Legendary drummer Carmine Appice is probably best known for his work with Vanilla Fudge and Rod Stewart but there were no bigger fans of his band Cactus than Eddie & Alex Van Halen.
Cactus formed out of Long Island, New York in 1969 and featured Appice on drums, former Vanilla Fudge bandmate Tim Bogert on bass, Jim McCarty (Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels, The Buddy Miles Express) on lead guitar and Rusty Day (The Amboy Dukes) on lead vocals. They would go on to have significant influence the sound of Van Halen. In a recent interview with IndiePower.com, Appice talked about the influence Cactus had, two Van Halen songs in particular.
“I was friends with all of ’em — [including] Michael Anthony and David [Lee Roth],” he said. “As a matter of fact, when we did a Vanilla Fudge reunion in 2005, Eddie was on the phone with me, and he said, ‘What are you doing that for? Screw that. Get Cactus together.’ He loved [Jim] McCarty, and he loved Cactus. And Alex told me ‘Hot For Teacher’ really came from the idea we did with ‘Parchman Farm’; that was like the template. And ‘Eruption’ was the beginning of our song ‘Let Me Swim’ extended — same kind of thing.”
Cactus “Parchman Farm”
Van Halen “Hot For Teacher”