Tommy Thayer says accusations that he engineered his way into Ace Frehley’s job are wide of the mark.
The guitarist has filled Frehley’s boots as the Spaceman character in Kiss since 2003, but before that he worked backstage for the band and played in a Kiss tribute band.
Frehley last year said Thayer was just a “guy up there copying me,” and fans have long accused Thayer of planning to oust Freely and land his dream job.
Thayer tells the Newcastle Herald: “It’s funny because people have always said, ‘Oh Tommy, you had a grand design,’ or, ‘You planned this out perfectly and you’re so smart,’ and all this sort of thing. But it really didn’t work out that way.”
His first gig with the band was in 2002 when Frehley refused to play at a private show in Jamaica. Thayer adds: “Doc McGhee, the band’s manager, had called me and said, ‘The other guy’s not gonna show up for this gig, we know that now for sure, so we want you to make sure to be ready to play and come down and don the make-up, put the Spaceman outfit on and do this gig.’
“So the first gig was really as a fill-in. We didn’t know where everything was going at that point but then, by the time we got to the beginning of 2003, I was officially in the band.”
On Frehley’s comments, Thayer says he prefers not to get involved. But he does say that Ace was given every chance to clean up his act and keep his job.
He says: “I think he had every opportunity in the world to continue in Kiss and be in Kiss as long as he did the right thing, but it worked out better for me and he has to lead his life. As far as the jabs and all that, he can say that stuff and I’m not going to say anything bad about him.”
Kiss are set to headline Download this weekend, playing the final slot on the main stage.