|Did'yeahAdministrateurMessages : 8820|
Date d'inscription : 06/04/2010
Age : 56
Localisation : kissvillage.
|Sujet: MEMORIES OF AN EGYPTIAN . Ven 5 Juil - 22:03|| |
First stone... This " long article " on Vinnie Vincent marks the beginning of a new and fruitful collaboration between "KISS France forum" and "Kissjournal". It took time to us (we have nothing without the evil), but everything was implemented on the basis of an accurate work, as much in the reflection as in our multiple searches, as well as in the finalization of this "Pharaonic" project. Good and pleasant reading to all!
Sylvain Verne / Laurent Richier / Didier Jernasz
Kiss is forty years old this year. Many musicians succeeded each other during four decades.
However, there is one who is unusual, talented and willingly bucking the system. A musician who has caused many questions and misunderstandings even rejections. among the worldwide Kiss fans.
Obviously we want to talk about Vinnie Vincent. He is disputed sometimes hated by the ones and sometimes worshipped by the others.
Vinnie Vincent has not left anyone unconcerned neither Gene nor Paul.
His passage in the band was short that is to say less than one year and a half but undoubtedly Vinnie left a beautiful musical footprint inside Kiss.
What is important to underline is that Vinnie was given his character in Kiss like the other members of the original Kiss line up. Gene was the Demon, Paul the Starchild, Ace the Spaceman and Peter the Catman.
But we must not forget Eric the Fox. Here is the point of interest inserted in the big story. And then when we study it a litlle more precisely many fans say that Creatures Of The Night, Lick It Up and Revenge are in their top 5 albums. It is not at issue of a simple plebiscite but just a sort of gratitude towards a talented musician. That point does not lessen neither the original Kiss line up nor the different line ups' talents.
On the contrary in absolute terms his brief passage in Kiss can be perceived to a sort of bonus for the Kiss legend. Some songs such as I Love It Loud, A Million To One, Lick It up and Unholy belong to the Kissian repertoire and prove without any doubt that Vinnie brought a great contribution to Kiss.
We hope that you will find in that long article about Vinnie Vincent many answers in order to know better and understand the songwriter, the musician and the man in his full complexity and contradictions.
As he looked a little bit eccentric except during his making up period with Kiss he had an instable temper. That was the cause of many conflicts when he was in Kiss and when he started a solo career. Everybody knew that there existed some complicated relationships between Vinnie and the two Kiss leaders. They have never been able to get on well.
MEMORIES OF AN EGYPTIAN PART 1
The story began in 1981 when the future Vinnie became one of the songwriters of the successful series 'Happy days'. He also met Adam Mitchell who he composed several songs with such as Tears. They became friends then formed the ban Warrior with former members of New England, Hirsch Gardner, Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea. New England's album was produced by Paul Stanley in 1979.
Then history started up and nothing will be the same as it used to be for Vincent Cusano.
In 1982 Kiss looked like a sinking ship. The Elder got the better of the cohesion which existed between Gene, Paul and Ace.
In order to be in the limelight the band released a compilation called Killers. Paul wrote four unreleased songs such as the underrated 'I'm A Legend Tonight' and 'Nowhere To Run' working with different songwriters such as Michael Japp and Adam Mitchell. At the time of that album Killers Paul and Gene composed for the future album Creatures Of The Night with the same mates Vinnie, Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance. Adam Mitchell suggested that Gene could meet one of his guitar friends and songwriters who was named Vincent Cusano.
Vincent's ability of songwriting seduced the Simmons/Stanley duo at once and the song Killer composed with Gene reinforced the idea that there was more than a good feeling between them. A sort of alchemy suddenly emerged.
You have to keep in mind that Dana Drum who will be the last bass player in Invasion claimed the fact he recommended Vinnie to the group.
MEMORIES OF AN EGYPTIAN PART 2
A pharaoh in the valley of two kings....
Vincent's creativity was limitless and brought new sounds and new energy. 'Loud And Proud' will be turned into 'I Love It Loud' thanks to Gene's substantial help.
For fans who were willing to catch anecdotes that song was written in Diana's House. Vinnie composed the ballad 'I Still Love You' with Paul. 'Betrayed' will be equally recorded during those sessions and will not have any link with the title which will appear on Hot In The Shade. when we listen to that 82's demo that you can see on youtube there is something obvious which came up to mind. We think that Gene and Paul did not have a short memory-consciously or not.
Indeed two tracks, one composed by Gene and the latest one composed by Paul were inspired from it. It concerned 'Thou Shalt not' on the Revenge album and Hell Or Hallelujah on the latest Kiss album Monster.
We do not want to quarrel but we just want to observe some points. If we follow that argument, Vinnie's spreading musical influence would have been more important than presumed on the two Kiss leaders. You have to admit it is very confusing. From the same sessions the track Back On The Streets featuring Paul on lead vocals will not be included in the album. Some years later Vinnie will ask Gene the reason why that title was not included on Creatures. Gene will answer him that Paul thought he had not played it correctly. Vinnie will be sceptical because he had heard Paul's final version that he had loved very much. In that album Vinnie brought some fresh blood whereas he had been seriously hurt by the last and neverending conflicts with Ace Frehley.
So Vinnie integrated Kiss with Creatures Of The Night. The most important song whick provoked everything was obviously 'I Love It Loud' (one of the co-signed tracks with Gene). Everyone recalls the clip. The last time the Spaceman appeared he really was set back. Paul executed the guitar solo.
As Ace was still absent the band tried to find different guitar players such as Steve Ferris, Robben Ford and Bob Kulick. As the alchemy worked perfectly between Kiss and Vincent Cusano he actively took part to the recording of Creatures Of The Night played the guitar and did the backing vocals on Saint And Sinner, Keep Me Comin', I Love It loud, Killer and War Machine.
But his work as a songwriter and a studio guitarist went to an end, Vincent reintegrated his band Warrior in order to get a deal for his future album. As Ace came back for the sleeve and the single promotion I Love It Loud and as the tour was approaching Kiss looked for somebody to replace the Spaceman.
Many guitar players applied for the job but finally the group chose Vinnie Vincent to do the Creatures 10th Anniversary Tour Vincent Cusano turned his name into Vinnie Vincent in the meantime and the Egyptian's character which was imagined by Paul emerged. His make-up was awesome and was in line with the Four Originals and Eric Carr's. From that point of view the Ankh Cross on Vinnie's face is amazing. There was something else which was important. It was said that Gene Simmons found Vinnie Vincent's name. In different interviews Vinnie and Gene mentioned it. Vinnie Vincent who was born Vincent Cusano became the first non-New Yorker to be part of the band.
The promotion of the Creatures tour started in front of amazed fans who realized that Ace was absent. Vinnie will be given a name The Wiz related to his way of playing the guitar. As Ace played on a Les Paul Guitar Vinnie wanted to distinguish himself playing on a differrent guitar.
Thanks to his relationships he got the body of the guitar which was aimed at Randy Rhoads. Paul and Gene agreed with that choice. Vinnie will devlop his personal stage landmark playing on the first personalized Jackson guitar. The sellings of Creatures Of The Night were so-so in spite of the good reports which celebrated the excellent sound quality of the album which could compete with some other striking 82's albums such as Priest's Screaming For Vengeance, Maiden's Number Of The Beast.
As Vinnie had not signed a deal with Kiss he found himself in a difficult and paradoxal situation. According to him music was the most important. Nothing else mattered. As the group had scheduled a tour going through Canada, Paul and Gene had to find immediately a substitute to Ace who was demotivated following the failure of Music From The Elder. seeing that collaboration with Vinnie had worked perfectly Gene and Paul suggested a strange deal to Vinnie. That was strange because we wonder today who can work without a deal. Let's think about that important statement. So that was a verbal deal between Vinnie, Gene and Paul. For better or worse we will see it further on.
But at the same time let's wear Gene and Paul's shoes for a while. The two leaders saw that Kiss was about to disappear a decade ago. The issue which was at stake was the simple survival of Kiss. They could not be reproached for having taken wrong decisions today. Most of the Kiss fans were far from thinking what was really happening backstage.
What fans could see was that Kiss was not only making a strong comeback with energy and determination but with striking songs.
Let's bring back past to present and let's go back to the heart of the topic.
The band was still convalescent. Vinnie the Egyptian performed his first gig with Kiss on December 29, 1982 in Bismarck. Vincent brought a more modern and heavier touch and enabled the group to cope with the fifty-five dates and finish in Sao Paulo with a making up show on June 25, 1983.
However until now, he has carried out very well what he had asked for in Kiss. Playing live seemed to be more difficult for him.
A new character and Ace's replacement had to be accepted by the fans. In short the transition was certainly less obvious than written on a paper.
Here are the penalizing factors : Vinnie 's voice has not settled yet with the two leaders' And then he played less inspired and longer solos which were less adapted to Kiss music. That will be more obvious during the Lick It Up Tour.
MEMORIES OF AN EGYPTIAN Part 3
Vinnie who fully satisfied Paul and Gene in spite of a few stage problems was confirmed as a lead guitar player. The writing process for the new album Lick It Up started then. Vinnie became the ideal writing mate for Paul and Gene. The band did not contact any external songwriters. Vinnie pushed Kiss to heavier music and made Gene and Paul write better songs. We can easily say that he is the new artisan of that opus because he co-signed four songs with Gene and five ones with Paul. Vinnie appeared as being the perfect link between the two leaders who started feeling resentment towards the newcomer who was in limelight. To put it in a nutshell, they thought Vinnie was a little bit too omnipresent.
Kiss finalized the Lick It Up album in that odd atmosphere. The band became less popular. The album sellings got worse and the Kiss concerts were performed in half-emptied halls. Even merchandising got worse.
Briefly speaking that was a real failure for Gene and Paul. But at that time they wrote some very good stuff. They will be rewarded later. As they were both aware of the fact they needed an electroshock they decided to hit hard via the medias.
The non-renewal for their make up deal is going to help them. About that, a strong rumour asserted the band had done a masked photo session for the Lick It Up album. There was neither confirmation nor denial on behalf of Paul or Gene. Concerning Vinnie, he asserted he has always wanted to appear unmasked.
Finally there was no important date to mention at that time. Ace Frehley decided to leave Kiss in July 1983.
The Lick It Up album which was released on September 18, 1983 was a success. Thev record was very well apperciated by the press and the fans too. There was a huge work concerning guitar playing and Vinnie's guitar songwriting. But the ideal atmosphere was cracking and Gene and Paul's egos took a blow and Vinnie required acontract un due form. He wanted to be equally paid for his contribution. Gene and Paul's answers will be the cause of the unavoidable rupture.
Some numerous agreeing sources said the contract was divided by two which Vinnie refused. The band left on tour without signing anything.
The tour started in Europe in Lisbon and went through France for four dates : Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris and Lille. The group finished the thirty-five European dates in a tense atmosphere. Vinnie defied Gene and Paul more often and the gap was more obvious. In order to soften the atmosphere here is a culinary anecdote. After the concerts given by the group, Eric (Paul Caravello) and Vinnie (Vincent Cusano) due to their mutual roots liked meeting in restaurants in order to eat some typical Italian dishes. That's a funny anecdote, isn't it ?
When the tour ended and after some adjustments decided by the new unmasked Kiss era had been made, the band came back to the USA. And there was a thunderstorm in the kissian skies. Vinnie was fired. But as the US tour began immediately, Gene and Paul were forced to call Vinnie V. back. The fifty-eight dates were stormy and most of the time, Vinnie did not respect the orders and improvised the solos under the two leaders' puzzled eyes. Vinnie will perform his last show with Kiss on March 17, 1984 in Evansville, Indiana. His dismissal became official. He asserted he left the group because he could not stand Stanley/ Simmons' dictatorship anymore.
However, truth was more moderate. A "mutual agreement" was more appropriate. Vinnie has never been fired from Kiss seeing that he never had any written contract with his two managers.
Just a little precision : Ace left the band twice whereas Peter was fired twice.
In an interview given in the 80's Gene talked again about about Vinnie's frequent complaints such as he could not mention the work he did in Kiss as he could have been subject to prosecution. Gene added Vinnie was really talented and had the career he had wanted. He also wished him good luck.
However, Gene did not want Vinnie to use the "Kiss" name because he thought he worked hard for fourteen years.-That was in 1987.
He concluded that he found strange that Vincent Cusano had kept "Vinnie Vincent" name-that Gene had found- after he had been out.
In this condition, Gene was not wrong.
Thanks to Gene's clarification, we could unveil the nature of the relationships which existed between Vinnie Vincent and Paul Stanley which have never been calm. It was due to two volcanic personalities.
Paul did not express himself as much as Gene about the relationships he had with Vinnie. Paul the cold-blooded animal can immediately turn into a hot-blooded animal. In presence of Vinnie the relationships could only be conflictual and not only in terms of music. However, they wrote together some amazing hits such as A Million To One, Lick It Up and I Just Wanna.
To be rather complete, let's talk about the relationships between Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr. We will not make an aseptic description but we could say that they liked each other. They had a different status within Kiss. Eric had a permanent contract whereas Vinnie had a temporary contract. Do not laugh, please !!!!! There was a sort of solidarity due to their common origins and their passion for those rock legends such as Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. Let's recall that Vinnie's favourite guitar player is Jeff Beck.
MEMORIES OF AN EGYPTIAN PART 4
1991 : Sweet Revenge
After his thundering departure from Kiss, Vinnie story continued with his band Invasion who made several albums.In the early 90's, the hand of fate will reunite Gene, Paul and Vinnie. They will work together again on the Revenge album. Vinnie wil co-write Unholy with Gene and Heart Of Chrome and I Just Wanna with Paul.
About that, Vinnie said he met Gene and Paul at the A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles. He explained that Gene contacted him so they could write together. Paul was tempted by a new musical experience with Vinnie. Unholy and I Just Wanna will be released as singles. and completed by clips filmed by Kiss. Among the three titles he took part to, Heart Of Chrome is the one Vinnie is the least proud of. He confessed in an interview he had been frustrated when the title was finalized. According to him, it could have been much better. After the release of Revenge, some new financial disagreements will tear apart Gene and Paul from Vinnie-although it was said that Eric Carr was at the heart of their quarrels. Vinnie will frankly say that he disagreed with Paul and Gene's behaviours towards Eric especially in their last months' collaboration.
Gary Corbett-Eric's friend- has also expressed his discontentment and has also stopped collaborating with the group since then. That says a lot about that.
Finally what conclusions can we draw about Vinnie Vincent's passage within Kiss ? In the space of two albums Creatures Of The Night and Lick It up Vinnie has acquired an obvious reputation in the hard rock area that he will develop later in his own band Invasion thanks to a few albums. Working for so many years has been positive for him in spite of successive professional ruptures. He had problems to get through them. His fiery temper caused him many problems which were in opposition with his interests. As he was too stubborn and uncommunicative he got lost in the infinitely big area of US Hard Rock. Being constant means being patient.
That persistent inconstancy was the cause of all his problems during all his career. Unfortunately Vinnie has been absent a lot so that his music and his work could be praised even if some underground people tried to lessen his talent and his contribution. The most important aspect is that he lost much money as it spread over time. He is still putting himself on the line. That is one of the main reasons why he became silent for all those years. Even though there are many albums left where his gift as a guitar player and songwriter sums up that unclassifiable artist's quintessence
- Sylvain Verne - "KISS Journal" / Laurent Richier - "KISS France Forum".- KISS Army France -
PS1 : just a few words about the magnificent flyer created by Didier Jernasz. It is a concept flyer because nothing has been left to chance.
-The three pyramids represent each Kiss album in which Vinnie Vincent took part to. (Creatures Of The Night, Lick It Up and Revenge)
-The famous Ankh Cross is also seen and magnifies every symbol.
And then as a keystone we can see Vinnie's face staring at us like two flashes and a sign : the Pharaoh's sign.
PS 2 : Special thanks to "KISS FAQ", KISS Supreme,Gary James, kiss-related-recordings.nl and of course..."The Vinnie Vincent fan forum" !
Translated from French into English by Phil Debray