I think, sometimes, one needs to take a step back from the actual sound; the notes, pitches, chord changes and voice in the very air we breathe. It's a document of his Soul i believe we're listening to; insecurity, heartbreak, inner strength, fascination, respect, beauty, delight, heart and Mind.
What we hear is not of most importance, it's the depth behind. Once you approach his playing and organic contribution from a different angle, he comes Alive.
I loved Vince and always will. His smile was touching. His playing delicate. A different reflection from the prism and that's as it should be.
My opinion of Vince has been changing over the years- at first I couldn't get used to the highier vocals or when he was too high in the mix, or when he carried a solo too long- but then I started to think this guy is helping to create a new version of the group. When I changed to that perspective I started to like the highier register of vocals, his song and sound contributions, and the way he pushed the band to solo more and of course bring back Here Comes Sunshine (as I have heard).
The latest cool thing I noticed is that he was able to bring that Mars Hotel/Greatful Dead Movie sound effect to his keys during space- anyone else notice that? Its that effect that is happening during the animation sequences. I think its him, any confirmation?
I went to see the captain, strangest I could find...
As I listen to shows with Vince on them, I'm just wondering, why? No disrespect - please - I loved the energy he brought and all of that, believe me.
What I'm saying is that his synth sound was so "un-dead" sounding and his vocals were so off key on so many songs. Sure, everyone had a bad show, but it seemed fairly consistent that his sound just was not meshing as well. I guess it got better over time but the organ sound...nope. So, what I really wanted to know was, who else did they audition? There must have been at least 1/2 dozen right? Who was on that short list?
I only saw the Grateful Dead 3 times after Vince joined the band. Two of those were with Bruce Hornsby also, once on piano and once on accordion. I knew absolutely nothing about Vince personally. From what I've read he struggled with depression and may have had some self esteem issues. Being the "new" guy in the Dead must have been a daunting task for anyone. My favorite Vince musical moment with the band was the 1993 show in Philadelphia when he did the tubular bells thing. Started in Terrapin and then picked it up out of space. Exquisite! I was not at that show unfortunately, but a friend introduced me to it and it is one of my favorite recordings from that era, largely due to Vince's contribution. It is unfortunate the fates did not allow him more time to grow into his role with the band, but for my money that one contribution has earned him a special place in the pantheon of the Grateful Dead. I've struggled with depression myself and my father committed suicide so I relate to the pain he must have felt. God bless you Vince. You are a brother to us all!
The answer is Love.
He was always in the crowd chatting (at every small show in CA and OR I was at)I had multiple occasions where I could see how things were going and talk about how life had changed from the Tubes etc... He loved to chat (as mentioned above) It was great that he was a personable fellow. He got "us"... He will be missed.
A sketch Jerry drew of Vince. Vince remembered the day Jerry did this. Said he was sitting on the side of the stage waiting to play and saw Jerry sketching him.
I found by 95' vinnie had come into his own.
His chops were actually pretty kewl..
4 years with the dead...If he had went ten years people
would have gave him respect that would have been well desereved.
R.I.P Vinnie, and may the four winds blow you safely home...