The year was 1982, the band was KISS. During the cold aftermath of guitarist Ace Frehley's ousting from the band, a new axe slinger was needed to take his place. This man was Vincent Cusano, better known by his stage name "Vinnie Vincent."
Since I was a young man, Vinnie has been a point of fascination for me. I remember the warm June night where I first stumbled upon an old video of him playing on Youtube.
The over-the-top wardrobe, the unapologetic shredding, the screechingly high vocals, the pyramid of amplifier cabinets, explosions and men running around on fire; this was the most 80s thing I had ever seen at the time, and I loved it. From then on, I was hooked, joining forums and reading interviews just to find out more about this illusive guitarist. Beyond the over-the-top lead playing and borderline graphic lyrics, what lied at the core was an extremely talented songwriter, yet also a recluse. Vinnie's first wife was murdered, his daughters had left him, and his state of affairs was really quite sad. In more recent news, Vinnie Vincent has been auctioning off his old stuff from guitars all the way down to belts for astronomical prices so he can afford to pay off his legal bills for his many royalty lawsuits against KISS. In spite of this, I'm still a huge Vinnie Vincent fan. Plus, crazy people are so much more interesting to read about.
|Vinnie Vincent Fan Forum|
Founded by Tennessee native Chris Czynszak, Decibel Geek is another great resource for all things hard rock and heavy metal from the Eighties onward. On top of blog posts regarding hard rock and heavy metal, Decibel Geek also runs a very informative podcast about the same topics. Part of what makes Decibel Geek a great resource for Vinnie Vincent is their exclusive interviews with ex-VVI band members. They've done interviews with drummer Andre LaBelle, who played on several unreleased demos by Vinnie Vincent, vocalist Robert Fleischman who sang on the first Invasion album, and of course vocalist Mark Slaughter who sang on All Systems Go and toured with Vinnie Vincent Invasion for the first two albums (Mark Slaughter is perhaps best known for forming the band Slaughter in the early Nineties). Their interviews with people whom worked closely with Vinnie gives excellent insight into the behind-the-scenes goings-on with the illusive artist.