Showing posts with label #Vanilla Fudge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Vanilla Fudge. Show all posts

Monday, August 18, 2014

‘Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest’ -A Tribute to Johnny Winter is ‘Triumphant’ in Clearwater

-Concert Review
  By Ray Shasho

Rock ‘N’ Blues ‘Hippiefest’ –‘A Tribute to Johnny Winter’ was welcomed with open and peace-loving arms by an enthusiastic Ruth Eckerd crowd on Saturday night. The show was originally to be headlined by blues guitar legend Johnny Winter who passed away on July 16th.  Without the shows most noted and consistent act over the decades, you’d think there might be some mixed emotions encompassing the Hall about the evening’s events …. But not in Clearwater baby! The crowd responded energetically and altogether entertained by four captivating performances embodied with Rock, Blues, R&B, Jazz, and Psychedelic melodies.  

KIM SIMMONDS: A near capacity Ruth Eckerd audience began an evening of ‘Hippiefest’ fun and festivities with British Blues legend Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown. Since 1966, Simmonds has been founding member, lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of the band. Savoy Brown was part of the UK blues progression that helped to regenerate and popularize blues music in America throughout the 60’s. Kim Simmonds /Savoy Brown are the epitome of what rock and roll was and should always be. Deep-rooted, pure, artistic, manifesto, virtuoso, everlasting … these are the components that should land Kim Simmonds in the rock and roll hall of fame. Savoy Brown was also responsible for launching classic rock favorites Foghat. Simmonds is genuine rock and roll heritage. He opened the show with “Going to the Delta” spotlighting a track from his latest album with the same title. Simmonds ensued with “Nothing Like the Blues” and “Cobra,” more tracks from his latest release Going to the Delta. Kim Simmonds concluded his set with “Poor Girl” from the 1970 release Looking In followed by a rousing applause from a jubilant Clearwater crowd which truly appreciated  rock prodigiousness throughout the night. 

PETER RIVERA: Onstage next and quietly slipping behind a huge set of drums was the heart, soul, original voice and beat of Rare Earth, a very hip band of musicians that played an incredible mix of music comprised of rock, funk, soul, and psychedelic fusion. Rivera became the undisputed leader of Rare Earth, the only white band to score hits with the Berry Gordy, Jr. Motown Record label. In 1974, Rare Earth was the opening act for the California Jam …sharing the stage with Earth Wind & Fire, The Eagles, Seals & Crofts, Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

In 1992, Peter Rivera performed with the Classic Rock All Stars. The core lineup became Jerry Corbetta(Sugarloaf), Mike Pinera (Blues Image, Iron Butterfly & Alice Cooper), and Dennis Noda (Cannibal & the Headhunters). The band became very successful and toured extensively until Dennis Noda’s death, and the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s to Jerry Corbetta.
Although Rare Earth was at the height of its success between 1970 to the mid 70s, a resurgence of their material has been spotlighted on countless advertisements, television shows, movie trailers and motion pictures. Rare Earth has sold over 30-million records worldwide and was inducted into The Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.

Peter Rivera immediately ‘Funked Up’ the house with the Rare Earth classic “Hey Big Brother” a huge crowd-pleaser at the California Jam in 1974. Rivera commented during the song that ‘Big Brother’ is watching us more than ever …through Facebook, cell phones, and late night internet surfing … while stirring the crowd. The song was a Top 40 hit and featured on the critically acclaimed Rare Earth In Concert album (1971). Rivera followed with Rare Earth’s psychedelic rock version of “(I Know) I’m Losing You”(1970) from the Ecology album. Peter Rivera was phenomenal throughout the night … looking extremely fit and dapper while his prodigious drumming skills and vocals were impeccable. Rivera’s next classic tune … “Get Ready” lifted Rare Earth into superstardom. Rare Earth’s 21:30 version on their 1969 album by the same name was shortened for Top 40 radio airplay. “Get Ready” reached #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Peter Rivera concluded his set with a song that instantly raised the Ruth Eckerd audience to their feet, while they boogied to the soulful/ rock/ funk/ Top 40 classic “I Just Want to Celebrate” (1971) from The One World album.  …While all the performances of the evening were outstanding … Peter Rivera’s set was simply the best of the evening. 

VANILLA FUDGE: While each of the acts on the bill had the same supporting musicians, most likely to save time between acts … Vanilla Fudge had (3) original members onstage. Legendary drummer/singer/songwriter/ Carmine Appice … lead singer/ keyboardist/composer/ Mark Stein, and lead guitarist/ vocalist … Vince Martell. ‘The Fudge’ opened with “Take Me for a Little While” from their debut album Vanilla Fudge (1967).  The band dedicated their next song to Johnny Winter, a profound and beautifully performed Curtis Mayfield composition … “People Get Ready.” Carmine Appice’s vocal rendition of the song was awe-inspiring. The band followed with the Jr. Walker & the All-Star classic hit “Shotgun” which was performed by Vanilla Fudge on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1969. 
One of the evening’s magical moments was Carmine Appice performing an incredible drum solo. Brooklyn native Carmine Appice has attained one of the most illustrious rock resumes in music history. The accomplished drummer, singer, and songwriter tours as a key member with classic rock legends Vanilla Fudge and Cactus. Appice also tours with The Rod Experience, a historical tribute to Rod Stewart and his band featuring original members. Carmine Appice joined Rod Stewart’s band in 1977 and co-wrote the mega hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Young Turks.” Vanilla Fudge concluded their set while raising the Ruth Eckerd roof with their psychedelic/ rock/ mega hit of 1967 “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#6 Billboard Hot 100 Hit). It was a truly remarkable set by rock folklore. 

EDGAR WINTER: Winter entered the stage wearing an all-white outfit, coordinating perfectly with his long blondish/white hair. Edgar’s appearance and persona exhibited ‘professional rock star and performer’ all the way! Winter expressed his gratitude to everyone for letting him continue with the series of ‘Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest /Hippiefest’ concerts as a tribute to his late big brother Johnny Winter. An emotional Edgar Winter stated that performing music helps him with the healing process. Winter performed an interesting mix of rock, jazz, and the blues. The second half of his set was devoted to Johnny Winter. Edgar Winter always lights up his audiences with charismatic and energetic performances. Winter’s eclectic musical styles crossover into multiple genres including …blues, jazz, pop, and country, but he’s especially revered as a rock hero. Edgar Winter opened his set with the Chuck Berry penned classic “Johnny B. Goode” which was also a favorite of Brother Johnny’s.
He followed with “Tobacco Road.” In 1970, Edgar Winter released his first studio album entitled Entrance and the “Tobacco Road” track featured Brother Johnny on guitar, harmonica, and vocals. The song also successfully lifted Edgar into the limelight.  Next …Winter told the Clearwater audience the story behind the next song on his setlist “Frankenstein.”Winter stated … “I wrote the song years before it was recorded, or at least I came up with the original riff. When I was playing with my Brother Johnny in the late 60’s and no one knew who I was or if Johnny even had a brother and I had not yet recorded an album. He’d do the first part of his set with a blues trio and then say … “And now I’m going to bring on my little Brother Edgar!” So I’d walk out and the crowd would go … Oh, look there’s two of them!” Winter demonstrated both instrumental and athletic abilities on his performance of “Frankenstein.” The 67 year old Winter performed unwaveringly across the stage … wailing on saxophone, dropping to his knees while manipulating the keyboards and synthesizer, and aggressively beating out musical rhythms on the standup drums. Edgar’s performance of “Frankenstein” was simply explosive!!!

In 1972, the classic lineup of The Edgar Winter Group was born … Edgar Winter (vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, saxophone, and drums), Dan Hartman (bass, vocals), Ronnie Montrose (guitar, vocals), and Chuck Ruff (drums, vocals). The Edgar Winter Group scored huge commercially with the release of … They Only Come Out at Night. The album landed at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 200 and remained on the charts for an amazing 80 weeks. By 1986 the album became double platinum. They Only Come Out at Night spawned the classic rock mainstays … “Frankenstein,” (#1 Billboard hit -written by Edgar Winter).

Winter performed “Free Ride” (#14 Billboard hit -written by Dan Hartman) next which was definitely a crowd-pleaser bringing everyone at the Hall to its feet. Winter then played musical conductor, singing Scat (using his voice as an instrument) ala Ella Fitzgerald while exhibiting his jazz influence. Winter would scat a particular piece vocally and each member of the band would have to play it on their instruments verbatim. There were also hints of Blind Willie Johnson’s/Zeppelin arrangement “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” riffs.
Edgar Winter devoted the second half of his set to Brother Johnny performing “Highway 61 Revisited” with Savoy Brown’s Kim Simmonds joining him onstage. The finale of the evening was an incredible rendition of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” that featured Edgar as conductor of a band with Peter Rivera, all the members of Vanilla Fudge, and the shows band of proficient musicians … guitarist- Doug Rappoport, bassist- Koko Powell, and drummer- Jason Carpenter. All three are incredible musicians and had multiple moments during the show to shine.

If there was any part of the show I would change, it would be during Edgar Winter’s set.  Although Rappoport was an excellent guitarist, it appeared as though Winter was spotlighting the performer with lengthy guitar solos.  I would have preferred more Edgar Winter tunes and Johnny Winter tribute songs and perhaps a little less scatting and guitar solos.
All in all it was an incredible evening enjoyed by all! 
Special thanks to Jeff Albright of the Albright Entertainment Group.
Edgar Winter official website                              Edgar Winter on Facebook
Vanilla Fudge official website                             Vanilla Fudge on Facebook
                                        Peter Rivera official website                               
                                      Doug Rappoport official website

Coming up NEXT … Legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO, Bachman & Turner) …
Don Wilson guitarist, pioneer, and co-founder of ‘The Ventures’… Keyboard extraordinaire Patrick Moraz (YES/The Moody Blues)… Al Kooper (The Blues Project, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan, and responsible for the success of Lynyrd Skynyrd… Country Music’s shining new star -19 year old Mary Sarah … Folk/Rock singer & songwriter Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”) and  …Legendary keyboardist Keith Emerson (The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer)

Contact music journalist Ray Shasho at

Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at 

  - Please support Ray by purchasing his book so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting.“Check the Gs is just a really cool story ... and it’s real. I’d like to see the kid on the front cover telling his story in a motion picture, TV sitcom or animated series. The characters in the story definitely jump out of the book and come to life. Very funny and scary moments throughout the story and I just love the way Ray timeline’s historical events during his lifetime. Ray’s love of rock music was evident throughout the book and it generates extra enthusiasm when I read his on-line classic rock music column. It’s a wonderful read for everyone!”    …  

Ray’s exciting new book project entitled ‘SAVING ROCK AND ROLL’

© Copyright All Rights Reserved 

All photos my Mark Javer

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Carmine Appice Interview: The Legendary Drummer Keeps ‘Rock’ Hangin’ On

 By Ray Shasho

Brooklyn native Carmine Appice has attained one of the most illustrious rock resumes in music history. The accomplished drummer, singer, and songwriter continues to tour as a key member with classic rock legends Vanilla Fudge and Cactus. Appice will also be touring in 2014 with The Rod Experience, a historical tribute to Rod Stewart and his band featuring original members Phil Chen, Jimmy Crespo, and Danny Johnson. The band also features Rick St. James and Alan St. John. Carmine Appice joined Rod Stewart’s band in 1977 and co-wrote the mega hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Young Turks.”

Appice is also a member of the new supergroup Legacy X which features Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple) on lead vocals, Jeff Watson (Night Ranger) on guitar and Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder) on bass. A debut album is planned for release sometime in the spring this year.

Before John Bonham and Ian Paice …there was Carmine Appice. Since the mid 60’s, Carmine Appice has been respected as one of the greatest rock drummers in the world, and it’s not to ask what legendary musicians has Appice collaborated with over the years … it’s more like, what legendary musicians hasn’t Appice collaborated with over the years. The list would definitely be minuscule.

In 1972, Appice joined forces with guitar legend Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds) and Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus) to form the internationally renowned Beck, Bogert & Appice.

In 1975, Appice joined KGB featuring Mike Bloomfield (Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Electric Flag) and Ric Grech (Family, Blind Faith, Traffic).

In 1983, he toured with Ozzy Osbourne to promote the Bark at the Moon release. After his stint with Ozzy, Appice formed the hard rock group King Kobra.

In 1988, Appice became a member of Blue Murder. The group featured various group members including John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) and Tony Franklin (Roy Harper, The Firm).
Appice has also collaborated with the likes of … Pink Floyd, Ted Nugent, Pat Travers, Stanley Clarke and Michael Schenker … to name just a few.

Carmine’s younger brother is drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Rick Derringer). The brothers occasionally tour together billed as Drum Wars -The World’s Premiere Rock Drum Show!

Carmine Appice recently launched a new record label called Rocker Records. The labels first four digital offerings included two releases from Cactus, Live in Japan and Live in the USA, Bogert/Appice & Friends, and TNA featuring Appice with guitar hero Pat Travers live in Europe. Visit Rocker Records at

Carmine also has an exciting new book project, his autobiography entitled Stick It! -Encounters with Rock Legends that should be released sometime this year.

I had the great pleasure of chatting with Carmine Appice recently about Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, The Rod Experience, Legacy X, Rocker Records, the new book, playing with Pink Floyd, and the inception of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

Here’s my interview with legendary drummer, singer, songwriter, and music pioneer … CARMINE APPICE.
Ray Shasho: Hello Carmine, how’s it going man?
Carmine Appice: “Hi Ray! It’s cold up here around the New York area but besides that it’s going pretty good.”
Ray Shasho: You know most of my family was from Bensonhurst.
Carmine Appice: “Oh really… that’s not too far from where I grew up.”
Ray Shasho: We’ve all seen the music industry deteriorate over the last twenty years or so. And just when I was about to give up all hope … legendary musician Carmine Appice creates his own record label?
Carmine Appice:It’s a funny time to start a label …what people have been telling me. I know where the business is, we’re not out to sell millions of records, we’re just out to put out some cool product.”
Ray Shasho: Will the new label (Rocker Records) be actively searching for new talent to sign?
Carmine Appice: “A little of both. We’ve got these four releases including two releases from Cactus Live in Japan and Live in the USA, then there’s Bogert/Appice & Friends, TNA featuring Pat Travers live in Europe, and then the next batch is going to be a new Cactus record, Vanilla Fudge Live at B.B. Kings, a Cactus Live DVD from Japan, a group called The Lizards with the harmonica player from Cactus… and his band includes Bobby Rondinelli and they have Glen Hughes and Frank Marino as guests. Then my brother has a band with Carlos Cavazo and different members like Jimmy Bain of Dio … so we’re going to release that I think. Then also we have this new guitar player that is going on tour and opening up for Michael Schenker. So it depends … if we’re going to do new artists they have to be on the road, otherwise you can never sell anything.”
Ray Shasho: Carmine, you still continue to tour with both Vanilla Fudge and Cactus?
Carmine Appice: “Yes and I’m also doing a couple of new things …“The Rod Experience” which is going to be a historical show about Rod Stewart and the band from 1976 to 82. And then as a new band with Joe Lynn Turner, Tony Franklin, and Jeff Watson from Night Ranger called Legacy X. That’s on Frontier Records and they actually put it together. It’s like a supergroup for them and supposedly put a lot of money behind it. Joe and I actually started putting it together and originally it was going to be Rudy Sarzo or Pat Travers and we had Bruce Kulick from Kiss in there for a minute. But we were all looking for a little more commitment which was hard for me to give too. I have a Vanilla Fudge summer tour that may be happening and I just turned down a Cactus gig to go to Brazil because I have Rod Stewart show dates at the same time. It’s going to be a little juggling of itinerary. I’m thinking maybe I’ll get someone to fill in for me in Cactus for the Brazil date so they can still go. We still have the original guitar player and the singer and bass player have been with us for years.”
Ray Shasho: Carmine, you really got a lot going on these days.
Carmine Appice: “It’s funny because all these things I’ve been working on for a couple of years or so are all coming into play. Like the Joe Lynn Turner band we’ve been working on a year ago last summer. I’ve been working on the Rod Stewart show for about three years.”
Ray Shasho: “The Rod Experience” actually has some of the original band members from The Rod Stewart Group?
Carmine Appice: That’s right; I’ve got every member from the group except the keyboard player and the singer. They all played with Rod. Phil Chen the bass player played with Rod when I played with Rod. Phil was on all the big hits that we did together. Danny Johnson played with Rod in 1980-81 and Jimmy Crespo not only played with Aerosmith but also played with Rod from 1993-96. So we all have our Rod Stewart stories and it’s going to be much like a historical trip. They’ll also be a video screen with tidbits of information. People will be able to watch the screen and listen to the music and see the show that was just like the show we did back then. It’s a party atmosphere, kicking out soccer balls and just having a good time.”
Ray Shasho: How extensive will “The Rod Experience” tour be … are you taking it worldwide?
Carmine Appice: “We’ll probably go worldwide because Jimmy Crespo’s wife works at The Venetian Hotel and they have properties over in Malaysia, Singapore …and all that and are already showing interest for us to bring it over there.”
Ray Shasho: Also in 2014 … you mentioned that Vanilla Fudge may be hitting the road?
Carmine Appice: “Yes, we have a European tour so far in March and may have a two week tour or so in August. I may do a few dates with Cactus, last year we did a lot of shows. We’ll lay back a little with Cactus and do a little more Vanilla Fudge. We didn’t do enough Vanilla Fudge last year. I’ll also be concentrating on Joe Lynn Turner’s Legacy X and “The Rod Experience.””
Ray Shasho: Carmine, you also have a book coming out sometime in 2014?
Carmine Appice:I do, we’re about three quarters of the way through with that. That’s going to be called Stick It! -Encounters with Rock Legends. I got the writer who wrote Nikki Sixx’s book The Heroin Diaries and it’s on VH1 books. It’s been a fun ride and that’s why the book is going to be interesting. It’s not about one guy talking about one band. It’s also all the bands that opened up for Vanilla Fudge .Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper … all these guys opened up for us. Then going on to Cactus and our first gig with Hendrix, and our second gig was with The Who. Then playing with Jeff Beck and doing the Beck, Bogert & Appice thing. Groups like Tower of Power and Foghat opened up for us. Then there are all the stories that go along with it … sex-crazed and hotel-wrecking things that we did. Then with Mike Bloomfield and KGB… what a crazy guy he was. Then seven years of Rod Stewart and Ozzy. During Rod Stewart we ran into all of Hollywood elite … Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, Tony Curtis, and all those types of people we used to hang out with. So it goes all over the place … then Ted Nugent and King Cobra, on tour with Kiss, and meeting my idol Buddy Rich.”
Ray Shasho: You played on A Momentary Lapse of Reason one of my favorite Pink Floyd albums. What was it like playing with Pink Floyd?
Carmine Appice: “It was fun! When I got the call from Bob Ezrin my first question was where’s Nick? He said Nick has been racing his Ferrari’s and his calluses are soft and quite honestly they wanted some new blood in there to give it a little bit of energy. So I said okay. When I went in they had the song on the four track, I played all day and kept playing the song and filled up two twenty four track machines of tape, thirty minutes each. So I probably had about two hours worth of performance. Then Bob edited it all together somehow.”

“When I called him to ask how it sounded he said in one word …“Daring!” Then when I called him back in a week or so I asked him again how it sounded and he said “Fabulous!” When I finally heard it, I was up in Canada doing a heavy metal movie called Black Roses in 1988, and I had to go downstairs into a record shop. I heard the Pink Floyd album when it came out and I bought a cassette. So I listened to it there alone in my room on my walkman and I was blown away. Then I got a gold and platinum record.”
Ray Shasho: Were you in the studio at the same time with David Gilmour?
Carmine Appice: “Oh yea, David was there, Richard Wright, Tony Levin was there and I did see Nick Mason. The weird thing about it was when I saw Pink Floyd touring for that album, I watched Nick basically playing my parts.”
Ray Shasho: How many tracks did Nick Mason play on A Momentary Lapse of Reason?
Carmine Appice: I don’t think he played any. It was me and Jim Keltner. I only did “The Dog’s of War” and I think Keltner did the rest.”
Ray Shasho: It’s funny I used to play “The Dog’s of War” track for my daughter when she was little and she loved it. It scared the crap out of her but she still loved it.
(All Laughing)
Carmine Appice: “I know it is a little scary, when the drums came in, they came in like King Kong … and that’s what Bob wanted, the big monster drumming.”
Ray Shasho: Vanilla Fudge was such a huge influence on so many legendary rock groups. I remember Ritchie Blackmore saying that basically Deep Purple was Vanilla Fudge.
Carmine Appice: “It’s cool… we took them on tour back in those days too. So that was interesting also. We took them on tour, they did songs that tried to be like us and we all just became good friends. We played Radio City Music Hall with them a few years ago and that was awesome. It was great having our original band playing with those guys again.”

“But you’re right …Vanilla Fudge influenced so many bands and it’s amazing how we’re not even a peep mentioned in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They don’t even have our song in the playlist for hall of fame kind of songs. All these musicians … Clapton, Pete Townshend, Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant … they all remembered where they were when they first heard, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” It made such an impression on everybody. George Harrison used to carry around the album to parties. I personally confirmed that with Paul McCartney.”
Ray Shasho: There are so many legendary rock bands from the 70’s that are having more success overseas these days … especially in Japan.
Carmine Appice: “Japan has their own domestic artists that are huge. It used to be that Japan didn’t have any domestic artists until the mid 90’s. All of a sudden they started getting their own artists. So all the American and UK artists who used to go there and play the Budokan are now playing smaller venues. But their artists are playing stadiums. There’s a group over there called B’z and they can play three stadium nights in every major city in Japan. We’re talking 150,000 people. It’s a singer and a guitar player. I went to see them in Japan as a guest, they’re friends of mine, and I think it was the night before or night after I saw Kiss over there. Kiss was playing at the stadium too. The B’z production was bigger than the Kiss production. It was ridiculous…it was so big. Over there they don’t travel around in big semis, they travel around in these sixteen to twenty foot trucks … so they must have had about a hundred trucks going from city to city … it was crazy. But there just huge over there.”

“There’s this guy Char who is the Jeff Beck of Japan. He was a big name. Me and Tim Bogert went over there and normally did like three thousand people. We played the Budokan with Char and did about twelve thousand people in Tokyo because of the combination. Beck, Bogert & Appice were really big in Japan. We had an offer to do one gig over there for a million dollars but Jeff was doing other stuff with Clapton and couldn’t do it.”
Ray Shasho: Carmine, in Vanilla Fudge, whose idea was it to cover The Supremes “You Keep Me Hangin’ On?
Carmine Appice: “That was Mark and Timmy. We used to slow songs down and listen to the lyrics and try to emulate what the lyrics were dictating. That one was a hurtin’song; it had a lot of emotion in it. “People Get Ready” was like a Gospel thing. “Eleanor Rigby” was sort of eerie and churchlike …like a horror movie kind of thing. If you listen to “Hangin’ On” fast… by The Supremes, it sounds very happy, but the lyrics aren’t happy at all. If you lived through that situation, the lyrics are definitely not happy.”
Ray Shasho: I think that’s ingenious how the band did that.
Carmine Appice:Because we weren’t writing songs, we were writing music. On the final episode of The Sopranos they used “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” It opened up with the organ and the buildup part and that music was ours. We wrote that, it wasn’t in the song. The only part of the song … when one of the heads of the family was getting killed … that’s when they used the bridge part and the singing. The other two parts was our music and we should’ve copywrote those interludes, so we would get paid as writers. So we didn’t get paid a dime for that. We got paid the performance royalty or the artist royalty as they say.”

“Same thing in the movie Zodiac, I went to see the movie with my girlfriend and we were sitting there watching it and there’s a scene where he’s killing someone in a taxi cab, I’m looking at it and the music comes on and I say… I know this music what is it? It was a Vanilla Fudge piece that we used as the introduction to the song “Bang Bang” on the first album. So again, we got paid for the artist royalty and they paid Sonny Bono for the writing. Not a quarter note of his melody or lyric was in that piece of music. It was our music. Now we title all our interludes and sort of gave them to our publishers and said … okay, if anybody uses this we want to get paid for it.”
Ray Shasho: Carmine, you co-wrote a tune that became a mega hit during the disco era. Talk about you and Rod’s hit … “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy.”
Carmine Appice: “Huge… still huge! Rod used to listen to the charts and say… “I want a song like that.” At the time he pointed to “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones. So I went back and had a keyboard in my house. I had this drum machine and this drum groove and put these chords to it and everything. Then I went to my buddy Duane Hitchings house and he had a regular studio. So we put it down and he played keyboard and made it sound better. Then we gave it to Rod. Originally when we cut it… it had three guitars, one keyboard, drums, and I think we had percussion. So it sounded very rock and roll. Then we found out that the producer wanted to make it more commercial, so he put strings on it. We had David Foster as the keyboard player on it … how about that?”
Ray Shasho: Are you playing drums on the original track?
Carmine Appice: “I’m playing drums on it; Phil Chen on bass, all the guitar players from Rod’s band … Gary Grainger, Jim Cregan, Billy Peek, and David Foster on keyboards. It originally sounded pretty rock and roll, but once they put a full orchestra on there and had another girl singing two octaves higher… then everything thinned out. So it ended up not being a heavy rock disco- type of thing like “Miss You” but ended up being more commercial. But you know what … it went to number one in every country around the world. And it still makes a fortune. When you add up all the percentages that different entities have, the song is probably making around three or four hundred thousand dollars a year. It’s unbelievable!”
Ray Shasho: You also co-wrote another huge Rod Stewart hit “Young Turks?”
Carmine Appice: “Young Turks” was the very first pop song to have a drum machine that sounded like drums. There’s an all behind drum machine and I put a Hi-hat and cymbals on it and programmed the drum machine. Me and Duane Hitchings put that track together in his studio. We used the same sound for that song in the title track Tonight I’m Yours. It has the same kind of sound.”
Ray Shasho: Carmine, here’s a question that I ask everyone that I interview. If you had a ‘Field of Dreams’ wish like the movie, to play, sing or collaborate with anyone from the past or present, who would that be?
Carmine Appice: “I’d probably say Led Zeppelin. I always liked their music and style. John Bonham played very close to my style. I think I would be a good fit.”
Ray Shasho: Carmine, thank you for being on the call today but more importantly for all the incredible music you’ve given us and continue to bring.
Carmine Appice: “Thanks for diggin’ it … take care Ray.”

Carmine Appice official website
Rocker Records official website
‘The Rod Experience’ official website
Vanilla Fudge official website
Cactus official website
Carmine Appice on Facebook
Carmine Appice on Myspace
Carmine Appice on Twitter

Very special thanks to Chip Ruggieri of Chipster PR

Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at

Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at or - Please support Ray by purchasing his book so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting.

“Check the Gs is just a really cool story ... and it’s real. I’d like to see the kid on the front cover telling his story in a motion picture, TV sitcom or animated series. The characters in the story definitely jump out of the book and come to life. Very funny and scary moments throughout the story and I just love the way Ray timeline’s historical events during his lifetime. Ray’s love of rock music was evident throughout the book and it generates extra enthusiasm when I read his on-line classic rock music column on It’s a wonderful read for everyone!”

© Copyright All Rights Reserved