Vinnie Vincent says that he got a "cold reception" when he joined his former bandmate Gene Simmons a year ago at the KISS bassist/vocalist's "Vault" event in Nashville, Tennessee.
The ex-KISS guitarist, who famously filed multiple lawsuits against his former bandmates, alleging unpaid songwriting royalties, spoke about the experience of seeing Simmons again during a brand new interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon".
Vinnie said (hear audio below): "I almost didn't do his 'Vault', because… When you're driving, you think… And the thing that kept coming into my mind was, 'It's the first time I'm seeing this guy after being run over by his bus.'
"It's easy to run over somebody when you can just keep forking hundreds of thousands of dollars into attorneys, to your law firm, and say, 'Hey, destroy Vinnie. Here's another hundred and fifty thousand, here's another five hundred thousand. I want you to destroy Vinnie,'" he continued. "It's very easy and it's also really cute to say, 'Hey, here's Vinnie filing his hundred and fiftieth lawsuit, another three hundredth lawsuit. Ha! Ha!' Very funny. Very fucking funny. Not funny to me. And yeah, these were different lawsuits for different causes of action.
"When you have money, you buy justice," he added. "And you may not even buy justice — you buy a win or you buy a lose. Mostly people with that kind of money do not lose, because judges are pretty much on the same… they're not on the wavelength of justice. It's good old boy game."
According to Vincent, he began having second thoughts about seeing Gene again while he was driving to the "Vault" event.
"These were all detrimental reasons that were starting to reverse my decision to show up at his 'Vault'," Vinnie said. "So I actually pulled over for a while. And I was late showing up, but I pulled over, and I said, 'Look, for all the reasons, for all the right reasons, for all the natural reasons that you have for not going, you should not go.' Then I had to make that choice and say, 'But you made a promise and he's expecting you there.' And if you're gonna try to put behind you anything and try to bury this — which is very difficult. It's like someone murdering your child and you're gonna try to face that person again and shake their hand, which is near impossible. I'm not built that well where I can shake someone's hands for doing that. But it was a moment where I had to make a quick decision, and I said, 'Okay. I'm going. We'll see what happens.' So I did show up. And, to be honest with you, I went there with a smile. I went there to support his show. And I felt that it was a cold reception and I was treated very indifferently. And driving home, I thought, 'Now, why did you just do this?' But it's documented. It's there. There were some funny moments, and I tried to keep it… Nobody needs to know what really happened. But we took some pictures, we talked a little bit. [It was] superficial, very indifferent, very cold, nothing warm. And I thought, 'Hmmm. Okay. That's the last time I will do the favor. And don't ask me again.'"
Last summer, Simmons suggested in an interview that Vincent was "his own worst enemy" and expressed his doubt that Vinnie would successfully relaunch his career.
"There's something called the classic failure mechanism, which I was told by doctors and everything — I'm not saying he is one," Simmons said at the time when asked about Vincent's attempt to trademark the name "Vinnie Vincent's Kiss". "But there are people who simply cannot handle when things are starting to go their way — success — so they torpedo it by making stupid decisions to make sure they don't succeed, so they can deal with that."
Vinnie joined KISS in 1982, replacing Ace Frehley. As the "Ankh Warrior," he toured with the group in support of "Creatures Of The Night", on which he played lead guitar on six songs prior to becoming an official member of the band. From there, KISS wrote and released "Lick It Up" — their first album without makeup — in 1983, a recording on which Vincent co-wrote eight of 10 songs, including the title track, which remains a staple of the group's live performances to this day.
Despite the album's success, Vincent was fired by KISS after the "Lick It Up" touring cycle came to an end, allegedly due to a dispute over both the terms of his employment contract with the band and royalties. From there, Vincent founded VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, which recorded two albums.
In 1992, Vincent re-teamed with KISS principals Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley to write three songs for their acclaimed album "Revenge", including the record's first two singles, "Unholy" and "I Just Wanna". Their relationship quickly soured once again, however. Four years later, Vincent released a solo EP, "Euphoria", which featured vocals by former VVI singer Fleischman and included material from sessions recorded around 1990. Soon after that, Vincent vanished from the public eye and remained off the grid for more than two decades.
As previously reported, Vincent will perform at the "Speedballjamm" on Friday, June 7 at the S.I.R. Soundstage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Only 60 VIP tickets are available for the event, which will see Vincent backed by his handpicked musicians, Mike Weeks and Chuck White.
Each $300.00 VIP ticket will include the exclusive Vinnie Vincent "Speedballjamm" performance, a Vinnie Vincent meet-and-greet on Saturday, June 8 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the same S.I.R. soundstage (one autographed item; no guitars, parts, accessories or musical instruments, parts or accessories).
Guitars, parts, and musical instruments will each be autographed for an additional $500.
1101 Cherry Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
Tickets for this event are only available via PayPal through VinnieVincent.com and will not be sold at the door.