"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> TATTOOS AND TEQUILA
by Ban Tasers
"It ain't all panties..." (-Vince Neil)
As a life-long fan of Hanoi Rocks, I've been pretty judgmental, 'pretty harsh on old Vince, throughout the years. 'Seems like it's actually old show-biz Nikki, who thought it'd be a good idea to distastefully, entitle that compilation, "Music To Crash Your Car By", a few years ago. Ever since I saw Vince regretfully refer to himself as, the "O.J. Simpson of the eighties", my heart has sort of softened towards him, it showed a nagging, and haunted, self-awareness for his reponsibility, in the tragic accident, that robbed the world of one of it's most beloved real rock'nroll personalities. Having said that, it must be tough for the families of Razzle, and the passengers of the other car, that came away handicapped, to see that VINCE continues to drink and drive. I don't know what to think about all these ongoing reports of the Motley Crue, and Guns N Roses guys beating up women, but having just read Adler's book, one CAN easily see, how crazy predators could target these guys, and attempt to engineer phony domestic-abuse dramas, in pursuit of money, or just latching themselves on to fame. If Vince Neil is rich enough to fly his ex-wife's dogs around, why doesn't he just hire a driver? He is obviously a speed demon, still collecting those expensive race cars. I guess it's not his fault, that the corrupt American justice system lets the lawless rich do whatever they please. I saw one episode of the reality show where Vince was getting the plastic surgery, and you know, if these dinosaurs from the hairbands, want to embarrass themselves, on national tv, why not let 'em? I missed his run on the "Surreal World" with M.C. Hammer, but folks told me, the Hammer-man was trying to bring Vince to God. That tune 'DJ Ashba, apparently, co-wrote, "Saints Of Los Angeles", was the best thing Motley's done since I dunno how far back. "Too Fast For Love" was one of the most original sounding, badass, punk-metal master-pieces, ever. No one's really ever been able to capture that immaculately conceived audio equivalent to a golden age Marvel comic book. Plenty have tried. Remember the Glamour Punks, anyone? I saw a dude, named Billy Fox, jam with Lizzie Grey, on Motley's eternal, "Public Enemy #1" and he had a spark of old Motley. Even he was no young Vince Neil, though, and his range was more in league with Bach, and Rose. "Too Fast For Love" was Motley's absolute peak, in my book. It was innovative, heart-felt, adolescent, snotty, Bruce Lee, dangerous, Silver Surfin', futuristic, hard rock bubble gum. The perfect soundtrack to whatever wrongheaded, sicko, shenanigans bad teenagers could get into...AND they looked kooler than any other rock group, ever. Sci-Fi Sex Pistols From Mars. In the cop shades and black and red leather. Johnny Thunders hair. Dominatrix boots. I mean, they were Sputnik, before Sputnik. "Shout At The Devil" was pretty awesome, too...The other cool part about the Crue story is how they were a real band, who found one another, honestly, and came together, misfits united, for a common purpose. Nowadays, the producer would carp that Mick was too metal, and too old, or that Vince couldn't hit the Susan Boyle Broadway notes, like Robin Zander. Everybody's a Simon Cowell. A band as unique as "Too Fast"-era Crue, even through "Shout At The Devil"...just never happens, anymore. Just producer-oriented, assembly-line hip-pop, and mall-ready emo geeks, whose parents know entertainment lawyers. It's all just lawyers, accountants, and the mistresses and relatives, of lawyers and accountants. Blame the Anti-Rock Conspiracy.
I never got to even glimpse that hardback coffee-table book, "Hollywood Rocks", even though they quoted some stuff I'd written, in the accompanying box-set. Such is the luck of a doomed pauper. I understood why many were so tittilated by "The Dirt", but some stories of Motley's exploits seemed more "dumb" than "sensational". Vince is pretty candid, in this memoir. He doesn't like Nikki or Tommy. He describes his business arrangement with the Crue like an amicable divorce, with joint custody of the children. Strangely, he says he's the odd man out, of the Crue, like Adler was in Guns. He considers the Slaughter dudes, from the Vince Neil Band, his real friends, and Jack Blades-the Nuge sidekick, from Night Ranger. Most readers are probably interested in the usual sex and drugs stories, but I already read "Hit Parader" and "Circus", back in the day, so yeah, I know they got to bang a lot of groupies. I'm enjoying reading about trivial stuff-- like the other band-names they considered using, Vince's earlier group, Rockandi-who covered tunes by THE SWEET, ROTH showing up to introduce them at the Starwood, the broad who bought him all his bitchin' leather gear, their nasty apartment near the Whiskey, Lita and Nikki, that kinda junk. Turns out, "Take Me To The Top" was their first tune. Nowadays, Vince is just another rich, cigar smoking, car collecting, restaurant owning rich dude...hell hounded by grief and shame, guilt and remorse. The death of Razzle, and maiming of the other two passengers from the collision. The harrowing and unspeakably cruel loss of Skylar. The suicide of his girlfriend, Savannah. It's illuminating to hear some of these stories, from Neil's perspective. I've always been an Izzy Stradlin fan. His work with Guns N Roses, and the Ju-Ju Hounds. I love that Georgia Satellites/Chuck Berry thing he does. Even talented guys can be assholes, just add alcohol. One time, while shitfaced, Izzy pulled down Vince Neil's wife's top, she slapped his face, so he kicked her. Next time Vince saw Izzy, he punched him out. Axl decides to intervene on Izzy's behalf, but never actually got around to fighting Vince. Meanwhile, Izzy sobered up, called Vince, and apologized. I still like Izzy.
In the 90's, Tommy and Nikki decided to throw Vince, the face and voice, out of the band, replacing him with John Corabi, and I only know one person who bought that record, and he's a contrarian, and a Canadian. Remember when Tommy decided to become a rapper? I think I prefer Dee Dee Ramone's rap album, to Tommy's forays into hip-hop, and industrial, but that's just me. I'm old fashioned. I still love rock'n'roll. Vince calls him, "Too Cool Tommy", for trying to behave like a trendy, twenty-two year old. The Crue have spent recent years appearing on reality tv shows, getting arrested, dating tv stars, dabbling in radio, touring with Nu Metal bands. Where's Mick Mars and HIS book? Vince still does his solo thing, he just released a covers-album. I only heard the album he did with Steve Stevens and Vikki Foxx, who Vince refers to as "she". Har har! Nowadays, he bides his time, getting to know his grown children, gambling on sporting- events, and running his many businesses-the Tattoo shops, Tequila company, the Feelgood bars, Vince Neil Aviation, running his annual charity-event golf-tournament, in memory of his daughter, Skylar. No parent should have to experience what this guy went through. If you read this book, you'll be glad you're not Vince Neil.
One thing that's regularly posted by Vince Neil's hardcore fans, devoted groupies, and endless apologists, that I've repeatedly, read all over the various hard rock, and Youtube message boards, over the years, that even I had to agree with, is that Razzle was also responsible for getting in to a car with a buzzed buddy while partying...en route to procure still more booze. I've been there. Could have gone bad a million times over. A similar event happened to people I knew. Ruined everyone's lives. Don't drink and drive, kids. Not even a little bit. If you're gonna party, and I know you are, be well stocked, in advance, and once the partying starts, stay home. Booze impairs everyone's judgement. Surround yourself with good people, and look out for one another. Lots of folks who hate Vince for killing Razzle are drug abusers, who also continue to drink and drive. The dark part of the story is that the American justice system is just based on money. The people surrounding Vince didn't care about Razzle, the other two victims, OR Vince Neil. He was their cash cow, and they wanted him back on the road-earning for them, so his lawyers argued that he needed to tour, to pay restitution to the families, after the accident, he did like seventeen days in jail, was dumped by his wife, and abandoned by his band mates, who continue to cheaply sensationalize the car wreck. His band mates even continue to start feuds with the Hanoi Rocks survivors. Ugly stuff, guys. Vince never trash-talks Hanoi Rocks. He liked them, was a friend of Razzle. Most recently, Sharon Osbourne called Vince a murderer, in response to him calling her evil, in this book. For the most part, Neil does very little trash-talking at all, aside from expressing pain and disappointment that his fellow Cruesters could not even be bothered to reach out to him, when his daughter passed. You know how busy those rappers can be. Neil still carries Razzle's death on his shoulders. I'm not saying pity him, but no one should envy him, either.
None of these high-school dropout 80's cock-rock dudes are rocket scientists, but there is some quality that glorified beach bum, Vince possesses, that makes him more likable than most of his high-rolling, aging rockstar peers. He has a certain measure of humility, I guess, and an honesty, that's painfully lacking, nowadays, but particularly, amidst most of these "Too Rich To Be Good", rich, spoilt, old, former spandex wearers. He gives space to Nikki and all his ex wives to tell their side. He gives the last word to his grown kids.

Quite a story.