The world's first guitar playing super hero
He may not be a child of the 80s, but there isn't a red-blooded, rock-n-roll lovin' soul who grew up during the decade who doesn't know his name: Ace Frehley, KISS's "spaceman" and birthday boy today (55).
Born Paul Daniel Frehley, Ace was a founding member of KISS before departing the band in 1982 for a solo career. He's credited with designing the band's double lightning bolt logo and wrote or co-wrote several of the band's hits (including Cold Gin) during the early years -- even though he rarely sang lead vocals. One song he did sing was "Shock Me," which ironically was inspired by being nearly electrocuted during a show in nearby Lakeland, Fla. In 1978, when KISS members decided to each record a solo album, Ace's -- featuring the hit "New York Groove" -- was the biggest success.
Ace left the band in '82 and recorded several solo projects -- Frehley's Comet (1987), Second Sighting (1988)and Trouble Walkin' (1989) -- but rejoined KISS again in 1996 for the band's big reunion tour. (He and best-bud Peter Criss left again a few years later after the farewell tour seemed to never end.)
These days, he pops up in the papers from time to time for various appearances. He's appearing in VH1's Classic Rock n' Roll Charity Poker Tournament in June, and he's rumored to be putting the finishing touches on a new solo album.