The Austin Chronicle

My Little Red Book

Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, June 17, 2016, Music

First off, it's Ah-pa-see, not A-peece, so ignore what Rod Stewart says. Carmine Appice may be rock's most mispronounced drummer. Well, tied with his equally famous brother Vinnie, who drummed for Black Sabbath, while Carmine anchored Ozzy Osbourne and everyone else. The latter, an omnipresent session musician, endured even though he shouldn't have survived. His anecdotes about rooming with Prince, hanging with Hendrix, and advising Robert Plant to move more onstage would seem bombastic, but he's an unapologetic and unreconstructed Seventies rock dinosaur nearly rendered extinct by Comet Grunge. For all the earthy tales of room-wrecking debauchery (including the definitive version of Led Zeppelin's mythical mud shark story) and so many groupies it takes a literal spreadsheet to count them, he's most giddy about meeting Tony Curtis and only getting lightly insulted by Buddy Rich. Ultimately, his experiences boil down to two pieces of wisdom: Don't trust Jeff Beck or the BulletBoys, and never complain when fame doesn't last.

Stick It! My Life of Sex, Drums, and Rock & Roll

by Carmine Appice with Ian Gittins
Chicago Review Press, 256 pp., $26.99

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