Book Review: 33 Revolutions Per Page

Tall tales of Texas and beyond

33 Revolutions Per Page

No Regrets

by Ace Frehley with Joe Layden and John Ostrosky
VH1 Books, 305 pp., $26

April 10, 1970: the Beatles dissolve. January 30, 1973: Kiss suits up for the first time in Queens, New York. Adopting glam and platform heels from the New York Dolls, and horror movie makeup from the Alice Cooper band, four big city kids – Stanley Eisen, Peter Criscuola, Paul Frehley, and bass-playing Israeli Chaim Weitz – became the most recognizable brand in pop music after the four Liverpudlians. In order, that's Paul "Starchild" Stanley, Peter "the Cat" Criss, "Spaceman" Ace Frehley, and Gene Simmons "Megalomaniac." Bruce Springsteen maintains that U2's the last band he can name all four members of, but for a decade starting in the mid-Seventies the Kiss Army ruled. Frehley's memoir reads like his writing credits in the band ("Cold Gin," "Parasite," "Shock Me"): pure, loose, no-brainers. His axe to grind, besides his own alcoholism, is Simmons (friendless sex addict and slob), but most revealing is the near total absence of Stanley, particularly on the individual vices list. Too soon, it's the nondrinking/drugging frontmen against street-smart ex-gangbangers Frehley and Criss. The outcome still best represents itself in the four solo Kiss LPs from the height of the band's popularity in the late Seventies. Unlistenable: Stanley and Simmons. Criss: 1950s NYC. Frehley: Top 40 hit "New York Groove."

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Ace Frehley, Kiss

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