Jimmy Geurts of the Sarasota Herald Tribune spoke with iconic drummer, Carmine Appice, highlights from the interview appear, below.
Herald Tribune: What do you have planned for your Cooking with Rock Stars concert and filming here?
Carmine Appice: I’m going to play with Pat Travers, Pat is a guy that I work with. I have a new album out called Carmine Appice Guitar Zeus, and on that album I have all these great guitar players, and Pat is one of them. With Pat, we share my song that I wrote, and played with Rod Stewart, Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? We’re gonna play that song, one from my group Cactus and one song from Beck, Bogert & Appice….
Herald Tribune: As you mentioned, you’ve worked with Travers a lot over the years. How did that partnership come about?
Carmine Appice: When I first met Pat, I was playing with Ted Nugent and we were on tour together, Pat was the opening act. Pat’s drummer Sandy Gennaro is a good friend of mine, so I hung out with Pat a lot. Through the years, we’ve just connected and connected. And in the early 2000s, I had a record deal with a German label, we did the first album with Rick Derringer, me and Tim Bogert. Rick was born again at the time and he brought that to the music, so when the second album came up, the label said, “We don’t want to use Rick, we want you to use somebody else.” So I thought about Pat. I called Pat and asked him if he wanted to do this album with me. We did it, and we ended up doing two records.
So we’ve been friends for a long time, so when this thing came along, John Campbell asked me, “Do you have anybody else you could think might want to do that? We’re in Florida.” I said, “Well, you should call Pat.” We called Pat and Pat said, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” He wanted me to play, so I said, “Why don’t I just play with Pat? Pat’s got his little trio down there, we can use his bass player, it should be easy.” So that’s what ended up happening.
Herald Tribune: Led Zeppelin’s first North American tour was opening for Vanilla Fudge. What was that experience like, getting to introduce them to that audience?
Carmine Appice: Well, we knew Jimmy Page at the time. He was with the Yardbirds and we’d done some gigs with the Yardbirds with Vanilla Fudge. So our manager and their manager were friends, we had the same attorney, we were on the same label. So we got the record well in advance to hear it because they said, “Do you guys want these guys to open up for you?” We could’ve said no, but we were nice guys and said, “Yeah, Jimmy Page’s band, sure, they sound great.” I love John Bonham’s drumming on the first record.
We didn’t need them on the first gig, we’d already sold out by the time they were added. But our agent was their agent and he told the promoter, “Look, I’ll tell you what, you pay half and Vanilla Fudge will pay half,” because we were the headliners. In those days as a headliner, we were making five, six, seven thousand a night, not like headliners today. And they opened up for us, people were yelling, “Bring the Fudge on,” but in general they had a good reaction. And they continued on from there. Six months later, we did gigs with them and it was equal bill, that’s how big they got so fast. It was a lot of fun those days, because everything was new.
Herald Tribune: Bonham was among the drummers who’ve considered you an influence. How does that feel?
Carmine Appice: There were drummers like John Bonham, Ian Paice from Deep Purple, Roger Taylor, Neil Peart. You can tell by all these guys that use gongs. I brought the gong into rock and then Bonzo brought it in with Led Zeppelin, Carl Palmer had gongs, everybody had gongs, it became like a staple. The two China cymbals on a boom stand, I brought that in and even in Spinal Tap, you had a gong and two Chinese cymbals. It became like this is the rock set-up, so stuff that I did caught on, and a lot of drummers used it. There’s guys that went through my drum book, I wrote a drum book as well and it was very successful. Guys like Slipknot’s drummer, he went through it, the female drummer that was in Motley Crue for a minute went through it. Dave Weckl went through it, even Andrew Dice Clay went through the book. It’s crazy.
Read more at the Herald Tribune.
Also, listen to Carmine’s track, This Time Around, featuring performances by Yngwie Malmsteen and dUg Pinnick, here.
This song also appears on Appice’s, Carmine Appice Guitar Zeus, album.