Contact Us

The Time Ace Frehley Was Almost Electrocuted at a Kiss Concert

George De Sota, Getty Images
George De Sota, Getty Images

Kiss were one of the top arena draws of the ’70s, staging some of the most impressive concert spectacles of that era with their over-the-top theatrical performances. But the power of their live production almost cost guitarist Ace Frehley his life at a gig on Dec. 12, 1976, at the Civic Center in Lakeland, Fla., when an unforeseen technical glitch caused him to nearly be electrocuted onstage.

The near-fatal production snafu occurred early in the night, right after they played “Detroit Rock City.” Kiss performed that song on top of their set before descending to the stage for the next song. As Frehley came down, he grabbed onto a metal rail to steady himself, completing an electrical circuit with his guitar. He was seized by the current and unable to move, but finally broke free and fell several feet to the stage below. “If I hadn’t been able to let go, I would have died,” Frehley later told the Lakeland Ledger. “My life passed in front of my eyes.”

Shaken, but not seriously hurt, the Spaceman took a 10-minute break in the dressing room before returning to the stage to a standing ovation, finishing the night’s set. “I knew it for an instant and then I blacked out. I woke up behind the amplifiers,” the guitarist told the Morton Report. “I said, ‘I can’t play.’ Then the fans started chanting my name and I finished the show. But I had no feeling in my hands. I don’t know how I even did it. I guess it was all adrenaline.”

The song inspired his song “Shock Me,” which wound up being the first track he ever sang on a Kiss album. “I got electrocuted in Florida and I survived,” Frehley recalled to Rolling Stone. “The guys said, ‘Why don’t you write a song about getting electrocuted?’ And I came up with ‘Shock Me.'”



Kiss Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide

Next: Ace Frehley's Best Kiss Songs

More from 97.5 KOOL FM

Best of the Web

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Kool VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!