AKA Vincent Appice
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Former Sabbath and Dio drummer
The younger brother of influential drummer Carmine Appice, Vincent Appice was inspired to follow his brother's career choice at an early age, even taking lessons from the same Brooklyn-based drum teacher. The younger Appice's first significant involvement in the music industry took place at the tender age of 16, when he was invited by John Lennon to add handclaps to Whatever Gets You Through the Night, a track he was recording in collaboration with Elton John. Vinny subsequently worked on several more Lennon projects before joining forces with guitarist Rick Derringer in 1976, joining his group Derringer and contributing to a self-titled album that same year. A live document recorded in Cleveland (cleverly titled Live in Cleveland) presented some of their touring material in 1977, closely followed by a second studio album Sweet Evil. Before the end of '77, Appice moved on to create his own band Axis -- a power trio also featuring guitarist Danny Johnson and Jay Davis. Axis only managed to record a single album (1978's It's a Circus World) before the three members parted ways.
In 1980 Appice reached the turning point of his career when he was chosen to replace drummer Bill Ward in the now Ronnie James Dio-fronted line-up of Black Sabbath. Sabbath had just released its first album with the new singer (Heaven and Hell) earlier in the year, and with Appice behind the kit they went on to complete the studio album (Mob Rules, 1981) and issue their first authorized live album (Live Evil, 1982). By the time of the latter release, however, relations between Dio and the two founding Sabs had traveled south; with the drummer in tow, he founded his own band Dio in 1983, launching this new project with the well-received debut effort Holy Diver. Appice's tenure with Dio would provide him with his most successful years in music, the first two albums achieving platinum status and the band itself becoming one of the leading arena acts of the 80s.
By the end of the decade Dio's popularity had waned considerably, and Appice took his leave to spend the next couple of years as a member of WWIII, a metal act fronted by German singer Mandy Lion. An eponymous record was released in 1991, but shortly afterwards the drummer was called away to take part in a full reunion of the Dio-era Black Sabbath. The honeymoon lasted only long enough to complete the album Dehumanizer (1992) and its associated world tour: by the end of '92 both he and the vocalist were once again active with Dio. This second involvement endured six years and produced three more albums (Strange Highways, 1994; Angry Machines, 1996; and the live Inferno, 1998) before Appice was invited a third time to perform with Sabbath -- this time backing original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. After completing a European tour, Appice then accompanied the band on its 1999 U.S. Reunion tour in case health issues necessitated a last-minute replacement for founding drummer Bill Ward.
During the 00s Appice branched out into film music, co-composing the song Inside of You Inside of Me for the Hollywood re-make of the comedy Bedazzled, and into venue management, opening his own live music bar in Bakersfield, California. Session work for vocalists Lana Lane and Mark Boals kept him busy in the first few years of the decade, followed by a resumption of his membership in WWIII in 2004.
Brother: Carmine Appice (musician)
John Lennon Drummer (1974)
Derringer Drummer (1976-77)
Axis Drummer (1977-78)
Black Sabbath (1980-82, 1991-92, and 1998-99)
Dio Drummer (1983-89 and 1992-98)
WWIII Drummer (1990-91 and 2004)
Lana Lane Drummer (2001)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Sound City (31-Jan-2013) · Himself
Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (21-Apr-2009) · Himself
Author of books:
Rock Steady - A New Drum Method
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