Gordon G.G. Gerbert spent a great chunk of time as Ace Frehley’s friend before a well publicized falling out. His history with Ace as well as his stories about music as both an insider and fellow musician are told in books like “KISS and TELL” and “Rock and Roll War Stories”. While others like girlfriend Wendy Moore have taken stabs at writing tell all ACE books it must be noted that Gordon spent a great deal more time actually dealing with Ace over the years as did his co-author Bob McAdams. Ace’s own book, “No Regrets” is due out in a week so you can maybe pick up both and do a little reading about our favorite ROCK SOLDIER. We talked to Gordon about KISS including Ace, his controversies and even his time in the reformed version of ANGEL. Read on….
Q. I am a huge Kiss fan and Angel fan so I know who you are…..can you start by briefly defining who you are to the uninitiated?
A: The definition of me is different to so many people – (laughs). For those who don’t know anything about me, I’m mainly a professional musician (keyboardist who plays with many professional artists), entrepreneur, author of several books (KISS & Tell, KISS & Tell MORE, Rock & Roll War Stories, along with two new titles coming out), producer of bands, solo artists and also produce videos.
Q. This version of your book says it is an expanded version…..what has changed this time out?
A: You’re talking about the new special edition of KISS & Tell, the first book I wrote with Bobby McAdams. The new edition is 266 pages long – 42 pages more than the original book. The stories are expanded and new stories and photos were added. I was able to finally write the untold final chapters about my court appearances at Ace Frehley’s bankruptcy hearings and the startling truth of what went down. Bob McAdams and I both agree the book is finally in a version we are both happy with. More unreleased photos are in the new version too. Definitely worth reading even if you already have the original book.
Q. I think one of the most interesting photos on your personal fb page is the one of someone who had a copy of the book signed by Ace!…..Are some of the people who were put off or pissed about the book finally getting worn down being angry about it?
A: No, I still have wacky stalkers that still don’t have a clue what went down with Ace and I nor know who the REAL Ace Frehley is all about. The KISS fans that have their own house in order and put life in the right perspective are usually very cool with me. It’s the fringe, wacky ones that have their own personal issues that lash out at me for whatever reason, I don’t know. To get personally offended by my book about a Rock Star they do not personally know is a little dumb on their part. I love KISS fans that truly “get it”.
J.C. Richards is the guy who got Ace to sign his copy of KISS & Tell. Brave guy and a BIG SCORE!
Q. For as much flack you took for your book from people who didn’t want to admit their hero’s flaws you did manage to get some kudos….Gene said he found it truthful and the Donnas namechecked it on TV….Did that help soften the blows from the Rock Soldiers a little?
A: You know what made some KISS fans, that were hard on me when the book first came out, realize the KISS & Tell book was chock full of truth? …..TIME! As the years went by, Ace promised a new album out for years and years and years. Ace would say, “My new album is coming out in the Spring.” And the joke was Spring of WHAT YEAR? Ace promised in 1990 and the CD, Anomaly, was finally finished in 2009. That’s 19 (NINETEEN!) years of NOTHING new from Ace! That is crazy and if I was a fan I’d be writing the guy off. That is one lazy guy and I called it in my book. And the other question I ask is, Was Anomaly worth the 19 year wait?
Gene knows Ace. Gene knows KISS & Tell is all truth! The Donnas “get it”. They are living the rock and roll dream and they could appreciate the truth and insanity. The Donnas stated on MTV News that KISS & Tell was a “very cool book” and made them like Ace Frehley even more. Thank you girls for the plug! 😉
Q. It didn’t really surprise me that Gene at least found some value in it since he has related many of the same stories of crazy drunken, Nazi tirades from Ace…..I’m kind of surprised Paul has distanced himself…..I have done interviews with him where he outright SLAMMED Ace….Is he just playing neutral these days?
A: Paul Stanley has his own personal life issues to deal with and a career to worry about. He’s concerned about the world that revolves around Paul Stanley. He’s a pretty serious guy, more so than Gene. Gene actually has more of a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously all the time.
Q. Your book is either loved or hated or people won’t admit an opinion…There’s no in-between. What do you think of some of the better Kiss books written aside from yours and what do you think we can expect when Peter and Ace come out with their books?
A: (laughs) – The book was/is hated by Ace fans who are in denial. I always said don’t take the book personal. On the rare occasion of a fan freaking out on me I would ask them a simple question to put things in perspective, “Does Ace Frehley personally care about you?”
There were some good books and then there were some real snoozers. The biggest snoozer was the book that came out exactly the same time ours did and had almost the same title except for one letter! That book was like a friggin’ College Thesis on KISS. Every time I tried reading it I was literally tired after a few pages and HAD to put it DOWN! Sorry, I’m being honest. The biggest compliment that I love is when fans tell me they couldn’t put KISS & Tell down. It’s a true page turner. I appreciate that.
One of the latest books that came out that is really good for KISS fans is Lydia Criss’ book “Sealed With A KISS”. I definitely recommend it.
I didn’t know Peter is thinking of coming out with a book. Should be interesting.
Ace’s book I’m waiting to read. I heard it’s coming out finally. The only reservations I have about Ace’s book is, I know for a fact, Ace tried to contact all his old buddies to try and get stories from them as Ace can’t remember ANYTHING! I recommend to Ace to read the KISS & Tell book. (laughs)…….. Actually Bobby McAdams became friends again with Ace a few years ago but it went sour again. Otherwise Ace would’ve had Bobby help him write the book. Bobby was with Ace during the glory days and most likely remembers more than Ace what went down.
Ace’s book is being ghost written so it’s not in his actual words. It’s going to be glamorized, exaggerated and it might contain a Hollywood BS factor. Other than that, I’m still looking forward to reading it – (laughs).
Q. What is the biggest misconception about you that has arisen about your financial falling out and the end of your friendship with Ace?….What do people have ALL wrong about you?
A: The absolute biggest misconception, which prompted me to WRITE KISS & TELL, is that die-hard KISS fans take Ace Frehley’s word that I supposedly embezzled money from Ace and fans (when in actuality Ace owed me a lot of money). ABSOLUTELY 100% FALSE INFORMATION that ACE, himself, started and continues to perpetuate. And the funny thing is the FACTS in the book KISS & Tell show what a fool Ace is for trying to make a scape goat out of me. Ace accused me of embezzling (an extremely serious charge) yet NEVER attempted any lawsuit or charges against me. Yet, when he filed bankruptcy, he officially listed me as a CREDITOR – SOMEONE he OWES money TO! So, according to Ace to his fans, I’m a thief – but to the government I’m a business partner he screwed money out of. The official documents are in the book.
Another misconception, that I betrayed Ace by writing KISS & Tell when the REAL REASON I wrote the book is because Ace PUBLICLYBETRAYED me. If he didn’t publicly accuse me of embezzlement, no book would’ve been written. I have no respect for authors that write tell-all books to make money and I understand some people’s misconstrued anger but fans have to understand that KISS & Tell was written in self-defense.
Q. There are pages upon pages in the book about Ace’s struggles with substances…..What do you think of his latest “F you” directed at Gene on a recent That Metal Show when he was asked about Gene not believing his sobriety?
A: LOL – If you are truly sober, you would be at peace with yourself. The only truth that matters is to Ace himself.
Ace never got to Step 9 (AA Step 9 – I make amends to those that I have harmed. I pay back debts I owe. I apologize. I write letters. I find time to do and say things that would help heal the damage that I have done. I try to bring goodness where previously I had brought discord and destruction. It takes insight, courage and dedication to make such amends)
I never got my apology. (laughs). I actually DO NOT want one! Ace has to come to terms with himself, not worry about what Gene or anyone else thinks if he wants to be truly better. Maybe they’ll be a whole chapter in Ace’s new book on Step 9. But don’t hold your breathe, the tentative title is NO REGRETS – if Ace was actually sober/better he would’ve called the book “Step 9” or “I’m Sorry” (laughs)
Q. Do you think Peter has managed to get off pretty easy over the years in some respects while guys like Ace and Vinnie get crucified by Gene and Paul and some of the various book authors? Peter had had his fair share if craziness but seems to remain unscathed.
A: Peter pretty much cruised under the radar but you have to realize he left KISS a long, long time ago and he was in the band for a short period. Granted, he was an original member. Peter was involved with hard core drugs and was completely irresponsible in the band. Gene and Paul brought in ghost drummers for Peter and did not think Peter was that important in the KISS chemistry. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending what side of the fence you are on, Peter had the BIGGEST HIT in KISS with BETH! Also, you have to realize Eric Carr did a fantastic job replacing Peter.
Ace had the BIGGEST HIT with New York Groove when the solo albums came out. I go in depth in the KISS & Tell book how this affected the relations between the four original members of KISS.
Q. You were friends with Ace during his solo years….post Kiss….what did you make of his opinion of being part of Kiss or his relationships with guys like Carr, Criss, St.John, Vinnie or Bruce?
A: I was best friends with Ace for almost ten years. At first he worked on his solo career and when that didn’t take off (with no help from Ace himself) he always counted on getting back with the band and cash in on a big payday. The details are in the book.
Ace had a VERY good relationship with Eric Carr. Eric Carr was THE NICEST guy out of the WHOLE KISS FAMILY! It was a huge loss when Eric died.
Ace’s best friend, while in KISS, was Peter. They were the TOXIC TWINS. I don’t believe Ace had any interaction with Mark St. John or Vinnie Vincent. Ace did occasionally run into Bruce Kulick. They’ve also performed together.
Q. People that have read your stuff know that you are also a well-known session/live Keyboard player…Good enough to fill in for Giuffria on the Angel reunion tours a few years back….What was that like?? Were you a fan of the band previous to that and how did you get the gig?
A: I LOVED performing with ANGEL, a keyboard orientated band that I was a HUGE FAN of when I was a kid. We did some great shows, SwedenRock, St. Louis several times, a small U.S. tour. Frank DiMino is a GREAT SINGER/Musician and Barry Brandt a fun drummer to work with. Barry was like playing with Keith Moon and John Bonham combined. Very challenging.
My new book, “On a Wing and a Prayer with ANGEL” documents the time I had with ANGEL. An extremely fun book for ANY music fan or upcoming musician.
Q. Did you get a firsthand empathy for guys who have filled in for legends when you played in Gregg’s place…..did you try and make them your own or just play them the way Gregg did?
Oh yes. It’s tough for any musician to take the place of an original, integral member of a popular band. My approach with ANGEL was to stay true to Gregg’s performance and sound when it came to backing up the songs. The keyboard solos were a chance to branch out a little bit and express myself.
Q. We know Tod played keys for Comet so what exactly was your working relationship with Ace musically at that point?
A: Ace’s first album, Frehley’s Comet, I worked on a couple of songs – the introduction to Breakout, Something Moved, Dolls etc… The second album I worked on the sequence on Dancing With Danger and I programmed the keyboard sounds. Tod used my keyboard equipment to record with. After that, I was making the samples for Ace to work with live. A lot of the live heavy background vocals were sampled.
Q. Thanks for doing this sir…hope we gave you a chance to tell your side of things….any websites or media you wanna plug in addition to the book?
A: Anyone can friend me on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter:
All the books are available on Amazon.com
If you have any follow-up questions feel free to ask – thanks very much,
Gordon G.G. Gebert
From the desk of Gordon G.G. Gebert
Official Web Site: GordonGebert.com
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