I first heard If I Ever Lose My Faith at the gym.
"Is this the police guy?"
Later, I was at a local drum shop, and a DVD of the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert was playing.
"Soooo many mullets" was my first thought.
"Who's this completely dominant guy who plays traditional grip?" was my second.
"Oh," said my friend. "That's Vinnie. He plays with Sting."
"If I Ever Lose My Faith guy?" I thought?
Sidebar - if we didn't know who those guys were, doesn't that sound like a line out of Westside Story? Or maybe The Untouchables?
Then Vinnie's solo album dropped. Attack of the 10-Pound Pizza. Bruce Lee. Chauncy. John's Blues.
"What the entire fuck just happened?"
But I liked it.
And not until very recently did any of it start making sense. For instance, check the John's Blues solo. Hot. Damn.
Here's the other funny thing about Vinnie...
He's the only drummer from that era who doesn't sound like...that era.
Even the guys who kept shedding - and they're few - sound like a throwback. They'll play on the sides of the snare instead of the center. They'll play a china, when everybody's moved onto the stack. Their backbeats are pre-Chris-Dave.
Not Vinnie. He still sounds scary.
As I believe I said in a Facebook post, he sounds better and fresher than 98% of the young guys coming up.
But goddamn it with that mullet and wifebeater, man. You can get a haircut. It won't hurt your drumming. I promise.
Anyway, today's lesson is a throwback. Back to my slack-jawed afternoon in that drum shop watching Vinnie play with the Buddy Rich band.
Today, I bring you part of that solo...