Tommy Lee: ‘Sheer F—ing Stupidity’ Helped Motley Crue Succeed

Tommy Lee looked back at his past with Motley Crue, saying it was a combination of talent, luck and “just sheer fucking stupidity” that led to their success.

Appearing on Barstool Sports’ KFC Radio podcast, Lee was asked if the band members were great at partying because they were rock stars or if they were rock stars because they were great at partying.

“I call us shit magnets,” the drummer noted. “For some reason, we were just at the wrong place at the right time. I look back and try to figure it out, like, ‘What the fuck just happened?’ We were these four guys from fucking L.A. that somehow put a band together, and the fucking band blew up, and we went around and toured the world and just created fucking mayhem everywhere.”

Lee expressed disbelief that “the four of us are still alive. I don’t even understand how that works. I think we’re all extremely, I believe, lucky. There’s talent in there, and there’s plain fucking just sheer stupidity that just has had us do what we do, I guess. I don’t know.”

You can listen to the interview below.

The drummer said he is also somewhat grateful that all of this took place before the era of social media and cancel culture.

“I think about that literally all the time,” he said. “We didn’t even have to have chicks turn in their phone at the fucking tour-bus door. This was before people were even fucking with condoms. It was just, like, everyone just ran it until the wheels fell off. There was no Instagram. … That time will never happen again.”

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Tommy Lee Open to Motley Crue Rock Hall Induction

The members of Motley Crue have discussed the unlikely possibility that they will ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the past, even sharing how they came to that conclusion, but drummer Tommy Lee revealed it’s something he would entertain if it actually ever happened.

Speaking with the CLE ROCKS podcast (heard below), Lee addressed Nikki Sixx‘s past comments that he would decline the honor and the talk that they had been told because of their previous hedonistic lifestyle that they would never be considered.

Lee started to state that he understood Sixx’s reservations, but then added, “You know what? There’s a bunch of people that are in there that he doesn’t agree with, and, yeah, I might not agree with that either. And it seems like just fucking anybody’s in there now. I get his disappointment with that. But at the end of the day, for me, dude, it would be a fucking honor regardless. Because there is a bunch of people that deserve to be there. I wouldn’t kick it out of bed, you know? [Laughs]”

Lee also added that he doesn’t buy that the band’s exclusion has to do with their ’80s lifestyle. “Motley’s always been that kind of band that just, (a) won’t go away, and (b) with some of those kind of people, we’ve always butted heads with that kind of stuff,” says the drummer. People sometimes don’t think that we’re the fucking real deal, I guess. I don’t know what their deal is. Who knows, bro? Who knows?”

“We don’t have any plans because we were told by the Hall of Fame that we would never get in, because of how we’ve acted, so that’s kind of it,” said Sixx in 2019.

Though the band signed a cessation of touring agreement in 2014, they tore it up last year after the huge success of The Dirt film and the promise of a 2020 stadium tour. The pandemic wiped out those plans for 2020 but the group is expecting to return to touring in 2021.

As for Lee, he’s used the downtime to release his new Andro solo album. Pick it up here. (As Amazon affiliates we earn on qualifying purchases)

Listen to Tommy Lee on the CLE ROCKS Podcast

Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the ’80s

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The Day Vince Neil Bit Eddie Van Halen: ‘Good Job, A–holes!’

In 1984, Motley Crue were part of the Monsters of Rock tour alongside Van Halen and AC/DC. The timing coincided with what Crue drummer Tommy Lee referred to as a “crazy biting phase” for his band.

“Motley had this thing we would do if we really loved you: Some people high-five, other people hug. We would bite you,” the drummer explained to USA Today. One person who was not a fan of this love-bite habit: Eddie Van Halen.

Vince [Neil] went over and just chomped on Eddie, and Eddie was so mad. He was like, ‘What the [expletive] is wrong with you?’” Lee recalled of the incident.

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who said the band’s bites occasionally drew blood, admitted the strange custom nearly cost his band the tour. “I remember [manager] Doc [McGhee] came to us and he goes, ‘Good job, assholes, I think you’re getting thrown off the Van Halen tour,” he recalled in a 2019 interview with Eddie Trunk (as reported by Alternative Nation).

Part of the reason for Van Halen’s anger was the location where he was bitten. For whatever reason, Neil decided to sink his teeth into Van Halen’s hand, a big no-no for the prodigious guitarist.

“Not Eddie’s hand, that is not a target!” Neil laughingly recalled.

“It turned into a huge fight,” McGhee confessed on the Talk Is Jericho podcast in 2015, revealing that he had to “apologize every day” for the Crue’s shenanigans.

Unsurprisingly, Motley Crue’s chomping antics were also poorly received from other bands. “I bit Malcolm Young, and he hated it, too,” Lee admitted. “We did that for a couple of years until we were either over it or realized it might be a little dangerous.”

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Why Motley Crue Keep Away From Tommy Lee Backstage

Tommy Lee explained why his Motley Crue bandmates kept away from him backstage, noting that singer Vince Neil and guitarist Mick Mars didn’t like his taste in music.

He also said he played his upcoming solo album, Andro, for bassist Nikki Sixx, but he doubts the other two members would be interested in hearing it.

“I played it for Nikki, and he fucking loved it,” Lee told Classic Rock in a new interview. “He was like, ‘Great job, dude.’ The other two, Vince and Mick, it probably wouldn’t be their cup of tea. When we’re backstage, they always put me as far away as possible, because I have a fucking club PA in my dressing room and I’m always playing fucking crazy music. They’re like, ‘Put him way, way down the hall. We don’t want to hear it.’”

Asked if he was bothered that some Crue fans wouldn’t want to hear Andro either, he replied: “I kind of feel sorry for people who are just rock fans, because they’re gonna miss some really fucking cool songs that aren’t necessarily straight rock. They’re just fucking cool songs.”

Lee went further, agreeing that rock ’n’ roll has become “too safe.” “It’s kind of sad,” he said. “I haven’t heard a rock record that’s blown my mind in a long while. I can’t think of anything I’ve heard lately that has made me go, ‘Holy fuck!’ And I’m constantly looking. When you watch a lot of hip-hop videos or EDM videos, it’s all about people having a good time and just fucking living life, just fucking rock-starrin’ it. … The rock ’n’ roll lifestyle is emulated by so many other genres.”

Andro – whose title reflects Lee’s assertion that some of the songs have a masculine feel, while others have a feminine vibe – comes out on Friday.

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Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee: I’ll Leave the U.S. if Trump Re-Elected

Tommy Lee has threatened to leave the United States if Donald Trump wins a second term as president.

After all, the Motley Crue drummer, Methods of Mayhem mastermind and solo artist was born in Greece. It’s a country the musician recently suggested he might return to if Trump gets four more years in the White House. Lee could also end up spending some time in the United Kingdom, he proposed.

That’s the line of thinking that emerged when the entertainer talked to the U.K. newspaper The Big Issue in an interview that goes to print this week (Oct. 12). Asked for his response to a possible second term for the businessman and reality TV star turned world leader, the rocker made no bones in reply.

“Dude, I swear to god if that happens then I’m coming over to visit the U.K.,” Lee said. “I’m out of here. I’ll go back to my motherland, go back to Greece and get a house on one of the islands.”

The musician continued, “The thing that stings the most is that I feel like we’re embarrassing. I feel like people in Europe and the rest of the world look at America and think: ‘What the fuck are you guys doing over there? Stop voting for celebrities and get someone real to run the country.'”

It’s not as if Lee has attempted to hide his distaste for the president in the past. Last year, the drummer called Trump “scary delusional.” Beyond that, the president has handled disasters such as the California wildfires — to say nothing of the COVID-19 pandemic — in a way that worsened Lee’s opinion of him.

Regarding the coronavirus situation, Motley Crue’s reunion tour alongside Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts has already been pushed back to 2021 because of the health crisis. But Lee’s eagerness to get back onstage with his longtime bandmates is giving him a hopeful outlook.

“I can just imagine what it’s going to be like being on stage with that many people and that energy when it’s OK to be together again,” Lee enthused. “It’s going to be priceless — that kind of energy I’m probably never going to see again in my lifetime. Can you imagine what that’s going to be like? Holy shit!”

That said, the energy the Motley Crue member seems averse to includes when his wife redecorates his luxury car in the colors of his upcoming solo album, Andro. Lee’s spouse, Brittany Furlan, sprung such a prank on the musician earlier this week in a TikTok vid the rocker may or may not have been in on.

Andro arrives this Friday (Oct. 16).

See Tommy Lee in the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time

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Tommy Lee: I Was Drinking Two Gallons of Vodka a Day Before Rehab

Motley Crue are among rock’s most notorious party bands. Drummer Tommy Lee, who will release his solo rap album, Andro, later this month, revealed that after the band’s farewell tour in 2015, he was consuming upward of two gallons of vodka each day, which prompted a stay in a rehab clinic to tackle the issue.

Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Lee described his alcohol intake as “crazy” and noted that he had previously “been sober for four years” and has a history of being “on and off” substance dependance “for a long time.”

“I go through these phases where I just want to live a different life and fuck all the dumb shit,” the drummer confessed. “And then I decide, ‘You know what? I don’t want to live like that anymore,'” he continued, stating that after what was intended to be Crue’s last tour, he was at home and “literally did nothing” and would “just fucking drink.”

It wasn’t immediately apparent for the rocker just how much alcohol he was consuming at the time as he said, “I didn’t notice it until towards the end of it, when I was like, ‘Oh dude, I’ve got to stop. This is fucking insane.’ Like, I was drinking just out of boredom.”

Describing his usual routine, Lee detailed, “I would just wake up and be just building [a glass with] just all vodka and just a little eyedropper of cranberry or lemonade. I was drinking two gallons — not pints, not quarts, but gallons, the big-handles — a day. That’s fucking crazy. … I just realized, ‘Whoa dude, you’re drinking enough to like, you could probably die.’ And it wasn’t even fazing me. … I just became sort of immune to it.”

Lee credits Brittany Furlan, whom he has since married, with his personal awakening during this time of heavy drinking. “She was like, ‘Baby, I don’t think I’ve ever even seen anybody drink that much. Like, you’re kind of scaring me. … Like, are you going to wake up? Am I going to wake up to, like, you not breathing?’ And I was like, ‘That sucks. That’s not cool to have you have you worry like that. And it’s worrying me.’ But yeah, she was definitely concerned, and her concern obviously helped in my decision to just go get out of here: I bailed for over a month and just was like, ‘That’s it, I’m done for a while.'”

In an effort to better himself, Lee checked into a rehab facility and is now encroaching his one-year anniversary of being sober. Like many who have struggled with alcohol dependence, sobriety is a day-by-day endeavor. “I don’t know if it’s a forever thing,” admitted Lee, “But for now, I’m not drinking vodka today.”

If you or someone you know has an alcohol dependence, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services website for assistance.

Lee’s Andro album will be out on Oct. 16 and more info can be found here. As for Motley Crue, their reunion tour, alongside Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, has been pushed to 2021.

Where Does Tommy Lee Rank Among the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time

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Rock Stars vs. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been a controversial institution for decades, with many musicians speaking out against the Hall putting money ahead of music and for its inept voting body. Watch these musicians, some of whom are actually in the Hall of Fame, publicly address the Hall for their practices and overlooking essential rock and metal bands.

According to Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, the Rock Hall told the band they’d never be inducted. “[Tommy Lee said] maybe if we got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or something, we could dust off a couple of our old classics,’” recalled Sixx. “But we don’t have any plans because we were told by the Hall of Fame that we would never get in, because of how we’ve acted, so that’s kind of it.”

Judas Priest legend Rob Halford pulled a gangster move after being denied induction from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, actually reading Priest’s rejection letter live on an Arizona radio show. After the Hall listed various artists who were rejected multiple times before eventually getting in, they actually invited Priest to come visit as tourists, giving Halford’s spirited reading a hilarious twist.

Among the most critical Rock Hall inductees is Ritchie Blackmore, who ripped the Cleveland institution on his own YouTube channel. “I have absolutely [no] interest for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m not interested in receiving awards and all that self-congratulatory patting on the back by the elitists in the business.”

Watch these Rock Stars vs. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Loud List below.

Rock Stars vs. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

33 Hard Rock + Metal Acts Who Deserve to Be in the Rock Hall of Fame

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37 Years Ago: Motley Crue Release ‘Shout at the Devil’

Even for ‘80s music fans who grew to loathe glam and overly slick commercial metal, Mötley Crüe’s first two albums, 1980’s Too Fast For Love, and 1983’s Shout at the Devil often got a free pass. The L.A. rockers wrote both when they were still hungry and striving for success and there was more aggression in their sound back then than there was by the time they were playing major arenas on the Theater of Pain tour.

For rebellious youth, Shout at the Devil, which came out Sept. 26, 1983, had all the ingredients of a deviant misadventure. The Crüe weren’t as entrenched in metal as Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, but they were flirting with evil, as evidenced by the pentagram on the initial pressing of the album and they were still in their Road Warrior with black eyeliner attire, which was pretty bad-ass for its time, giving them more credibility than other Sunset Strippers who actually looked like chicks.

While the band had self-released Too Fast For Love on their own label, Leathür Records, and secured distribution through Greenworld with future Guns N’ Roses Manager Alan Niven, they piqued the interests of Elektra pretty swiftly and were signed in the spring of 1982.

Chris Walter, WireImage

As such, Mötley had an actual budget for the record and was able to secure Tom Werman to produce Shout at the Devil. Werman had previously worked for Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick and Blue Öyster Cult and knew how to make rock and roll bands sound supersized. Using compositions from bassist Nikki Sixx, including the controversial, devil-horns-raiser “Shout at the Devil,” the razor-edged, infectious “Looks That Kill” and the more radio-oriented “Too Young to Fall in Love,” Werman gave Mötley Crüe a sound as strong as their image.

“Some people said we were Satanic and angry,” vocalist Vince Neil told me in 2010. “We always thought that was funny, but we were like, ‘Hey, if it gets us attention let’s go with that.’ We were so starved for stardom that we were willing to do whatever it took. But there was no anger at all. We were just having fun.”

Motley Crue, “Looks That Kill” Music Video

At the same time as the Crüe were drinking excessively, doing tons of blow and having as much sex as possible, Elektra decided to portray them as a rock ‘n’ roll timebomb, and proudly announced to the press when the band was arrested in Edmonton International Airport for wearing their spiked stage gear while walking through customs. Another time, Neil tried to board with a suitcase full of porn.

“That was no big deal, but the record people sure wanted to make it look like something crazy had happened,” Neil said. “The chains were part of what I was wearing onstage and as for the porn, I had a couple magazines they found and took away. That was it. But the thing is they you didn’t really have to look very hard to find something outrageous to say about us because most of it was true.”

Mötley Crüe entered Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, Calif., in April 1983 to start working on Shout at the Devil and initially had little idea what to do in a professional recording environment. Werman guided them through the process, explaining how there was no need for everyone to record their parts at the same time and that even after everyone was done recording they could go back and edit over what they had done and fix mistakes.

As focused on partying as they were, it didn’t take the band long to grasp the concept and everyone wanted the record to be as good as possible. In the end, Shout at the Devil was a wicked little album. And partway through the recording process, the band decided to ratchet up the evil by including a gangbusters cover of The Beatles “Helter Skelter.”

Motley Crue, “Helter Skelter” (The Beatles Cover)

Contributing to the pre-release hype was the concert extravaganza The Us Festival, the last day of which featured a balls-out metal lineup co-headlined May 29 by Van Halen and Scorpions. “We were just kids. Shout at the Devil hadn’t come out yet and all of a sudden there were 300,000 people there screaming,” Neil recalls. “It was like we went from playing clubs to doing something majorily big. We were on the same bill as Van Halen, Scorpions, Ozzy, and Judas Priest; that really blew us away.”

Mötley Crüe finished up Shout at the Devil in July 1983. It didn’t take long for disgruntled teens to connect with the release, which sold 200,000 copies in two weeks and reached as high as No. 17 on the Billboard album chart. Shout at the Devil went gold in January, 1984 and was platinum less than a month later. By January, 1985 it was double platinum. And in May 1997, it went quadruple platinum.

Motley Crue, Live at the US Festival (1983)

“I can’t say I think it’s the best album we ever put out,” Neil says. “But it was definitely a record for its time. When we finished it, we were all really proud of what we had done and I think the songs had stood the test of time, which pretty much says it all.”

Mötley Crüe reissued Shout at the Devil in 2003 with five bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased “I Will Survive.”  The other four cuts were demos of album tracks.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

Motley Crue Albums Ranked

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‘The Dirt’ Up Against Disney Soundtracks for Billboard Awards

The Dirt was one of the most popular music-based movies of 2019. The soundtrack, full of Motley Crue songs old and new, has been nominated for the Top Soundtrack category of the 2020 Billboard Music Awards — and it’s up against three Disney movie soundtracks.

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards focus on the charts from March 23, 2019 through March 14 of this year. In addition to The Dirt, the soundtracks for Aladdin (2019), Descendants 3, Frozen II and Melanie Martinez’s musical horror film K-12 are contenders for the Top Soundtrack of that period.

A few months prior to the release of the Netflix film, Motley Crue got together in the studio and recorded four new songs for the soundtrack — “The Dirt,” “Ride With the Devil,” “Crash and Burn” and a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” The rest of the soundtrack is full of career-spanning Crue cuts from their albums Too Fast for Love, Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain, Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr. Feelgood. The soundtrack peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 in April of 2019.

Machine Gun Kelly, who portrayed Tommy Lee in The Dirt, has been nominated for Top Rock Song in the awards for “I Think I’m Okay” with Yungblud and Travis BarkerSlipknot, Tool and Metallica have also been selected for different categories of the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. See the full list of runners here.

Motley Crue: A Timeline of Their Storied Career

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