“Carmine Appice set the foundation for heavy drumming ... before Bonham, before Ian Paice... before anyone else.” - Rick Van Horn, 1999 Modern Drummer magazine.
The 35th anniversary of the dawn of the career of the legendary Carmine Appice, who continues to inspire drummers and listeners throughout the world with his originality and his unwavering dedication to the art of drumming, occurred in 2002. He has broken new ground in every aspect of his career; as a performer, as a teacher, and as a writer. From his early days with Vanilla Fudge, considered by many to be the first heavy rock band, it was clear that Carmine was creating new standards for rock drumming. Truly, a different drummer.
After Vanilla Fudge, Carmine went on to form Cactus with bassist Tim Bogert. Cactus has been cited as a major influence on such artists as King’s X and Alex and Eddie Van Halen. This union with Bogert evolved into an alliance with Grammy-winning guitar hero, Jeff Beck, a stellar combination of talent known internationally as Beck, Bogert, and Appice..
One of the premier showmen in rock, he became known worldwide for his astonishing live performances, in addition becoming a highly sought-after session drummer, recording with countless artists throughout the seventies. In 1976, his friend Rod Stewart invited Carmine to join his band, after auditioning more than forty other drummers. As a member of the Rod Stewart Band, Carmine exhibited yet another talent: writing hit songs. “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”and “Young Turks” were two of his biggest singles.
After a rewarding period with Rod Stewart, Carmine left to pursue his own projects. His first solo album, Rockers, was followed by tours of the U.S. and Japan with an all-star band. Next Carmine led the high-energy band King Cobra, recording two albums on Capitol records, and touring internationally.
Carmine’s discography demonstrates his broad musical scope, having worked with artists ranging from Stanley Clarke to Ozzy Osbourne; from Ted Nugent to Pink Floyd. Such versatility stems from Carmine having been influenced by the jazz drumming of Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, combined with extensive classical training.
As an educator, Carmine was the first to legitimize rock drumming with his landmark book, Realistic Rock. This revolutionary drum method book, which has sold more than 300,000 copies, is now available as a video. It was the first book about rock drumming that was actually written by a rock drummer. Realistic Rock was voted among the top 25 drum books of all time by Modern Drummer magazine and has been studied by such drum luminaries as Greg Bissonette and Dave Weckl. The book has been updated with a new section on linear techniques, and an accompanying CD.
Carmine was also the first rock drummer to conduct instructional clinics and symposiums held on college campuses, theaters, and music stores around the world, a tradition he still continues. His clinics and master classes continue to break attendance records at venues in every country.
Currently, Carmine is producing and marketing instructional videos for his new company, Power Rock, featuring numerous artists including Chicago drummer Tris Imboden, Cinderella’s Fred Coury, and of course, Carmine Appice. Another facet of his educational output will be reflected in his upcoming contribution, The Children’s Book of Rhythm, to influence yet another generation.
Some of Carmine’s world tours have been with the Geffen Records super group Blue Murder, featuring guitarist extraordinaire John Sykes, from Whitesnake, and Tony Franklin of the Firm, and with the legendary Edgar Winter Group. Being a performer with universal appeal, his playing reaches more than just drummers, as evidenced by proclamations of “Carmine Appice Day” in Los Angeles and four other major U.S. cities, in recognition of his contributions to music, drumming, and music education. He was further immortalized in 1991 by his induction into the Hollywood Rock Walk, his handprints and signature side by side with his idols Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. This year the Hollywood Rock Walk is issuing a commemorative book, with a full page on Carmine, next to a page on superstar James Brown.