How ex-Vinnie Vincent Invasion drummer Bobby Rock got his name
Former Vinnie Vincent Invasion and current Lita Ford drummer Bobby Rock has his own website with his own “Bobby Rock Blog.” One of articles on the “Bobby Rock Blog” is the story of how Bobby Rock “acquired” his name as well as an entertaining account of the nightmare that he went through to record his drum parts for Vinnie Vincent Invasion’s self-titled debut album.
The following are excerpts from the Welcome To Hell: Recording Drums For The First Vinnie Vincent Invasion Album – Part 1 on Bobby Rock’s Blog:
“Once I got the Vinnie Vincent Invasion gig after that fateful audition experience, we all went to the Chrysalis offices to meet up with the record company suits. It was then that I first realized my new bandmates thought my last name was Rock, not Brock. It turns out that Dana misunderstood me when I left that first answering machine message about the audition. So here I was, getting introduced to everyone as “our new drummer, Bobby Rock.” Of course, I couldn’t say anything on the spot, as it would’ve been awkward to correct Vinnie in front of the record company people about my last name, so I went along with it.
While I hung in Houston before returning to LA to start work on the first record, Vinnie did a shitload of interviews talking about his new drummer, Bobby Rock, who drove down from Texas and blew them all away. I remember thinking: Oh shit… we never talked about this hokey-ass Bobby Rock thing. I’ll have to talk to them about it when I go back to LA.
Two months later, I had my chance. At the studio during one of the initial recording sessions, Vinnie, Dana and I were hanging out in the lounge and I said, “By the way guys, I’ve been meaning to mention, Rock isn’t really my last name.”
“It is now,” Vinnie said, with a big smile.
We all laughed… but then I started to make my case to use my real name.
“Well, I’m just not sure if it’s the right…” I started to say.
“No, it’s perfect!” Vinnie interjected. “Your poster is going to be all over the bedroom walls of kids around the world. This band is going to be bigger than life, and you will be bigger than life. Bobby Rock is a much better name for this.”
Granted, the mid-80s were the time for these kind of caricature-like names (Nikki Sixx, Rikki Rockett, Blackie Lawless, Tracii Guns, etc.), so no one really flinched at the prospect of such a name-change. Still, I pressed him a bit.
“Well… yeah, I hear what you’re saying, but it just sounds so ‘Hollywood’ – so cliché – and not like the name of a truly serious player, ya know? Almost like if someone called himself ‘Johnny Star’ or something.”
Vinnie got serious. “Well, that worked out okay for Ringo.”
Uhhh, true. And at that point, there wasn’t much more I could say.”
You can read the rest of Bobby Rock‘s account in the article entitled Welcome To Hell: Recording Drums For The First Vinnie Vincent Invasion Album – Part 1 on Bobby Rock‘s Blog.