Re: Vinnie Colaiuta
I'm sure somebody has already posted this story but it deserves a re-posting. Vinnie, to me, is utterly ineffible. I can't even come up with adequate adjectives to describe him, honestly. Saw him in 1996 with Sting after already being aware of the guy and being a fan. As a result, I literally listened to every note, every cymbal hit, every wack of the drums and telling you folks, not one mistake and misplaced, out-of-time note. I don't know what he's paid for his services but he deserves every penny.
Steve Vai wrote of his first experience of Vinnie at his rehearsal for Zappa:
"(Vinnie's) one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there. Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, riffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar. It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing."(emphasis added)