Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent has addressed rumors about his gender identity.
In recent years, Vincent has been the subject of wild online speculation, including that he has been cross-dressing and that he has undergone a sex change. In addition, Vincent was the focus of a 2017 Swedish TV documentary called “KISS Och Gitarristen Som Försvann” (“KISS And The Guitarist Who Disappeared”) which apparently tried, unsuccessfully, to track Vinnie down and get him to sit down for an interview. The filmmakers also brought up the rumor that Vinnie was living his life as a woman, although the subject was reportedly left open-ended.
During a brand new interview with Greg Schmitt of WESU‘s syndicated radio show “Noize In The Attic”, Vinnie finally responded to the Internet chatter about his sexuality but declined to answer the question directly, explaining that he wanted to keep a mystique about the subject.
Asked if there is any truth to the reports that he is living his life as a woman, the guitarist said (hear audio below): “Not that I know of. I don’t know where they came up with this stuff… But see, if I address that, then the mystique is gone. See, everybody loves the mystique. I think they love the mystique, because they don’t know. So maybe I’ll say, ‘I’ll let you guys decide,’ but then everyone is still talking.
“I get mistaken all the time for something else, but what can I do?” he added. “So when somebody… you correct ’em, and they go, ‘I don’t understand.’ So they go, ‘Well…’ ‘Then I won’t correct you.’ So maybe it goes that way.”
Vinnie went on to say that, up until recently, he “had no idea” that a film crew from Sweden was attempting to find him and make a documentary about him. “Because no one contacted me, no one told me,” he said. “I don’t go on the Internet typing in my name and wondering what’s going on with me, ’cause I don’t do that. I had other problems that were going on in my life at the time, so to go finding out what anybody was saying about me, I don’t know… And I wasn’t interested at that time.
“Somebody, just a month ago, sent me an e-mail saying, ‘I’m from Sweden. So how does it feel…?’ It was the same question — almost the same question [as the one you asked me],” he continued. “And he said, ‘How does it feel to know that a film crew from another country came to America to look for you, and it became a Swedish documentary? And they couldn’t find you. And that we don’t know if it’s true that you were some girl going into a bar?’ And I’m thinking, ‘What is this about?’ I still haven’t seen it. But I actually wanna see this to see what they thought they found.”
Last month, Vinnie confirmed that he was planning to write and publish his autobiography, which he said would contain “all the real answers — the in-depth answers to everything.” He also said that he has already found “a book writer” help him put together the autobiography and has vowed to speak with him “on very deep levels” about all the things he has experienced during his life.
Vincent, who gave his his first public interview in more than 20 years in January at the Atlanta KISS Expo 2018, hopes to complete his autobiography “within a year.”
Vinnie joined KISS in 1982, replacing Ace Frehley. As the “Ankh Warrior,” he toured with the group in support of “Creatures Of The Night”, on which he played lead guitar on six songs prior to becoming an official member of the band. From there, KISS wrote and released “Lick It Up” — their first album without makeup — in 1983, a recording on which Vincent co-wrote eight of 10 songs, including the title track, which remains a staple of the group’s live performances to this day.
Despite the album’s success, Vincent was fired by KISS after the “Lick It Up” touring cycle came to an end, allegedly due to a dispute over both the terms of his employment contract with the band and royalties. From there, Vincent founded VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, which recorded two albums.
In 1992, Vincent re-teamed with KISS principals Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley to write three songs for their acclaimed album “Revenge”, including the record’s first two singles, “Unholy” and “I Just Wanna”. Their relationship quickly soured once again, however. Four years later, Vincent released a solo EP, “Euphoria”, which featured vocals by former VVI singer Fleischman and included material from sessions recorded around 1990. Soon after that, Vincent vanished from the public eye and remained off the grid for more than two decades.