CARMINE APPICE – Talks new Cactus live release, Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra….

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Legendary drummer Carmine Appice really needs no introduction. The guy has done so much from bands VANILLA FUDGE and CACTUS to playing with Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, and hundreds more. For over 50 years he has been one of the busiest, in-demand, and best known drummers in the rock world. More recently he’s seen the release of the latest Cactus studio album (last year) and currently the Cactus live release – The Birth Of Cactus. He’s also working on a number of new projects. I’m sure my conversation does not cover all that he has on the go, so check out the links below.

I want to talk about the new Cactus album. That was your first show – who thought to record it and where was it all these years that it was able to come out now?

Well, basically what it was our manager found that somewhere, I don’t know where the heck he found it. He’s not only our manager, but he’s also a really big Cactus fan. so he finds collectables, and he found that, I guess on a cassette tape that somebody had and he said that he could get that released on Cleopatra, because he said they were interested….So I listened to it initially, and I said ‘wow, the energy on that record is unbelievable’. Ya know, it’s our first gig, but the energy’s flying off that performance like crazy. And it was at a small stadium called Temple Stadium, in Philadelphia, and Jimi Hendrix was the headliner and we were all friends with Jimi, and Grateful Dead – we knew them, and Steve Miller, and you gotta remember The Grateful Dead and Steve Miller weren’t big yet, so the only one that was sort of big was Jimi Hendrix, and even he wasn’t the icon he is today. It was kind of really a cool gig, and we hung out backstage with Jimi. and then we went on and tore it up. … I was 24 years old at that point, and I was just a fireball , ya know… “Parchman Farm” on our record was pretty fast, and this one is faster than that. It was quite an experience. And they remastered it and it actually don’t sound too bad. It doesn’t have to be unbelievable sound, but you can actually hear everything that’s going on. And if you look at it that it’s a collectable classic, and not a polished – ‘go in and re-do…you know like when you do a live album, like BBA – Beck Bogert Appice, we had a live album from 1974 coming out , and we had the 24 track and we went in and fixed the vocal, and a couple of things that needed to be fixed, but with this we didn’t have the opportunity to do that – what you hear is what you got.

Was that everything , was that the full show that’s on the record?

That was the full show, we only had like a 40 minute set. And I think the first song we played titled “One Way Or Another” wasn’t really “One Way Or Another” yet , that became a song on the 2nd album, but it was always a cool jam, so they just titled it “One Way Or Another” because that’s what the song ended up being. out of that riff. It was a brilliant jam on that take. When I was listening I just ‘wow I can’t believe it!’ It’s the “One Way Or Another” riff that started it and then we’d go off jamming on it.

So, was the (first) album out at that time?

I don’t think so, I think it was just coming out or just came out. And my manager was a concert promoter at the time, so it could’ve even been his gig. His company did gigs all around over the east coast of North America. So that could’ve been his show. Again, it’s not like a stadium we have today selling as a stadium that sells out, that’s huge, there could not have been 8000 people there, maybe. We did a tour with Vanilla Fudge we played some stadiums with Hendrix, it was like a 60000 seat stadium or a 30000 seat stadium and we played to like a quarter of it, the rest of it was empty seats. So I think it was like that too. It’s just the fact that it was an outdoor gig and an outdoor gig to maybe 8000 people, maybe a bit more – but not much more.

I want to talk about leading up to that gig. you and Tim had left Vanilla Fudge and you were going to work with Jeff Beck, and that didn’t work out, so..

What happened was we were planning to work with Jeff and Rod Stewart and Rod didn’t want to work with Jeff – OK, that was cool, so we said ‘Jeff you come on over and we’ll figure out a singer later’. And Jeff got in a car wreck just before that, and that put him back 18 months. He couldn’t come over. And we’d just broken up Vanilla Fudge, that was making big money; you know we were drawing, 5,6, 7000 people everywhere we went. So now, I don’t want to do nothing for 18 months – ‘what about you Tim?’ ‘No, I don’t want to do nothing either.’ So, let’s see what else we can put together. We already knew the band name – with Jeff or without Jeff – it was going to be ‘Cactus’! Because we saw that name in Arizona and said ‘Wow’; it was on top of a drive-in theatre – The Cactus Drive-In. So, I said ‘wow – what a cool name for a band.’ It was really strong, the presence of it was strong. So we knew it going to be Cactus. So when Jeff couldn’t make it we had a singer who was __ , we tried him for a couple of weeks and he didn’t work out. Then we had another guitar player named Terry Kelly, he didn’t work out. So, a friend of mine – Duane Hitchings, who was working with a band called Steel, who my manager managed, and we said ‘Look does anyone know where to get ahold of Tim McCarty from Mitch Ryder.. He plays with Buddy Miles now.’ and Duane had played with Buddy Miles, and he said ‘yeah, I know how to get ahold of him.’ So he got ahold of McCarty and so McCarty came up and played and that was great. So we said ‘well now we need a singer’, so McCarty recommended Rusty Day from The Amboy Dukes. So we had sort of a ‘supergroup’ because that’s what we were trying to do. At that time Blind Faith was a supergroup, and West, Bruce & Laing were just getting together, and there was other band’s like that – Crosby, Stills & Nash; so we were trying to do the same kind of thing, because that was the new cool thing to do. So when we got this band together, and we brought Rusty in, and Rusty was great . And the thing I never knew was that “Parchman Song” was a cover song. We were recording it and rehearsing it, and only when the album came out I found out that it was a cover song; I thought it was Rusty’s lyrics because he was great writing lyrics, as we would play stuff he would start singing lyrics and melodies, and that’s how most of our songs were written. So really that song could’ve been our own song because it wasn’t about the lyrics and the fact that it was “Parchman Song”, it was what we played, that double bass – drum shuffle, which was the fastest double bass-drum shuffle recorded at that time, 1970. So, it could’ve been any song, it was the fact that it had so much energy and the way we played that. That groove was what made the song happen. So that’s sort of a weird little story I tell about that first album. And then we put it all together, and we had a deal on Atlantic Records, which was Vanilla Fudge’s label. And we had a really powerful lawyer represent Vanilla Fudge, and Cactus, The Rascals, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits, all the powerful bands because he was a real powerhouse. He got us an immediate good deal on Atlantic. And it was kind of easy once we got the band together. But we never got the single that we needed to break-through to make it like Led Zeppelin or Grand Funk Railroad…

Where did the ‘American Led Zeppelin’ tag come from and did that put a lot of pressure on you guys?

It didn’t put pressure on us because Led Zeppelin weren’t that big yet, you know they had 1 or 2 albums. It came from the press, somebody labelled it that and then it stuck. Even today they label that. The last album we did with Cactus ‘Tightrope’, on Cleopatra, I think was one of the better albums we’ve ever done. Unfortunately anything coming out today doesn’t sell, nothing because of Spotify and all that.

I thought it was a good album. I think Paul Warren’s a great fit.

Paul’s great. Paul’s from Detroit. Paul played on ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, so that’s why we did it. We did it live first, just for fun, to tell the audience ‘we’re going to play a song Paul played on when he was 17.’ And when we played it they all went crazy and we said ‘we definitely got to record that.’ And it came out fantastic. And we were planning that release for 2020, which was our 50th anniversary, and we went to Europe before that and we dates in America and some dates in Canada, but we never got to do the dates saying ’50th Anniversary’, so the dates we have coming up, we’re going to sell the merch we have from 2020, the t-shirts, the album, and everything.

You guys did the 3, 4 albums in the ’70s, then you broke up and went off to other things.

Me and Tim finally had the opportunity to play with Jeff, and that was what we wanted to do in the first place.

Was that the reason for breaking up or was it more that the band didn’t have that single?

No, that was reason, because that second Cactus band that we put together was more like The Faces, and I think we would’ve eventually had a single because there are some songs on that Hot ‘N Sweaty album that could’ve been hits. But at that point we were already starting to go with Jeff Beck, so the label didn’t want to put money in to it. And then when that broke up we gave the rest of the Cactus name to Duane Hitchings, who was the keyboard player in Cactus, and who later on co-wrote ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’ and ‘Young Turks’ with me and Rod. We’d been friends a long time, so gave him and Mike Pinera Cactus and they did an album for Atlantic called ‘Son Of Cactus‘, and they went out on tour and must’ve grossed through the year like 7-800000 thousand in a year, which was big money back in the ’70s.
Cactus did quite a few major tours, and were on a lot of good bills…
We toured with everybody. We toured with The Faces when they were big doing arenas, we toured with Hendrix, we toured with Uriah Heep, we toured with Badfinger back in the day. And we did a lot of shows where bands opened for us. And big fans of Cactus were people like Eddie and Alex Van Halen. I’ve got cassettes of those guys playing Cactus songs, and on their albums they use some of our stuff, like “Eruption” was the beginning of our song ‘Let Me Swim’, and Alex told me the template for “Hot For Teacher” was “Parchman Farm”, based on that double-bass drum shuffle. They were big Cactus fans, they did a song with Sammy that was a middle section of our song called “Evil”. And King’s X were big Cactus fans, and Ronnie James Dio was a big Cactus fan. We’d go to Memphis and sell-out to 5000 people, and Long Beach Arena we did 5000 people, England we did 3 or 4000 thousand people, so we had a pretty good following worldwide. We went to Europe and do pretty good size crowds in Europe. We played the Isle Of Wight, which is a video that’s going to be coming out at some point. We played in front of 600000 people!

You mentioned Uriah Heep and Badfinger, 2 bands I’m a fan of. Do you have any recall on those tours?

We used to be pretty wild in those days. One time we were on stage on they (Badfinger) hit us with whipped cream pies on our faces, so we retaliated by bringing this – they a 50 gallon metal barrel that they used to put ice in and all our drinks in it – so we filled it up with all kinds of crap, and not realizing we could’ve electrocuted these guys – we just went up and threw it at them on stage, the 3 of us picked it up and threw the whole thing at them, the audience went crazy — that was the same night. Uriah Heep, I don’t remember many stories with Uriah Heep. I can tell you a great story with Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath had just came out, and they had one their first gigs on the east coast at Asbury Park, it was Black Sabbath and Cactus, it was an equal bill thing and we went on first, and just before we went on, we had a very small roadie and somebody stole a bag of pot from him, and I think they punched him in the face, and it was one of the Black Sabbath guys that did it, so just before we went on we were face to face with Black Sabbath and ready to have a rumble backstage, and luckily the promoter broke it up. Those guys were from Birmingham, which is a working class town – like Detroit, and we’re from Brooklyn, New York, and Detroit which is both working class towns that had gangs, I grew up with gangs and stuff. So we were ready to kill each other before either one of us went on. And they broke it up, and so happens that Circus magazine was there that day, so they later on did an interview with us and printed it in Circus magazine about that almost they’re going to hands and fighting with Black Sabbath and Cactus.

You resurrected Cactus in the 2000s, Tightrope is the newest (studio) album, and you’ve got some shows coming up . You and Paul both played with Rod Stewart at different times, so what did you knoew about him that you got him in to the band?

I knew of him playing with Rod, because I went to see Rod a few times. And I had this show called the Rod Experience, which had bandmembers from Rod’s band in it – I had Jimmy Crespo, Phil Chen, myself, and Danny Johnson, all 4 of us out of 5 played with Rod. And we had a guy that looked like Rod, and he sang like Rod. And we went out and did shows, we went to China , Mccow, all over this country. we did 30-40 shows, and then Jimmy Crespo couldn’t play any more and he had to leave, so I was looking for somebody, and somebody said ‘why don’t you get Paul Warren? He played with Rod’ So I got Paul in, and while playing with him in the Rod Experience I realized he’s great player and he’s from Detroit.??.. And we became good friends. So, when Jim McCarty said that he really didn’t want to travel any more, he just wanted to play his own gigs around Detroit, I had a choice of with ?? band, (because Tim was already out of the band) or keeping the band going, and I did, I changed guitar players. So, I started talking to manager, and he said ‘why don’t we do that?’, and I talked to the band, and they said ‘yeah, we want to keep it going’. So we did, we got Paul in, and then I realized Paul was like Jim McCarty on 10. Paul is amazing. He’s a great songwriter, and on stage he is really great. And we went to Europe with him, and at home we did a whole load of gigs there, and people loved him, and even when we went to Detroit JIm McCarty came, and he knew Paul, and Jim got up and played with Paul, it was awesome. So, he’s well respected from the people, well respected from the audience, and well respected from McCarty. So then we got the ?? deal and we started doing Tightrope, and that was the last record I did where we were all a band in one room. That was great because we started writing songs together from scratch, Paul start doing a riff and I’d start playing drums, then we’d say well let’s go somewhere else – let’ go here after these ten bars, something like that. So we wrote the songs as band – mostly me, Paul, and Jimmy Kunes. And I think in the end Jimmy had some sort of problem with that, because Paul was a much more powerful entity in the band than McCarty because McCArty didn’t get involved in production and that, and Paul was involved in the production, the songwriting, and the guitar player. Me and Paul were the co-producers of it, and I don’t know if Jimmy Kunes likes that or not. And Paul was a really good singer too. He sang on “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”, he sang a verse. So after we did all that Covid hit and all that, then we started getting more dates, and we found out Jimmy Kunes didn’t want to do it any more. So as of now we’re just getting a new guy in. He’s an English guy , named Jim, and he played with Jimmy Jones [?] and a few people like that. He plays guitar and he’s a great singer. So Paul is working with him in Nashville. We’ll have a rehearsal in March with the whole band for a couple of days, then we’ll go do 3 shows to warm up, then we’ll do some more shows in June. And you know I haven’t toured yet with this new album, so it keeps us going. And I met with Foghat – Roger Earl, who’s the only original member in Foghat and he’s been going, and they’re doing great! And he said ‘don’t give it up, that’s your advantage, your legendary band Just keep doing it.’

One thing I’m always interested in is the album artwork. So I wanted to know what kind of say and input you’ve had over the years in the albums covers…

We always have influence. The first album was the most notorious because it looked like a penis and testicles erect, it looked just like that. We found this good art guy that was doing shows, and we said that is so cool, it’s so phallic , it’s so manly, and in Cactus – it really tells you what the band is about. So we showed it to Atlantic and they said ‘we can’t release that!’ Back in the day Macy’s and EJ Korvettes, and all the chains like that won’t stock the album if they see that. So we changed it a little bit; it still had the idea but it didn’t look exactly like one. So what we did was we made stickers out of the original one, thousands and thousands of stickers and whenever we went, like on planes – we’d go to the bathroom, pull the seat up and sticker on the cover! So when the stewardess pulls the seat up they see a Cactus sticker. Haha. We used to do crazy, wild things, like bring women out on stage and have them wearing like 5 Cactus stickers! It was pretty crazy days back then, you know – the hippies, the pot smoking generation, the nudity, free sex, all that stuff. I Can’t believe I survived it, to tell you the truth.
The 2nd album, One Way Or Another was – one way was the beautiful Grand Canyon with the sunset, another way was a beautiful sunset in the back was a Hawaiian sunset. And inside was to be all other things that were to be not as cool. And then the third one – Restrictions, the cactus breaking through the concrete, with the drawing of a guy, and I believe there was clouds of pot smoke and you couldn’t see the rest of his body. So we were always involved… Hot N Sweaty we recorded live in Puerto Rico, it was a festival, so it was a very tropical type of artwork, because it was Puerto Rico. And the next one was Cactus 5. And then for the artwork for all the different stuff Atlanta put out, they always sent us stuff to approve and we always had our comments and they fixed it. We were always very much involved in the artwork in Cactus.

I had done a piece on Tightrope cover,…

Susan ….and Paul Latimer. We told them what we wanted, because you know Cactus is always been associated with pot smoking and rebellion and restrictions and all that. So we said ‘let’s just incorporate all that and make it like society’s own fuck {?] ‘the government fucked me’, and put a tighrope on there with somebody walking the tightrope. and that’s what they came up with and we immediately like it, we had 2 comments, we did. Then we had it animated so there’s video we did, that’s the title song. And Paul Warren’s not in that video because he was sick as a dog, before Covid, he had a cold and all these other ailments he had going on, but thank God he’s OK now. So the guitar is a young kid from a band I was producing called Kodiak. It’s like a new Van Halen, the kid sounds just like Van Halen. And I asked him to do it, and that’s why you don’t see his face.

Who did the artwork for the new archive live album?

Actually Cleopatra did it. They said do you you guys want to be involved, and I said Let’s see what you come up with. And they came up with that, and I said you know what – we didn’t have a lot to do with recording it, so go for it. I’m the only one, me and McCarty that knew that was coming out. So our manager Bruce just let McCarty knew recently that’s coming out, and sending him a copy ( I haven’t got my copy yet).

Do you keep up on all the vinyl variants and albums colors and stuff? Do you keep a copy of everything you’ve ever done?

I pretty much try to, yeah. I got the Tightrope album on vinyl, I got Cactus V, any one that we did on vinyl – I got. But they didn’t do vinyl of, you know – The Best Of Cactus is a double CD, and they did all that live stuff and studio stuff, and they didn’t do those. But my Guitar Zeus I’ve got all the vinyls now, they’re just released before Christmas a 4-LP, 3-CD, with a booklet Guitar Zeus box-set for the 25th anniversary, which is really good. We put 3 extra (new) tracks on there that were never released. I actually found them on a 24-track, and we actually worked on them, finished them. I put Tommy Thayer from Kiss on one of them, I put Derek Sherinian (keyboard player from Sons Of Apollo and Dream Theater) playing like a guitar solo on his mini-moog. And I had that kid again, (who was in the Cactus video – the guy from Kodiak) on one of the songs, to give him a break. We have 39 tracks, there’s also some tracks with no vocal, no guitar, so people can play along with it and everything. And then there’s a bundle where you can get a Carmine face-logo – like a silver metal, a photo of me, and booklet, and a t-shirt. So, I’ll keep one. If people want to buy it, it’s on my merch list at my website.

Did you have much of a collection growing up? did you buy much?

I have a lot of albums, but right now most of my albums are with my drums in a locker in LA. And I live in Florida now, and I have a locker in New York and a locker in LA, and a small locker here for the house. And I’ve got drums, I try and sell the drums because drums are not made to sit in a dark locker, they’re made to be played. I’m actually going to put a thing on Facebook saying that if anyone is interested in buying a couple of sets of drums I have, that I used on records – go to my website and look for Booking information and let us know. Again, I got rid of a lot of drums, and I’ve got drums I played with in the lockers, and I’ve got some real collectables. They’re all in there, I’ve got boxes on vinyl, and I’ve got boxes of vinyl here.

Do you still have a residence in New York?

We have a place in Manhattan, [?] I lived in LA for fourty years, I lived in Long Island for 2 years, more than 2 years, I have 2 houses on Long Island, one of them I turned in to a drum studio and gave lessons, and had 3 teachers working with me, and that’s when I started writing my drum books and all that and became an educator. I had lots of houses in LA. Then I moved to Florida in 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, and I’m so glad I did because I have the studio here, which I’ve recorded the new King Kobra album, I recorded that here. I recorded The Energy Overload record, that’s on Cleopatra also – myself and Fernando Perdomo, who’s a producer and a muti-instrumentalist. We did this instrumental album that’s getting amazing reviews – 5 out of 5 on and Classic Rock gave it 9 out of 10. So we’re working on a new record, and we’ve got 6 or 7 songs for that all at my studio. I was telling my wife yesterday I’m so glad we moved here and I got the studio, otherwise I would’ve lost my mind during Covid, because I didn’t have anywhere I could play my drums, you know, I had a house in Connecticut and I could just play my drums but no way to record, the room there was like a gym, it was too echoe-ee to record it. So I’ve done so much work here; I’ve produced this singer name Lisa G ee, I did some some stuff for Cleopatra, I played on Arthur Brown’s new single with Brian Auger. I also did a Pink Floyd tribute, I did that with them as well. So I did a lot of recording here. I did a Modern Drummer Festival here, I recorded it live. I recorded Nico McBrain from Iron Maiden, I did his Modern Drummer festival video here and recording here. And I engineered it which I thought was really funny – Carmine Appice the Engineer now, right!? Ha.

So, who is on the new King Kobra?

We did 2 King Kobra records – one in 2010, one in 2012, and I had Johnny Rod, the original 2 guitar players – Mick and Dave, and our original singer Marcie Free didn’t want to do it, so I got Paul Shortino who sang with Quiet Riot and Rough Cutt, so he did those 2 albums. Now we’ve got a new deal on Cleopatra to do a new King Kobra, and the 2 guitar players didn’t want to do it. Mick works as a union painter in LA for movies, and Dave works for Live Nation – he does all the computer tech stuff for them, so he said ‘nah we don’t want to do, it’s so much work and nobody buys it anymore…’ , I said ‘yeah , but your keeping your only legacy going, and you’re creating music’. So I ended up getting Rowan Robertson that played with Dio, and Carlos Cavazo from Quiet Riot. So those are the 2 new guitar players with me, Paul, and Johnny Rod. And I gotta say this album kicks ass! It’s really really good.. It’s kinda leaning more towards that ’80s metal , but it also has 70s hard-heavy rock. It’s really a good record. But still you’ve got a limited audience who buy for sales, you know most people don’t buy records any more they head to Spotify and bands don’t make any money off of Spotify . So we’re just making it and doing it to get new music out, keep the legacy going, and do music – that’s what I do, I love it – that’s my hobby, my wife, you know!? And the album is called “Music Is A Piece Of Art“. Isn’t that a cool title!? And the lyric in that song is “music is a piece of art, through your ears and straight to your heart”. I think that’s really clever.

I like Johnny’s work, I’m very familiar with him in WASP….

Yeah, Johnny is a great bass player! We just finished his bass parts. We actually flew him to Vegas to work with Paul Shortino in Paul’s studio. Me and Carlos worked from our home studios. We flew him [Johnny] there, put him in a hotel, and he spent 4 days with Paul and did all the bass tracks And Paul called me and goes “Johnny Rod is a motherfucker!” He said he was so good, he made the songs come to life even more than they were actually. And that’s why I put him in King Kobra because he’s a great bass player! He’s got the look, he’s got the image, and he’s a wild guy , he fits the band perfect!

Over the years have you had much contact with John Sykes from the Blue Murder project?

I saw him In 2010 he’d left Thin Lizzy to go out and do Blue Murder. We had gigs booked, the management from Thin Lizzy was going to manage it, we had gigs booked in Europe for big money and something happened between him and the management and they cancelled it all. And since they cancelled it all, nothing’s happened for many years, and then maybe 3 years ago, when I still lived in California me and Tony and John got together at John’s house, just screwin’ around – we got together and played, and it sounded amazing. Then we did it again, then we talked ‘let’s go out – let’s get a manager and an agent’, people are dying to hear Blue Murder all over the world. And we were going to do it, and after the last jam we had John wanted to do like a John Sykes history tour combination with Blue Murder, me and Tony. And we said ‘they want to hear Blue Murder, if you want to do a John Sykes tour – we can do my history too, you know, which is pretty strong, and we can do Tony’s history which is pretty strong too.’ People want to hear Blue Murder I don’t care about doing my history, I want to play Blue Murder. So the last time I saw John was 2020, January, at the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame, at the NAMM show, and he was there and he had put together a drummer and Tony said he was going to go out and that John history tour. And John said ‘oh my drummer is dying to meet you, can you come and meet him?’. I said ‘sure’, so I met the kid and everything. And we left it at John would go out and do this tour in 2020, and when he’s done with that we’d go out and do Blue Murder. And unfortunately Covid hit, so he never did the tour. And I texted him and never heard back from him, I don’t know if he changed his number, but I haven’t talked him in 3 years now.

I want to touch base on a session you did a long time ago, a band named Ursa Major – Dick Wagner’s band.

Oh my God! I did. I don’t even remember the song, but I remember Ursa Major, and Dick was a good friend, and I saw him the last time about a year before he passed. I did a solo album in ’77 called V8, which Dick played on 2 songs

I want to talk a bit about Vanilla Fudge…

Did you hear that new song we did? It came out last year, and it’s the only song from a band from 1967 come out with all 4 members of the original band. It was done before Tim Bogert passed away, it was called “Stop In The Name Of Love”, it’s on youtube, and it’s pure Vanilla Fudge! It’s really good. Tim was sick as a dog, he had stage 4 cancer, and I got him to do it, and it was great.

Is there any plans to do any more recordings as Vanilla Fudge?

Well, we were supposed to do, this was part of what was going to be an album called Supreme Fudge, which we were going to do 5 Supreme songs, 3 other R n B songs, and 2 originals – something like that. So we recorded this one first in December of 2019, that was about the time we got the deal sorted out. So went in the studio and started recording, even though we didn’t get any money yet, because we didn’t have any budget, but we had a studio and we were in the New York area doing some shows, we had some days off so we said why don’t we go in and put that arrangement down that we had of the song. OK, so we did it. And then in the next month, January, I was going to the NAMM show, I talked to Tim, and I said ‘we got a new deal with Supreme Fudge, can you play on 1, 2 or 3 tracks?’ and he said ‘yeah as long as I’m physically able to I’ll do it.’ So, since we had that track recorded I went to the NAMM show, and I sold my house in LA, and went in and recorded Tim at my friend’s house, that was 2020 just before Covid. And when I got back I realized I had to re-do the drums, because the drums had all kinds of leakage on it, for some stupid reason. So I had to re-do the drums. So I said ‘OK when I go back maybe February or March I’ll re-do the drums and maybe we can get together then and start arranging more stuff.’ I had gigs going in February with my brother so I couldn’t do the Vanilla Fudge then, and then Covid hit and that was the end of that. But I did have Tim on that track, so when I moved to Florida and developed my drum sound, and I thought I was ready I put new drums on it. So I did those drums here too. And the rgeat thing about having the drums here in my studio is I can walk in there any day and today I can go in there and put a drum track down and tomorrow or next week I can go in there and say ‘I don’t like that drum fill, let me fix it’, and I’ll still have the same exact drum sound because the drums are in the same exact place, same room, it didn’t change. But when Covid hot we never got to record any more because the other guys don’t have studios, I’m the only one who has a studio . So our manager said ‘well since you’ve got Tim on that and everything else is done why don’t I just work out a deal for that!?’ So he worked out a deal with the same label that released the Zeppelin record and they released the song on digital. So, the manager made the deal for the digital version of that because they didn’t want to release a real version, which they should’ve, a vinyl version. So that’s what happened, and we never got to do the Supreme Fudge album.

Hopefully there’ll be a way to come back to it

No. Not unless the business changes. And not unless this Covid thing goes totally away where we can actually go to a studio. I mean, my brother is in the studio right now with Last In Line – all together, in Vegas, so…

You also put out your autobiography a few years ago. I’m curious – you’ve done so much with so many bands, how would you narrow something down in to one book?

It wasn’t easy. There should be a volume 2. The next book is going to be called “Guitar Zeus – The Book“, and I’m going to talk about all the guitar players that I worked with in my life. That’s an interesting concept that ties in to my album. And I’m going to put 2 CDs in the book. And I’m talking to this guy, there’s a new book on Led Zeppelin, a biography that was just released recently; and the guy that wrote that wrote The Beatles biography, and he’s just been contracted to do the Rolling Stones over the next 5 years, and he wants to do this book with me. So, as soon as he gets his contract figured out and he’s able to do it – we’re going to write that book. And he’s going to get me a deal, which will be a big deal, and it’s going to be all of the guitar players, I’ve got a list, it’s pretty impressive, and I’ve got stories of everybody. And I’ve got pictures… I can do a Stick It : Part 2, you know…

Vanilla Fudge Stop in the Name of Love

KJ, 02/’22

2 thoughts on “CARMINE APPICE – Talks new Cactus live release, Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra….”

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