VINNY APPICE Reflects On His Brief Stint As VERIZON Employee: 'I'm Definitely A Computer Nerd'

April 15, 2024

In a new interview with "The Double Stop With Brian Sword" podcast, legendary drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, LAST IN LINE) reflected on the time in the late 1990s when he briefly worked for the American telecommunications conglomerate Verizon. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I got into computers and I started taking all the Microsoft exams. I started building them and I really got into it. And then, at the Microsoft thing, people would go, 'Man, you were amazing. Wow. You should give us a resume.' I said, 'I don't have a resume.' At that point, I was taking care of my friend's — he had a bunch of carpeting stores, and he had nine locations. So I was networking them all together and taking care of the whole company and then other people. So I had a little business going on. So I was doing that. And then people would call on the phone and go, 'Is this Vinny Appice?' I go, 'Yeah.' They'd go, "What are you doing here?' Because I wound up getting a gig at Verizon. They said, 'You've gotta get them your [resume].' So I made up a resume. I gave it to them, and then they called me. And they knew I played drums for SABBATH, but I knew my shit with computers. So they go, 'If you want a job, we'll give you a job.' I said, 'Really? You mean you come here every day and do the same thing?' 'Cause I never had a job. So I thought, 'You know what? Right now I like challenges, so I'm gonna try this.' So I was in charge of DSL and a T1 line support and stuff, 'cause I knew how to fix stuff like that. So I did it for about a year and a half, two years. Then I had some sort of vacation, they call it. It wasn't even a vacation. But there was a gig I did with Erik Norlander, as I played on Lana Lane's, his [wife's] album and did some work with Erik. And he said, 'You wanna come to Japan? We're gonna do two gigs.' And I said, 'Okay.' So I think we left on Thursday for the weekend, played the gigs, did some interviews, blah, blah, blah, and came back on Sunday. And then I went back to Verizon on Monday. They go, 'What'd you do for the weekend?' I said, 'I went and played two gigs in Japan.' 'You did? How'd you do that?' And then I had enough of that, and I went, 'Okay.'"

Appice went on to describe himself as "definitely a computer nerd. I've got — well, two computers," he explained. "One's a studio [computer]. I build them all. I built [my brother] Carmine his studio computer and I remote in, I fix it. He's always got a problem. And I've got my niece's laptop sitting in the kitchen. That's ready to go. [I put in] a new hard drive and I upgraded the memory. Yeah, I'm a total nerd. I like the way these things work."

Later in the chat, Vinny talked about his personal relationship with singer Ronnie James Dio, with whom he played in BLACK SABBATH, DIO and HEAVEN & HELL. He said:  "He was like a brother. He would come over my house. We played cards [with] a couple of friends. When his parents were in town, they'd come over with Ron and we'd make Italian food and play cards with them. We did a lot of stuff together. And Ronnie was into home repair. He liked to fix things like I do. And I built him a computer back then. And we used to go to Home Depot. We'd go, 'Okay, we need to fix this, whatever it was, and we need to go look for parts.' And that's what we did. We'd go walk in Home Depot and he'd get stopped. 'Oh, Ronnie James Dio, yeah.' And we'd buy stuff and go back and fix it. One time we went over [former DOKKEN and DIO bassist] Jeff Pilson's house, and we get there and we look, and Jeff's sprinklers in the front are all fucked up, pipes are cracked, and we go, 'Look at that. He doesn't know how to do…' Jeff doesn't know how to repair anything. I mean, he's lost. So, we go in and talk to Jeff, we go, 'Hey, Jeff, we're gonna go to Home Depot and fix your sprinklers for you.' 'Oh, man, you guys.] So me and Ronnie went to Home Depot and we bought some sprinkler stuff and we replaced that section of the pipe and put new heads on and the whole bit. And so we fixed Jeff's sprinklers. And Ronnie loved it, 'cause he was always doing stuff in his house. I'd go over and help him."

Appice added: "You've gotta do something when you're off. You can't be a rock star. Some people can be a rock star 25 hours a day. When I come home, I'm, like… I used to work on my cars. I don't do that anymore, but I work on the house and put in all new faucets and shut-off valves and water pressure regulator. I do all that stuff. I'm the maintenance guy."

Vinny has recorded and co-written songs on several dozen albums and CDs, including many multi-platinum records. Vinny's drumming can also be heard on numerous movie soundtracks, including "Wayne's World 2", "Heavy Metal", "Iron Eagle" and "Bedazzled". Vinny, the author of drum instruction book "Rock Steady" and DVD "Hard Rock Drumming Techniques", has performed incredible powerhouse drum clinics around the globe. Numerous books have been written about BLACK SABBATH and DIO with the authors always mentioned Vinny's drumming style.

Vinny's unique drumming approach has influenced many artists over the last few decades. Never one to rest on his laurels, he is constantly putting out new music and is currently recording and touring with LAST IN LINE.

Vinny currently endorses Sawtooth drums, Evans drumheads, Istanbul Mehmet cymbals and Chromacast drumsticks.

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