Legendary Carmine Appice was recently interviewed by Steve Mascord on the White Line Fever podcast.
Carmine talked about Vinnie Vincent and his ridiculous attitude.
Here’s what he said:
“He’s a freakin’ weirdo is all I can say.
“Oh my god! That guy’s a total idiot. He’s really talented. I had him in my band, Carmine & The Rockers, and in 1978 when I was at Rod [Stewart], I was gonna do a solo album on the side with him.
“And I remember, ’79, we went out and did tours with original stuff, we played with Joe Perry, and there’s a great band. The bass player named Zero, guitar Eddie Spaghetti, and Vinnie Vincent was Vinnie Cusano.”
“He was in my band, yeah. And we wrote these great songs, we were ready to get a record deal, then he acted like a total a*shole and said, ‘Oh, well, I wrote this song,’ even though it’s because of my connections and everything we’re getting the record deal.
“Great talent, great songwriter, great player before he started doing his Vinnie Vincent albums. He played like crap on those albums. He’s trying to be Yngwie Malmsteen on those albums.
“Before that, when he was playing – like – heavy blues rock, he was awesome.
“And Gene (Simmons) and Paul (Stanley) called me before they got him and they said ‘I heard you worked with Vinnie’ – Cusano was his name – and I said ‘yeah’. They said ‘we’re thinking of bringing him into KISS, what do you think?’ And I said ‘trouble – there’s going to be trouble’. Great player, good songwriter but trouble.
“They brought him into the band and guess what? There was trouble!
“Years go by. He disappeared for 20 years. And just before COVID, last year, he surfaced somehow doing some in-store things down in Nashville.
“The guy who’s promoting it heard I played with Vinnie back in the day. Carmine and the Rockers was the band.
“He said ‘look, we’re thinking of doing a Vinnie Vincent gig and he wants to use Rob Fleischman to sing and we’re talking about maybe you playing drums’. I said ‘I haven’t talked to Vinnie in 25 years and last time I talked to him we were enemies’.
“And he said ‘well, I’ll give you his number, maybe you guys can have a chat’. I talked to him for four hours. It was unbelievable.
“Me and my brother had a company called Appice Brothers Drum Rental. We rented him a drum set for a month at no charge. I said ‘I didn’t know that’.
“He said ‘I never got to thank you’. We were talking, everything is cool. He said ‘do you want to play together’ and I said ‘yeah’. ‘Do you have any bass players?’ So I recommended Tony Franklin. I love Tony. So we got Tony.
“Then Robert Fleischman bowed out so I got this guy Jim Crean who sings with me and my brother in Drum Wars. He’s a really good singer.
“So the promoter paid everybody a deposit, paid Vinnie a lot more than a deposit, then little by little things started getting weird again. Next thing I know, Vinnie cancelled the gigs. He screwed the promoter. I ended up being friendly with the guy. He also books speaking gigs, sometimes I do some rock history talks.
“I said ‘look, he cancelled, I’ll give you the money back’. He said ‘no, you put your time aside to do it, you and Tony keep the money’. He said ‘Vinnie screwed me’ for I don’t know how many thousands.
“That’s the Vinnie Vincent story.
“I haven’t heard from him. Now he’s doing these gigs with sucker people going to see him. He’ll buy a Stratocaster for 150 bucks, he’ll sign it and sell it for five grand and these people buy it. He’ll get 12 people at one of his events, maybe 10 or 12 people and they’ll pay 1000 bucks to get in to meet Vinnie Vincent without make-up looking very strangely trans-gender.”