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by Samantha Black and Barbara Andrade, staff writers

Acclaimed rock-and-roll drummer, Carmine Appice, hosted a clinic for the HPU Band in the Sea Warrior Center Sept. 21. Appice was the first to play what became the most popular drumming style in the world, setting the stage for bands such as Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, Cream, and even Led Zeppelin.

Originally from Brooklyn, Appice, who has been inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, was a drummer for Vanilla Fudge who, with the band’s 1967 debut, set a standard for drummers around the world.

“Led Zeppelin’s first gig in America was opening for Vanilla Fudge,” said Appice. He added that Vanilla Fudge and the other band on the tour had to convince the managers to let Led Zeppelin open for them, and then they had to split the fees to add them to the tour. “They never paid us back,” laughed Appice.

After Vanilla Fudge, Appice formed a group called Cactus, with another Fudge member, Tim Bogert, and then together with Jeff Beck, they formed one of the first rock super groups, BBA.
“ I used to hang out with guys like Hendrix and Jeff Beck,” said Appice. “I knew Hendrix before he was famous.”

As a premier rock showman, Appice became known worldwide for his live performances. As an educator, he legitimized rock drumming with a landmark book, The Realistic Rock Drum Method, which sold more than 400,000 copies, according to HPU Professor Dr. John (Jack) Hart. Appice was the first rock drummer to conduct instructional clinics and symposiums around the world, which is a tradition that still holds today.

“ I did my first clinic in ’71 to help sell the book,” Appice said, “and now it is the biggest selling rock drumming book in the world.”

In 1991, Appice was immortalized in cement on Hollywood’s Rock Walk, next to his idols, drummers Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.

So what brought this world-famous drummer to HPU? “I have a friend name Dave Lawrence who is a disk jockey at KPOI, a local radio station,” said Appice. “I call in to the radio station every week, and he is celebrating his five-year anniversary. He invited us to come to Hawai‘i for the celebration. Dave asked me if I would be interested in doing a clinic or lecture at a local college,” Appice added.
The Sea Warrior Band rocked with Appice to the tunes of “Tequila,” “Chameleon,” “Back in Black,” and the rock classic, “Eye of the Tiger.”

“ I have never really played with brass before like that,” said Appice, “it sounded big.”

Jeffrey James, sophomore Sea Warrior Band drummer, jammed along side Appice on his bongos.
“ I felt comfortable playing with Appice,” James said. “He brought out the best in me; he is very inspiring.

“ I would like to see more of these clinics here at HPU,” James added. “This type of clinic is for education, to inspire us and keep us going.”

Lloyd Luna, freshman Sea Warrior saxophone player, said Appice is “Amazing! I saw his posters around campus and would not have expected this talent.”

Assistant Band Director Patrick Hennessey said, “It was fabulous! Everyone lit up! The live energy was just infectious!”

At the end of Appice’s session, he praised the Sea Warrior Band and said, “Great band…great day…great state! I had a wonderful time. Let’s do it again.”


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