Sonny Vincent

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Sonny Vincent (born July 7, 1952, New York, United States) is an American punk rock musician. He has been active since the mid-1970s, when he was part of the New York City punk rock scene with his original band 'TESTORS'.[1] Sonny is currently active in music, film, Multi-Media art and writing. Recently in 2013 he brought his wild show on the road for 3 months, covering the U.S.A, Canada, Europe and Japan. Recording music as well as being active in the field of Art, his pedigree includes the many incendiary, raw, mid 70's `Testors` performances at C.B.G.B and Max's Kansas City. Always active in his own bands Sonny also spent time touring and recording for 9 years as Maureen Tucker's and Sterling Morrison's guitarplayer (both of the notorious Velvet Underground).Notable members of Sonny's band include a vast range of players/characters, from the drummer of the Stooges (Scott Asheton) to Ernie Knapp (guitar player for Charles Manson). When asked why he doesn't keep a set line up and how he played with so many luminaries and degenerates, Sonny replies-" I'm solo, I'm not gonna break up with myself Haa! Haa!! Anyway when you are `solo` you have a whole world full of crazy, dedicated and talented musicians to play music with!"

Life and career[edit]

Sonny Vincent formed the Testors in 1975 with Gene Sinigalliano (guitar) and Gregory R (drums). Later line-ups included Surrealist Ron Pieniak (Rex Pharaoh) on bass, Jeff Couganour (Jeff West) on drums and Kenneth Huebner (Kenneth Brighton) on bass. They played New York clubs such as Max's Kansas City, and CBGB and the Hot Club in Philadelphia with groups such as Mink DeVille, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, The Cramps, and Suicide, and toured nationwide with the Dead Boys. Testors released a 7" single, "Together" b/w "Time Is Mine." [2] "Their earliest recordings are considerably tougher, louder and more desperate than any other music made at that time (or since!)"-Swami Records

In 1981, Testors disbanded and Vincent moved to Minneapolis where he formed Sonny Vincent and the Extreme with Michael Phillips (guitar), Jeff Rogers (drums) and the late Mort Bauman (bass guitar). The group toured the U.S. and released another single, "SVE" with the songs, "Wingdale," "Top Dog" and "Phantom." The group also made the bizarre film "Mannequin World" on the streets of Minneapolis. It was shown on television in the Twin Cities only once, after which the host of the program remarked, "I sure hope the boss wasn't watching." In 1983, Sonny was involved in a performance art project that saw him banned from the grounds of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. During his time living in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Vincent became involved with film-making and multimedia arts.[1]

After the Extreme disbanded Vincent went on to form other groups, such as Model Prisoners (line-up included Bob Stinson from the Replacements) [1] and Shotgun Rationale (a revolving line-up that included at one time or another Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys and Bob Stinson, both of whom, incidentally, were in the group together at one time in what Vincent referred to in an interview as a "therapist's nightmare"). Another version of Shotgun Rationale, which toured Canada, included Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü on bass.

During the 80's Sonny and his Minnesota drummer Jeff Rogers moved to Los Angeles, California where they formed a band for a short time with Ernie Knapp on bass. Notated here due to the unlikely meeting of Sonny and Ernie Knapp. Ernie was in a band with Charles Manson in the 1960`s (before all the creepy crawly stuff) and later he played bass in the Beach Boys! Ernie plays bass on the song 'What Is This Feeling?' which appears on Sonny's album ULTRAMAFIC

Later Sonny moved to the Netherlands. He formed a group with two Dutch musicians called the Dons. Other line-ups during this period were Sonny Vincent and the Guevaras and Sonny Vincent and His Rat Race Choir (Scott Asheton of the Stooges, Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys and Captain Sensible of the Damned).

In addition to releasing over 20 albums under his own name, Vincent toured and recorded for nine years with Maureen "Moe" Tucker of the Velvet Underground. During this time, although Vincent continued to record his own albums and tour his own show, he dedicated many years to Tucker, recording albums with her and doing many tours across the United States and Europe. Although the line-ups Moe used often changed, Vincent and John Sluggett were permanent members. During the recording of Tucker's third album in New York City, which included Lou Reed, John Cale and Sterling Morrison, Vincent encouraged Morrison to join Tucker's touring band. Having two original members of the Velvet Underground (Tucker and Morrison) and members of Testors (Vincent) and Half Japanese (John) brought new life to the band. Another short-lived addition to the band was Victor DeLorenzo of the Violent Femmes.

After touring with Tucker became less frequent Vincent recorded a new album named "Pure Filth" with drummer Scott Asheton of the Stooges and Captain Sensible of the Damned. After this release, Vincent and Asheton, along with Steve Baise of the Devil Dogs, proceeded to tour the United States and Europe playing songs from the "Pure Filth" album as well as songs from Vincent's vast catalog.

Sonny has continued touring and playing his songs for audiences in Europe and the United States. Releases continue to come out on both shores.

  • 2012 marked the formation of Sonny Vincent and the Bad Reactions. The Band toured the United States during the summer and recorded three songs, released by tREND iS dEAD! records on 7" vinyl. Currently, Vincent records and performs under his own name.[1]
  • 2012 saw Hozac records initiate the "Archive" branch of its label. The first release in this category was Vincent's "Proto- Punk" band Fury. Recorded in 1972, it documents a very young Vincent amazingly shredding and wailing.

Vincent has performed and recorded with many musicians, such as Wayne Kramer, Maureen Tucker, Scott Asheton, Captain Sensible, Cheetah Chrome, Bob Stinson, Walter Lure, Brian James, Thurston Moore, Richard Lloyd, Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Jad Fair, John Sluggett, Greg Ginn, John Reis, Lance of Athens GA, and Kim Shattuk.

CURRENT: As well as being active in film and visual arts[3] Sonny Vincent continues to perform and record with various musicians that he has met and worked with over the years. Due to Vincent's well known insistence on keeping his personal life and family history private, little is known of his family history. One article that partly addressed his personal history and life is "Sonny Vincent and the Beaten Heart of Punk" by Jeffrey Wengrofsky, appeared in Coilhouse magazine. Vincent still tours much of Europe and the U.S. on a regular basis.[1]


Below is a partial listing of releases by Sonny Vincent. Vocals and guitar by Sonny Vincent and in all cases the words and music are written by him.

  • Note - excepting in two cases where the release is listed as 'split' with another artist.
  • 1980 Testors - Time is Mine/Together - 7" Drive In Music (USA)
  • 1982 Sonny Vincent and The Extreme - SVE - 7" Flexi-EP
  • 1985 Model Prisoners - Lesson In Life - 7" - Charm Records (USA)
  • 1989 Shotgun Rationale - Who Do They Think They Are - LP Nomad Communications (UK)/EFA Producer: Maureen Tucker (Velvet Underground)
  • 1991 Shotgun Rationale - s/t - 7" EP - Dog Meat Records (Australia)
  • 1992 Shotgun Rationale - Beyond Rebellion - CD - D.D.R. Records (Germany)/RTD
  • 1992 Sonny Vincent - Recordings 1979-91 - LP - Vince Lombardy Highschool Records (Germany)/EFA
  • 1993 Shotgun Rationale - Roller Coaster - LP/CD - Vince Lombardy Highschool Records (Germany)/EFA;
  • 1994 The Dons - Gunsmoke - 7" - Vince Lombardy Highschool Records (Germany)
  • 1994 The Dons - Naked - CD - Voices Music (Germany)
  • 1995 Shotgun Rationale - Cocked - CD - Subway Records (Germany)
  • 1995 Sonny Vincent - Original Punk Rock Recordings, New York, 1976-77 - 10" - Incognito Records (Germany)
  • 1997 Sonny Vincent - Good Dogs Die Young - CD - Noiseworks Records (Germany)
  • 1997 Sonny Vincent and his Rat Race Choir - Pure Filth - CD - Overdose Records (Switzerland)
  • 1997 Sonny Vincent - 7" - Flight 13 Records (Germany)
  • 1997 Sonny Vincent - Electric K.O. Live In France - 7" EP - Nest Of Vipers Records (France)
  • 1998 Sonny Vincent - Lucky Seven Inch Record - 7" EP - Incognito Records (Germany)
  • 1998 Sonny Vincent and his Rat Race Choir - Pure Filth - 10" - Safety Pin Records (Spain)
  • 1998 Sonny Vincent - Hard In Detroit - LP - Nest Of Vipers (France)
  • 1998 Sonny Vincent - Parallax In Wonderland - CD - empty Records (Germany)
  • 1998 Sonny Vincent/Else Admire - Breadless Art - Split 7" - Incognito Records (Germany)
  • 1998 Sonny Vincent - Songs To Kick Your Ass By - 7" EP - Nest Of Vipers (France)
  • 2000 Sonny Vincent - Parallax In Wonderland - CD - Devil Doll Records (US release)
  • 2000 Sonny Vincent - Parallax In Wonderland - LP (European vinyl only release) - Munster Records (Spain)
  • 2000 Sonny Vincent - Original Punk Rock Recordings, New York, 1976-77 Part Two, 10" - Incognito Records (Germany)
  • 2000 Sonny VincentResistor – 7" - NDN Records (Texas, USA)
  • 2000 Testors featuring Sonny VincentNew York City Punk Rock 1979 – LP (vinyl) - Rave Up Records (Italy)
  • 2000 Sonny Vincent and The Safety PinsPower Ride – EP - Munster Records (Spain)
  • 2001 Sonny VincentHell's Kitchen – CD/LP - Munster Records (Spain)
  • 2003 Sonny Vincent (With Ex-Safety Pins) / STEVIE & THE SECRETS Split 10" Vinyl Record- Munster Records (Spain)
  • 2003 Sonny VincentThe Good, the Bad, the Ugly – CD/LP - Empty Records (Germany), Munster Records (Spain), Acetate Records (USA)
  • 2003 Testors featuring Sonny VincentComplete Recordings 1976-79 – 2CD/doubleLP - Swami Records (USA)
  • 2003 Sonny Vincent/Jimmy PageA Good Day for Rock/Wailing Sounds – saw-blade shaped 7"- Empty Records (Germany)
  • 2003 Sonny VincentMy Guitar b/w Funny Now (she blew it) – 7" - Flapping Jet Records (USA)
  • 2005 Sonny VincentSoul Mates – CD - Disturbed/Cargo Records (Germany)
  • 2006 Sonny VincentP.I.N.S. – 2CD - NDN Records (USA)
  • 2007 Sonny VincentSwitchblade Summer – CD - Nest Of Vipers Records (France)
  • 2008 Sonny Vincent'-Testors Live' – Vinyl LP - Incognito Records (Germany)
  • 2009 Sonny VincentSemper Fidelis – LP - Rockin' Bones Records (Italy) 3-LP set
  • 2009 Sonny VincentSemper Fidelis – CD - PukeandvomitRecords (USA)
  • 2009 Sonny VincentSonny Vincent With Members Of Rocket From The Crypt–CD+LP-We Deliver The Guts/Cargo Records(Germany)
  • 2010 Model Prisoners Featuring:Sonny Vincent And Bob StinsonCow Milking Music – LP incl CD-Disturbed Records Distro Cargo
  • 2010 Sonny VincentSonny Vincent With Members Of Rocket From The CryptComplete Studio Recordings And Exclusive Live Performances–CD-We Deliver The Guts/Cargo Records(Germany)
  • 2010 TestorsTwo Sides Of Death – Vinyl 7" 45 record - Windian Records (USA) *Two exclusive tracks
  • 2011 Testors - Live Recordings 1976-'79 - LP - Yeah Right! (Canada)
  • 2011 Sonny VincentBizarro Hymns – LP and CD package - Still Unbeatable Records (Germany)
  • 2012 TestorsTime Is Mine" "Together" (This) Time Is Mine" – Vinyl 7" 45 record - Windian Records (USA) *one exclusive bonus track.
  • 2012 Sonny Vincent and The Bad ReactionsSonny Vincent and The Bad Reactions – 7" - tREND iS dEAD! records (USA)
  • 2012 FURYFLYING" "100 Proof" – Vinyl 7" 45 record - HOZAC Records (USA)
  • 2013 Totally F**kedVinyl 7" 45 record - ‘Opps Baby’ records- (USA)
  • 2013 Sonny VincentJames Brown's Evil Son – Vinyl 7" 45 BOXED HAND PAINTED - OX Fanzine release/Joachim Hiller(Germany)
  • 2013 Sonny VincentULTRAMAFIC – Vinyl LP RECYCLED AND RESTORED VINTAGE COVERS/Handpainted - NB Records/Stefan Lorchner (Germany)
  • 2013 Sonny VincentA Testament To The Spirit Of Music – CD and Fanzine - Episode Sounds (Japan)
  • 2014 Sonny VincentCyanide Consomme – VINYL LP and CD - Big Neck Records (USA)
  • 2014 TESTORS/Sonny VincentComplete Recordings 1976-1979 – re-release- Double VINYL and Double CD - Alien Snatch Records (Germany)

Below is a listing of the Moe Tucker albums Sonny played guitar on- With Maureen Tucker of the Velvet Underground:

  • 1991 I Spent A Week There The Other Night - LP - New Rose Records (France)
  • 1991 Fired Up - 10 inch single - New Rose (France)
  • 1992 Oh No They're Recording This Show - Live Album
  • 1994 Dogs Under Stress - LP/CD - Sky/Ichiban Records (USA)

Compilations featuring Sonny Vincent songs:

  • Found In The Subway and People's Republic Of Rock'n'Roll - Subway Records, Germany
  • Unexpected Flying Objects - Flying Revolverblatt Anniversary 10", Germany
  • 1998 Moderne Menschen Kaufen Modern – CD - Noiseworks Records / The Orchard
  • 2000 A Fistful of Rock'n'Roll Vol. 6 - CD - Tee Pee Records
  • 2000 Munster Records Goes HiFi - CD - Munster Records (Spain)
  • 2001 Again... This one's for Johnny - CD - Munster Records (Spain)
  • 2003 Swami Sound System Vol. 1: 2003 Sales Conference – CD - Swami Records (USA)

" 2005 A Tribute to Mr. Rock 'Chuck Berry Tribute Album' 'Carol' performed by Sonny Vincent- Vinyl 12" LP Bronco Records (Spain)

  • 2005 TODOS SOMOS RAMONES -RAMONES TRIBUTE ALBUM- Sonny performs- 'I Just Want To Have Something To Do' -CD- rwyrcds (ARGENTINA)
  • 2007 Greetings From Los Angeles - Eight Years of Acetate Records - CD - Acetate Records (USA)
  • 2007 Sick Of Being Sick Vol. 1 Sonny's song 'Aztec Runaway' Appears on this Vinyl 12" LP on Primitive Records (Italy)


  1. ^ a b c d e Loftus, Johnny. "Biography: Sonny Vincent". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Biography: Testors". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Fuck the World with Sonny Vincent au Subsonic". 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 

External links[edit]