When I was a teenager, I longed to be a great rock guitarist. I took lessons. I studied and practiced for hours. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I did not have the talent level needed to achieve my dream of rock super stardom. Oh, sure I improved over time, but no amount of practice can give you talent for something. That’s a completely different area and either you have it or you don’t.
I was a huge heavy metal fan and collected every album that I could get my hands on and listened to them for hours. I wrote letters to people in the music industry that I looked up to. Most of the time I would never hear anything back from the artists that I had written to, or at best, I would receive a small black & white photo that had the autograph of the person printed on it. You know, the kind that’s mass produced and just slapped in a envelope with a generic Dear Fan, letter.
However, one artist was incredibly thoughtful. That person was Vinnie Vincent. I was a huge fan of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. VVI was the first live concert that I got to attend and I was simply blown away. Most people that I knew were there to see the headliner Iron Maiden. Of course I love Iron Maiden and they put on one hell of a show, but in my mind nothing was going to top the incredible performance that I just witnessed Vinnie Vincent finish.
Anyway, after writing to Vinnie, I was pleasantly surprised when I received a package in the mail from none other than the man himself. He had hand-written me a letter while out on tour. It was three pages long, front and back (so actually 6 pages of writing) and he also included two 8 X 10 glossy, hand autographed photos. He addressed me by name several times throughout the letter and explained a little about the tour and how they were preparing for the next album which would become “All Systems Go”. Needless to say, I was thrilled that he took that much time to write me back. It was something that not a lot of rock stars do. He actually took the time to personally do something nice for a fan that enjoyed his music. And I have never forgotten it this very day.
After VVI disbanded, Vinnie Vincent seemed to just fade into obscurity and was living a life as a recluse with no contact at all with the music industry. People literally asked the question, What ever happened to Vinnie Vincent?
Well, recently, Vinnie returned to greet the public again and has since made several appearances with more scheduled in the near future. I was ecstatic to see Vinnie return and even mention the possibility of new music on the horizon. But, with his return, also came the criticism and rude distasteful comments from people who have no business judging anyone else. I heard all kinds of seriously ignorant comments like, he’s put on a bunch of weight, and questions about his gender. So, In defense of Vinnie Vincent, I have this to say….I don’t know Vinnie personally, but I can vouch for the fact that he does care about his fans and he does care about what they think. As, I stated earlier, this is a rarity in the world of rock n’ roll. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I can guarantee that I wrote to all of the other members of the band KISS at one time or another and not a single one of them ever wrote me back. I’m not slamming KISS for that, I’m just saying, that out of all of the band members to be in KISS, Vinnie Vincent was the only one who made an effort to reach out to someone who bought their albums, merchandise, concert tickets and supported the band. After all, too many bands seem to forget that they would not be rock superstars if we, the fans didn’t buy their records. I don’t care what Vinnie’s gender, sexual orientation or what his weight is. I just happen to know from my personal experience as a rock fan that he’s one hell of a nice guy! I for one am just glad to see that he’s back and doing well again. If you travel over to Vinnie’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialVinnieVincent/ he posts a lot of pics of people from his guest appearances at conventions and genuinely seems to enjoy life among his many fans again.
My two favorite KISS albums are Creatures Of The Night and Lick It Up. When Vinnie first joined the band, KISS was at it’s lowest popularity level and the whole make-up thing had seemingly ran it’s course. The band took a huge chance by removing the makeup when Lick It Up came out and it was wildly successful. Vinnie Vincent‘s guitar playing re-energized KISS at the time that it needed it the most. So, I guess what I’m saying is, it’s obviously very easy for people to comment on web pages and bash performers from the safety of your keyboard in front of your PC, but one of the first things we all learned in school was…if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Nowadays, it seems a lot of people have forgotten this golden rule of respect for one another. As for me and everyone at XS ROCK, we have the upmost respect for Vinnie Vincent! Welcome back Vinnie!