When is the last time you heard the Flintstones theme played out with drums alone? For that matter, has anyone ever performed the iconic song with percussion alone?
Vinny Appice, drummer for John Lennon, Derringer, Black Sabbath and Dio, along with his older brother Carmine (Vaniila Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne), ventured into the land of Bedrock last night as the drum playing duo took part in their ‘Drum Wars’.
Part clinic, part soloing, part vaudeville and all heavy metal rock n roll. Their show – not for the faint of heart ..
“Sure I’ve been to Montreal many times…” Says Carmine. ” I was here first in 1969 with Vanilla Fudge. We were busted in our hotel room after the show for possessing certain substances. Back in those days, taboos were not broken. The cops were still out to get us.”
Good thing Carmine was not ‘put away’. The Brooklyn, N.Y native went on to co – write one of the biggest songs ( commercially ) for both the seventies and Rod Stewart’s career. ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy‘, was number one for four straight weeks practically all over the world and has sold million of records ( most of all proceeds of the song have gone to charity).
I was Rod’s drummer and I came up with a riff and Rod liked it.” Explains the elder Appice ” We sat down and worked on it and eventually came up with the song as everyone knows it. Everyone at that time was dipping into ‘Disco’ music. Because of the success of Saturday Night Fever and The Bee Gees, us rock guys thought our time was over. Rod was pretty smart coming up with that song at that time. It allowed us to ride the wave until it collapsed…”
Drum Wars is a rare event.
The brothers take their repertoire and commence taking turns individually and as a duo – pounding those songs without mercy into a mostly head banging audience. A group of metal heads consisting of all ages.
‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ was performed with a metal twist. No disco, no Studio 54 here. The sole recognizable ingredient – the sing along chorus and preceding ‘ah ah ah ah ah ah … ‘
Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’ – an upbeat version complete with Ronnie’s symbolic devilish hand – gesturing, complimented correctly with Osbourne’s ‘Bark at the Moon’ and of course – the monstrously successful; ‘Crazy Train’.
In between, the brothers, who arrived on stage with introductions reserved for wrestlers on a WWF card, taunted and provoked each other as sibling rivalries will.
The entire production carried out as if some spaced out studio executive decided to join The Banana Splitz with The Sopranos and create a reality concert in lieu of a show.
Drum Wars is off to Ottawa following a Toronto and Montreal stopover. Carmine is off to LA for Andy Johns’ funeral, a man who Carmine worked with during his time with Stewart and a man who both the Appice brothers hold in high esteem.
“It is very sad.” Says Carmine. ” He was a brilliant man in the studio. All you have to do is look at the bands he worked with. He was highly sought out.”
Carmine will also be performing, aside from Drum Wars, with his two original groups; a reformed Cactus and Vanilla Fudge.
Vinny, aside from Drum Wars, will be touring with his new band Kill Devil Hill.
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