Carmine Appice Talks Long Island, Upcoming Projects & Drumming For The Rascals
Having played with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Ted Nugent and Jeff Beck -- to name a few key artists -- Carmine Appice is one of the all-time great rock drummers. He was notably a major influence on musicians from Motley Crue, Aerosmith, KISS, Rush, Slayer, Queen and Iron Maiden, and has affected thousands of other drummers with his instruction books and videos. And that is without going into depth about his years as the drummer (and a co-founder) of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Blue Murder or King Kobra.
Fast forwarding to 2018, Carmine Appice remains busy as ever. Beyond playing shows with the aforementioned Vanilla Fudge and Cactus -- or recording as part of Appice with brother (and fellow drummer) Vinny -- Carmine Appice is currently drumming for Felix Cavaliere & Gene Cornish's Rascals; this is the first tour with at least 2 founding Rascals members in 5 years. Upcoming Rascals shows with Cavaliere and Cornish in the New York metro area include July 20th at Long Island's Theatre At Westbury, September 21st at New Jersey's Mayo Performing Arts Center, and October 26th at New York City's Town Hall.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Carmine Appice about The Rascals -- a band which he has been acquainted with since the 1960s -- and also his ties to Long Island. More on the legendary drummer can be found online at www.carmineappice.net, while additional Q&A I conducted with Appice can now be read on the Sportskeeda website.
In the late 1960s, Vanilla Fudge lived in Long Beach. How exactly did that happen?
Carmine Appice: Our manager Phil Basile owned a big successful club called The Action House. It was in Island Park, the next town over from Long Beach. So after some success with the band, we all moved to Long Beach and the vicinity to be near the management.
Long Beach has been both beautiful and scary at various points in history. How was it when you lived here?
Carmine Appice: It was fine. Beautful in the summer and very cold in winter. We lived at the Azores right on the beach. Winter was cold...
Was there much of a music scene in Long Beach when you lived there?
Carmine Appice: The music scene there was The Action House. It held 2,000 people. Everyone who eventually got big played there. Another small club was Leone's, but that was for smaller local bands.
When were you last in Long Beach?
Carmine Appice: Honestly, I don’t remember.
You are currently touring with The Rascals. When did you first meet them?
Carmine Appice: I’ve known Dino [Danelli] the longest. He was playing in a band called Ronnie Speaks & The Elrods. He was playing at the Metropole [Cafe] opening for Gene Krupa, my idol. I met Dino on a break. Then I started hearing about this great New York group called The Rascals. I saw them in New York City at a club called The Phone Booth before they had any hit records. That is when I met them. I don’t know the year but before all the hits.
As part of your live sets with The Rascals, will you be playing any songs from your career?
Carmine Appice: As of now we are not, but you never know. I've got a few big hits, you know.
Rascals aside, what are you currently working on?
Carmine Appice: I did an album with my brother Vinny called Sinister [as Appice]. It did OK for today's market. We did a bunch of sold-out shows in Europe and the USA. Possibly more shows in October when The Rascals are not playing. We did a song "Monsters & Heroes" about Ronnie James Dio that did well.
I am also doing Cactus shows, 8 this year so far. Vanilla Fudge is doing a summer tour, the Hippie Fest, on the 2-week break with The Rascals. It includes Rick Derringer, Mitch Ryder, and Joey [Molland] from Badfinger. On July 27th, I have a live King Kobra CD -- Live At Sweden Rock Fest 2016 -- coming out, plus a re-release of my Guitar Zeus CDs that have all these great guitarist like Brian May, [Richie] Sambora, [Ted] Nugent, Slash and more, with a new track with Bumblefoot on it.
Big news is Kanye West sampled the Vanilla Fudge song “Take Me For A Little While,” which is on his new CD, which sits at #1 on the Billboard album charts and #16 on the singles charts. That's about it -- hope thats enough! (laughs) But I’m looking forward to playing with The Rascals!
Is there something you wish more people knew about Carmine Appice?
Carmine Appice: Only that I would love to get into speaking engagements. I've had to survive in the music biz for over 50 years. I think my experiences could help other people.
Finally, Carmine, any last words for the kids?
Carmine Appice: Thanks for the support all these years. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all that support. Cheers to you all!