How much did Ace Frehley influence EVH?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by paulscape, Feb 2, 2008.


  1. paulscape

    paulscape Member

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    Or was it the other way around?

    I was just watching the Kiss 'lost concert' footage on dvd from their 1976 concert. The qualities not great but I was quite interested in Ace Frehley's guitar solo. This is 2 years before VH hit the mainstream scene but I know Kiss had some early involvement with VH (like the zero tapes).

    In the solo Ace does a whole bunch of stuff that sounds like Eddie, in particular:
    - sliding the bottom strings right up the fretboard for that booming electrifying sound
    - messing around with the echoplex delay unit's knobs to create sci-fi like sounds.
    - downstroke descending chromatic scales and pinch harmonics

    This isn't the video I was watching but is similar enough:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlPywOAOTMI

    Who copied who?
     
  2. gennation

    gennation Member

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    He also shows some tapping in the live footage around that time (on KISSology I).

    A lot of the things you mention were in baby stage in the earlier videos. And as the show got bigger he had to fill more time and make things "look good" too. So, things he use to do in small does were given much more time to develop as their hype grew.

    Gene had involvement with VH more so than KISS as a whole. And, at the time I don't think Ace was having anything to do the Gene.

    There's no telling if Ace had ever seen VH or not. But, I think with Ace's state back then he was also trying to show KISS up as well as show himself up to feed his ego. That being said he was definitely starting to play more "things" compared to the earlier years.

    I don't think he was lifting from VH, particularly in '76. I think by '78 though he realized RnR guitar playing just had a real slap in the face when Eddie took the crown.
     
  3. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    I've listened to Kiss since H.S. and to me I listen to the clip you posted and it has more of a Jimmy Page influence in the licks and perhaps even the effects.

    Thats my .02


     
  4. paulscape

    paulscape Member

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    Well Ace certainly staggers around like Page and has the slung Les Paul thing going :)

    Ive never been much of a Kiss or Ace fan but I must admit his smoking guitar and it flying up into the air (with wires and lights) above the stage is kinda cool for the mid 70's.

    EVH always quotes Clapton as his main influence and that is certainly clear but particularly with early VH before they were signed I hear a lot of different influences (a very natural thing as they were mostly a cover band). Im sure at some stage the VH boys would have seen Kiss live so I wonder if Ed had taken some inspiration from Ace.
     
  5. Swain

    Swain Member

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    Personally, I've always thought Tommy Bolin had to be one of EVH's influences. I've never heard Eddie say anything about Tommy, but I think Eddie must have seen or heard Tommy live.

    Anybody else notice the whammy and phrasing similarities?
     
  6. Elektrik_SIxx

    Elektrik_SIxx Member

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    I always thought Jeff Beck was a huge inspiration to both, especially Ace.
    Check out any Kiss guitar solo by Ace and you'll hear the Beck-isms flying around (which is good, of course).
     
  7. scoob

    scoob Member

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    ZZ top was a big influence on VH. I think Ed mentioned them once or twice. He mentions Clapton all the time. Harder to hear the Clapton influence than ZZ Top.
     
  8. DEMENTED

    DEMENTED Supporting Member

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    I thought Allan Hollsworth (sp?) was the EVH influence. I know Ace did some simple tapping before VH were famous, there are others that did tapping before that. Ace was influenced by the British guys, Clapton, Beck and Page and so forth. Ace was one of my earlier influences that got me into the British guys and from there it went in all sorts of directions.
     
  9. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Ace was into Page even though the band was into Slade and The New York Dolls.

    Eddie was into Clapton. Before the 1984 album he became very obsessed, and friends, with Holdsworth. After that it was the bottle.
     
  10. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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    The only influence I see is the drinking problem.

    I really used to be into Ace. But after reading a few books,
    seeing interviews on TV, and talking to a friend who used
    to work at The Hit Factory in NYC, it is hard to know what
    Ace did and what Ace did not do. Ace was so unpredictable
    that Kiss
    always had to have a back up guitar player for session work
    and touring.

    Ace really was one of my heros, now I don't know what
    to think of him or what to give him credit for.

    I saw him once in San Antonio, TX at The Alamo
    Dome during their first "reunion" tour. And I was
    really disappointed in his solo, sounded like noise
    and the vast majority of it was....as the guitar
    floated into the air. His playing was terrible.

    I really wish I did not know the truth about Ace.

    So I guess the whole gist of this is....if he did influnce
    Eddie, was it him or some other guitar player they hired
    and just gave him credit?????

    I really think the only connection to KISS is that Gene
    found them in a LA club and supposedly signed VH.
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I think alcohol would be the biggest common denominator between both of them.

    I remember when Gene found them, there was really any talk about "KISS" per say. Everything mentioned was Gene's name specifically.

    The first session stuff that wasn't Ace playing was two "parts" on Destroyer. The player was Dick Wagner (the same guy who did the Alice Cooper and early Aerosmith stuff, not to mention the Lou Reed classic LP, RnR Animal).

    Even all the re-do's and overdubs on Alive! were pure Ace.

    Except for those two songs on Destroyer, everything else before them was pure Ace. And, still over the next two albums Ace still played most of the stuff. And, I think Ace's "biggest feather in his cap" was out selling all the others solo albums.

    Ace definitely had some more personal/playing issues after Van Halen came out (1978), but there were a TON of guitar players that had to re-evaluate everything they were doing...kind of like when Kurt Cobain hit the seen in the early 90's.

    But, back in the heyday there was really know difference in Page and Ace, as far as popularity and faithful fans.

    Imagine how many of todays bands could put out 5-7 albums of pure sales like KISS did. Ok, I know they didn't hit until Alive!, but still how many of them could flood the sales of their previous albums (3 of them) like KISS did back then....Ace had a lot to do with that...because back then it was KISS, not just Gene and Paul...never forget that.
     
  12. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Sorry for a major derail, but you Ace fans might find this interesting. This thread reminded me of it. I just read a book called "Look Me in the Eye". It's written by John Elder Robison. He was Ace's tech and pryo/effects guy in the 70s. He came up with, and built, all those guitars with exploding pups, laser light shows, etc.

    He's the brother of Augusten Burroughs, who wrote "Running With Scissors".

    Anyway, John Elder Robison lived as an undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome sufferer until he was 40. The book is so interesting in that he talks about working with Ace and Kiss to come up with a lot of that OTT stage stuff. He is a genius at almost everything he's attempted, but his life has been difficult because of him not being aware that he was a highly functioning autistic.

    Great read on so many levels!
     
  13. gearhosehead

    gearhosehead Member

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    Ed did have some Kiss connections, didn't Gene "discover" Van Halen. Also I remember reading a story how Ed begged Gene and Paul to join Kiss around the time Ace was leaving. Still, I'd have to say there was nil or very little influence either way. Before 1975, nobody had heard of VH and very few knew of Kiss before Alive. Both guitarists styles were mostly formed by this point I think.
     
  14. hacker

    hacker Supporting Member

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    When David Lee Roth had his brief radio show last year, he explained how Eddie's sound was based on Brian Mays early work with Queen. In fact, he said the entire VH1 album was based on the first Queen album (the one with "Great King Rat" on it).
     
  15. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    within the first 10 bars you hear ace capably cop Jimi, Page and Joe Walsh. in 1976 EVH was still busking. read the story in Guitar World this month and it spells out the history. they rushed the VH debut album out early because eddie was playing demo tapes at parties where the competition was. whatever ace was doing in 1976, he wasn't stealing it from EVH.
     
  16. Satyrist

    Satyrist Member

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    Makes sense. I've never really thought about it before, but Tommy was definitely one of the more whammy-adventurous players of his time. You never hear enough about Tommy these days, great songwriter as well.

    As for Ace, I don't mean to offend his fans, but I never got the appeal. Most of his solos sound like endlessly repeating loops of double-stop bends, and bore the crap out of me. Oh well, maybe I'm just missing something.
     
  17. fridgit

    fridgit Member

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    I was just listening to my favorite KISS CD Hotter Than Hell, and I was noticing that Ace was using a very subtle phaser effect on the solo for "Goin' Blind". He also used it on "Strange Ways". I wonder how much this might have influenced Ed. Didn't Jimmy Page use a phaser in some of his songs too? What about Clapton (I don't remember hearing Clapton using phasers)

    In any case, the phaser effect on "Goin' Blind" sounded very much like it the knob was set at 9:00.
     
  18. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Hopefully, not at all.
     

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