In 1964, Ace Frehley received a guitar as a Christmas gift and he immersed himself in learning the instrument. Frehley came from a musical family, as his father was a church organist and his brother Charles was a classical guitar player. He cites Buddy Guy, Albert Lee, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones as some of his main influences. As a youth, Frehley also formed a street gang called The Duckies with future W.A.S.P. lead singer Blackie Lawless.
Ace Frehley's real name is Paul, but he earned his nickname in high school due to his inability to impress girls or get dates. His friends would often tease him, saying things like "You're a real ace" when it came to dating. Frehley's family didn't have a lot of money, so he showed up to his KISS audition in the early '70s wearing two different colored sneakers. The band was so impressed by Frehley's guitar playing that he was hired three weeks later.
In the early '70s, KISS wasn't making any money earning a name for themselves and playing in empty clubs, so guitarist Ace Frehley was forced to take a job as a part-time cab driver to pay the bills. When the band scored a management deal in 1973, Frehley was paid $75 per week to be in the band, allowing him to quit the job.
In 2007, Ace Frehley appeared in a commercial for Dunkin' Donuts. The ad was directed by Scrubs actor/director Zach Braff and featured Frehley playing guitar in his full KISS makeup and costume.
On Friday, February 23rd, 2007, Ace Frehley was the victim of internet death hoax rumors. The rumors, which had been popular among rock enthusiasts for the past few years, indicated that Frehley had committed suicide by taking pills and that he was reported dead around 2 A.M. Frehley responded by saying, "I don't know how this ridiculous rumour got started."
Ace Frehley has a passion for computer animation. He owns five different Macs because he says you need "big drives and fast access" to run animation software. Frehley has designed several elements for his stage shows and album covers himself using Avid Cinemation.
In 1980, Ace Frehley had over 80 guitars but he's since downgraded to about 50 because he believes the long-term value of guitars in general is going down. Frehley attributes the trend to Van Halen, who popularized guitars with a Floyd-Rose style bridge rather than the tradition bridge found in many of Frehley's favorite Gibson guitars. Additionally, Frehley owned dozens of amplifiers and cabinets but says many of the cabs seen in his live shows are simply not hooked up. The guitarist adds that the shows sometimes contain up to 20 or 24 cabs and plugging all of them in would create insane noise levels.
One of the few guitar pedals that Ace Frehley uses onstage is actually a cheap Zoom multi-effects pedal that he bought in a pawn shop in Canada. Frehley picked up the pedal for $125, half of the original price, but says he loves the stompbox for its delay effects.