Ace Frehley

Along with Eddie Van Halen, Kiss' Ace Frehley inspired numerous up-and-coming rockers to pick up the guitar in the 1970s -- and come the '90s, was listed by just about every contemporary rock guitarist (Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, etc.) as an important influence. Born Paul Frehley on April 27, 1951, in the Bronx, NY, Frehley began playing guitar when he received an electric six-string for his 14th birthday in 1965. Already a big fan of the Rolling Stones, Frehley was blown away when he caught a multi-band live show in N.Y.C. in early 1967, featuring both the Who and Cream among others, which solidified his desire to pursue rock guitar more seriously (and put a promising art career on the back burner). Frehley began playing in local bands soon after, adding both Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to his influences -- and around this time, adopted the nickname "Ace." Although none of the bands he played with had taken off, he answered an ad in a local paper for a new hard rock, theatrically based group in early 1973.

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