Ace Frehley’s House Goes Up in Smoke

Before we get into the story about the fire, it’s worth noting that former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has a difficult relationship with real estate.

Years ago, I was invited to a showcase in NYC by Alan and Diana Meltzer, the founders/owners of Wind-Up Records, the company that gave us Evanescence, Seether and most dubiously, Creed.  After the gig, we were invited back to their penthouse apartment on Park Avenue. While some in our group debated pushed Diana over the 29th floor balcony for the crime of signing Creed, Alan gave me a tour of the place.

“That’s a Warhol,” he said, pointing to a small painting in the foyer, “and I bought that piece of furniture at the Gianni Versace estate sale after he was murdered.  And here’s me and Diana when we visited George Bush in the Oval Office.”

“What were you doing there?”

“The singer of one of our bands had some…problems.  So we took it to the top.”  He didn’t elaborate.

When we arrived in the living room where Diana was blasting new Evanescence demos through $30,000 speakers, I saw some oddly familiar scribbles framed on the wall.

“Are…are those original John Lennon sketches?”

“Yep,” said Alan. “Nice, huh?”

“Where do you get them?

“Well, when I was living in Connecticut–I was wealthy then, but not as wealthy as a I am now [I swear to God this is how the story began]–I lived down the road from Ace Frehley.  One day, he told his accountant or business manager–I forget which–that he was never coming back to Connecticut and that he should sell everything in the house.  So on the day everything was being sold, I wandered down the street and picked up these Lennon pieces.”

“So,” I said, trying not to appear too gobsmacked, “You’re telling me that you bought a couple of John Lennon originals at Ace Frehley’s garage sale?”

Alan looked a little puzzled and then amused.  “Yeah, I guess so.  Weird, but I never thought of it that way.”

I was reminded of this story when we heard that Ace’s house went up in flames last week.  He’d been fighting foreclosure on the property for some time and the only person living there was a caretaker.  Makes you wonder what might have been lost in the fire, doesn’t it?

More on what happened can be found here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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