn't all heartwarming anecdotes, however. The guitarist, known for the character "Spaceman", was unceremoniously dumped from the KISS lineup in 1982. After a very long and very public battle with drugs and alcohol, he reunited with his former bandmates in 1997, only to be replaced by Tommy Thayer a few years later. His addiction battle resumed, culminating in a series of near-fatal car accidents.
"The fact that I have five years sobriety, it makes it nice, because in sobriety you’re really not supposed to have regrets about the past. You’re supposed to put the past behind and move forward with a positive outlook on life. It’s good timing," he told Ultimate Classic Rock.
Addressing some of the more lurid tales of excess in the book, Frehley told the Phoenix New Times that the book isn't meant as an indictment of that world.
"I didn't want to come off like I was preaching sobriety, because it's a personal choice. I'm not against drugs and alcohol; I'm against the abuse of them. There's good in everything and bad and everything. I don't want to come off as preaching sobriety."
In what is perhaps the most simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious revelation ever to be printed in a memoir, one story from the book has interviewers shaking their heads. Speaking to The Today Show, Frehley couldn't help being a little nostalgic:
"You gotta realize, Studio 54 and that whole scene in Manhattan in the '70s, a lot of people were doing cocaine." The band had a not-particularly-clever nickname for the party drug. "Well, we called it Betty White," he said, laughing.