Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Vinnie Vincent

Here is the Vinnie Vincent Rewind/Fast Forward article from Guitar, November 1986. The words in italics are from the article, the words without italics are my comments.

During the 80’s, Vinnie Vincent’s fascination with dressing like your dream date seemed laughable, but his song writing and shredding prowess was no joke. He kept Kiss hip, co-writing some of the only post-makeup songs that fans even cared about; “I Love It Loud”, “Lick It Up” and “Unholy”.

His lightning fast solos even left some wondering whether the tapes had been sped up (they hadn’t). Unfortunately, his prowess didn’t blaze a trail of platinum after he parted with Kiss in late 84.

Vincent’s subsequent solo career sputtered in the late 80’s, while Invasion bandmates Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum picked up Vincent’s record option and sold millions of albums under the moniker of Slaughter.

Yep, Vincent’s label Chrysalis got sick and tired of Vincent’s lack of work ethic and constant demand to be given advancements, so they gave his record deal to Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum.

How quickly do the labels turn on their artists?

Because once Kiss booted Vincent, Chrysalis Records offered his new “Vinnie Vincent Invasion” band an 8 album, $4 million contract. But things didn’t go to plan. Drummer Bob Rock described his time in the band as the most difficult recording experience.

Also Vincent sent his lawyers after former bandmates over unpaid royalties, and he even had a web store up and running, in which he ripped off Kiss Army fans by offering items for sale that he never delivered. He even sold instruments to people with false stories, like “this is my favourite guitar that I wrote all these songs at home” for a lot more dollars than the guitar is really worth, because people believed that Vinnie Vincent actually used it to write most of his songs with.

Vincent is returning with a new EP called “Euphoria”, featuring Journey alumnus Robert Fleishman on vocals. “This is a real guitar record. Each song is about six minutes long and the leads are very, very lengthy,” says Vincent. “The EP is actually off the full-length album “Guitar-mageddon”, which should be out by the new year. After that I’m releasing a collection of ballads.”

The ”Euphoria” EP was recorded in the early 90’s, so by 1996 standards the music wasn’t really new. In addition, the label Enigma, paid for the full album recordings, however Vincent as usual was not happy with the recordings, and refused to release the full album, hence the the EP, with the live recorded drums (recorded over 2 years) removed because Vincent was not happy with the final takes and replaced by Vincent’s electronic programmed drums. And it’s a real guitar record because the songs are about six minutes long.

The key to Vincent’s tone?

“I screw with the gain stages because that’s where the tone comes from. The amount of distortion I get from my amps can make my guitar sound like a violin.”

Despite his former Kiss mates current tour, you won’t be seeing any makeup on the new edition of Vinnie Vincent.

For all of the issues and problems Vincent has had with bandmates and record labels and fans, he is still a curiosity.

And I feel that he liked being in Kiss, but he wanted the recognition for his contributions and the payments to go with it, which Stanley and Simmons wouldn’t give, even classing Vincent as a “work for hire” musician.

Stanley said in his book “Face The Music”, how Vincent looked goofy doing his guitar solo in the studio when he auditioned for Kiss and how he used every guitar opportunity in the live show to showcase himself. But this over the top attitude wasn’t really part of Vincent’s ego when he first met Adam Mitchell and Robert Fleischman in the late seventies/early 80’s to write songs with.

And even though Simmons and Stanley were cautious about using Vincent, Simmons went back to him a few times to write songs, and he even convinced Stanley to write with him, as quite a few Vincent co-writes end up on “Revenge” which is a stellar album. But he still wanted the stardom.


3 thoughts on “Vinnie Vincent

  1. VV is a puzzle. Very talented and he did some great stuff with KISS as you pointed out but for some reason he does things as you pointed out which are crazy.

    Man would have loved to been a fly on the wall when he found out that the record company was dumping him and keeping the other guys hahaha…


    • He is. I’ve read a lot about how people wanted to work with him because they felt there was always a classic riff within him. And from what Robert Fleishman has said, when he first met him in the late 70s, there was no ego, just a guitarist who wanted to write.

      • Out on the internet you can find an interview with Hirsch Gardner who talks about jamming with VV and than of course bolted when KISS came calling.

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