Ace Bringing "Anomaly" to Europe...
(Saturday, November 28, 2009) Ace is about to hit the road in Europe in support of his "Anomaly" album. Check the tour dates page for details!
(Tuesday, April 28, 2009) Few recordings widely circulate from Ace's pre-Kiss period. What is known is that his pre-KISS band Molimo (pronounced: Moh-Lee-Moe) partially recorded an album for RCA Records, but unlike Wicked Lester the recordings were never fully completed. The band were working with producer Stephen Schwartz on recordings, three of which were completed, though the recordings are currently known to certainly not exist in RCA’s remaining audio archival vaults. There has been quite a bit of conjecture about how much of the album was completed, with Ace commenting that it had reached the halfway stage. Ace, who had been the last member to join the band, was apparently not involved in writing any of the material that the band recorded.
Molimo had been an on-going project. The band's history begins in Kansas, where Roy Singer (Keyboards) and Tom Ellis (Vocals/Rhythm) attended school together. The two moved to New York City in 1969 and formed a band based on the Jefferson Airplane standard of mixed male/female vocals. The band went through numerous line-up changes, before RCA producer Stephen Schwartz hooked them up with Christine Murphy (Vocals). This trio became the band's core, and a rhythm section included Barry Dempsey (Bass) and Dave Polinski (drums). Eventually the band solidified, and with the addition of Ace, the band practiced and wrote for a year as they found a common ground between the members diverse musical backgrounds. Ace joined the band as "Paul," but became "Ace" during his tenure. According to Tom, Molimo was named after a "secret musical instrument used by the African pygmies for their initiation ceremonies."
One Molimo recording, "East of Yesterday," was broadcast on Richard Robinson's "Rock Stars" radio show, produced by Kenny Weichert, the week of March 22, 1971. The broadcast also included an interview with Tom, Roy, Christine, and Ace. Another Molimo song was the acoustic flavored "Alone Together." In terms of sound, Molimo had a powerful psychedelic Jefferson Airplane / West Coast rock feel with loose free-flowing song structures and extended soloing with plenty of distortion. According to Ace’s brother Charley, “I went to see him [Ace] at the Village Gate play with Molimo one time and it was a soft sort of band, kind of reminiscent of Spanky & Our Gang with a female lead singer. That poppy kind of sound. Paul would play lead on some songs; he would play acoustic on other songs. He was always into ballsy heavy metal. Zeppelin was the ultimate. That kind of thing you see with KISS, the punchy strong rock rhythms that he could play his wailing lead guitar to. So Molimo really didn’t cut it for him” (JG).
The band's end was abrupt. They were booed off the stage while opening for Phil Ochs who was transitioning back to folk from rock. Molimo's style was not appreciated, and members of the band felt that they were heading in the wrong direction. Tom recalls Ace: "He always sounded just like he did when he went to KISS." While Ace went his own way he remained friendly with the band as they transformed into Tomorrow Morning (Essentially the core of MOLIMO with a new rhythm section and lead guitarist). In fact, Kiss apparently rehearsed at the band's loft at 414 Broadway and invited members to Kiss' show at the Filmore East, where apparently Gene's hair caught on fire. Amusingly, following the band's demise the core, Roy, Christine, and Tom, formed a new band, Tomorrow Morning, and were signed to Casablanca Records in 1974. They released a single, "Freewheeling" and "I Wished I Was In California," produced by Kenny Kerner & Richie Wise, in the summer of 1974!
Years ago a list of purported Molimo song-titles surfaced. These so-called tiles were:
1. Singapore Sling
2. Face Down (Bourbon St.)
3. My Way Or No Way
4. Dead And Gone
5. Street Coroner
6. Don’t Knock It, Until You Try It
7. Bitter End
8. Soul Searcher THESE SONGS ARE NOT MOLIMO TITLES.
In the years following Molimo the members didn't drop from sight, though Christine married a lawyer. Roy composed the Off Broadway musical hit, “Mamaleh!” He also continued to perform, notable appearing with his wife's cabaret. Tom pursued a career in art, though also sang at the famed Continental Baths in the same period that Bette Midler and Barry Manilow appeared there.
Happy Birthday Ace!
(Monday, April 27, 2009) Ace-Frehley.com wishes Ace a very happy birthday!
Ace Performs With Alice Cooper 4/26
(Monday, April 27, 2009) Ace Frehley performed as part of at the 2nd Annual Rock & Roll Supergroup Benefit Concert on April 26 at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. Following Ace's short set, featuring "New York Groove," "Shock Me," and "Cold Gin," Alice Cooper hit the stage for a run-through of the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" and a short selection of his classics. Ace then jumped back onstage with Alice and the rest of the evening's musicians for a special encore, only to be greeted with a birthday cake and "Happy Birthday" led by Alice himself. The group then capped the evening with Kiss' classic "Rock And Roll All Nite."
Ace Samples "Anomaly"...
(Monday, April 6, 2009) Ace Frehley has issued his first video blog (click below) offering up samples of "Genghis Khan" and "Foxy And Free," tracks off his forth-coming CD "Anomaly." These add to his taste of "Pain In The Neck" featured earlier.
Rock on Ace!
"Anomaly" Track Listing
(Wednesday, March 25, 2009) A Library of Congress copyright registration indicates Ace's "Anomaly" album will have the following track-listing:
1. Outer Space
2. Foxy & Free
4. Too Many Faces
5. It’s A Great Life
7. A Little Below The Angels
8. Fox On The Run (Sweet Cover)
9. Change The World
10. Pain In the Neck
11. Genghis Khan
12. Fractured Quantum
Additionally, the description states, "Hard Rock musical sound recordings performed by Paul Frehley, publicly known as "Ace Frehley" of Kiss, produced and recorded in Westchester County, New York from 2007-2009 and mixed by Marti Frederiksen for release in the United States."