Watch a drunk Ace Frehley disrupt a Kiss interview like a bull in a china shop

It all started with a fish. When Tomorrow Show host Tom Snyder presented his guests Kiss on Halloween night, 1979, he called Gene Simmons the “bass player,” pronouncing the very first word like the freshwater fish, not the stringed instrument.

As he brought the band out, apologizing to an unamused Simmons for the mispronunciation, guitar player Ace Frehley jumped in and said, “I’m not the guitar player, I’m the trout player.”

A harmless joke, other than it’s immediately apparent from Frehley’s slurry delivery and much-too-loud laughter that he is drunk.

It’s certainly not the first time a rock star appeared under the influence on live television, however, due to the fact that the band sat with Snyder for a half-hour interview without playing any songs, Frehley’s intoxicated behavior got a full airing.

” It may have been the very first time a single look so clearly defined the varied personalities of Kiss,” Ace stated. “I enjoyed myself on the show and I wasn’t trying to anger anybody.”

But as he constantly interrupts his bandmates and chuckles over their responses, it’s clear that he’s not succeeding. Gene Simmons glowers and throws a dagger takes a look at Frehley, while Paul Stanley has the air of exasperated moms and dads trying to control an unruly child. Just Peter Criss appears to be enjoying Frehley’s antics, even egging him on in places.

When Frehley and Criss are laughing about the periodic misfirings of the chain-driven mechanism that raised Criss’s drum riser up, Simmons looks especially pissed, as if they’re revealing trade secrets and undermining the band’s superhero mystique.

Of Frehley’s drunkenness, Paul Stanley later said: “It might seem funny that someone’s drunk, but the reality is, the root of it was, I think a contempt and lack of respect for the audience and the fans. So, sure you can look at it and chuckle. Yeah, I can too, however, what a pity to take this lofty position that someone offered us and spit in it by showing up inebriated. It might be funny on the surface, however, what’s listed below the surface is an absence of appreciation for a gift that you’ve been given.”

1979 discovered Kiss at a divisive minute. On one hand, they were riding high with I Was Produced Caring You, a hit from their seventh album Dynasty. However, the disco flavor of the song pushed away a lot of their early fans. Meanwhile, all 4 members had actually launched their first solo albums as a way to blow off some bottled-up innovative steam (Criss and Frehley had both threatened to quit the group prior to they did theirs).

But tensions stayed. Frehley and Criss were handling substance abuse issues at the time, which made them increasingly undependable on phase and the studio (Criss, who was recovering from an automobile accident, just used one track on Dynasty). And as would come out later on, they both bristled at being dealt with like staff members by the managing Simmons and Stanley. After intentionally sabotaging some on-stage paces at a concert, Criss was sacked in 1980. Frehley left 2 years later on.

However, the seeds of the separation appear in The Tomorrow Show look.

Frehley stated, “It’s true that we often played two on 2– me and Peter against Paul and Gene– however when tempers flared, I typically attempted to be the peacemaker … If you see the interview, you can in fact see me turning to Gene and putting my hands up at one point. It’s silently stating, ‘What?’ Like a child who’s misbehaving at a family function and wants his daddy to loosen up a bit and take part in the fun.

” How seriously can you take yourself when you’re sitting there in a superhero outfit and a complete face of makeup? I enjoy the person but he never clearly got it.”