ACE SMOKING GUITAR T-SHIRT
ACE SMOKING GUITAR
KLICK TEE SHOP pays tribute to the iconic stage theatrics of Ace Frehley with the “SMOKING GUITAR” Classic Tee. Anyone that caught the Hottest Band in the World live during their heyday, or solo Ace recently, knows how the smoking guitar takes hold of the imagination and mesmerizes the audience.
Paul “Ace” Frehley was born and raised in the Bronx in the 1950’s. Growing up in a rough neighborhood, it could be said that Ace was trained in the school of hard knocks. Without ever receiving any musical training and almost not even receiving a high school diploma, Ace was a self-taught and self-made man in every sense. While many would consider this lack of formal education to be detrimental to a person’s progress, in this case it could very well be the source of his unique sound. Inspired by such legends as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Pete Townsend, he has gone on to earn his very own spot amongst the great guitar heroes of the 1970’s.
From their earliest live performances, it is obvious KISS was a theatrical band through and through. They wanted to stand out from all the other bands on the scene and give audiences a spectacle they wouldn’t forget. Less than three years after joining the band, Ace went on to develop his signature stage move: the Smoking Guitar. With an electrical engineer for a father, experimenting with electronics was in Ace’s blood. After modifying his own guitars and amps for years his next step was to go beyond modification into total transformation and turning his guitar a smoke machine. However, the smoking guitar effect was not perfected from the start. Ace said that “The original smoking guitar was nothing more than a smoke bomb inside the volume control compartment of a Les Paul”. This crude alteration proved to be problematic by interfering with the guitars controls and pickups, so together with one of KISS’ touring engineers they revised the effect. After installing a new compartment in the guitar for the smoke bomb, Ace was able to use the guitars tone control know to act as a trigger for the bomb to go off. Then all he had to do was open the compartment door and let the smoke out. A few decades after debuting this effect on stage, Ace has never stopped tinkering and improving it. Watch Ace’s solo from ’75 in all it smoking glory. Also, for a little sneak peek behind the scenes, watch Ace display the magic of this trick here on a TV appearance from the 80’s. (Make sure to stay tuned to hear Ace’s iconic laugh!)
Our SMOKING GUITAR Tee shirt design is a salute to this iconic stage trick and to a certain extent, the bands theatricality as a whole. For generations music fans have looked up to their favorite rock stars as “heroes”, but KISS was the first true rock and roll superheroes. Eschewing their citizen identities, they became larger than life with their alter egos: The Demon, The Starchild, The Catman, and The Spaceman. They created a mystical rock and roll universe of their own for fans to get lost in. Children and adults alike fell in love with this universe and were able to see their own rock and roll fantasies inside of it. Seeing the Hottest Band in the World live was not like going to see your average rock show. It was, and still is, truly a spectacle to behold. With his smoking guitar, Ace was able to push this fantasy one step further and truly become a superhero, dumbfounding the audience with his supernatural guitar playing and special effects. We thank Ace for all the gifts he has given us over the years and are doing are part to honor his legacy the only way we know how.