Home » Vanilla Fudge Drummer Carmine Appice’s Unlikely Connection To Fred Astaire And Gregory Peck

Vanilla Fudge Drummer Carmine Appice’s Unlikely Connection To Fred Astaire And Gregory Peck

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Within the first two components of this interview sequence with drummer Carmine Appice, we mentioned his many sticks pals together with Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, John Bonham – the A-list guys. Appice’s tales are fascinating, actual rock historical past. Right here, we deviate a bit to the Hollywood huge display screen. We focus on a musician, John Lennon, but in addition dancer Fred Astaire and actor Gregory Peck. Appice additionally tells us what he would really like his legacy to be. Following are edited excerpts from an extended dialog.

Jim Conflict: Why did Vanilla Fudge cowl The Supremes’ huge hit, “You Hold Me Hanging On?” 

Carmine Appice: Again then, they had been doing what we known as “manufacturing numbers” in New York, or slowed-down variations of hit songs. What we did was make a slowed-down model of that one, then match the music to the lyrics. “You Hold Me Hanging On” had “hurting lyrics,” all about relationships gone-bad. Anybody who’s been in a relationship gone-bad is aware of it’s emotionally hurting. When The Supremes did the track, the music was completely happy and upbeat. However the lyrics weren’t. We modified that. After we later coated “Eleanor Rigby,” we additionally matched the story to the temper of the music – very eerie, churchy, religious, in a demonic type of means. 

Conflict: You have got met and performed with some unimaginable individuals. Give me an anecdote or two out of your memoir, “Stick It!: My Life Of Intercourse, Drums, And Rock ‘N’ Roll.” 

Appice: When my brother Vinny was on the File Plant doing hand-claps on “No matter Will get You Via The Night time,” he grew to become pals with John Lennon. He stated to John after the session, “My mom makes nice Italian meals. Do you want Italian?” John stated, yeah, so Vinny had my mom make him some lasagna. Vinny gave it to him, and by no means heard something again. Nicely, I performed Madison Sq. Backyard with Rod Stewart a few months later, 5 nights in 1979. John was at one gig, and got here to the after-party, as did my mother and father. When my mother noticed John, she requested if he had favored her lasagna. He stated that he beloved it, that it was scrumptious. So my mother checked out him and requested, “Can I please have my pan again?” Basic story [laughs].

Right here’s one other one. I’ve a letter hanging in my studio, from Fred Astaire. I met Fred at our gig on the West Coast Discussion board. When Rod [Stewart] had gotten married, Allan Carr, producer of Grease, threw a celebration for Rod at Allan’s mansion in Beverly Hills. I’m on the occasion and see, out of the nook of my proper eye, any individual strolling up, actual tall. It’s Gregory Peck! He grabbed my hand, stated he was Gregory. I stated, “I do know who you’re. My mom would die if she had been right here.” Anyway, we bought to speaking and he stated that when Fred Astaire noticed me do my drum solo on the present, Fred stated that it was the perfect solo he’d seen since Gene Krupa. So I’m pondering, Fred Astaire stated that, and Gregory Peck is telling me about it. Wow, let me pinch myself. Then Greg instructed me that Fred was a drummer, which I didn’t know, that Fred had at all times needed to play rock drums, however didn’t have a clue. I instructed Greg that I had a guide known as “Final Practical Rock Drum Methodology,” which teaches rock drumming. I stated I might get him one to provide to Fred. He stated that will be nice, and that subsequent time I used to be at Rod’s home – he lived subsequent door to Gregory – knock on his door and he’d give it to Fred. I stated, “Okay Greg [laughs].” So I signed the guide, “Expensive Fred, I hope this helps you study to play rock drums. Love, Carmine Appice.” Two weeks later I get an envelope, rip it open – ruining it, in fact. The letter inside says, “Thanks, Carmine Appice, for the beautiful inscription. I’ve loved your work many instances. You certain are terrific. Love, Fred Astaire.” I nearly fainted. Goes to point out you something can occur, even to a child from Brooklyn.

Conflict: What would you want your legacy to be?

Appice: That I used to be a drummer who tried to guide, and to attempt new issues. I had huge drums first – the facility tom-toms, the prolonged bass drum – which began the fad of huge drums by Ludwig. I had a wah-wah on my snare drum. I simply need to be remembered as a man who was experimental, who helped deliver the drums out entrance, like my idol, Gene Krupa.

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