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NHL Winter Classic

Winter Classic will be in 'New York Groove'

Original Kiss guitarist Frehley to perform hit live at Citi Field before Rangers face Sabres

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"New York Groove" is a staple at Citi Field after each New York Mets victory, and original Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley will play it there prior to the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres on Monday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Ironically, "New York Groove," which also blares at MetLife Stadium when the New York Giants score, was a song Frehley didn't want to include when he recorded his first solo album in 1978.

 

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"It's such an honor that both teams picked that song," Frehley told NHL.com. "I didn't think it was 'rock and roll' enough [to record]. It turns out to be my biggest hit. Go figure.

"It's a fun song to play, and it always goes over great in concerts. We get the whole audience to sing along. I'm sure it's going to be a great day."

Citi Field is a stone's throw from Queens Boulevard, where Kiss first started playing live at a since-closed establishment called Coventry in 1973. Fewer than 10 people attended their first show there. By 1977, Kiss was one of the most popular bands in the world. That was also the year they played at Madison Square Garden for the first time. With all four original band members (Frehley, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss) native New Yorkers, it was a lifelong dream fulfilled.

Kiss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

"We always used to say when we used to play at bars and clubs, 'Tonight's the Garden,' to get all psyched up," said Frehley, who played with Kiss from 1973-82 and again from 1996-2002. "The first time we played Madison Square Garden, all of us coming from New York, it just like all came together and we really looked and each other and said, 'Well, we've made it.'"

Frehley, who grew up a Rangers fan and attended games growing up, performed "New York Groove" by himself between periods of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012. His band will play alongside him at Citi Field.

"I did perform at Madison Square Garden for the Rangers, but that was about six or seven years ago, and it was taped," Frehley said. "But it's going to be special, because I'll have my live band with me. It's going to be really cool. I've never been to Citi Field. I can't wait.

"I'm really looking forward to it; I'm a big fan of the Rangers, coming from New York. Growing up in the Bronx, I'd go to Yankee Stadium and I'd go to Madison Square Garden. I'd go to the Garden and wish that one day I'd perform there. God willing, I did."

Frehley has released two Billboard Top 10 albums in the past four years, including "Space Invader" and "Origins Vol. 1." He expects to release another album in 2018 via Entertainment One.

As for one more go-round with Kiss, Frehley wouldn't rule it out.

"You go on the internet, kids are talking about it constantly," Frehley said. "It's something that the fans want, and it's something I would entertain if it was handled correctly. Absolutely."

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