Gene Simmons On Making Ace Frehley Angry By Comparing Him To Eddie Van Halen

Gene Simmons recalled an incident where Ace Frehley’s frustration peaked after being compared to Eddie Van Halen during a new chat on Artists On Record Starring Adika Live!

The bassist talked about a time when he was working with the Van Halen brothers on some demos, which included the solo for KISS’s song ‘Christine Sixteen.’ Gene disclosed:

“I did demos with Alex and Eddie Van Halen, actually. You can Google and shmoogle it. And the guitar solo in ‘Christine Sixteen,’ note for the note, I had Ace [Frehley] learn that solo. And he was furious. ‘I want to write my own solo!’ ‘Yeah, but it’s not as good. Eddie’s got a better one.’ And to this day, those notes, that was Eddie’s note-for-note solo.”

In the later part of the interview, Simmons also shared an encounter with Eddie Van Halen from the early days of Van Halen’s career. Before a show, Simmons asked to play Eddie’s guitar, only to find it significantly out of tune. Eddie’s response showed his ability to literally bend the guitar neck into tune, a feat that left Simmons in awe.

The Making Of ‘Christine Sixteen’

Reflecting on the creation of ‘Christine Sixteen’ previously in a video, Simmons detailed an impromptu recording session with the Van Halen brothers that took place in the dead of night, saying:

“In the middle of the night, I wanted to go in and record the three songs that I’d written. I called up Edward – he likes to be called ‘Edward’ – ‘You guys want to help me put this demo together?’ ‘Sure!’ And literally in the middle of the night, the Van Halen brothers came down, and it was a trio, the Van Halen brothers and Simmons. I guess the only time that’s ever happened. We recorded those three songs in about two hours … and the solo Eddie played on ‘CS’ was so wonderful that I, unfortunately for Ace [Frehley], forced him to play note-for-note that solo.”

The KISS bassist played an important role in Van Halen’s early success. After discovering the band in a Los Angeles club in 1977, Simmons brought them to New York to produce their first demo. This support from Simmons came at a crucial time for Van Halen, helping to launch them toward their eventual status as rock legends following the release of their debut album a year later.

You can check out Gene’s entire conversation below.