My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had heard many, many good things about Ace’s book prior to actually getting around to it myself. My other half, a *massive* KISS fan, devoured it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep. His nonchalant “excellent book” was kind of neither here nor there.
What you discover, with No Regrets, is that Ace Frehley is an honest, forthright, downright funny dude. The book traces Frehley’s journey into rock’n’roll, his foray into what became KISS, what it turned into, and the hows and whys and wherefores of his multiple departures from that band.
Given all of the bad press that Gene Simmons in particular has given Ace, the lack of malevolence in this book is striking. Frehley lives out a ‘no regrets’ perspective; he lives and lets live; so if you expect any bombastic argument against KISS from him, you will be disappointed.
Instead, what you find is a simple, yet brutally honest point of view about his life: from his addiction, to his dealings with the band and other people. It’s completely refreshing.
My only misgivings are that some of the more personal stories are missing from this text. Ace’s first wife, Jeanette “decided to move on”; we can infer the reasons why, and we have to, because none are proferred. After such detail about his family in the early chapters, they drop out of all existence until deaths occur. And Ace never dwells on his daughter’s wellbeing; she herself was an addict, and this we only hear about in passing.
The inclusion of such stories would have taken away from the book’s focus on the Rock, but it would have given it slightly more depth. For while No Regrets is an intriguing, beautifully written work, in the reading one feels like the story ‘skims’, without going into the deeper waters.
Nevertheless, outstanding book. I highly recommend it to everyone; even those who have no idea of who the hell Ace Frehley even is.