Drummer Carmine Appice, whose heyday included successful stints with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck, Bogert & Appice, has released a statement affirming his Christian faith, and announced that he's contributed three songs to The Thursday Night Club, an upcoming Christmas film that tells the story of five friends whose lives are changed forever after one suffers a devastating loss.
Appice might not be the most obvious candidate for spiritual awakening – he gleefully described the famously debauched Cactus as "a sex, drugs and rock’n’roll band", was involved in Led Zeppelin's notorious mudshark incident, and co-wrote Rod Stewart's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? – but he experienced an epiphany while on tour in Europe in 2018.
After a medical emergency landed the drummer in hospital in the Azores, Appice woke to find himself on a ward where no one spoke English and no specialist staff were on hand to offer comfort.
"After being knocked out with medicine, I woke up in a black room with one single light," says Appice. "I thought I had died. I clutched the cross that was around my neck and prayed for Jesus to help me."
The statement goes on to reveal that Appice "believed he was touched by the hand of God and vowed to continue this new and profound relationship." He subsequently formed musical alliances with fellow Christian players and began to write faith-based songs.
The Thursday Night Club features a cameo performance from I Will Survive hitmaker Gloria Gaynor, who plays the part of Dr. Poitier, a medic who advises a young patient on the subject of bone marrow donation. The film is currently in production, with a scheduled release date of December 15. Watch the sizzle reel below.
Earlier this year Cactus released The Birth of Cactus 1970, a live album featuring a recording of the band's very first live show at Temple Univeristy, Philadelphia, where they played alongside The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Grateful Dead and Steve Miller Band.
"I remember doing that first gig, hanging out with Hendrix who was a friend of Cactus," says Appice. "We got on stage and the energy level was off the charts! All the songs kicked major ass. We were so excited to get Cactus going and this show helped. Crowd was great and we did rock!”