Sunday, March 9, 2008

Legends Of Rock Profile : Carmine Appice

When compiling a list of rock drum legends, Carmine Appice certainly has to be near the top of any credible list. Before John Bonham, Ian Paice or Neal Peart, there was Appice. A very strong argument could be made that, Keith Moon and Ginger Baker aside, he was one of the original heavy drummers. Ever since his pioneering work with Vanilla Fudge, with whom he rocketed to the upper reaches of the charts, reaching #6 on the Billboard Singles Charts in 1968 with an inspired, psychedelicized heavy slab of proto metal cover version of The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On," the Staten Island born drummer has been rightly considered one of the finest ever to sit behind the kit.

A huge influence on many other all time greats, including Bonham, Appice's stature cannot be underestimated. In fact, either directly or indirectly his influence can be heard in pretty much any heavy rock drummer to come on the scene ever since. Throughout seminal 70s work with Cactus, Beck, Bogert & Appice, KGB, Tommy Bolin and The Rod Stewart Band (For whom he co wrote such huge hits such as "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" and Young Turks"), continuing throughout the 80s with King Kobra and Blue Murder, a stint with Ozzy Osbourne, as well as countless sessions. Most notably with Pink Floyd on their 'Momentary Lapse Of Reason' album, also appearing on albums by Ted Nugent, Jeff Beck, Eddie Money, Ron Wood and Rick Derringer, remaining extremely in demand throughout the decade. It would probably be much easier to create a list of who he hasn't played with than with whom he has.

Continuing into the 90s with Mother's Army, more sessions and hugely popular, record setting drum clinics, the turn of the millennium has seen a flurry of activity, as appearances on releases by Heaven & Earth, John Sykes, Tim Bogert, Steve Fister and his own 'Guitar Zeus' and 'Travers & Appice' projects fully attest to. Add to this the work with the reunited Cactus, Vanilla Fudge and Carmine Appice's Slamm!!, and you have to wonder when he finds time to sleep.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Appice has continued to forge a path that serves to reaffirm his status as one of the all time greats. An extremely astute businessman, he's been able to parlay his musical prowess into an exemplary, hugely profitable career that has spanned 40 years in the spotlight with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

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