I love Vinnie Colaiuta

The main things I watch on YouTube are 48 Hours (True Crime) and Vinnie Colaiuta clips. Not entirely true. But I always come back to the Vinnie clips, and it’s a small few that I have in rotation.


Now, if you don’t know who Vinnie is, he is the raddest drummer ever (to me). Zappa, Sting, he even did a Megadeth album, probably for shits and giggles. I first knew about him from Zappa’s Joe’s Garage album. I was a teen at that stage and hardly a musician, so listening to music I didn’t care too much for the burn factor in one’s playing. I just enjoyed the music, the lyrics, the album cover, all those things equally.

Years later, I was in Guitar Center and they were playing the Buddy Rich Memorial video with Dennis Chambers going NUTS. By then I was all about appreciating drum technique (even though I was a guitarist), and Dennis was my favourite for awhile. He had power, speed, and groove and that’ll do it for me! I have a love/hate relationship with drummers. More love than hate though.


Anyways, I was at this dude’s house and he had all the Burning for Buddy videos. We got to talking about favourite drummers and he mentioned his was Vinnie. He showed me the clip, and I was internally comparing him to Dennis. I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate the badass-ness of Vinnie’s playing, so nothing really moved forward for me on that homefront. Not to mention I was probably more into metal drummers at the time. Atma Anur, Dean Castronovo, Perry Strickland, Paul Bostaph, Mickey Dee. Those fuckers.

In 2005 I was courting my wife Alex while YouTube was becoming a thing. Finally,someone out there was kind enough to post the Vinnie – Gadd- Weckl thing on Burning for Buddy. And THEN I got it. I’d watch at least 2-3 times a day, and I’d make OTHER people watch it. In full. All 9:30 of it.


What I love about Vinnie: Hi hat pattern in Zappa’s Token of My Extreme, Intro and first 20 seconds of Holdsworth’s City Nights, The Burning for Buddy Shit….And ALL OF THE GHOST NOTES!! And of course, the infamous Zappa audition.

Vinnie? I love you. You inspire Me as a guitarist. Your neverending dedication is admirable. You are thee fucking shit.

“Lemme just rock up, sit down, and fuck all y’all up…”



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