The Story Of Ace Frehley Saving A Blues Brothers Show
He’s A Real Friend
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley and late comedian John Belushi were close friends. In fact, they hung out together two weeks before Belushi passed away. In his 2011 rock ‘n roll memoir “No Regrets”, Frehley shared how they bonded at drummer Peter Criss’ house, and how Frehley managed to save a Blues Brothers Show.
They shared the same hedonistic lifestyle and it was their penchant for drugs that brought them closer together until eventually, Frehley became a regular in Belushi’s private bar.
It was in the summer of 1980 when something happened in the middle of a Blues Brothers Show at the Palladium in New York City. After the first set, the band took a break but promoter Ron Delsener told Frehley that Belushi “didn’t want to go back out to do the second half of the show, supposedly because his voice was shot. ‘What can I do?’ I asked. Ron said, ‘Can you try talking to him? I told him you were here.’”
So Frehley went into the dressing room, where no one else was allowed including KISS bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and talked to Belushi. After advising him to drink tea with honey, Frehley noticed Belushi’s “sadness and fatigue.”
Frehley recalled, “‘I don’t think I can do it, Ace,’ he said. I chuckled. ‘Hey, nobody really gives a shit. Stop worrying. I can’t sing either. I just fake it most of the time, but I get out there anyway. Hell, Mick Jagger can’t sing. [Bob] Dylan can’t sing. They just kinda talk the words. … Remember, the show must go on, and you’re a professional.’ John smiled. ‘I guess.’”
They shared a beer and well, cocaine, and it somehow lifted Belushi’s spirits up. Frehley added, “I told John to knock ‘em dead and I’d see him after the show. I left the dressing room smiling and informed Delsener that the show would begin shortly.”
So he went back on stage as though nothing happened earlier. Ace Frehley helped John Belushi in a way no one else could.