First the disclaimers: I have nothing against Tommy Thayer, whose band Black ‘n Blue I really liked and who seems to do a good job filling the slot of one of my absolute favorite guitar players, the one and only Ace Frehley. Nor do I have anything against KISS, meaning Paul and Gene, one of my favorite bands ever. I love those guys: Paul and Gene, and Ace and Peter.
But there is a part of me that is bothered to see someone else up there in Ace’s (and Peter’s) costumes and makeup night after night. Maybe I’m in the minority there. I don’t know.
What I do know is that a new full-page Hughes & Kettner ad in this month’s (March ’09) Guitar Player REALLY gets under my skin. All you have to do is look at the ad (click on the pic to make it bigger).
First of all, it’s NOT ACE. It’s Tommy in Ace’s makeup and costume – which Ace designed! – and it’s in no way tongue-in-cheek. That’s crazy.
Second, the amp actually has a graphic of Ace’s makeup to the right of the control panel. What if Ace comes out with a signature amp? What will be on that? Plus, I suspect Ace is making zero off this.
Third, the Thayer quote at the bottom of the ad is about how the H&K amps deliver the “KISS classic guitar sound.” What’s next, a PRS endorsement?!
As we all know, Ace’s sound is: Ace + Gibson Les Paul + DiMarzio Super Distortions + Marshalls on 5.