Saturday, September 23, 2017

Vinny Vincent

Born Vincent Cusano on August 6, 1952 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Cusano picked up guitar at a very early age, inspired by bluegrass and rock n' roll music. Throughout his years in high school and college he played with several area bands - including one with a high school buddy by the name of Rich Creadore that later pursued a career in the music business. In the 70's, he recorded an album with the band Treasure, worked as session man (for Laura Nyro, Dan Hartman) and wrote music for the TV show ‘Happy Days'. At the beginning of the 80’s he put together an heavy metal band, Warrior, when, through a mutual friend, he entered in contact with KISS founder and bass player Gene Simmons. Simmons invited Vinnie to co-write some songs and – right after Ace Frehley decision to leave the band - to play lead guitar on the 1982’ ‘Creatures of the Night’ tour (the last masked) with the name of Vinnie Vincent. In the following studio album, Lick It Up (Kiss' first record in 3 years to obtain gold certification in the U.S) Vincent co-wrote eight songs out of ten including the hit single Lick It Up. The subsequent tour was a great success bringing KISS back to success also in the U.S. Right after the tour Vinnie invested his time in writing new songs and once he realized that this new material was not aligned with KISS “directions” and simply too good for him to give it up, he decided to quit with KISS and to start a solo career. He formed the ‘Vinnie Vincent Invasion,' signed to Chrysalis and issued a self-titled debut in 1986. The album (unanimously considered a milestone in hair/glam rock) entered the top 50 as well as the second one (1988's ‘All Systems Go') after which the band split up. In the following years Vinnie Vincent continued working on solo projects, releasing “Euphoria” EP in 1996 and “Speedball Jam” EP in 2002. In 1992 He helped Kiss with some of the songwriting for their album ‘Revenge’. As of today Vinnie is working on a new project that, once released, will further affirm his status of lead guitar master. Among the acknowledgments given to Vinnie during his career are to be reminded: the Jackson’s guitars custom model in dedication to Vinnie (the famous “shadow” guitar); Laney Amp usage of Vinnie as a testimonial for an advertising campaign; the making of a VHS showing Vinnie’s guitar playing mastery within the MetalTech series; a dedicated web site ( All of this not to mention the legions of fans that after more than 20 years of career, and on a worldwide basis, are still devoting energies and dedication to him.

Bio by Antonio Romano