Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley joined his former band mates for the first time in over 17 years, during the annual KISS Kruise that departed from Miami, Florida on Halloween night. In addition to his performance with the classic rock band, Frehley also performed a solo set as part of his billing for the performance.
Another former KISS guitarist, Bruce Kulick joined Frehley and the rest of the band for an acoustic performance for the night. Unlike most KISS shows, which have all of the band members dressed in excessive make-up, eccentric costumes and wild hair, this event was a more tame affair, consisting of the band dressed in casual attire.
KISS performed their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “2000 Man”, that featured Frehley on lead vocals off the 1979 album Dynasty, and Frehley’s version of Hello’s “New York Groove” from his 1978 debut solo album. They also played “Nothin’ to Lose” and the classic “Rock and Roll All Nite,” during their set-list.
“This is great… this is so great,” Frehley said before “Nothin’ to Lose,” according to Consequence of Sound. “Thank you guys for inviting me up.”
“All this couldn’t have happened if we hadn’t happened,” added the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley. “We started this. So thank you for being here.”
Frehley originally left KISS back in 1982, before a brief reunion with the band in 1996, that ended in 2002. Despite his exit, Frehley joined Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Peter Criss on-stage during the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Despite his appearance, the group did not perform together, due to dispute regarding which KISS line-up should be granted the right to perform.
This year’s KISS Kruise is the eighth of its kind, featuring performers such as Vintage Trouble, The Dead Daisies and The New Roses on its deck alongside Frehley, Kulick and the headliners KISS. In addition to these groups, the bands Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters, Thundermother and Wayland won a competition to perform at the festival.
A reunion with Frehley was hinted at for a while, back in June the guitarist spoke about reconnecting with Simmons and the possibility for a reunion with Metal Wani. Frehley states that his personal drug and alcohol addictions caused him to take a pause from band temporarily.
“It was a slow process of reconnecting, this year I’m celebrating twelve years sober, you know when I parted company with Paul and Gene the last time and decided to leave the band again I was using drugs and alcohol and it took a long time for me to get back on track and in 2006 I got sober and it took them probably a long time to realise because they’ve known me since my twenties and I’ve been drinking since my twenties,” Frehley told the website.” So it took them a long time to realise that I was serious about sobriety and I was someone who could be dependable.”
KISS Kruise will also mark the beginning of the end for the band, which has been performing since the 1970’s . They are holding their “End of The Road Tour,” some time next year, and may see Frehley rejoin the line-up.
“This will be a celebration of KISS and not any individual lineup or any individual members. I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Stanley concluded.
Photo credit: Gary Moratz