Although he forged a brief solo career in the late '80s, guitarist Vinnie Vincent is best known for his short stint in Kiss, from 1982-1984. Born Vincent Cusano on August 5, 1952, in Connecticut, he picked up guitar at a very early age, inspired by the speed of bluegrass (!) and rock & roll. Throughout the '70s, he recorded an unnoticed album with the band Treasure, and paid the bills by doing session work (for Laura Nyro, Dan Hartman, and writing music for the TV show Happy Days). After returning to heavy metal with the outfit Warrior, Cusano met Kiss' Gene Simmons through a mutual friend. Kiss was experiencing problems with original guitarist Ace Frehley at this time, so Simmons invited Vinnie to co-write some songs and play lead on 1982's Creatures of the Night. When it became clear that Frehley was leaving the band for good after the album's release, Cusano was asked to join the band.