When reclusive former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent re-emerged earlier this year after about 20 years away from cameras, it raised a lot of questions. But not just the usual ones; Vincent's appearance prompted many fans to wonder whether the guitarist was transitioning into life as a woman.
Vincent appeared at the Atlanta KISS Expo in January after decades away from public view. The guitarist appeared to be wearing makeup with blush and eye shadow (which on its own is not that out of the ordinary for a rock star) along with a women's pant suit.
The longtime KISS collaborator and member of the band from 1982 - 1984 took questions from adoring audiences at events in Atlanta, Orlando and Nashville but never addressed his appearance. It doesn't seem as though he was asked about it until recently during an interview on the Noize in the Attic podcast.
Vincent initially seemed to scoff at the notion that he was living as a woman, but then he suggested there's more to it.
"Not that I know of," he told the show when asked if he was transitioning. "I don't know where they came up with that...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...then everyone is still talking."
Fans have to applaud Vincent for being open about needing to sell his eventual book — it seems he's learned something from watching Gene Simmons all these years. Still, while Vincent may not be transgender, he acknowledged that he has indeed taken on a more feminine appearance over the years, and he is "mistaken all the time for something else."
"But what can I do?" he asked. "You correct them and they go, 'I don't understand.' Then I won't correct you. So maybe it goes that way.
Listen to the full conversation here.
Vincent recently appeared with Simmons at one of the KISS bassist's Vault events in Nashville, Tennessee. The two former bandmates and collaborators seemed to be happy to see one another again, and they even performed together.
Earlier this year, Vincent told Eddie Trunk that he's ready to return to recording and performing after "20 years in hell."
"The broad strokes...they could have been not so broad; they could have been quickly and really amicably, could have eliminated 20 years of pain," he said.
Vincent says half of the issues he was dealing with stemmed from his legal battles with KISS (whom he sued repeatedly for unpaid royalties), the other half was due to his crumbling marriage. Following his divorce, he needed a quieter life. Nowadays, that's what he has and he's very happy.
"All I do is I play, I write, I record, I take care of my dogs. I have a really private, peaceful life now. And I haven't had that in a long time."
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