Gene Simmons 'Forced' Ace to Record Van Halen's Solo on "Christine Sixteen"

Gene Simmons says the guitar solo on KISS' "Christine Sixteen" was actually written by Eddie Van Halen and tracked to a demo in just one take.

Simmons liked Van Halen's solo so much that he made sure Ace Frehley learned it for the 1978 album Love Gun.

Frehley did so, albeit begrudgingly, Simmons says.

"When we cut it as KISS, I forced Ace—poor guy—to reproduce that solo note for note, and he hated that," Simmons said on a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho with Chris Jericho

"'I don't want to do anybody else's solo,'" Simmons remembers Frehley arguing.

"'Yeah, but it's good; let's just do it 'cause it's good, not about ego.'"

The original demo with both Van Halen brothers is one of the most intriguing aspects of Simmons' pricey new Vault box set, which features hours of never-before-heard Simmons material that he's pledged to "hand deliver" to every person who buys one.

Simmons adds that the set includes never-before-heard performances by other artists, including Bob Dylan, and of course his KISS bandmates. 

"And speaking of Ace, he and I co-wrote, many years, ago two tunes which appear on [The Vault], and he sings lead on both of them. And he plays solos on all kinds of old KISS demos that are on there. You know, full 24-track or 16-track, all mixed and everything. Paul appears on it and the rest of the KISS guys."

The legendary bassist, singer and songwriter reiterates that his unique release of his rare material is for him a means of enjoying his entire legacy while he still has the ability.

"Without exaggeration or anything, there literally will only be a few thousand box sets around the world. And I'm taking time off from touring and everything for a year to do this...For me it's an emotional thank you."

Simmons says, despite what people may glean from his image, he knows he owes everything he has—all his success—to his fans. 

"I'm 68 now, I'm healthy and I'm in good shape and all that...We're not going to be here forever, none of us can. While KISS is still up there and doing great, last thing I want to do is to be gone from Earth and then afterwards somebody releases a posthumous or other big-word collection, and I'm not here to have fun and enjoy it. I want to be here and celebrate with the fans and look into their eyes."

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Photo: Getty Images

Ken Dashow

Ken Dashow

Listen to Ken Dashow everyday and don't forget about Breakfast With The Beatles every Sunday Morning. Read more


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