Pro-blogger, bassplayer and songwriter Marc Campbell brought Vanilla Fudge to my attention on DangerousMinds.net with this video:
(Mark Stein--Vocals, organ, Tim Boggert--bass, Vince Martell--guitar, Carmine Appice--drums)
Marc Campbell claimed this was proto-metal. I can't say that I fell in love with the song, because I'm not a big fan of metal. I was wowwed by the performance enough to talk about it with Billy Thompson and look into them a little bit more.
Vanilla Fudge's second album was high-concept. "And the Beat Goes On" was an attempt to show how music always was and always would be, throughout history in a single LP. They were one of the first Album-Oriented Rock bands, and were fairly influential. Their big hit was was hugely popular and toured with the likes of Steve Miller and Led Zeppelin.
Their big hit was "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
There are as many different stories about their breakup as there are people who have met the members of Vanilla Fudge. Carmine Appice said that it was mostly because supergroups were forming in the early 70s. He had heard during the Singer Bowl gig that Jeff Beck wanted to play with him and Tim Bogert--and they did later form Beck, Bogert and Appice. (more of that interview here)
That sounds nice and sane, right? But sanity is not why I write about rock n' roll.
I also heard that their break up was caused by an incident involving the road manager, members of the band, John Bonham (who liked to fish) a red snapper and a redheaded groupie named Jackie.
If you think that stupid videorecording was invented during the internet era, you are wrong. Mark Stein filmed the whole thing.
I am sure plenty of drugs were involved. I bet (hope) Jackie took most of them. If what I wrote wasn't graphic enough for you, click here.
I can imagine a band breaking up after an episode like this. Remember, a band is 3 or 4 people who have to work together creatively--you really can't hide your true feelings, not even red-snapper envy.
Frank Zappa immortalized the incident in a song, but somehow "red snapper" turned into "mudshark." Lyrics here. Some members of the band claim they don't remember any of this happening. I think they are the ones with wives and good press agents.
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