Gene Simmons revealed what Ace Frehley told him when he quit KISS in a new Talking Wax interview.
“Ace, in particular, wanted to leave the band, and then Peter also wanted to leave the band in a kind of, ‘I’m not getting my share, nobody appreciates me,’ that kind of thing.
“And Paul [Stanley, vocals/guitar] tried to talk Ace out of it, he actually flew up to Connecticut to convince him.
“‘Look, stay in the band, have your solo career, we don’t want anything from that. You can have your cake and eat it too.’ I remember on the way out, Ace told me, ‘You’ll see, I’m going to sell 10 million albums!'”
When you changed your name [Gene’s birth name is Chaim Witz], did your mom ever say anything?
“No, my mother was a remarkable human being. She was my moral compass. Anything I learned about life, hard work, all the important things… Not well educated, but her perspective was actually much more important to me than anybody else…
“I’m only pausing because it’s very emotional for me. She was 14 years of age when she was in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, so she had points of view about life, hard work, never giving up, and only worrying about the important things.
“Whether your room is a mess or whether you have a toy for Christmas, those are not important – your health is important. All those corny things your parents told you about, yeah, they were right, especially your mom.
“And your friends from school, they’re the fucking morons. You listen to them, ‘Hey, man, let’s go smoke cigarettes… Let’s get high… Let’s go do this.’ They’re idiots.
“They’re wrapping fish in some supermarket right now, and that’s fine too, you can do that job as well.
“All those high-school jocks who became football players and stuff, one out of a thousand made a career, the rest of them had nothing to fall back on and are working with their hands because they never developed their minds.
“My mother always stressed the important things – don’t get high, don’t drink, don’t smoke, work hard, surround yourself with people who are more successful and smarter than you are. That’s a good piece of advice.
“Get rid of your loser friends, they’re vampires, they will suck the life out of you, they want things from you.
“Be around people who look better than you, go to better places, are smarter, you’ll have something to learn. You’ll learn nothing from the corner winos, nothing.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed her remarks.