Vinnie Vincent owes me $150

Does everyone here know who Vinnie Vincent is? No?

Vinnie Vincent (previously Vincent Cusano) is a guitarist/songwriter. He almost became famous in the early 80s when replace Ace Frehley in the rock band KISS. Unfortunately for Vinnie, he joined after KISSmania had all but disappeared. Paul Stanley had him paint up his face with an Egyptian Ankh and soon he was playing lead guitar to mostly empty arenas all over the US.

Not long after joining, KISS took off their signature make-up and released the Lick It Up album. On the cover, for the first time ever, people could see what the members of KISS really looked like. The album was fantastic to boot and the band had a huge hit with the song LICK IT UP.

Vinnie didn’t last long after the Lick It Up tour. For reasons that are only known to the KISS men themselves, he was out of the band after the historical “no makeup” tour. He went on to form his own 80s hair-metal band called the VINNIE VINCENT INVASION. The VVI had a few very minor hits before Vinnie’s bandmates ditched him to form the hugely successful, late-80s hair-metal band SLAUGHTER. Vinnie was hardly heard from again.

So why does he owe me $150?

After his band left him in the dust for the golden ring, Vinnie unsuccessfully tried to release albums on a bunch of different dinky labels. He never got anything out. He released an indie EP that sucked balls, but that hardly counts.

Then in the late 1990s Vinnie suddenly appeared on the internet. A site advertising the Vinnie Vincent Archives. A boxset of all of Vinnie’s demos and unreleased materials. Supposedly 6+ hours of music in a collector box. All you had to do was print out the form and send a money-order for $150. Since I’m a sucker for all things KISS related AND for collector sets, I really had no choice but send the money-order.

About a year later I received a form later with some VVI guitar picks asking in a very long winded manner that “we all be patient. Vinnie is a genius, perfectionist and you can’t rush a genius, perfectionist.” A few years later I read online that Vinnie had declared bankruptcy and that no boxsets would be going out to anyone.

So here I am, all these years later. $150 poorer and Vinnie Vincent Boxset-less. So if anyone out there knows where Vinnie is at, please tell him to send me my money.

Sir Pent

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39 Responses to “Vinnie Vincent owes me $150”

  1. Actually, I’d still take the boxset if he has it…

  2. Agreed. Maybe the ones over on the Vinnie Vincent fan forum can lead the way to his house since his stalkers frequent there.

  3. Hey Fullshred.
    Yeah, I’ve been over there and there are some Vinnie obsessed folks over there.

    I see that your link is over to the MAB site. I also loves me some Nitro!

  4. This is such a typical Pent-boy story. I love it.

    Have you tried Bittorrent?

  5. One of the ongoing conspiracy theories floating is that the music for this supposed boxset never really existed.
    I have looked to see if there is any kind of leaked material for this and have never found anything. So, no leaked material lends to the idea of it never existing in the first place. I mean, at this point…what kind of music DOESN’T get leaked?

  6. True indeed.

    Speaking of money, I recently came into a small amount, and the more pressing question on my mind is whether to upgrade the neck of my tele or to save enough to upgrade the entire guitar. Immediate gratification versus much delayed better gratification. Tough one.

  7. I say hold off and buy the entire guitar.

  8. Probably I’ll do neither and just play the guitar I have. I have no assurance the standard tele neck will even fit my guitar properly, since it has a bigger radius.

  9. Besides the songs he wrote for KISS (which are some of their best, btw), what would be on a “Vinnie Vincent Boxset“?

    Boyz Are Gonna Rock ? 😉

  10. Word has it that it was all “his” original demo material for:
    Creatures
    Lick It Up
    VVI
    VVI – All Systems Go
    (Plus original, unedited versions before Enigma came in a edited)
    Guitarmegeddon
    Other misc. stuff/unreleased songs

    In retrospect, the idea was dubious to begin with. Don’t you think KISS would’ve owned all the rights to the Creatures and Lick It Up material?

  11. >In retrospect, the idea was dubious to begin with. Don’t you think KISS would’ve owned all the rights to the Creatures and Lick It Up material?

    Yeah, that’s true! Especially with KISS!

    You can probably get a refund somehow, I’d think. I don’t think a company can offer to sell something and keep the money if they’re unable to deliver the goods*! (*I’m a Judas Priest fan, too!)

  12. By the way, did you see the 1977 picture of KISS in Kamakura, Japan on my blog’s header?

    ( http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/ )

  13. Trust me…I tried to get my money back. This was right as “Metaluna Records” along with Vinnie Vincent went into bankruptcy, and as soon as that sucker declared it, he disappeared.

    I did not notice that on your header, but I have seen that pic of them in the kimonos before.

  14. >I did not notice that on your header, but I have seen that pic of them in the kimonos before.

    I figured you saw that photo before. It’s famous (to KISS fans).
    (I put a photo that I took at the same location on this post:
    http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/statue-of-liberty/ )

    BTW, which KISS songs do you think are over-rated and under-rated?
    For example, I think:

    On Dressed To KillLadies In Waiting is better than Rock And Roll All Nite,

    On AnimalizeGet All You Can Take is better than Heaven’s On Fire,

    On Psycho CircusWe Are One is better than Psycho Circus,

    On DynastyCharisma is better than I Was Made For Lovin’ You,

    On Lick It UpDance All Over Your Face is better than Lick It Up

  15. >I have seen that pic of them in the kimonos before.

    I thought you probably had. Most KISS fans have seen that picture.
    I put a photo that I took at the same location on this post:
    http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/statue-of-liberty/

    BTW, which KISS songs do you think are over-rated and which are under-rated?
    For example, I think:
    – on the Dressed To Kill album, Ladies In Waiting is a better song than Rock And Roll All Nite,
    – on the Love Gun album, I Stole Your Love is a better song than Love Gun,
    – on the Dynasty album, Charisma is a better song than I Was Made For Lovin’ You,
    – on the Creatures Of The Night album, War Machine and I love It Loud are better songs than Creatures Of The Night,
    – on the Lick It Up album, Dance All Over Your Face is a better song than Lick It Up,
    – on the Animalize album, Get All You Can Take is a better song than Heaven’s On Fire,
    – on the Crazy Nights album, When Your Walls Come Down is a better song than Crazy Crazy Nights or My Way,
    – on the Hot In The Shade album, Betrayed is a better song than Forever,
    – on the Psycho Circus album, We Are One is a better song than Psycho Circus.

  16. Sorry T5…I never saw that you posted this question on here:

    Since we have such different KISS tastes, I was expecting to disagree with your list but for the most part I agree. (I will say that I tend to sway back and forth a lot, though.) I will mention a few I have never understood…

    > on the Crazy Nights album I don’t understand why Crazy Nights is the “lead song”. It’s acceptable at best. Just about every other song…including the Gene songs…are better.

    > on the Hot In The Shade album I never understood why they releases Rise To It as a single. So many better songs…including Little Caesar. (Not that they would’ve ever released an Eric Carr song as a single.)

    > to reiterate your point on Psycho Circus, I never understood that song. A great title and concept, but just a mediocre song that barely sounds like KISS and is definitely NOT Peter Criss on drums. We Are One is a great song and should’ve been released as as single.

    > on the Dynasty album I agree that I Was Made For Lovin’ You is one of the weakest songs. I think Ace’s Save Your Love is better.

    > on the Unmasked album they released Shandi as a single and it flopped. The best song on that album is Tomorrow.

  17. I forgot a couple:

    > on the Revenge album I thoroughly hated I Just Wanna. IMO that song is so lame and pandering that it almost ruins a great album for me.

    > on the Boxset they re-released yet another version of Shout It Out Loud to promote the set…but they should’ve released It’s My Life. A great song recorded for Psycho Circus that shoulda been on Psycho Circus.

  18. I Just Wanna… is a good song, I think. 😉
    In fact, Revenge has 9 out of 12 great songs! I don’t really care for God Gave Rock ‘N Roll To You II, Every Time I Look At You, or Carr Jam 1981 (I don’t like instrumentals much).

    KISS‘s debut album is also full of excellent songs (8 out of 10).
    On that album, all are great except Kissin’ Time and Love Theme From KISS (another instrumental!)

    And…I agree It’s My Life is one of the highlights of the boxset. How about Love Is Blind? (I think it’s so-so!)
    Do you have their other boxset? The “Alive! 1975-2000” boxset?

  19. I strongly disagree.
    GiggleGiggle *we get to say fuck* GiggleGiggle…it just drives me crazy. It’s not even clever. Plus the music is such a rip-off of Summertime Blues…

    If I remember my Kisstory, Kissin’ Time was “forced” on the band as a promotional gimmick and wasn’t supposed to end up on the album. It is indeed a very lame song.

    Love Is blind is OK. I don’t mind it but I never purposefully play it. If it comes up on shuffle I’ll listen to it.

    I do have the Alive boxset. I really enjoy the Millennium concert that was released with it. THAT’S a great KISS live album.

  20. >I do have the Alive boxset. I really enjoy the Millennium concert

    That original “Alive IV” is the only reason to have the Alive! boxset, I think.

    BTW, I wrote another post with a few KISS (and other bands) mentioned.
    It’s here: http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/11/29/metal-samurai/

  21. Even though I already owned the KISS ALIVE albums (in multiple formats), it didn’t bother me to get the collection. However, the completest in me was disappointed that the symphony recording was NOT included.
    [& yes, I understand that Symphony was recorded for a different record lable. I just don’t understand why labels can’t see that they can ALL make MORE money if they collaborate in these circumstances.]

  22. >However, the completest in me was disappointed that the symphony recording was NOT included.

    I think that that album shouldn’t have been called Alive IV…but rather the one in the boxset (Millennium Concert in Canada) should have been Alive IV and the album with the Australian Symphony should be called something like “KISS Meets The Orchestra” 😀

  23. You know it’s the 17th anniversary of Eric Carr’s passing last week?
    And a couple of days ago, Loudness‘s drummer died (also of cancer).

    http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/loudness-drummer-rip/

  24. @ALIVES:
    It’s also a shame that Ace flaked out or boycotted or whatever it was that made him not do the Symphony album. It would’ve been a nice bookend to that chapter of the band. Plus he would’ve made a little extra money…
    It also seemed weird that they brought back Peter just in time to do the Symphony recording and then dumped him again soon after. Gee, wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that they KNEW anyone wanting to hear KISS with a symphony would want to hear BETH?

    I also agree that the millennium concert should’ve been ALIVE IV…and then they could’ve called the Symphony ALIVE V…or something else.

    @LOUDNESS:
    I never really listened to Loudness growing up. I had some friends that liked them, so I had heard their albums…but never was a fan.

  25. Loudness was never one of my favorite bands…but I enjoy listening to their music (especially the Lightning Strikes and Hurricane Eyes albums)…and, as I mention, in my post ( http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/loudness-drummer-rip/ ), I saw them in concert in the ’80s once—they were pretty good.

  26. I think musically they were/are a proficient enough band…I just didn’t hear the “hooks” in their music. So I never got into it. (Which is weird because I was at least familiar with most of the hair-metal bands out there…)

  27. Did you know that Ace Frehley helped with English lyrics…and sang background vocals on their Hurricane Eyes album?

  28. I did not know that.
    Somebody let Ace Frehley sing. Crazy.

  29. i was told that gene simmons flew vinnie vincent to l.a.once again last month,they were spotted going out of a black cadillac van they are writing songs for a new kiss album that supposedly is in the works but i doubt about it

  30. If that were true, I’d be very excited…but it seems unlikely. After Vinnie sued, trying to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, Gene said he’d never work with the guy again.

  31. Man, this post has achieved a life of its own, Pent!

  32. KISS fans are a tenacious lot.
    We are also very interested in the enigmatic Mr. Vincent. We pretty much know just about everything about ALL the other people that have been in KISS…but not much about Vinnie.

  33. >…but not much about Vinnie.

    Nor Mark St. John!

  34. Speaking of KISS members…have you read the interview that I did with KISS’s ex-lead guitarist, Bruce Kulick a few months ago?

    It’s here:
    http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~tokyo5/interviews.html#kulick

  35. T5…you did a Bruce interview! That’s awesome. Bruce seems like a really nice guy, too. (So how did he end up working with Gene?)

    I think less is known about Vinnie than Mark…Mark started doing expos a few years ago and…in a very limited way…let the world know what he had been doing. He also released the EP and full instrumental CD in the last decade, both of new material. (More output than Vinnie…)

  36. >you did a Bruce interview!

    Yes. Did you read it?

    Actually, I used to have a fairly big KISS website.
    And on that site, I had about 20 KISS-related interviews. Including Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer, and the artists that did the early KISS album covers.

    Also, I met Eric Singer in Tokyo twice…and the second time, he remembered who I was. I was surprised.

    Anyways, my current site has a few “Japan-related” interviews.

    I did read one interview with Mark St. John once. He seemed quite bitter.

  37. What was the name of your KISS site? I probably visited it at some point.

    Yeah, Mark had some really bad stories about Gene/Paul…that seemed to be in line with stories that Vinnie told. Also similar to what Eric was saying about Gene/Paul right before he died. Bruce was the only one that seemed to have a more pragmatic view that it was a job they were being paid to do…not a normal band.

  38. It was called “Mr. Know-It-All’s KISS Shrine”.
    Have you seen it?

  39. It sounds familiar. I probably checked it out at least once or twice.

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