Houston: Where the Osbournes Fired Carmine Appice
He may be a senior citizen, but 67-year-old classic-rock skinthumper Carmine Appice will have a busier 2014 than you, for sure.
In addition to co-launching a new startup label, Rocker Records, he has rehearsal and recording sessions with a new group, and a busy slate of live gigs with three different acts. He is also working with a writer on his autobiography, the opening scene of which he says takes place in Houston.
"Oh yeah, that's how I'm opening the thing, in Houston. Because that's where I got fired from Ozzy's band!" Appice laughs.
And while he wants to save details of the ousting after the February 17, 1984 show at the Summit during Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon" tour for the book, he will give some details of the night involving a local radio personality.
"I have been friends with [then-KLOL disc jockey and current motivational speaker/coach] Dayna Steele for a long time, and I was staying at her house that night," Appice recalls.
"I drove her car to the gig. And then Sharon [Osbourne, Ozzy's wife/manager] fired me after the show, so I drove back right away. Dayna was looking for me at the gig, but I was already back at her place, and she didn't know where I was with her car!"
Of Appice's other projects for the year, he will be part of a new hard-rock supergroup, the appropriately named Legacy X, with vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, Deep Purple), bassist Tony Franklin (ex-Firm, Blue Murder), and guitarist Jeff Watson (ex-Night Ranger).
Then there are live dates with Cactus. And then he will also be doing more "Drum Wars" shows with brother and fellow drummer Vinny Appice (ex-Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell) in which the duo and a full band play material from both of their lengthy careers. The show culminates in a pound-off between the two siblings.
Story continues on the next page.
But perhaps the most intriguing stint will be his shows with "The Rod Experience." It's a multi-media Rod Stewart "tribute" show featuring former members of his band: Appice and bassist Phil Chen from the original lineup, guitarists Jimmy Crespo and Danny Johnson from later incarnations.
Rounding out the band will be keyboardist Alan St. Jon (ex-Billy Squier) and, on vocals, Rick St. James impersonating Stewart -- complete with blonde-rooster wig and white leopard-print tights.
Carmine Appice will keep his sticks busy in 2014.
Appice himself co-write two of Stewart's biggest hits, "Young Turks" and the dance warhorse "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" How the latter came about owes a bit of thanks to...Mick Jagger.
"Rod used to listen to what was on the charts all the time," Appice recalls. "He would hear something and come to the band and say 'I want something that sounds like that or that.' And we'd come back with ideas."
"So he wanted a song like 'Miss You' by the Stones," he continues. "I went back to my house where I had a keyboard and drum machine and put my ideas down, then went to [producer/songwriter] Duane Hitchings' house studio and polished it."
"We presented it to Rod, and he loved it. He came up with the chorus line, we then we had the verse and bridge done, and that was it...I never expected it to be so big!"
Appice says that, while the Rod Experience has some nearby dates already booked, he hopes to be able to slot Houston into the schedule somewhere, and perhaps do a co-talk with Dayna Steele.
"I can talk about starting a record label and my history, and she can talk about that rock career-management stuff she does," he says.
Although he may not be quite up to speed on the state's gambling laws.
"We can play a casino in Houston," offers Appice. I'll have to look into that!"
Visit Carmine Appice's official site, click here.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.