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Black Sabbath drummer does Cape Coral clinic

By Staff | Oct 16, 2015

For rock drummers, the name Appice is considered royalty.

On Wednesday, music fans got to meet one of them, and pick his brain on how to play the skins.

Vinny Appice, drummer for Black Sabbath, Dio, Rick Derringer and countless others, appeared at the new Durso’s Delite Bakery and Cafe in Educators Music on Pine Island Road for a free drum clinic.

Appice played to some of the songs his bands are most famous for, promoted D-Drums, the line that he sponsors, told stories during his time with some of the biggest heavy metal bands in the world, and discussed the techniques that made him one of the most sought-after drummers around.

Appice said there were many drummers in the family who didn’t keep it up, and he got his inspiration from his brother because he got to see him perform so much as a kid.

“Carmine’s band would rehearse in our home in Brooklyn. I used to watch him. I had great entertainment as a 7-year old with a live band,” Appice said. “I got inspired by all the amps and wires and wanted to do it.”

Carmine made it big with Vanilla Fudge, while Vinny, who was 11 years younger, got his first break playing with John Lennon, which led to one of his funniest tales.

“My mom made lasagna for him. A month later we met him at a Rod Stewart concert my brother was playing with and I introduced her to John and told him that she made the lasagna,” Appice said. “She asked for the tin back.”

Appice gained the most fame from his work with Black Sabbath and Dio in the 1980s with songs such as “Holy Diver” and “Neon Knights,” but on this night he was here to promote D-Drums’ latest lineup of drums for the store owners.

“They set up the event and I play the drums for the company. It’s a good promotional item for the store and the people get to see something for free and that’s unusual,” Appice said. “I get to teach and tell stores nobody knew about.”

Chris Durso, owner of Educators music, said he sells the D-Drum brand and the company asked if he could do a clinic.

“They sent him down as a D-Drum endorser because we do a lot of sales. We had guitarist Michael Angelo a few years ago, bit this is the first at our new location,” Durso said. “We needed an extra venue so we could hold recitals and clinics.”

Such as when he was asked to play for Ozzy Osbourne when he turned solo and his brother told him he was a little strange. Vinnie turned the gig down, only to have Carmine take the job to play for Ozzy when he was asked.

“Never listen to your brother,” Appice warned. Six months later, he joined Ozzy’s old band, Black Sabbath on an invite from guitarist Tony Iommi.

Appice said he loves getting to perform in such intimate settings, where he can see their faces and see how excited they get when their favorite songs are played.

“They really want to learn and you give them insight and tips that they are so happy to know and find out there’s a way to improve your playing,” Appice said.

This is unusual, since many times drummers are relegated to the back as the singer and guitarist get all the acclaim.

Felix DeLuna, of D-Drums, can understand the feeling.

“Drummers are a different breed. People don’t usually notice them. So this is a way for the drummer to be front and center,” DeLuna said.

Indeed most of the questions were of a technical nature, such as how to practice and how to keep a beat that doesn’t follow the usual 4/4 rhythm.

Musicians of all ages learned a lot from the legend. Ayla Mayo, 13, of Cape Coral, said she loved the show, since her dad was a big fan.

“I thought it was amazing how he could play drums and how he got into the music industry,” said Mayo, who is a guitarist. “I learned about passion. I’m hoping I can get into the music industry.”

Ted Haney, of North Fort Myers who has played for decades, knew what a great drummer Appice is, and finally got to see for himself.

“He’s an awesome drummer. I grew up listening to him and his brother. It’s a good thing for young musicians. They can learn,” Haney said. “These clinics are more for the kids than for guys like me who’s done it for a while.”

Darren and Anna Harvey came from Punta Gorda for the event, with Darren being the drummer of the couple.

“For him to come here and give his experience is very important. It’s nice to have insight into the songs, how they recorded them. I loved that,” Darren said. “I recorded it so I can watch it and go through his exercises.”