THE RASCALS' FELIX CAVALIERE Looks Back On Working With VINNIE VINCENT In The '70s - "He Could Play Anything"
November 11, 2017, 8 months ago
In a new interview with music writer Joel Gausten, ’60s rock legend Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals) discusses recording with former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent – then known as Vincent Cusano – in the late ’70s. An excerpt from the story appears below:
Following The Rascals’ breakup in the early ’70s, Cavaliere continued on with a variety of other musical endeavors that at one point put him in touch with an unlikely collaborator – future KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent. Then known as Vinnie Cusano, Vincent worked with Cavaliere under the band name Treasure; an eponymous album was released in 1977. The singer has fond memories of working with the acclaimed six-stringer.
“I was living in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the time, which I think was his hometown or close to it. I needed a guitarist kind of in a hurry. The person who owned the studio, Paul Leka, was well known in that area. He mentioned this guy, Vinnie Cusano, from Bridgeport. The kid came in the studio and was frickin’ unbelievable. He really, really had talent. After having him play on a couple of sessions, I had an idea. I said, ‘Look, why don’t we do an album?’ I wanted to have a real screaming guitar player; Boston was really happening at that time. That’s how that started.”
The two quickly formed a bond away from the studio as well.
“Our wives were very friendly, and so were our kids. He had twins, and I had twins. My kids are still in touch with his kids. Our wives (from that period) are both deceased, and he’s kind of estranged. It’s a pretty strange story, but if you just stick to the fact that this guy really played his tail off and is really a great guitarist... he could play anything. The metal part is what he’s known for, but when I saw him, he could play anything you put in front of him – whether it be flamenco or folk. He was a really talented guy. He was a country kid; he was not a big city kid.”
Of course, the notoriously reclusive Vincent is best known these days for rumors (including unfounded and ridiculous talk of a sex change) and tabloid fodder regarding an arrest not too long ago in Connecticut. To his credit, Cavaliere shies away from commenting on his former musical partner’s personal life in great detail.
“Once you come out of that country side and go into the big time, man, you better be prepared for it. Sometimes it really kicks you in the butt. The last I heard, he was living in Nashville.”
The complete feature is available at this location.
Vinnie Vincent has been announced as the featured guest for the Atlanta Kiss Expo 2018, taking place January 19th - 20th in Atlanta, GA. A new video trailer can be found below.
This will mark Vinnie Vincent’s first public appearance in almost 20 years. He will be signing autographs and taking photos during a special VIP Meet & Greet on Friday, January 19th, then again at the Atlanta KISS Expo on Saturday, January 20th.