Kiss founding member Ace Frehley was known for his wild and downright strange exploits during the band’s hedonistic heyday. One occasion Frehley even got weird by his own distorted standards was the bizarre moment he decided it would be a wise idea to down a whole bottle of perfume.
Frehley was always an eccentric character, a trait which can be traced all the way back to his abnormal childhood, one that saw him end up trapped in gang culture that led him into a way of living and treating like every day could be his last.
“I had guns put to my head. I got into some crazy fights,” the guitarist once said about his youth. “I got into some predicaments where I wasn’t sure I was gonna get out of them. But I was lucky. The worst thing that ever happened was when I was [slashed] in the stomach on my 13th birthday. Luckily, it wasn’t a deep wound,”
Following Kiss‘ spiralling success, one that saw them become a global phenomenon, the band was rarely off the road and their endless days were filled by abusing substances to cope with the boredom that came with the 23 hours in a day that they weren’t on stage. Nights quickly became weeks which then turned into months and before Frehley knew it he had lost years — that he can barely remember anything about today.
Frehley left the band in 2002 but when Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley talked to Rolling Stone in 2014 to reflect on 40 years of Kiss, they revealed that not a day goes by where they don’t discuss a crazy shenanigan that their former guitarist.
They explained that on one occasion Frehley needed a stiff drink, a period when they were stuck on a limo, and after one of his bandmates told him about the high alcohol percentage that is in perfume, without even a moment of contemplation, the guitarist then gulped the whole bottle in one go.
Frehley, who has now been sober since 2006, has talked at length about his addiction issues from his days with Kiss and how the music industry enables this kind of behaviour. “Musicians resort to drugs and alcohol, that was my downfall. All I know is most of the time I really had no idea where I was,” he recalled to Stuff in 2017.
“We went from city to city so fast. You know, pretty much you spend most of the time in a hotel or the venue. They all pretty much look the same, so it became a blur. That’s why a lot of rock stars go crazy. The whole thing is so surreal,” he added.
Even if Ace doesn’t remember his most outrageous stories, the fact that he is still here and survived the crazy life he led for so many decades is an achievement in itself and this perfume anecdote is almost guaranteed to be on the tamer end of what he got up to.