VOCALIST Robert Fleischman says he “can’t see” himself being part of a fully electric Vinnie Vincent Invasion reunion.
In an new interview with Podcast Rock City, Fleischman also described being reunited with the reclusive Vincent at the Atlanta KISS Expo earlier this month as akin to meeting someone you thought was dead.
Fleischman likens his replacement in VVI, Mark Slaughter, to Milli Vanilli but adds he has come to the conclusion Slaughter is “a good guy”.
Responding the Vincent’s announcement after they performed together spontaneously at the expo that there would be a reunion, Fleischman tells the podcast: “Possibly. It depends when it’s going to be. If it’s like an unplugged thing, like KISS did or Nirvana, I wouldn’t mind doing that.
“I know a lot of people would want the whole electric version and all that stuff and – you know – you really have to put it together for something like that because once you go that route, everyone’s critical coat comes on.
“That’s not my decision, it’s Vinnie’s. Cellos during ‘Boyz Are Gonna Rock’ … something cool…everyone’s older now…
“I can’t run as fast as I could then, I don’t fit in the same pants. To expect me to just go up there and wail, I just don’t see myself doing that. I could do some songs but (others) I probably couldn’t do because I’m an old guy now.”
Fleischman says his time on stage with Vincent in Atlanta wasn’t just the first time in 35 years they have seen each other – it was the first time they had ever performed live together
“I guess Derek the promoter had told him I was going to be there. He’s looking at me and I say ‘it’s Robert’ and he’s, like, ‘oh my God’ and he goes all Vinnie on me,” Fleischman said.
“It was very emotional. We just started crying. It was weird. We’re older men and it was like, you heard that someone passed away, someone died, and then you go somewhere and they’re actually there, hugging you and everything. It was exactly like that. It was like the dead (rose), Lazarus or something.
“He just gave me the biggest hug, said that I love you and I said I love you too and I whispered in his ear that I was so glad that he was OK.
“If it had been planned, he would have been nervous, I would have been nervous. People were screaming out all sorts of songs to play. It was like an intervention from God
“It was just very emotional. Regardless of all the stupid things he did, I still care for him.
“I go ‘why didn’t you ever call me?’ He said ‘I tried to call you, I tried to call you so many times but I just couldn’t because I thought that you hated me so much. I just thought you hated me’.
“And I just looked at him and I go ‘Vinnie, I don’t hate you. I just hate seeing you shoot yourself in the foot so many times and having bad people around you and handing your steering wheel of life to jerks and having them drive it into the ground for you’.
“I was bawling like a four year old. We went back to that hallway and had a little talk, a little bawl-a-thon, and I don’t know why. I can’t understand it.
“I was lucky I could even sing, I was so choked up.”
On Slaughter, Fleischman recalled: “After I recorded the (debut VVI record), soon after that we did the photo shoot and then Vinnie’s manager came up to me with a telephone book of a management contract and told me to sign it and I said ‘no, I’m going to take it to my lawyer’ and goes ‘no, you have to sign it now’.
“I looked at him and I go ‘you are ridiculous’
“I refused to sign it and from what I understand he had told Chrysalis records he had the whole band under management contract and they found out he didn’t have me and that he’d lied to them and they told him to take a hike.
“After that, a lot of stuff happened. Mark Slaughter lip syced to my voice. I get the call ‘Vinnie’s going to be on MTV, you should check it out’. I turn it on and here’s this guy, my voice coming out of his mouth. Actually, that was the very first Milli Vanilli
“If you walked into your bedroom and you found your wife…
“When they were going to start All Systems Go, Vinnie didn’t want to have Mark on it. It was kind of shoved down his throat to have Mark and he said ‘I’m not going to do the album unless I have Robert’ and they said ‘well, we’ll call Robert’ but they never called me and they kind of bulldozed their way with Mark.
“They were trying to sell Mark like a candy bar – Tiger Beat stuff, the girls. I get that. He was a lot younger than I and I can’t blame the kid for taking an opportunity that was thrown at him.
“All is forgiven. I’ve never spoken to him. I’ve made some snide comments. I actually listened to him in an interview and I listened to the whole thing. And I thought ‘God, what a hard-working guy’. He plays guitar also and he’s still out there playing and, you know, big kudos to him … because it’s hard out there. I think he’s a good guy.”
Fleischman also spoke about his relationship with VVI drummer Bobby Rock and bassist Dana Strum.
“I see Bobby all the time when Lita (for) comes to town and we were going to do the Helsinki KISS thing bit I already had some kind of prior commitment.
“I have a friend who knows Dana … he told him I was there and Dana wanted to see me. I was very, very, very reluctant because he’s not my favourite guy. Anyway, I decided ‘yeah, I’ll go see him’ and I saw him and he had changed a lot. I think when people have kids and have other responsibilities aside from their own selves they change a bit. I spoke to him. He was happy to see me.”