Vinny Appice; All in the Family – Part Two

Meeting and playing with John Lennon did not open doors for Vinny Appice.

“Not really …” Says Vinny from his home in California. ” It was more of being in the right place at the right time. Rick Derringer heard my tapes from the studio and liked what he heard. The John Lennon thing was great but it was just something I did.”


Vinny played with the group Axis previous to Derringer and that is the music the legendary American guitarist heard. ” Axis and I were in in Shreveport, Louisiana when we hooked up with Derringer. Danny Johnson and I joined his band for three albums before we returned and re-joined Axis. One day – I received a call from Black Sabbath’s tour manager. Hey! He says …  we are looking for a drummer! You interested? ”

Vinny flew down and met Tony Iommi, who just happened to have a couple of Axis albums under his arm. The pair of Heavy Metal enthusiasts hit it off and Appice auditioned for a place in the legendary rock band.

“We all hit it off …” Says Vinny.”I was younger than the guys. I was intimidated but I just got on the drums, pounded it out and fell into a comfortable spot. They asked me to join and we all got along great. ”

Appice continues.

“The plan was for me to replace Ward until he regained his health. As we know now – Ward decided to not come back right away and I ended up staying longer than originally planned.”

Vinny toured with the band and played on ‘The Mob Rules’ – his first Sabbath album but not his last.


‘I got back with the boys ( Tony Iommi, Geezer Buttler, Ronnie James Dio) on 1992’s Dehumanizer album and again in Heaven and Hell. I was happy to play with Dio once more ( 2007) before his death. He got a lot of negative publicity because of his music ‘beliefs’ yet there was not a kinder person off stage than Ronnie. It was a sad day when he passed.The thing that bothers me the most, is all the great music and experiences we could have had. ”

Appice’s appetite for destruction, drum-wise, began early.

” I always liked heavy music.” Says Appice. “Even when I was young. Carmine was more into feel and groove. He taught me a lot but I just loved to pound the skins …”

These days, aside from his Drum Wars with his older brother – Vinny has a couple of projects ‘on the go’.


” I got a new band called Kill Devil Hill. It includes Rex Brown from Pantera. We did one album and a couple of tours – we opened up for Alice Cooper. Now we are recording album two  and it looks like it’s going to be a killer album. We’ll get that wrapped up and do some more touring. I also got the original Dio band back together with Vivian Campbell on guitar and  Marty Friedman is going to sing his ass off! . We have a  festival in Europe in August and we will play Ronnie’s music for him.”

Vinny and Carmine Appice will be in Montreal on May 9th for their drum wars. In case Carmine is unfamiliar – how about this resume?

First, Carmine Appice rose to fame as the drummer with the 1960s psychedelic band Vanilla Fudge. He then moved on to form  Cactus before landing with Jeff Beck in the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice Rod Stewart‘s backing band came calling in 1977, and Carmine co-wrote songs such as “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and “Young Turks“.

poster_01b.jpg“Looking forward to the show in Montreal.” Says Vinny. “After the show we do a meet and greet, sign things and I hope that everyone comes down. It’s a lot of fun …”

If  meeting John Lennon did not open doors, Appice has made sure they have stayed open over the years …

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