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Ace Frehley Celebrates Nearly Four Years of Sobriety

It's no secret that the '70s were the height of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. As the guitarist for Kiss, 'Space' Ace Frehley had no problem partaking in the perks that came with his stature during that decade of decadence -- as he told Spinner last year, "For a long time I was missing in action."

But that was the old Frehely. He's been sober for four years now and was recently on hand at the Grammy Foundation's annual MusiCares concert in L.A., an event that celebrates musicians and their sobriety. Once known for his partying, Frehley tells Spinner that he's truly a changed man. "Years ago I was a crazy party animal and people used to come up to me and say, 'Man, Ace, I got wasted the other night just like you,'" he says. "Now I've got fans coming up to me saying, 'Hey, you got sober and you're one of the reasons I decided to get sober.' I get that kind of feedback now when I meet fans, when I read fan mail and there's nothing better than that."

Still, Frehley is used to hearing that he's been an influence on people, only it's usually guitarists that sing his praises. At MusiCares, he shared the stage with Slash and the Donnas' Alison Robertson, who are both big fans of Frehley. "It's always great playing with other musicians. It's also a great situation where I'm the older guy, I've influenced generations of guitar players," Frehley says. "It's always good to walk in a room and know everybody kind of looks up to you because I guess I've earned it."

Indeed, he has earned that admiration from guitarists and the adulation for being sober. So, which means more to him: the praise as a guitarist or for being sober? "I think the sober thing is more important because I've been getting that guitar thing for a long time," he says. "I'm only coming up on four years sobriety September 15, so that's more special."

- by Steve Baltin (spinner.com)

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