One artist that’s been discussed lots and lots on the Decibel Geek podcast has been Vinnie Vincent. Today we take a look at some candid and live shots of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. The early photos that you see were taken at SIR Rehearsal studios in Los Angeles while the band was preparing to tour to promote the All Systems Go album in 1988.
Notice the Ozzy Osbourne shirt on Dana Strum. Dana has long been credited for being the person that introduced Randy Rhodes to Ozzy.
The All Systems Go era was much more toned down in image and sound with the band relaxing on wearing so much makeup and Vinnie performing with much more restraint on guitar solos in comparison to the dive-bombing extravaganza showcased on the self-titled debut in 1986. My take on the change in image and “safer” sound was due to record company pressures to sound more radio friendly and not look so extreme. While I was never a big fan of the glammed out look of the first album, I was happy to see them tone down the look for ASG but was let down overall with the restrained and more formulaic approach that they took. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy both albums but I, personally, enjoyed Vinnie doing all of that crazy stuff on the fretboard. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I’m sure it hindered their mainstream appeal but I just dug the over-the-top craziness of that first album.
The pics near the end of the slideshow feature shots of Vinnie playing live at the Long Beach Arena on February 17, 1987 while the Invasion was opening for Iron Maiden. In these shots, you can see how extravagant the look of the band was at the time. Hope you all enjoy these great shots provided by Mike “Ozzy” Gibbens of a time and sound that’s near and dear to my heart.
– Chris Czynszak