Bobby Rock opines smooth transition from Fleischman to Mark Slaughter in VVI despite “fucked up” timing
Former Vinnie Vincent Invasion and current Lita Ford drummer Bobby Rock was recently interviewed by The Cosmick View and he spoke about his time in Vinnie Vincent Invasion.
In terms of the highlights in working with guitarist Vinnie Vincent, Rock advised: “Most of the highlights for me took place during the Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden tours, when we were the openers. There was just something magical about those times… hitting all those arenas and riding the wave of a record that was doing pretty well, during one of the most robust times in rock. It was really unforgettable. Also, working on the second record was a memorable experience, as well. We had a lot of fun, and it was just a great time to be in the biz!”
With respect to what it was like working with Robert Fleischman compared to Mark Slaughter, and whether it was a smooth transition from one to the other, Rock opined: “Robert and I didn’t have a chance to work much together. Things went south with him and Vinnie’s management shortly after the first record came out, but I always liked Robert. He was a seasoned veteran, even at that point, and carried himself in a very understated, yet professional, way. And his vocals were flawless! The transition to Mark Slaughter was surprisingly smooth, given the fucked-up timing of everything. Mark was young and hungry with all of that youthful energy pouring out of him, and a lot of fun to be around. His voice was bionic and raw, and he just got better and better as the tour progressed. And on a personal note, Mark and I bonded like brothers right out of the gate. We were the young warriors in the band.”
In regard to Vincent‘s position that the Vinnie Vincent Invasion should never have existed with Mark Slaughter as the lead vocalist, Rock stated: “I’m sure they are valid to him. In my opinion, though, it’s hard to know for sure how much of his assessment is biased by the lens of 30 years of reflection versus how he was really feeling about things back then. We will probably never know for sure.”
Vincent recently came back into the limelight at the KISS Atlanta Expo in January 2018 but has cancelled his scheduled concerts since then. In terms of whether he had been approached about participating in Vincent‘s comeback shows or whether he would consider it, Rock advised: “No, I was never contacted, but I’m sure it’s for the best. For whatever reason, it seems that a peaceful co-existence in the marketplace, minus any direct contact, has been the most natural way for all of us to proceed where Vinnie’s concerned. And by “all of us” I mean me, Mark, and Dana. Of course, I still remain close to Mark and Dana all these years later.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Bobby Rock at The Cosmick View‘s website.
Wikipedia states the following in part about the Vinnie Vincent Invasion (with slight edits):
Forming the band in 1984, Vinnie Vincent recruited bassist Dana Strum, who had served as a talent scout in L.A., recruiting band members for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne. Strum had found both Jake E. Lee and the late Randy Rhoads for Ozzy Osbourne, so when Paul Stanley had contacted Osbourne to inquire about where he found the guitarists, he was given Strum‘s name. Unable to find anyone KISS considered to be on Vincent‘s level, Strum decided to find Vincent himself in hopes of working together. Bobby Rock came on board as the drummer. With the nucleus of the band completed, the band searched for a lead vocalist.
Former Journey singer Robert Fleischman provided vocals on Vinnie Vincent Invasion‘s self-titled debut album. The record included primarily the style of glam metal, with much of it re-worked versions of demos Vincent recorded in 1982 with former New England members Hirsch Gardner, Gary Shea, and Jimmy Waldo under the band name Warrior, with Vincent essentially replacing John Fannon as guitarist and vocalist. Warrior disbanded when Vincent was selected to be a member of KISS.
Fleischman exited the band during a contract dispute and a video was produced for the song “Boyz Are Gonna Rock” with new vocalist Mark Slaughter lipsyncing over Fleischman‘s vocal track. With Slaughter now on board, the band released their second album All Systems Go in May 1988. The album featured one of the group’s best-known hits, “Ashes to Ashes,” and “Love Kills,” which appeared on the A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master soundtrack.
Later in 1988, the band was released from their contract with Chrysalis Records. Having grown annoyed with what they perceived to be Vincent‘s domination of the project, Slaughter and Strum left to form the band Slaughter, which would go on to have success.”