Ace Frehley Was Loaded on Booze and Cocaine Making Kiss Movie
Phantom of the Park holds a unique place in Kiss lore. Made on a budget of $3 million, the TV film was torn apart by critics and fans when it first aired. Yet in the decades since, it has developed a passionate cult following thanks largely to its cheesiness.
“I never really had any negative feelings about the film,” Frehley explained during a recent interview with Yahoo Music. “I thought it was funny. I laughed at some of the scenes, I cringed at some of the scenes, but I was intelligent and smart enough to realize that it was what it was. It was just a silly rock ’n’ roll movie that was designed for Kiss fans.”
'I Didn't Even Know What Was Going On'
Though Frehley speaks fondly about Phantom of the Park, some of his memories are muddled due to his serious substance abuse while the film was being made.
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“I was loaded through half of the movie, so I didn’t even know what was going on half the time, but luckily I had cue cards and yeah, I was pretty good at hiding it,” the rocker recalled, adding that he “didn’t drink too much when I knew I had an important scene.”
It wasn’t just alcohol that Frehley was under the influence of.
“One of the guys on the set was a cocaine dealer. I’m not going to mention any names, but he used to keep cocaine in his hat and come to my trailer,” the guitarist detailed. “So, if I had drank too much, back in those days, I’d do a little cocaine. I’m not going to lie, because I’ve been sober  years; we’re only as sick as our secrets. So, back in those days, yeah, I’d do a little coke if I drank too much, which would give me a little pick-me-up, and then I’d be ready for the scene.”
Frehley also pointed out that another of his bandmates, drummer Peter Criss, was in a similar state.
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“I gotta be honest with you: Peter at the time was as loaded as me, if not more, and he may not even have known for a while,” Frehley remarked.
Decades later, the guitarist keeps a sense of humor when he looks back on Phantom of the Park – a perspective he maintains when thinking about his entire career with Kiss.
“How serious can you take Kiss? I never took Kiss seriously,” Frehley explained. “The whole roller coaster ride of Kiss to me was just like this jolly, crazy ride where I’m wearing makeup, and dressed up as a superhero, and playing guitar, and having fun, and meeting beautiful women along the way. I just never took the thing that seriously, even though we were one of the biggest groups in the world. And I still look back on it today and I go, ‘Wow, that was weird.’”
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Gallery Credit: Jeff Giles