Ace Frehley Shares The Ultimatum That Saved KISS’ Career

In a recent interview with 94.3 The Shark, the former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley recounted a moment when Neil Bogart, the owner of Kiss’ label Casablanca Records in the ’70s, had doubts right before a crucial phase in the band’s career while sharing the ultimatum that saved the whole band’s career. He explained:

“I’ll never forget the day we were in a photo session shooting the album cover. I got a phone call from Neil Bogart. I mean, this is the day we’re shooting the album cover. He goes, ‘You sure you want to wear the make-up?’ He wasn’t sure the make-up was going to be a hit. And we stuck to our guns and just said, ‘Take it or leave it. This is us.’ And he took it. And the rest is ‘Kisstory,’ what can I tell ya?”

The First Contract Deal

The band signed their first recording contract on November 1, 1973. The band was the inaugural signing to Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records. Joyce Bogart-Trabulus, Bogart’s future wife and co-manager of Kiss at the time, recalls the band being genuinely surprised, to the point of being physically stunned, when he presented his proposal. Bogart-Trabulus explained:

“When he finished his speech outlining their future and telling them how excited he was, that he thought they were stars, [drummer] Peter Criss fell down. He just fell off his high heels and landed with great force on his rear. We all roared, including Peter. You might say it sealed the deal. And then the hard work began.”

Kiss rushed to the studio to record their self-titled debut album, which hit stores in February 1974. They released two more LPs – ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and ‘Dressed to Kill’ – within the first two years after being signed, later touring across the country.

You can watch the interview below.