Carmine Appice is an American drummer and percussionist most commonly associated with the rock genre of music. He has received classical music training, and was influenced early-on by the work of jazz drummers Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. Appice is best known for his associations with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice, Rod Stewart, King Kobra, and Blue Murder, which also featured John Sykes of Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy fame, and Tony Franklin of The Firm. He was inducted into the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2014.
Appice is credited with influencing later rock drummers including Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain, Aerosmith's Joey Kramer, Roger Taylor of Queen, Phil Collins of Genesis, Rush's Neil Peart, Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee, Slayer's Dave Lombardo, Richard Christy, Chris Grainger, David Kinkade, Ray Mehlbaum, Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, Ian Paice of Deep Purple, Anvil's Robb Reiner and Eric Singer of Kiss.
His best-selling drum instruction book The Realistic Rock Drum Method was first published in 1972 and has since been revised and republished as The Ultimate Realistic Rock Drum Method. It covers the basic subjects of rock rhythms and polyrhythms, linear rudiments and groupings, shuffle rhythms, hi-hat and double bass drum exercises.
Of Italian descent, Appice is the elder brother of drummer Vinny Appice by 11 years.
Appice first came to prominence as the drummer with the late 1960s psychedelic band Vanilla Fudge. Appice contributed distinctive background harmonies with bassist Tim Bogert. After five albums, the pair left Vanilla Fudge to form the blues rock quartet Cactus, with vocalist Rusty Day and guitarist Jim McCarty. Appice and Bogert then left Cactus to join Jeff Beck in the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. Appice joined Rod Stewart's backing band in 1977, co-writing songs such as "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and "Young Turks". He also played drums on a track on Paul Stanley's eponymous solo album (1978).
He was a member of KGB which featured Ray Kennedy, Ric Grech, Mike Bloomfield and Barry Goldberg. Appice has recorded with artists such as Stanley Clarke, Ted Nugent and Pink Floyd. He has also played with King Kobra and Blue Murder with John Sykes. On May 23, 1981, Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles proclaimed that day as Carmine Appice Day in LA in recognition of Appice's charitable and educational work. In late 1983 he toured with Ozzy Osbourne in support of his Gold-selling Bark at the Moon album. Though Osbourne had a good relationship with him, his wife and manager Sharon detested Appice, and the decision to fire him was strictly hers.
Appice recorded Caso Cerrado (1995) with the Argentine guitarist Pappo. They were also joined by bassist Tim Bogert on four songs including "P. B. A. Boogie". In 2000, Appice formed the power trio DBA with Tim Bogert and Rick Derringer and was reunited once again with Bogert when they reformed Vanilla Fudge.
In 2005, he became an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization which provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in less privileged public schools throughout the USA. He has personally delivered instruments to children in the program and has also performed at benefit concerts for the organization and sits on its Honorary board of directors.
In 2006, he formed the drum ensemble SLAMM in which Appice participates on drums playing alongside four young drummers. The show they put on has been described as "Stomp on steroids". The band filmed a promotional video for the Cable Network station ESPN, using a NASCAR garage as a set and mechanic's hardware as instruments. They were voted as the runner-up in the Drum magazine poll for Percussion Ensemble (2008) after a special appearance at the magazine's drum festival. SLAMM also appears on the Modern Drummer festival DVD (2008).
He recorded Carmine Appice's Guitar Zeus: Conquering Heroes (2009). This was the third album in his Guitar Zeus series. These albums have featured guitarists such as Jennifer Batten, Brian May, Ted Nugent, Richie Sambora and Yngwie Malmsteen.
Carmine Appice lives in New York with his longtime girlfriend, radio personality Leslie Gold, The Radiochick.
He recently lent his talents to the Sly Stone CD I'm Back! Family & Friends, where he plays on the Sly classic "Stand!" It was released August 16, 2011.
2011–2012 saw Carmine performing Drum Wars shows with his brother Vinny Appice and Guitarist Michael Hund, as well a reformation of King Kobra with Johnny Rod, Mick Sweda, and David Henzerling, with Paul Shortino replacing Mark Free on lead vocals. This lineup released an eponymous album, King Kobra, in April 2011 on the Frontiers label which received critical acclaim. A new King Kobra album was released in 2013, titled King Kobra II featuring the song "Have a Good Time", for which a music video was filmed in Fall of 2012 at Count's Vamp'd in Las Vegas.
Appice published his memoir, Stick It!: My Life of Sex, Drums & Rock 'n' Roll , in 2016.
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