The men of KISS are still fighting. After founding guitarist Ace Frehley issued a public ultimatum to Paul Stanley, the KISS frontman called Frehley up and (allegedly) said: “Fuck you, Ace.”
Let’s first get up to speed on what went down: In March, around the time that the band announced their “final shows ever,” Paul went on The Howard Stern Show and talked about why he and Gene Simmons didn’t perform when KISS was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014. (The Rock Hall can specify the lineup invited to perform at ceremonies, which would have included Frehley and Peter Criss, who last played with KISS in 2004.)
“And at this point, that would be demeaning to the band and would also give some people confusion,” Stanley said. “‘Cause if you saw people on stage who looked like KISS but sounded like that, maybe we should be called PISS.”
From there, Frehley went on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk and told Stanley to apologize in seven days or he’ll spill some secret KISS dirt. Well, Stanley apparently did call Frehley, but only to say: “Fuck you, Ace. I’m not gonna apologize.”
As Blabbermouth lays out, the original KISS guitarist returned to Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk today (Wednesday) and talked about how Stanley called him “not long after the show was over.” He continued:
And I was blindsided by the phone call because I saw his name come up on my cell phone. And I spoke to him a hundred different times on that number, and that can be verified by Verizon, who is my cell phone carrier. I figured he was calling me maybe to apologize or at least explain why he said that. Maybe he meant it really more towards Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] than me, and whatever the case may be. But instead of an apology, I got a five-second phone call which said, ‘Fuck you, Ace. I’m not gonna apologize,’ and hung up. He wasn’t even man enough to let me give a rebuttal and explain why I’m so upset or anything like that… It wasn’t a text. It was a phone call. And the only reason I picked up it is because it said ‘Paul S’. When it comes to the guys, I never write their full name [into my phone]. God forbid somebody finds my phone. They may not figure out that it’s Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and I would never give out their phone numbers.
Then, Trunk asked Frehley if he was sure the call came from Stanley, to which the guitarist replied:
Absolutely. And I did screengrabs from Verizon on… It’s the same day as our [previous] interview, and it says [the call lasted] five seconds… Some idiot out there might say, ‘Oh, well. Ace is a graphic artist. He’s really good at Photoshop. He could have probably Photoshopped it.’ Well, guess what. It’s still on the servers, and I’m still gonna get a bill from Verizon that’s gonna say a five-second phone call from ‘P.S.’, Paul Stanley. And God forbid I sue them for defamation of character, a judge can order them to pull it off the servers, because it’s still there.
Apparently Frehley has also been in touch with the band’s longtime manager Doc McGhee, who denied Stanley had called. “I told Doc McGhee this whole story, and you know what he came back with? He said, ‘Paul said he never called you,’ number one. Number two, Doc said to me [Paul] uses AT&T — not realizing that it really doesn’t matter if he calls me from Tokyo from [some foreign] cell phone company,” Frehley said. “My carrier documents every phone call I get. I can’t believe Doc said that to me. I thought he was a little smarter than that when it came to cell phones.”
Frehley added that he “would have been happy if Paul had just called me one on one like a man and apologized. That would have sufficed. But after cursing me out on the phone, the gloves are off… And I’ve known Paul for almost 50 years, and we’ve always had a really good rapport on the cell phone. But I recognized his voice. If you know somebody 50 years, you know their voice. I would never lie about something like that, and I can prove it. We’re living in a world with technology that has footprints.”
As for his threat to release a “120-page manuscript” that would “ruin” Stanley and Simmons’ careers, Frehley has decided not to go that route after all.
“I spoke to several good friends of mine who are God-fearing people and I go to AA [alcoholics anonymous] meetings with, and they said, ‘Don’t ever sink to their level. That’s what they do. That’s what they’ve been doing for years. Why are you goonna sink to their level?’” he said. “So, then I came to the realization that I don’t even have to bring up anything that I have hidden away in my attorney’s safe deposit box. I can just talk about things that they’ve said about me in black and white. They can’t come after me after that because they said it — it’s in black and white.
Still, Frehley, who has reunited with KISS in the past, most recently on the 2018 KISS KRUISE, admitted that he would perform with KISS at the band’s final shows in December if asked. “Money motivates me, just like it motivates them,” he said. “But I don’t put money before God. If I got a quarter of a million dollars a night, and I can make half a million dollars for playing three or four songs, five songs, I’d take the money. [I’d] buy a Ferrari… buy a Maserati. [Laughs] I don’t really wanna play with those guys ever again after what they’ve done, but money can change my mind.”