The Gene Simmons Song Ace Frehley Described As His ‘Favorite’
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons met while they were playing as Rainbow members in the early ’70s, but they couldn’t continue to use the name because they learned another band was carrying it. They changed its name to Wicked Lester so as not to deal with any legal issues in the future. However, Simmons and Stanley didn’t want to make music with Wicked Lester when they realized they needed a new musical style.
Therefore, they founded KISS, which would be one of the most influential and legendary rock bands in the world with their iconic make-ups, stage shows, and songs, in 1973. Stanley and Simmons served as the band’s leaders and primary songwriters besides their vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and bassist duties. They recruited Peter Criss as their new drummer afterward, but they needed a lead guitarist to start recording their works.
The Song That KISS Members Wanted Ace Frehley To Play During The Audition
In the same year, Ace Frehley joined an audition to become KISS’ lead guitarist, and the other band members were so struck by his performance and talent that he was asked to come to the next one. Frehley was immediately hired and gained significant international fame and popularity as The Spaceman, who inspired countless next-generation instrumentalists with his one-of-a-kind guitar-playing technique.
During one of his previous interviews, Ace Frehley revealed that the band wanted him to perform a classic KISS song, ‘Deuce,’ after they showed him by playing it as a three-piece. Since it has easy riffs for a talented guitarist like Frehley, he was able to gain Stanley and Simmons’s appreciation with his performance at the audition. The song later gained great significance for the guitarist since it became his favorite KISS song.
In Frehley’s words, he said:
“It’s my favorite KISS song. When I auditioned for Kiss, they said, ‘We’re going to play you a song for you to listen to, and then try playing along — it’s in the key of A.’ They played ‘Deuce’ as a three-piece. I thought, ‘That’s easy enough,’ so I got up and wailed for four minutes playing lead work over.”
KISS released their self-titled debut studio album on February 18, 1974, and the album achieved critical acclaim and rock music lovers’ appreciation. ‘Deuce,’ which was written by Gene Simmons, was featured in the album along with other iconic songs, ‘Nothin’ to Lose,’ ‘Firehouse,’ ‘Cold Gin,’ and ‘Let Me Know.’ The bassist stated that he composed the song while playing it on the bass after being inspired by The Rolling Stones’ ‘Bitch.’
“Deuce’ was written in my head on a bus. I heard the lick, the riff, the melody, the whole thing. ‘Deuce’ was written on bass. It was a very linear song. As soon as the riff came, the first verse came, then I wrote the bridge, and then I wrote the chorus. We arranged it right on the spot and knew that it would be a staple for years.
In fact, when we first went on tour with our first record, it was the opening song of the show, and we would come back for encores and not have any songs left and do ‘Deuce’ again. Then if we got a second encore, we would do ‘Deuce’ again. Lyrically, I had no idea what I was talking about. Sometimes stuff means a lot; sometimes it means nothing.”
The song became KISS’ traditional concert opener and one of the songs that band members enjoyed playing over and over in their live performances. In addition, it has a special place in Frehley’s heart as it was the first KISS song that he was asked to perform and became his favorite song of the band. However, Ace Frehley couldn’t play it with his bandmates for a long time as he had left the band for various reasons in 1982.
You can listen to the song below.