Review: No Regrets: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir by Ace Frehley

“Regrets are a son of a bitch. Thank God I’ve learned to live my life without them.”

Paul “Ace” Frehley is alive and with no regrets.

cover of ace frehely's memoir in makeup giving thumbs up in car

No Regrets, A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir by Ace Frehley (with Joe Layden and John Ortrosky) - VH1 Books (2011)

His rock and roll story is one of interest for musicians, aspiring guitarists and the KISS army— the multitude of fans. Frehley’s memoir is honest and raw. In  No Regrets, A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir  he divulges everything from his drastic self-destruction—desecrating his Delorian— to passing crotch crabs between band members via the costume suitcases. This book would fare well as an audio book with Ace reading to fans. The tone is conversational; the writing style makes you feel like he’s talking right to you. Granted, Frehley tells his side of the story when describing conflicts and his departure from KISS. Some fans might not appreciate his insights on the way he felt Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley treated him after he left the band. It was not, at times, an easy read, nor a spectacularly written account, but it did have the gumption to interest me in KISSTORY.

One weakness of this piece is that Frehley doesn’t let the reader formulate or visualize his scenarios. The explication of his childhood and familial relationships near the beginning is solid. As the story of his life progresses, the reader gets less and less detail. For example, when he loses his parents, he simply states that they died. Offering readers more of the effect that loss had on him may have explained his self-destructive behaviors.

Frehley does describe his falling out with the band as objectively as possible at first. Later in the story, he lashes out at the wrongdoings and their exclusion of him. Overall, it is a story of big dreams coming true, lucky breaks and earned successes. Ace Frehley’s No Regrets is a recommended read for Ace fans, and KISS fans with an open mind. Readers might also be interested in Gene Simmons’ Kiss and Makeup and the follow up Sex, Money, KISS. Peter Criss fans should keep their eyes peeled for Make-up to Break-up: My Life In and Out of Kiss, scheduled for release October 23, 2012. Frehley’s memoir is worth the read and you won’t regret giving it a chance.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rachael GoetzkeRachael Goetzke was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She lives in Sugar Notch, Pa. with her cats, Cinnamon and Sugar, and works as an Early Literacy Specialist at the Osterhout Free Library. She also founded and is the Managing Editor of Word Fountain, a literary magazine housed at the library. Rachael received her B.A. in English from Radford University and her MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University. She enjoys discussing creative projects, especially music-related ones, over fair-trade coffee beans.
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