Veteran drummer Carmine Appice said he’d warned Kiss about hiring Vinnie Vincent in 1982, calling him a “total idiot.”

He also discussed the two abandoned Vincent solo shows that he’d signed up for in 2019, and criticized the guitarist for charging fans so much to see him perform.

“Oh, my God, that guy's a total idiot,” Appice told Dean Delray in a recent episode of Let There Be Talk, which you can hear below. Looking back to 1979 he explained: “He was in my band, and we wrote these great songs; we were ready to get a record deal, then he acted like a total asshole… We agreed we would split everything with everybody, make it even, so whoever writes a song doesn't run around in a Lamborghini and the other guy has a Volkswagen. He agreed to that – and then when it was time to do it, he backed out. So when he backed out, we said, ‘Well, fuck this.’ We blew the band out.”

He continued: “Then I got a call from Paul Stanley and Gene [Simmons], saying, ‘We got this guy Vinnie Cusano to join Kiss. What do you think?’ I said, ‘Dude, he’s a great talent, great songwriter, decent singer, great guitar player – but he's trouble. It’s up to you guys. I can tell you he’s trouble.’ They hired him and what happened? Yeah, that's right: trouble! And then he disappeared.”

Appice said the request to participate in Vincent’s 2019 concerts came about “fast and quick,” and due to various difficulties the drummer was left with the responsibility of putting a band together. “I called him, he answered the phone, we talked on the phone for two hours,” he recalled, adding: “To me it seemed like Vinnie couldn’t even play guitar; he wouldn't play any electric guitar. The guy had these big press conferences, and… he’d just kind of strum a couple of chords. It was like, ‘What’s going on?’ People paid this outrageous amount of money to see this guy do nothing!

“And on the gig, the [organizer] Derek paid Vinnie I don’t know how much – thousands and thousands of dollars as a deposit. He paid us some money as a deposit; when the thing blew out, I said, ‘Derek, we’ll give you your money back.’ He goes, ‘No, no, you keep it, you put the timers on.’ He said Vinnie kept all the money. He said: ‘He gave me a bunch of signed posters for me to sell to make my money back.’ I said, ‘Man, what a fucking douchebag!’”

Appice reported that he’d hated the Vinnie Vincent Invasion music he’d heard, because while the music was good the mix appeared to favor the guitar over everything else, ruining the effect. “In Kiss, he was great because he played like Vinnie,” he said. “Then with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, he was trying to outdo Yngwie [Malmsteen].” He added that a friend had told him that Vincent’s most recent attempt to perform had suffered from the same issue. “Vinnie… had five people that paid $2,500 to see him. And he said he did play. I said, ‘Did he play decent?’ He said, ‘He did that crap like on his Vinnie Vincent album.’ … So he obviously can play something. But his attitude is so fucked up! … A couple of years, one album with Kiss [then it’s] $2,500 a ticket to see him play for fucking 10 minutes. That's a fucking rip-off!”

Hear Carmine Appice Discuss Vinnie Vincent

Kiss Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide

An in-depth guide to all of the personnel changes undergone by the "hottest band in the land," Kiss.

More From Classic Rock Q107