Carmine Appice

by Tom Craig | Live photos by Jay Skolnick

SFL Music: I wanted to chat with you about some of the projects you’ve got going on right now.

Carmine Appice: Okay.

SFL Music: I know you’ve got an event coming up in December in Boca. Can you talk to me a little bit about that one?

Carmine Appice: Yeah, it’s a new thing. I’m actually trying it out at that Boca venue, the Black Box Boca, because every time I do interviews, every time I’ve done a few things like rock history talks, in a regular talks situation, but I never did it as an entertaining show. And honestly, my friend Max Weinberg, he does a show called the Max Weinberg Juke Box.

SFL Music: Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Carmine Appice: And he goes into the venue and puts up a bunch of songs and the audience picks a song. So a friend of mine just saw him in New York, and he was texting me from it. And I said that’s a good idea. I would love to do something like that, but I don’t want to do the same thing as Max. So, I started thinking about it. I said, You know what? Maybe I can do that with storytelling. I have so many stories about so many different things, and anytime I do interviews or talks, clinics or whatever I did, people go, man, those stories are great, you should write a book.

So, I wrote the book, and I thought there might be a good way to incorporate what Max is doing into what I can do as a storyteller. So, I came up with this whole concept where I want a venue that’s going to have video screen behind me or two big screens near me. And I got this animation of a diary. It is red with gold letters that says Carmine Appice diaries, and it’s floating through the air. And as it floats through the air, all these pictures of my history with all the different bands, and all the different stuff all joined into, they go into the diary. And then it gets to the end, it gets smaller as it’s flying through the clouds, then it falls on the ground. When it falls on the ground, it opens, and you see some of the pictures, but it’s quick. And then the diary comes up front, and in the diary has all the different stories.

SFL Music: Awesome.

Carmine Appice: The stories would be John Lennon eats lasagna. Prince is in my bed. Just how I wrote Sexy and Young Turks. Just all these different stories, people not ready, all that stuff. And so then what I would do is, and right after that thing freezes, what I’m going to have is music underneath it. So, I’m trying to create an orchestral piece, my friend’s son is a young kid, and he writes orchestral music on the computer, full orchestral, full of it.

SFL Music: Wow.

Carmine Appice: So he already wrote a piece to go with it. I said, go listen to Day in the Life, and see how that goes, the way it builds. And I said, you can keep some of what you already did, but put that underneath it so it sounds like a rocket taking off kind of thing. And then I’ll put some drums to it as well, as the drum that gets slower, faster, faster, faster, faster until it falls on the floor. Then my animation guy’s going to make an explosion when it falls on the floor, and he’s going to hit the chord like at the end of Day in the Life.

And then when the pages open, it’s going to be the violin going when the pages open. And then when it comes up to the screen, the chord must still be there. And then the chords fade out, and my wife, who was a radio talk show host will say, please welcome Carmine Appice. And I’ll come out, get everybody clapping, and I’ll do a solo on my drumsticks without any drums. And we’ll do that, and I’ll get them riled up a little bit, and they’ll say, okay, story time. Who wants to pick the first story? Raise your hand, whoever raises their hand, I’ll pick them.

SFL Music: Awesome. That sounds like an amazing concept.

Carmine Appice: And then we tell the story. Okay. Okay, great. Who else wants a story? Raise your hand, I’ll pick… So, I do it that for an hour and a half, and then I’ll have a set of drums there, and my engineer is mixing a bunch of stuff for me, can take the drums off any song. So, he’s taking the drums off of Hot Legs by Rod.

SFL Music: Okay.

Carmine Appice: And then I’ll go on the drum set and I’ll play Hot Legs with the drums. And then I’ll go into a little solo. I’ll get the audience involved in the solo chanting along with me. And then I’ll end it. I’ll go, thank you for coming. I’ll be over at the merch booth signing autographs. Come on over. Anybody wants to get the book, the book’s over there. And I’ll have a roadie over there selling stuff. That’s the idea.

SFL Music: Man, that’s a very neat concept.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, it’s a new idea how to tell stories. And I mean some people have done it with guitars, and they might tell a story and Peter Asher from Peter and Gordon does something like that. But mine’s going to be funny. It’s going to be, from doing clinics for so long, I’m able to improvise verbally with different things and make them funny. So, there’s going to be some comedy in there, some laughs, some drumming, some great stories and entertainment.

SFL Music: I know you’re flying out today, and that was my next question you’re going to be out with Vanilla Fudge for a couple weeks. Can you talk to me a little bit about that.

Carmine Appice: We’re going to leave tonight. Well, our first gig is in the Levoy Theater in Melville, New Jersey, which is just south of Philly. So tomorrow we’re going to try and fly into Philly, and we arrive at two o’clock, which gives us plenty of time. Our roadies are coming in today, they’re going to pick up the gear, and they’ll be driving down there tonight, so they’ll be down in the area. And our base player, Pete and Vinny, they live in Jersey. So, they’re going to drive to the gigs. And we’re going to do that gig, and then we go up to The Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York, which is about three hours away. And that is a festival with Nectar, Vanilla Fudge, Pat Travers, and somebody else, two other acts. So, then we’ll do that, and then somehow, I got to get into Manhattan by three o’clock on Sunday to do a charity event for this guy, Luda used to play with Les Paul.

And it’s like a little kids rock kind of thing, it’s called Rock It. And it’s a charity event that Little Steven is involved, and I’m involved in a few other people like that are involved in it. And it’s teaching young kids how to play, and play songs, and play rock and stuff. So, I’m supposed to be there. I didn’t know, I okayed to do the gig. I thought it was in the evening, but it’s at three o’clock. So, we’re going to try and figure out how far it is from where we drop our gear off until Poughkeepsie. And then I can tell them they’re going to send an Uber to come pick me up to get me there in time.

SFL Music: And that’s Manhattan?

Carmine Appice: Yeah. And then we have a couple of days off this week and next week. While I’m off, I’m going to be going into video studio with my tech and my drums, and we’re going to video this video for King Kobra for the album.

SFL Music: Oh.

Carmine Appice: And we got a new album that will be out next year, and it’s got Carlos Cavazo from Quiet Riot on it. And myself, Paul Shortino from Quite Riot and Rough Cut, regional bass player, Johnny Rod, and another guitar player who played with Dio, Rowan Robinson. So, it’s like a little super group within the King Kobra vibe.

SFL Music: Nice.

Carmine Appice: And we got a new agent, a new manager, and this video is going to be amazing. It’s got to be like 3D.
So, the concept is, the name of the song is We Are Warriors. That’s the name of the album. It’s a good eighties style heavy metal song. So, we’re going to take the concept of that movie, the Warriors Movie, street vibe between LA Streets and New York Streets. And this guy can video us and put us in any scene you want to be in. But it looks 3D. If I’m on drums, Paul will stand in front of me. But you can see behind him, it’s not one level of depth. It’s three or four levels of depths.

SFL Music: Interesting.

Carmine Appice: And it’s really a new concept. So, we’re going to do the drums there and then the other guys will be doing their parts in their towns and then he’ll put it all together. So, we’ll have our video done. And also, we have to move our gear, me and my brother share a locker at my friend’s place, and he’s got to move out of there by the 30th of October. So, since I got the two roadies and a vehicle, we’re going to try and find a storage place in New Jersey, because New Jersey is like a center there for the guys in the Fudge and the guys in the Appice Brothers. So, whenever we play the East Coast, we go to the locker in Jersey and get the drums there, whatever we need out of it. So, we’re going to have to switch lockers also. So luckily, we’re going to be there until the 18, 19th of October. So, we’ve got a lot to do.

SFL Music: Yeah. You are a busy guy.

Carmine Appice: And that’s not all.

SFL Music: No, I know.

Carmine Appice: And then as Ron probably told you, we with my project Appice Perdomo project, it’s an instrumental album. We did one album already for Cleopatra Records that came out and got rave reviews. And so, we’re doing the second album. And then a friend of mine, she has two kids, they did over the Stranger Things, their theme song, they did it in a hard rock vibe, and they got hundreds of thousands of streams on the streaming services. So, I said, man, too bad we can’t do that with the instrumental. Then somebody told me about this song that Kate Bush did in Strange Things, it went up to the top five again in Billboard. So, I said, wow, maybe we should do an instrumental version of that song. So, I talked to my partner, Fernando Perdomo, and I said, what do you think? He’s from Miami actually, he’s Cuban from Miami, and he lives in LA now. So, he’s got a studio. I got a studio. We just send files back and forth, and we create this great music and it’s really easy.

So, he thought of it, the idea, and I said, what do you think? So let me screw with it. So, he sent me a track, and we arranged it a little bit, and then I put drums to it, and then sent it back to him. Then he recut everything, sent it back to me, it sounded really good. And then we sent it to two guys to mix. So, one guy mixed it already, the second guy’s still mixing it. And then when I met Ron at a Black Box event, and we went to dinner, and I told him about it, he said, oh man, I got this great video guy that would love to do a video with you. I said, wow, let’s do it.

So now while I’m away, they’re going to be shooting the video that they don’t need me for. There’s going to be this woman who, well, the video guy’s wife owns, I guess, high fashion women’s clothes stores. She has three of them in the Miami area. So, they’re always dealing with models. So, they got, Miss Venezuela is going to be in the video, and because the Stranger Things is going to be good and evil in the video. And then Fernando’s going to fly in, we’re going to use the front of my house, because my house is very Frank Lloyd Wright looking, it’s all white. And they came over, they said, we’d love to use the outside of the house as a backdrop for you and Fernando to play on.

SFL Music: Nice.

Carmine Appice: So, we’re going to shoot that on the 24th, but hopefully by the time we get back they’re going to shoot all the other stuff with this beautiful woman that they had a storyboard sent to me and I really like it. And so that will be done too. So I’ll have two videos under my belt by December. And then we just got to figure out with the label when we’re going to release each one. But the good thing about the Running Up That Hill is like what we did with Vanilla Fudge. We took the Supremes song that when it just came off the charts, and we released our version, which started our career. And I think there’s a chance for the same thing to happen here.

SFL Music: With Fernando.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, with Fernando and it’s going to be a great video, an awesome kind of video. And I’m excited about it, and the label’s excited about it. It’s the same label as the other one. Fortunately, the other one, King Kobra’s waiting for the vinyl to come out. And that’s not going to come out until June. So, we’re going to just release a video of a single, but we don’t know when. But this one we can release soon, because it’s not going to come out on vinyl. So, it’s going to be mostly CD and streaming.

SFL Music: Okay.

Carmine Appice: And that’s an instrumental record. So, once we start building and following with it, then maybe eight months down the line, if it does well, we’ll put a vinyl out. So, I’m doing all that stuff, and a lot of fun.

SFL Music: Well, I’ve heard some of Energy Overload and it’s an amazing instrumental record.

Carmine Appice: Oh. Great. Thank you.

SFL Music: How did you come about working with Fernando?

Carmine Appice: Well, that’s like a story, because you know who Tom Dowd is? The great producer?

SFL Music: Absolutely. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple times.

Carmine Appice: Right. Well, Tom is an old friend of mine. I’ve known him from Atlantic Records.
And then when I worked with Rod Stewart, he produced most of the records that I did with him. So, when he passed away recently, I knew his family, I knew his daughter, I knew his wife and all that. So, Fernando knew his daughter from Miami.

SFL Music: Okay.

Carmine Appice: Like I said, Fernando’s from Miami. So, he said to her, hey, you know how to get ahold of Carmine Appice because I want him to play a track on my album. So, she said, yeah, I do. So, she called me, she said, look, there’s this young guy that’s really talented, he would like you to play on this album. At that point in time when she called me, I had moved to Florida and my brother set me up, my brother Vinny’s a computer geek. He built me a system of a Cubase recording system.

SFL Music: Oh, nice.

Carmine Appice: With the screen and everything. He tried it out. He did everything in his house, and then sent it over to me from California, and I set it up with him on FaceTime, he showed me how to use it and everything. And I did a couple of things, but I needed to do more work. So, when this came up, I said, you know what? This’ll be a good way for me to learn how to use my studio if nothing else. So, I said, okay. I said, well, what do you want to do? Fernando said, do you have any music that I can record that you can play on? I said, yeah, I do. I have a couple of instrumental songs. I got songs that don’t have any lyrics. So, I said, I’ll send you one. He said, okay. So, I sent it to him, and when he sent it back, it sounded great.

I said, wow, this kid is really talented. So, I played on it, and it sounded really good. And then I said, let me send you another one. I sent him another one and the first one I sent him was a song called Thunder that’s on the first album. And then the second song I sent him was Funky Jackson, which I wrote on my iPad. And it’s got a Michael Jackson kinda groove with the drum machine and everything. So, I sent him that. He not only did the track, but he also put some melody to it. And I said, wow, this was awesome. Then he said, let me send you one. So, he sent me one that ended up being Little Havana.

SFL Music: Okay.

Carmine Appice: Which had a little bit of a Latin vibe to it. But then after I finished it I said, this is cool, but I wanted to rock it a little bit. So, I sent it back to him with this thing that ended up being Big Havana, which was just the drums doing accents and doing different grooves and parts. And he sent it back to me with music on top of that. And I said, wow, this is great. I said, look, let’s keep doing this, and maybe we could get an album together, and I’ll get it released. So that’s what we did. We just kept doing it. And my good buddy owns Cleopatra Records, we’re old friends. And I said, look, I got this instrumental album, and he’s done some Cactus records and Vanilla Fudge records, and I’ve done tribute albums for him. I said, I’d like to release this. What do you think? So, I sent it to him, he goes, yeah, it sounds great. So, we released it and it got rave reviews everywhere. 10 out 10, four out of five, five out of five. It didn’t sell a lot because I don’t think they knew how to market it. But this time I’m telling them, look, you need to put ads on Jeff Beck’s Facebook, put ads on Satriani’s Facebook put an ad on Steve Vai’s Facebook. That’s the market we’re looking for.

SFL Music: Yeah.

Carmine Appice: So, we’re going to market it a little different. But now that we got this single, we also got my buddy Pat Regan who mixed my Guitar Zeus records, he mixed the Vanilla Fudge album that’s coming out, a Led Zeppelin album that we did in 2005 or seven or whatever it was. And he’s done a lot of mixing for me. And I said to Fernando, we should get Pat. He just mixed the King Kobra record and it came out great. I said, why don’t we get Pat to mix this? Because he was having his buddy mix it, which was okay. But Pat’s mixes were much more professional and fatter. And so, we had him mix.

SFL Music: Fuller.

Carmine Appice: He’s fuller. He takes his freaking time. I mean this other guy I’m working with named Michael Vos; he mixes and produces all of Michael Schenker’s albums, the new Michael Schenker album.

SFL Music: Oh yeah.

Carmine Appice: He did that, so he asked me to work on something with him Paul Shortino and Phil Soussan who plays with Ozzy, he plays with my brother now in Last In Line. We did this record; he didn’t have any budget. So, I said, I’ll tell you what, I will do it, if you guarantee me I’ll play on Michael’s next album, because I played on a couple albums with him. He said, all right, Michael said, fine. So, I played on his album. I said, look, I need a favor. Can you throw a mix together for this Running Up The Hill song? So, he did, and it sounds pretty good. That’s the one I sent to Ron. So, I’m expecting my other guy, he’s been spending weeks on this mix. He’s so detailed. I talked to him yesterday, I said, dude, don’t be so detailed. Get me the freaking mix. I want to hear what you do with it. Either way, I have one of the mixes going to be on the video but I’ll have the other mix I can put on an album as a remix.

SFL Music: Right. Now will there be a second release from you and Fernando?

Carmine Appice: Yeah. Oh definitely. We got some great songs on there. Really cool songs with the new guy mixing it so it sounds fatter and more… My new guy said the old album sound are more like demos. I said, okay, what can you do? So, he mixed four songs already and they sound great.

SFL Music: Wow. Awesome. So hey, I’d like to go back to Vanilla Fudge for a moment if you wouldn’t mind.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, no problem.

SFL Music: Up on your website, you’ve got Stop! In The Name of Love, and I wanted to talk a little bit about that because that was recorded before Tim passed and I’d like to know a little bit about how all that came about, and if there are other recordings with Tim on them that’ll get released.

Carmine Appice: Well, the way it happened was, before COVID Golden Robot Records made a deal with us to take on a Zeppelin album we did. And to do a new album, we call it Supreme Fudge. So, it was going to be five or six Supreme songs and the rest would be other R&B songs. We said, okay. In December of 19 we started working on it and we put together the original first track, which was Stop! In the Name of Love. We did it at my friend’s studio in New Jersey where we were housing our locker stuff. That’s why we have to move out of there because he’s got to leave. So anyway, so we did it there, and I said, well look, we did it just before Christmas. I said, after Christmas, a couple of weeks, I’m going to the NAMM show, so why don’t I get Tim on it, and then we’ll have all four members on it.

So, everybody agreed, and they said, okay. That’s what we did. So, when I went there, we put Tim on it at my friend Jorgen Carlsson, who’s the bass player of Gov’t Mule. He had a little studio in his house in the valley, but I knew Tim was very sick. So, he came down and he didn’t look good. He was actually down in his pajama bottoms. I mean it is pretty wild. And Tim always played lately a six-string bass, but I always loved the way he played four string bass. So, he went out, had somebody buy him a four string Fender bass, he brought it in. He said, I know you loved the way I play four strings, so I bought a four string for you. I said, oh thank you Tim. And that was the last picture I did with him that day.

And we put him on it. But then we realized that there was leakage of the organ and guitar all over the drums and that I had to redo the drums. At that point, we weren’t moving here yet. Even though we bought the property, we were having it rehabbed, and I knew I wanted to put a studio in, but I didn’t know what was going on with the studio at that moment. So, we put Tim on it, and then we let it lie until when I moved here, and I put the studio in and started learning how to do it. Then I put the drums on it here. There wasn’t really a good click on there, so I just played a cow bell against the time, so I had something to relate. And then I ended up putting the drums on it. And then I got Pat Regan, the guy I was talking about mixing, to mix it.

We did that and then we needed a video and I remembered we had this video in 1968 that we did in black and white or some black and white, some color. And it was us four young lunatics running around near my manager’s office, kind of like the Beatles in Help where they were just running around doing crazy stuff. So that’s what we were doing. We had videoed some girls running after us in slow motion, see their boobs bouncing, just stupid stuff. Laying in a rowboat that I had, had a motorboat actually with an outboard engine. Us laying there eating vanilla fudge ice cream in the water. And then we’re running around, we go to one of these kids’ parks, and we’re going on the… You know those merry go rounds? It’s just short. And it just went around and around.

We’re on one of those, and we’re doing all the stupid stuff. And Tim goes and does this weird thing, that’s psychedelic, and we all had our own little thing. And I told the video editor, I said, you know what? I got this footage maybe we should incorporate and just make a psychedelic video. So that’s what we did. We made it and we got some front money for the single, and we edited it, and we gave Golden Robot the single and the video. And they put it out, and they didn’t put any push behind it. I mean I did a few interviews here and there, but it’s really a great version of that song.

SFL Music: It absolutely is.

Carmine Appice: When we do that live, the audience goes crazy. It’s just like the same reaction we used to get with You Keep Me Hanging On before it was released, and nobody heard it yet. And whenever we played it live, they would go wild. So, I’m hoping it ends up in some movies and stuff like Hanging On did.

SFL Music: Well, I hope so too.

Carmine Appice: But here’s a little fact. That’s the only song of a 1967 group with all original members releasing a new product.
Okay. Nobody else did that.

SFL Music: No, no. And it’s truly amazing. And was that the only one that Tim was able to participate in?

Carmine Appice: It was the only one we did, period. Because then COVID hit, and the deal went out the window, because with that band you have to record everybody in one room, because nobody has home studios. Unlike King Kobra, everybody has a studio. Unlike me and Fernando, we have studios to do it in. Unlike this project with the German producer, everybody has a studio.

SFL Music: Right.

Carmine Appice: Vanilla Fudge guys, nobody has a studio. So, you have to go into a studio even though I could probably record Mark Stein on a portable keyboard at my place, and he lives in Stuart. But the other two guys, they live in Jersey, and they have no studios. So, in order for us to do a new record-

SFL Music: You’ve got to all be together.

Carmine Appice: And honestly, it doesn’t even pay. I went to see KISS the other night.

SFL Music: Yeah, I was there.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, I went to see Kiss, and I went backstage. I’m hanging out with Paul and everybody. And then I talked to Paul the next day, 45 minutes on the phone. Talked to Tommy, talked to Eric. I said hi to Gene. Gene was always the quiet one. And they told me the same thing. I said, you guys didn’t do any recording? They said, Why? They said, we got a history of songs. People don’t want to hear new songs. They want to come and hear the songs they know. I said, you’re right. You’re right. Same thing with Vanilla Fudge. Except it’s easier for Vanilla Fudge, because the songs we do are songs they know.

SFL Music: Right.

Carmine Appice: Right? And they realize what we’ve done to it because they know the songs. We only do one original song called Pray for Peace which Mark wrote. It’s on our Spirit of 67 album. And that’s a good song for today.

SFL Music: It is.

Carmine Appice: People applaud it when we do it, but not like the same reaction when we do Stop! In the Name of Love. When we stop, everyone goes, Stop! In the Name of Love. The whole place starts cheering.

SFL Music: And speak in the Spirit of 67, I mean, that’s a 2015 release that never got the credit or the play that it should have. It’s a phenomenal recording.

Carmine Appice: All these records, the newest Cactus record, Tightrope, great records. Nobody hears it anymore. That’s why the two original guitar players for King Kobra said, why bother doing a record? Nobody hears it. It’s a waste of our time. We just work and work and work. I mean, he is right. It took us so long to do that record, and me and Paul were the main ingredients in that. Literally, I probably made 5 cents an hour.

We put so much time into that record, over a year, and mostly me and Paul. Me and Paul getting everybody together. Me and Paul writing the songs. Me and Paul getting it to the engineer to mix it, and then mixing it. Probably 5 cents an hour. And I don’t know who’s going to hear it. I mean, Cleopatra’s planning on doing some good business with it. They’re making the, what do you call the LPs, the vinyls. And that’s going to be the big way to sell them. Make some CDs, but their main thing is vinyl. So, I don’t know, maybe it’ll make two or 3000 vinyls, which is a lot for vinyls, for me anyway. But these guys didn’t want to do it. And even Rod Stewart, I saw Rod down here. He has a place in Palm Beach, and I went out with him last year, and we’re talking about that stuff. And then he released an album. He had a million views on YouTube and probably maybe a million streams.

When he played down here at the Hard Rock, he said something, I think he said it to the audience, he might have said it to me, but either way. I said, you’re going to do anything from the new album? He said, no, why bother?

SFL Music: They want to hear the hits.

Carmine Appice: Nobody has even heard it, they want to hear the hits, which brings me to another project. I’m going to do my Rod Experience show.

SFL Music: Oh.

Carmine Appice: I want to bring it back, because honestly, the Vanilla Fudge is a great band and everything. But we never hit the peak like The Who and Cream and Hendrix and all that, because of our second album. We blew the second album. So the audience that does follow us, they’re dying off. It’s harder to book gigs. And I had this going years ago. The Rod Experience, I had it going with members of the Rod Stewart group. I had Phil Chen in it and Jimmy Crespo, and Danny Johnson, and me. That was four ex members of Rods Show. And we go out and we do the 1979 Rod show with this guy named Rick St. James who looks like Rod and sounds like Rod. When I saw this guy at a convention, I thought Rod was there. I said, what the hell’s he doing here? And then I went over, and I said, wow, I showed a picture to Rod. He goes, you know what the giveaway is? And I said, what? He said, he’s too short. I go, yeah, but he looks like you and sounds like you.

So, we do this 1979 show that kicks ass. And I did it, I don’t know, 2014, ’15. We went to China with it. We did a lot of shows in the States, and it was good money, played theaters. And I got a stage background, a white stage, and I got a screen program that goes behind us, which says the Rod Experience. We start playing the first song, Hot Legs, and on the screen, you’ll see Hot Legs with the Rod Group, and different psychedelic stuff, and the screen goes through the whole show. It’s a nice show.

SFL Music: Very cool.

Carmine Appice: What I thought was, the hard part about that show is everyone lived in different places. So, if I wanted to rehearse, I’d have to fly everybody in. It got expensive, and then a bit of a pain in the butt too. Everybody had different gigs and stuff. So, I let it lapse. But now when I went to see Rod, I’m watching the show and I’m watching all these songs that I had to do with, and everybody’s getting off on it and I never get to play them. I said, You know what? Maybe time to put the Rod Show together again, but I’m just going to have me and Rick. Rick is from Fort Lauderdale, and he has a place here, he lives in Nashville, it’s easy for him to come here. And I’ll get everybody from around here. So, I got a new band together of younger guys who play really good. They play the songs well. I had one rehearsal already, and I got an agent now. And now the tribute thing is so big that I have many more hits to play with that than Vanilla Fudge has.

SFL Music: Yes.

Carmine Appice: So, I’m just starting to work on that. I got my manager who books Vanilla Fudge
and works with Fudge and Cactus, and my Perdomo thing. I call it APP. Appice Perdomo Project. Yeah APP, APP two.

SFL Music: And earlier this year you were out on tour with Cactus for a handful of days.

Carmine Appice: I was.

SFL Music: How did that go?

Carmine Appice: I went great. We played with Pat Travers. After COVID, we had to cancel a couple times and blah blah, blah. But it was great. Pat is a good friend of mine. I did the Travers Appice Project and that went well. And Pat told me yesterday, his new album is getting great reviews since I didn’t know when. I said, since we did our album. He goes, actually you’re right since we did our album. We’re playing with him on Saturday. No, we’re really good friends. I love Pat. We’re like brothers from another mother. And I got to call him because he’s up north in the Orlando area.

SFL Music: Right, I thought he was.

Carmine Appice: I called him, and it went really well. And we alternated billing Cactus and Pat, Pat and Cactus. So, we went on first, he went on last. I would go up and I would play Boom Boom (Out Go to Lights), and some of the Cactus guys would join him. If we went on last, we would do our Cactus Boogie and Pat would come up and join us. It was really great. We did great merch, we did good size crowds, and both bands kicked ass. It was a lot of fun.

SFL Music: Oh, I bet. I bet.

Carmine Appice: We’re going to do more. I mean, I’ll do more. The idea for me is to play a little bit with everybody. And keep myself busy and playing different things from my career. Instead of doing one show with, I’ll play some Cactus songs, I’ll play some Fudge songs, I actually get to play with the group.

SFL Music: Yeah, the variety.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, variety. I mean The Fudge has been my main thing for so long, but it’s getting harder and harder to book it. Unfortunately.

SFL Music: It’s a shame, because you guys are still as tight as you ever were.

Carmine Appice: The band sounds great. Everywhere we go, the band sounds great. Reviews are great the audience loves it. But places we used to sell out easy, we now have to put another band on it.

SFL Music: Well, I think ’23 is going to be a different year because of the pandemic. And this is just my dime store opinion, but all the pent up, wanting to get out and do things again. And the feeling of, we never know what tomorrow brings. I think you’re going to see a bump in concert attendance next year.

Carmine Appice: Well, it would be good if we do, because I mean, look, the big acts have no problem. The Rod Stewarts, the Kiss. I mean, those acts don’t have a problem. The middle acts, but I’ll tell you what, the tribute acts are drawing more people than some of the classic rock acts. There’s a group called Killer Queen, right?

SFL Music: Yes.

Carmine Appice: They go out and they make 30, $40,000 a night and they draw 5,000 people, at Red Rocks, they sold out, 9,000 people. And one of my roadies is the tour manager, one of my ex-guys. And he’s telling me it’s unbelievable. And they carry their own bus with their own trusses and their own show. And it’s wild, that’s another reason why I thought, well maybe it’s time to bring the Rod Experience back, because I mean Rod goes out and he tours still, but he doesn’t do that kinda tour that we did in 1979. Where he plays, I’m Losing You, and he plays Faces stuff, and Stay With Me and all that stuff. Now Rod’s show is a great show. But it’s a different kind of show.

SFL Music: Yes.

Carmine Appice: Did you see the show he did in a Hard Rock?

SFL Music: We covered that show. You’re absolutely right. It’s a different kind of show than it was back when you were playing with him. For sure.

Carmine Appice: Yeah. I mean, when I was playing, he was the best singer, the best front man in the business, period. He was like The guy. And we did six nights at The Forum. Five nights at the Garden, and four nights of Cobo Hall. I mean, it was ridiculous. We did four nights at Wembley.

SFL Music: That was a huge tour. Huge tour.

Carmine Appice: It was huge. And I co-wrote, Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? Which was the biggest song he ever had, which is unbelievable.

SFL Music: Yeah.

Carmine Appice: I couldn’t believe I wrote it.

SFL Music: I’m not surprised.

Carmine Appice: Co-wrote it anyway. I co-wrote it. So, this thing is a lot of fun. I never got to play Young Turks. I was gone before it was a hit. I mean, People Get Ready. I’m on that People Get Ready thing.

SFL Music: Yeah.

Carmine Appice: I tell that story on The Diaries and I never got credit for it. I played on Blow by Blow. I mean, there’s so many stories I got that people don’t know, which is… I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I was there. I worked with George Martin.

SFL Music: Right. Right.

Carmine Appice: I worked with Jeff Beck. I was with Beck when we moved over to that style of music after BBA broke up, I was with Jeff.

SFL Music: Well, you were instrumental in that, weren’t you? Because you were the one that turned him on Spectrum by Billy Cobham.

Carmine Appice: I was. That’s exactly right. And when I say it, it sounds like I’m an egomaniac, but I’m glad you said it.

SFL Music: Yeah, well, I mean, hey, when you’re hanging with your buddies, and you’re turning each other on to new music, it’s just one of those things that happened. But I’ve read a couple places where you were listening to Spectrum regularly and turned him onto it.

Carmine Appice: I did. I mean, that’s definitely correct. And I did turn him onto it, and then I got bumped off the album. I recorded five songs of the album, and they kept recording after I left.

SFL Music: That’s a shame.

Carmine Appice: But I did five songs. And my manager told me I shouldn’t do it, because I couldn’t get a feature thing, and I couldn’t get… It’s really funny, I didn’t get paid for it. But it didn’t matter to me because I love Jeff. I was over there working with him and George Martin and all that stuff. We had a great time.

SFL Music: Do you wish they’d do a deluxe edition of that and bring your stuff onto it?

Carmine Appice: Well, what is happening is next year we’re releasing a Beck Bogert and Appice Live at the London Rainbow.

SFL Music: Oh.

Carmine Appice Which has seven new songs, and I sang most of them. And in a way it’s good because Jeff’s name is bigger now than it ever was. So, when you say Beck Bogert and Appice, it’s putting me in a bigger shadow. In a way, things happen, well for a reason maybe.

SFL Music: Yeah.

Carmine Appice But that’s going to be a good a kick in the head for my career.

SFL Music: So that comes out next year?

Carmine Appice: Next year.

SFL Music: Awesome.

Carmine Appice: And it’s the 50th anniversary of BBA and it’s going to be on Rhino Records, which is a big one. And it’s going to be coupled with a Beck Bogert and Appice Live in Japan record. That never came out worldwide.

SFL Music: Oh man. I am so excited for that, because I got to see you guys in October of ’72 at the Hollywood Sportatorium.

Carmine Appice: Oh, I remember that. I remember the Sportatorium. I always played there with Cactus, with Fudge. They had those curtains to walk into the venue. Right?

SFL Music: Yep. Yeah. Out in the middle of nowhere back then.

Carmine Appice: Yeah. Yep. I used to love playing there.

SFL Music: I was also fortunate enough, and I could not find the date, but I saw you with Cactus in ’71 at the West Palm Beach Auditorium.

Carmine Appice: Oh wow. Wow. Well, here’s another little diddy we’re doing on Cleopatra Records, it’s going to be called Cactus and Friends.

SFL Music: Oh.

Carmine Appice: I’m going to produce it. It’s going to be anyone that was influenced by Cactus musicians. So, I talk to people like Warren Haynes from Gov’t Mule, Ted Nugent, Dee Snider, Billy Sheehan, just to name a few. We’re going to record with the current Cactus band. We’re going to record, which everybody has their own studio. We’re going to record all the oldies, Can’t Judge a Book, Evil, Parchment Farm, all that stuff. And then we’re going to bring the guests in to replace whatever instrument they play or vocal. That’s going to be really, really cool.

SFL Music: That sounds very cool. While we’re on that, I’ve also heard some of the stuff on Tightrope and it’s vintage Cactus.

Carmine Appice: That’s great.

SFL Music: And you got Jim McCarty to come back and guest on a couple of those songs. How did that go?

Carmine Appice: Yes. Well, there were songs we already had. We already had them in the can. That one what is that called? It’s Headed For a Fall. We had that on an album called Black Dawn. It was released, but it was never really released. And so we got rights for that back. So, I said, let’s put that on there because we play it live. I love that song. No, we did that. And then the other song was a song that we were working on, but the singer never got to do a vocal. We got my friend Phil Naro, who passed away, who used to be with Billy Sheehan’s band Talas. He rewrote the lyrics. We had the track. He wrote the lyrics and the melody on that, and it was great. So, we used that and there’s McCarty on it.

SFL Music: Wow. Do you think Jim might be involved with Cactus and Friends?

Carmine Appice: Well, yeah, yeah. I already talked to him. He wants to play on Evil.

SFL Music: Oh, very cool.

Carmine Appice: He’ll play on Evil, and then with Evil, we’ll do Dee Snider on vocals. He loves Evil. He had a band called Widowmaker.

SFL Music: Dee did?

Carmine Appice: Yeah, and his band had Joe Franco, a drummer who’s one of my drum students. He told me to call. Yeah, I was talking to Jim, I was telling him about this. He goes, you got to call Dee. Dee was the biggest Cactus freak. And Eric Singer too said they were Cactus fans. And Paul Stanley, I said to Paul I’m not putting any pressure on you, but if you want to play on it. He goes, oh man, we all love Cactus. I said, I know, so I don’t want to put pressure on you, but if you want to do it, I’d love to have you do it, so anyway.

SFL Music: Yeah, a lot coming from Cactus next year.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, a lot coming from my camp, totally.

SFL Music: Yes, there is.

Carmine Appice: I just want to keep going until, you know I’m 75. I don’t know how much longer I can do this, but I want to keep it going as long as I can.

SFL Music: Absolutely. I have one more question for you. How did it happen that you played on Tommy Bolin’s second and what would turn out to be his final solo album?

Carmine Appice: Well, I knew Tommy, I met Tommy, funny enough, talking about Cactus. When Cactus was breaking up the first time, we knew Jim was going, we were looking for a guitar player. Oh, I know what it was too. We were looking for a guitar player. So, we saw Tommy with Zephyr.

SFL Music: Right.

Carmine Appice: Right, and they used to play gigs with us all the time. Tommy was with Zephyr. And then when BBA broke up, me and Tim thought about Tommy, the other B, still keep BBA going, but he didn’t have a big enough name, so we didn’t do it. And then when he came to LA in those days, to all the English guy’s LA was a tax haven from over there in England. So, Tommy was there, and I saw him, I started hanging out with him, becoming friends with Tommy again. And then he joined Deep Purple, we were all friends. And I watched him in Deep Purple, and then he did his first solo album. And I helped Mark Stein get in his band.

SFL Music: Ah.

Carmine Appice: Right.

SFL Music: Yep. I knew Mark was in there, and I didn’t know how that came about.

Carmine Appice: Yeah, yeah, because Mark was in LA and way out in the valley, trying to become a songwriter, not play in bands, and trying to make a living being a big songwriter, which never happened for him. So, I remember showing Mark how to work a mini moog you know like Jan Hammer, because he was a bit out of it, out of the scene. Then I think I mentioned to Tommy, he mentioned to me he was looking for a keyboard player. So, I mentioned Mark to him, and I don’t know, he got ahold of Mark through me. I don’t remember exactly how it happened. But Mark was in the band, and then my friend Jimmy Haslip was in the band. And then Narada was in the band too. Narada was a friend of mine too. So, I knew everybody in the band. I remember seeing them the first time at the Roxy. And they were all friends. So, it was all good. It was all good stuff.

SFL Music: Yeah.

Carmine Appice: And then he was doing the second album. He said, hey Carmine, he talked like, hey Carmine, Carmine, you wanna to do a track on the second album. I said, sure. So, it was no big deal. First album did okay. But it was no big seller, no big seller. So anyway, that’s what happened there.

SFL Music: Wow. Very interesting. Well, I know you’ve got to get ready to go.

Carmine Appice: I’m actually packing while I’m talking to you.

SFL Music: I figured. But I would like to talk to you more as these projects come about and give you some press on them. We are the only local music magazine in South Florida.

Carmine Appice: Great.

SFL Music: I’d certainly like to be able to get back with you on your timeframe when these things are starting to hit, and I hope I get to see you at the Black Box event.

Carmine Appice: Okay, brother.

SFL Music: Safe travel’s going north. Have some great shows. And I thank you again very much for your time.

Carmine Appice: Okay. Talk to you soon.

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