THE BASICS ON VINNIE VINCENT: REAL NAME: Vincent Cusano BIRTHDATE: August 6, 1952 BIRTHPLACE: Bridgeport, CT KISS MEMBER STATUS: late 1982 - early 1984 KISS PERSONA: The Egyptian Warrior INSTRUMENTS PLAYED: Lead Guitar, Vocals INFLUENCES: Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin MARITAL STATUS: Vinnie is currently married for a second time. CHILDREN: Vinnie has two teenage daughters from his first wife.
SOME FACTS & TIDBITS YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT VINNIE VINCENT: * Vinnie has twin sisters. * Vinnie was the first Kiss member to not come out of New York City. He was born and raised in Connecticut. * Vinnie's all time favorite guitar player and hero is Jeff Beck. * Vinnie began playing in bands around the age of sixteen. * Fresh out of high school, Vinnie took a job at a music store in Connecticut, where he also did some guitar teaching. * Vinnie's first big break was in 1977 when he joined a group called Treasure, which featured Rascals ("Good Lovin'") member/lead vocalist Felix Cavaliere. The band recorded one album for CBS Records, which flopped. The band broke up soon after. * Vinnie's next project was some guitar work with the late folk singer Laura Nyro. * Vinnie contributed some guitar work on a disco oriented album by one time Edgar Winter Group member Dan Hartman called "Instant Replay." It was Vinnie's first taste of success. * In 1981, Vinnie formed a hard rock group called Warrior, which only recorded some professional demos. Of the demos was a song called "Boys Wanna Rock," which later was split into two songs: the song of the same title that was featured on Vinnie's first post Kiss solo album and "And On the 8th Day," which was the final song on Kiss's 1983 "Lick it Up" LP. * Vinnie met Gene Simmons through Adam Mitchell, who was a mutual song writing partner of the two. * Around the time of joining Kiss, Vinnie was a staff writer for the television show "Happy Days." Vinnie used to sit on the set of the show and write all of the songs that Joanie and Chachi sang for the last few years of the show's run. * Vinnie's Egyptian Ankh makeup was designed by Paul Stanley. * Vinnie had a nickname due to his guitar playing: "The Wiz." * Vinnie co-wrote three other songs for the "Creatures of the Night" album: "Back on the Streets," "Betrayed" (both of which were recorded) and "Legends Never Die"(which eventually wound up as a track on Wendy O' Williams's 1984 album, produced by Gene Simmons). * Vinnie was not considered an "official" member of Kiss. He never signed a contract. * Vinnie's famous "V-shaped" Jackson guitar was actually a prototype for the late guitarist Randy Rhoads. When Randy died, guitar manufacturer Grover Jackson gave the guitar and its design copyright to Vinnie. * Some of Vinnie's songs were recorded by different artists. The above mentioned song "Back on the Streets" was recorded by former Europe guitarist John Norum in the late 1980's, as well as (in demo form) by Frehley's Comet!! Vinnie's song "Tears" was a top 40 hit for singer John Waite in 1984 as was also recorded by Peter Criss on his 1982 solo album "Let Me Rock You!" * Vinnie's "Vinnie Vincent Invasion" originally featured one time Journey lead singer Robert Fleischman and then later Mark Slaughter, who, of course went on to form the successful band Slaughter with Dana Strum (also an Invasion member). * VV Invasion song "Love Kills," off their second album "All Systems Go," was used in the 1988 horror film "Nightmare on Elm Street 4." * The VV Invasion opened for rock legends Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden. * Vinnie co-wrote a song with former Bangles member Vicki Peterson called "Make a Play for Her Now," which was included on the Bangles' 1988 "Everything" album. * In the late 80's, Vinnie actually did some songwriting work with Peter Criss for a solo project Peter had planned. * In 1990, Vinnie signed a contract with Enigma Records for his third album, titled "Guitars from Hell." The label, unfortunately went out of business soon after. * In 1995, Vinnie formed his own label, which was to release a new solo album as well as a box set of demos from his Kiss, VV Invasion days, and his solo work. A limited edition release entitled "Euphoria" was put out to the public, with other planned projects still having to see the light of day.