Whitesnake guitarist Reb Beach spoke in an interview with Justin Beckner of Ultimate-Guitar, and revealed how KISS has changed his life as a musician.

He has shared the story of how he started to play guitar. He said:

“I wanted to be a piano player. I thought I was going to be a pianist. I wanted to be Elton John or Billy Joel. I had been playing the piano since I was 4.

So I was really into it and I thought it was really cool until I saw KISS. That was the end of the piano for me. I took one look at Ace Frehley – I saw them live at Madison Square Garden when I was 13. That was it. I just knew, right when I saw it, that’s what I was supposed to do.

My mom had gotten me a guitar for Christmas and it sat under my bed for months. I mean I tried to play it but it hurt so I never played it. But after that [KISS show] I took up this huge interest in guitar.

“This guy I knew was a folk guitar player so he knew how to play chords, just the basic chords, so he taught me to play those and I took it from there.”

Interviewer said ‘What was it about KISS that drew you in so much?’, Reb responded:

“I remember when they came out, there had never been anything like it that I knew about. They were the hot new thing. Hendrix was way before my time. I was born in ’63 so I wasn’t influenced by him. I was influenced by people who were influenced by him, that’s for sure.

But what is it about KISS? I was just a kid and I liked the whole thing surrounding [the band]. Like, I thought Ace was really from space, you know. I just liked the whole stage thing. I had sort of a stage mother who was always pushing me to be on stage.

So, I loved the whole theatrics thing. He was just such a rock star, Ace was. He still is. He does shows and he’ll do jams and stuff and when other people come out people cheer, but when Ace comes out, people go crazy.

It’s amazing. And he’s not like Joe Satriani or one of those kinds of guitar players, he’s just cool. He just puts the amp on 10 and just plays.”

Click here for the entire interview.