VINNIE VINCENT To Join GENE SIMMONS At Nashville 'Vault Experience' Event

VINNIE VINCENT To Join GENE SIMMONS At Nashville 'Vault Experience' Event

Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent will join his former bandmate Gene Simmons at the KISS bassist/vocalist's "Vault Experience" event on April 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Vincent stated in a Facebook post: "To Gene, thank you, my very valued friend. I'm humbled and honored to be a part of you again and I thank you so much for this wonderful ad. I will treasure it and you and our incredible history together. [I am] looking forward to seeing you. Love always!"

Vinnie made his first public appearance in 20 years at the Atlanta KISS Expo in January. During a question-and-answer session at the event, Vincent said that reconnecting with Gene was "probably the nicest thing that's happened" to him in recent years. "I love Gene," he said. "In the early days, he treated me so supportive."

Regarding how he re-established friendly relations with his one-time bandmate, Vincent said: "I have an e-mail address that I hadn't checked in about five years. It was an e-mail I only used for certain things that were going on business-wise, and once that business was done, I never checked it anymore. I don't know what caused me to do this — forces sometimes, they compel you to do something, you don't know why — Christmas night, I said, 'I better check this e-mail, just to see if it's still there.' I see three e-mails from Gene. I say, 'Isn't that great? How nice. I wonder what I did wrong now. [Laughs] I wonder what he's yelling me at for now.' I'm looking at the dates of these e-mails, and they're from June and July. This is Christmas night. I opened it up and it had to do with [Simmons's recently released box set] 'The Vault'. We had written a lot of songs during the 'Revenge' era, and I think there's one on there — one of my favorite songs, my own personal favorite songs, 'I Wanna Live'. This was June; he sent me another one two weeks later and gets no answer from me. Then he sends me another one in July, and there's no answer from Vinnie, basically about the same thing. I said, I bet that's why he's mad at me. I read all three e-mails, and I said [imitates typing], 'I love you; I miss you; come on home,' you know? Then we started e-mailing again. He said, 'I'd like to have 'I Wanna Live' on 'The Vault', and invited me to Nashville and receive it on stage and to meet each other again. I said to him, 'Listen, you said some stuff about me — come on, we're past this.' I said, 'I just want you to know, I still love you. I always will. We had a lot of good things. Let's move on.' The e-mail vibe was great."

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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 the aforementioned 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.

In recent years, Vincent has been the subject of a number of rumors about his gender identity, including that he has been cross-dressing and that he has undergone a sex change.

Gene began personally delivering copies of his new box set, "Gene Simmons - The Vault Experience: 1966-2016", in January.

"Gene Simmons - The Vault Experience: 1966-2016" is a comprehensive box set of Gene's solo material that comes packaged in a safe. The set includes 150 previously unreleased songs spread over 10 discs, a leather-bound photo book, a Gene Simmons action figure, an "In Gene We Trust" gold medallion and a "surprise item."

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