No Regrets

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THE MUSIC, THE MAKEUP, THE MADNESS, AND MORE. . . . In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice: “GUITARIST WANTED WITH FLASH AND ABILITY.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ’n’ roll history.

He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted stars on his face, Ace Frehley transformed into “The Spaceman”—and helped turn KISS into one of the top-selling bands in the world. Now, for the first time, the beloved rock icon reveals his side of the story with no-holds-barred honesty . . . and no regrets.

For KISS fans, Ace offers a rare behind-the-makeup look at the band’s legendary origins, including the lightning-bolt logo he designed and the outfits his mother sewed. He talks about the unspoken division within the band—he and Peter Criss versus Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—because the other two didn’t “party every day.” Ace also reveals the inside story behind his turbulent breakup with KISS, their triumphant reunion a decade later, and his smash solo career. Along the way, he shares wild stories about dancing at Studio 54 with “The Bionic Woman,” working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and bar-flying all night with John Belushi. In the end, he comes to terms with his highly publicized descent into alcohol, drugs, and self-destruction—ultimately managing to conquer his demons and come out on top.

This is Ace Frehley.

No makeup.

No apologies.

No regrets.
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About the author

Ace Frehley is a founding member and former lead guitarist for the legendary rock band KISS, which has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and is ranked among the top-selling rock bands of all time.

Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Joe Layden has written more than thirty books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed title, The Last Great Fight and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Rock Says. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife, Susan, and their two children.

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Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 1, 2011
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Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / General
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LEGENDARY founding KISS drummer Peter “Catman” Criss has lived an incredible life in music, from the streets of Brooklyn to the social clubs of New York City to the ultimate heights of rock ’n’ roll success and excess.

KISS formed in 1973 and broke new ground with their elaborate makeup, live theatrics, and powerful sound. The band emerged as one of the most iconic hard rock acts in music history. Peter Criss, the Catman, was the heartbeat of the group. From an elevated perch on his pyrotechnic drum riser, he had a unique vantage point on the greatest rock show of all time, with the KISS Army looking back at him night after night.

Peter Criscuola had come a long way from the homemade drum set he pounded on nonstop as a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the fifties. He endured lean years, street violence, and the rollercoaster music scene of the sixties, but he always knew he’d make it. Makeup to Breakup is Peter Criss’s eye-opening journey from the pledge to his ma that he’d one day play Madison Square Garden to doing just that. He conquered the rock world—composing and singing his band’s all-time biggest hit, “Beth” (1976)—but he also faced the perils of stardom and his own mortality, including drug abuse, treatment in 1982, near-suicides, two broken marriages, and a hard-won battle with breast cancer.

Criss opens up with a level of honesty and emotion previously unseen in any musician’s memoir. Makeup to Breakup is the definitive and heartfelt account of one of rock’s most iconic figures, and the importance of faith and family. Rock ’n’ roll has been chronicled many times, but never quite like this.

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Steve Parish was never one to walk the straight-and-narrow, even during his childhood growing up in Flushing Meadow, Queens. Busted as a teenager for selling acid in the summer of 1968, Parish landed in Riker's Island. The experience changed him and after getting out he did his best to stay out of trouble, securing a job moving music equipment at the New York State Pavilion. The first show he worked was a Grateful Dead concert in July of 1969 and Parish was captivated by the music. A life seemingly headed nowhere had suddenly found its calling as he fell in quickly with a band of likeminded misfits who formed the nucleus of what would be the greatest road crew in rock 'n' roll history.

Parish traveled to California where his apprenticeship began. Working for the band for free and learning his craft, Parish got to know Jerry, Bobby, Phil, Billy and Mickey and through the years their relationships forged an unbreakable bond. He became very close with Garcia in particular, acting as his personal roadie and later manager for his solo performances and Garcia Band shows. He was there during times of trouble (like when a pimp held Garcia hostage at gunpoint in a New York hotel room), spending hours by his bedside when Garcia was in a coma in 1986, and performing the duties of best man at his wedding. He was also the last friend to see Garcia alive.

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Van Halen’s rise in the 1980s was one of the most thrilling the music world had ever seen—their mythos an epic party, a sweaty, sexy, never-ending rock extravaganza. During this unparalleled run of success, debauchery, and drama, no one was closer to the band than Noel Monk. A man who’d worked with some of rock’s biggest and most notorious names, Monk spent seven years with Van Halen, serving first as their tour manger then as their personal manager until 1985, when both he and David Lee Roth exited as controversy, backstabbing, and disappointment consumed the band.

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The startling and controversial memoir of combat and betrayal, written by one of the most prominent members of the U.S. fighting forces in Iraq

A West Point graduate, a former star quarterback who carried Army to its first bowl victory, and a courageous warrior who had proven himself on the battlefield time and again, Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman was one of the most celebrated officers in the United States military. He commanded more than eight hundred soldiers in the heart of the insurgency-ravaged Sunni Triangle in Iraq, and his unit's job was to seek out and eliminate terrorists and loyalists to Saddam Hussein, while simultaneously rebuilding the region's infrastructure and introducing democratic processes to a broken people. Sassaman's tactics were highly aggressive, his methods innovative, and his success in Iraq nearly unparalleled.

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This controversial decision goes to the heart of the complex fight in Iraq, where key army leaders betray one another, politics in the war room leads to lost lives on the battlefield, and enemy factions routinely sabotage U.S. efforts, making success difficult for American commanders on the battlefield.

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