Ace Frehley Discusses His Obsession With British Bands
Ace Frehley name-checked a series of British musicians as he discussed the influences that made him want to become a guitarist.
“There was Elvis [Presley] and Chuck Berry on the radio when I was in junior school, but it was when I started playing guitar, at age 13, that I got really crazy about music,” Frehley said. “The Beatles and the Stones and the whole British Invasion played a big role in nurturing me.”
He noted, “I copied guys like [Eric] Clapton, [Jimi]] Hendrix and Jeff Beck. I used to slow down the records so I could figure out the solos. But the biggest influence on me was Jimmy Page. The way Jimmy played was unorthodox. And my style is unorthodox because I never took guitar lessons; I play differently to how a schooled musician would. If it sounds good, do it. That’s always been my motto. That’s rock ‘n' roll.”
He listed Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant and Mick Jagger as his favorite singers, and named Paul McCartney as his songwriter of choice: “Look at what he’s done since he left the Beatles!” He also called Queen’s “We Will Rock You” his top anthem song.
“I always thought that the Kinks should have been bigger,” he added. “Some of their songs are genius. Ray Davies knew how to mix simple chord work with great vocal melody, and the lyrics were always cool. ... In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, I’d get together with my friends and we would blast some Slade. Noddy Holder was just such a maniac. ‘Cum on Feel The Noize’ is a great drinking song. I guess all of Slade’s songs are great drinking songs.”