Ace Frehley: “New York Groove”
For today’s song, I’m continuing the “Recent Travels” theme by moving on to a song about New York. Now of course there are many songs I have to choose from for this, but for some reason the one that first sprang to mind when I gave it some thought was “New York Groove,” by Ace Frehley. Although I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of Kiss, I remember loving this song when it came out in 1978 as the single off of Ace Frehley, Frehley’s edition of the Kiss solo albums. I think it was a combination of the shuffling beat, the flanged guitar, and Frehley’s glammy vocals, equal parts Marc Bolan and New York Dolls-era David Johanssen, that made the song groove. Compared to “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” the Kiss group song that came out shortly afterward, “New York Groove” was infinitely more enjoyable — light-footed where the other seemed leaden, street-smart where the other was a bit slow on the uptake. Frehley suddenly came off as the cool guy in Kiss – it was hard to imagine something like this coming from the more Neanderthalic Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons. (Not that they weren’t well-served by that quality on a few other Kiss songs.) It made me want to revisit my childhood digs in NYC and New Jersey and strut around the city a bit, making a big splash in the Big Apple as the cool 7th-grader I’m sure I imagined myself to be. I can’t deny that the song popped into my head a couple of times during last week’s visit to the city, but I did my best to refrain from any strutting when it did – my family would have quickly put some distance between me and them, pretending not to know me.