Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ace Frehley playing one of my KISS guitars



For you KISS fans, here's a picture of Ace Frehley playing my lit guitar on the 1979 Dynasty tour.

This particular guitar started life as a Gibson Les Paul. My friend Jim Boughton cut the face off with a router, and we installed a circuit board and 700 halogen lamps.

The lamps were run by a circuit board embedded in the back, and powered by a Frezzolini battery pack under the tailpiece.

Read more about the KISS guitars and me starting on page 134 of Look Me in the Eye.

My time in the music business was the best.

11 comments:

Kim Stagliano said...

Did you rock n' roll all night and party every day? I read your book so I know that answer. But I'm not telling! Did you see my blog photo standing in front of a KISS poster at Madison Square Garden when I saw Bruce Springsteen last month? Couldn't resist. The other night I had my hair up in an ugly topknot thingy and my husband told me I looked like Gene Simmons. I was not amused! Cool guitar, John. Could you still make them for bands if you were asked?

momof3feistykids said...

Ah ... this takes me back to the 70s! :-)

John Elder Robison said...

Kim, the "hair in a pile" thing, does not turn you into a Gene Simmons look alike.

I could still make guitars.

Mom, did you ever come to our shows?

bonbon momma said...

When I was a kid, my sister and my cousins and I would play 'kiss'. We would each pick a person to be. Everyone always wanted to be gene simmons,and as I recall no one wanted to be paul stanely. My cousin nikki played the drums so she was always peter criss. Ahhh,the good old days.

Church Lady said...

I wished a picture like this was in your book! Although you describe it very well, there's nothing better than a photo sometimes. :-)
I'm almost finished reading your book, and truly learning a lot from it. I gave a copy to my sister, who has a son with Asperger's. You must hear this all the time, but I am so glad you wrote this book.

RJ said...

The book is wonderful - Hilarious & heartfelt, the genuine style of your voice throughout the book leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Thank you for sharing so much - beautifully written & absolutely thought provoking!
I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.
Smiles,
-RJ
If you would like to check out my review visit http://rjscafe.wordpress.com

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

Wicked cool guitar, dude.

One of my Chicago actor friends was recently hired to pretend to be Gene Simmons' divorced "nephew" on "Gene Simmons Family Jewels", the "reality" show Simmons does. The fact they hire actors to play Simmons' relatives calls the show's "reality" into question, certainly. But given KISS' performance-art rock concept, that's not surprising. I'm sure Simmons views it as just another act.

Polly Kahl said...

The Aspergian I gave the book to went right to the KISS guitars chapter first, and loved every page.

headless lucy said...

I did not quite understand how you could remove the rear pick-up from a Les Paul and still get a decent sound out of it.

Did I miss something?

John Elder Robison said...

Lucy, we did remove the fuller sounding pickup to accomodate the smaoek bombs. That would be more noticed when playing chords or low notes. Playing leads higher up the range it worked fine.

The TV version of the Les Paul actually had a single pickup about where ours was elft.

cdnitro.com said...

Great pic, story & comments. Kiss in the 70's was the greatest thing that ever happened to rock & roll!
Forget the rock & roll hall of fame - they should put a kiss hall of fame in detorit rock city - or cadillac, michigan.


Mark & Rod
http:///www.cdnitro.com