NOTE: Contains spoilers!
Last week I went to Carmine Appice’s book reading/signing at Barnes & Noble, Springfield, New Jersey. One week later, I am a better person for it. Seriously. This was more than a rock ‘n’ roll memoir, it was a religious experience.
Carmine Appice is refreshingly honest, down-to-earth and funny as hell. With assistance from Ian Gittins, the book is beautifully written … as if you are right there talking with a friend.
From the get-go, your adrenaline starts pumping because Carmine knew right away he wanted to be a drummer and he never missed a beat getting to where he was supposed to be in his career — effortlessly. He was in so many different bands with so many prominent musicians during a 50-year work span: Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne … to name a few.
With life’s ups and downs, whether it was a band not working out, or a romantic interest going sour, or health issues, Carmine never stayed “down” too long. He was a survivor, a “roll with the punches” kinda guy. There was always an opportunity for him; and he always worked hard. Most impressive, he lived a rock ‘n’ roll life, but never really got into drugs.
Not that Carmine was a saint. Oh, no, there are plenty of groupie stories … weird, wild, and disturbing. Sex seems to have been his biggest vice. And love. Or what he thought was love; he married five times!
When reviewing a book, one is not supposed to reveal the ending, but #1, at the beginning of this blog I did write a disclaimer that this review contains spoilers. And #2, I can not contain my enthusiasm about how happy this book ended! Always a sucker for true romance, I cried tears of joy, at the end when Carmine fell madly in love with Leslie Gold (http://www.theradiochick.com/). Leslie herself even wrote a few pages about how they met and the challenges of their relationship. She is just as down-to-earth and honest as Carmine was throughout the book.
As anyone in a healthy relationship knows, love is not about having a “yes” man, but having someone who challenges you intellectually and emotionally, to get to a higher level. This is what Carmine found in Leslie. This is exactly what Carmine needed. In the final pages it’s where Carmine changed the most — for the best.
Carmine admitted to sleeping with 4500 women in his lifetime, but his Leslie was the lady that mattered most — his 4501. ❤
With all Carmine’s fame and riches, it’s the last pages that are truly the most prosperous — the last pages are like the pot of gold at the end of his life’s beautiful rainbow. During his final reflections, he looks back on the ups and downs of his career; he speaks of his remorse and shame for mistreating some groupies; he talks of his deep love for his children; and of course his love for Leslie.
If there’s ever a “feel good” rock ‘n’ roll story, this is it!
For more information on Carmine Appice and/or to purchase “Stick It!” please visit: http://www.carmineappice.net/
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award winning journalist and two-time author. Her book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” can be purchased on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X