Legendary drummer Carmine Appice (BLUE MURDER, VANILLA FUDGE, KING KOBRA) has once again slammed the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, saying that the name of the institution should be changed to reflect the musicians that have been inducted.
“VANILLA FUDGE should be in,” he told North Coast Music Beat in a new interview (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “I thought it was about inspiration and all that stuff, influences on people. C’mon, THE GO-GO’S went in. Who did they influence? I know them. They’re nice people and everything. But c’mon, man. They should it the Music Hall Of Fame and just have it for… not influence and not what the Hall was originally made for. Like I’m in the Modern Drummer Hall Of Fame. I’m in there because of my influence and what I’ve done for drumming. Long Island has a Music Hall Of Fame; VANILLA FUDGE are in there for the same reason. I’m in the Heavy Metal Hall Of Fame for the influence; I’m not in there for how many records I sold. Back in the day, you’ve got guys like Chuck Berry are in it. He’s in it for the influence…
“Why do they leave out groups like FOREIGNER, groups like VANILLA FUDGE?” he continued. “DEEP PURPLE is in it now. But before DEEP PURPLE, we should have been in there. I mean, c’mon. We influenced so many bands. We created a style of music. We were there when the FM radio station was starting… We started the long song. And we’re still doing it, we’re still alive. And they’ve got people in there that are not alive, which is fine.
“One good thing they did [is] they showed [late VANILLA FUDGE bassist] Tim Bogert‘s picture, of the people who died. And I’m happy they did that. But otherwise, change the name. You’re putting rappers in there, you’re putting people that have nothing to do with rock in there. I mean, THE GO-GO’S. How rock is THE GO-GO’S? THE RUNAWAYS are not in it, and they were all female. They were the first female [rock band]. And that’s about influence. It’s stupid.
“People go, ‘Don’t you care that you’re not in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?’ I said, ‘I don’t really care, because it’s getting cheesy now,'” Carmine added. “I know people who are in there, and it didn’t change their career. It did nothing for them other than getting an HBO special. That’s it.”
For the past few years, the Rock Hall has broadened its base to include rap artists such as the late Tupac Shakur and N.W.A. The move has drawn criticism from many fans and fellow musicians who have taken issue with hip-hop acts — and other non-rock artists — being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Carmine‘s autobiography, “Stick It!: My Life Of Sex, Drums, And Rock ‘N’ Roll”, was released in May 2016 by Chicago Review Press.
VANILLA FUDGE was one of the first American groups to infuse psychedelia into heavy rock sound to create “psychedelic symphonic rock,” an eclectic genre which would, among its many offshoots, eventually morph into heavy metal.
Although, at first, the band did not record original material, they were best known for their dramatic heavy, slowed-down arrangements of contemporary pop songs which they developed into works of epic proportion.
Originally, VANILLA FUDGE was a blue-eyed soul cover band called THE PIGEONS, formed in New Jersey in 1965 with organist Mark Stein, bassist Tim Bogert, drummer Joey Brennan and guitarist, vocalist and U.S. Navy veteran Vince Martell. They built a following by gigging extensively up and down the East Coast and earned extra money by providing freelance in-concert backing for hit-record girl groups. In early 1966, the group recorded a set of eight demos that were released several years later as “While the World Was Eating Vanilla Fudge”.
The East Coast, in particular New York and New Jersey, created a sound all its own. Inspired by groups such as THE RASCALS and THE VAGRANTS (fronted by guitarist Leslie West of MOUNTAIN fame), THE PIGEONS reworked many of their own existing arrangements of covers to reflect their unique interpretation of this “East Coast Sound.”
In late 1966, drummer Joey Brennan moved out to the West Coast. THE PIGEONS immediately drafted drummer and vocalist Carmine Appice, a disciple of the renowned Joe Morello (DAVE BRUBECK BAND) and a seasoned veteran of the club scene. In early 1967, THE PIGEONS manager Phil Basile convinced producer George “Shadow” Morton (producer for THE SHANGRI-LAS and Janis Ian), to catch their live act. Impressed by their heavy-rocking, trippy and psychedelic version of THE SUPREMES‘ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, Morton offered to record the song as a single. This resulted in a deal with the Atlantic subsidiary Atco, which requested a name change. The band settled on VANILLA FUDGE.
VANILLA FUDGE celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017 and is still rocking the world as hard as ever.