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All In the Name of Rock and Roll: On the Road with Mötley Crüe

Page 3 of 4

If the Crüe hadn't happened, Neil says, "I would be one of those guys in Hawaii that rents you jet skis." When sixty, "I want to be like Jerry Buss, the guy that owns the Lakers. That guy's happening. He's like sixty-five, and he's always got a beautiful nineteen-year-old on his arm. He sits in his mansion, has a good time."

A kid comes up to Neil and asks him, "Will you sign an autograph for my friend Daniel?"

"Sure," Neil says good-naturedly, taking the pen. "How do you spell Daniel?"

"Three, come in three, is seven up yet?" security chief Fred Saunders says into his walkie-talkie.

"That's a suppository, over," comes the reply.

Three is Mötley's cheerful tour manager, Rich Fisher; Seven, Mick Mars. This is the tenor of the nearly constant walkie-talkie chatter of the Crüe's road crew. Saunders (Four), who used to hang with Hell's Angels, devised the number system partly so outsiders couldn't eavesdrop and partly because it sounds cool.

Forty-one is the dressing room; 129, the gig location; 268, the bus; 101, the hotel; 100, "krell" (cocaine); 714, a bimbo; and 747, a "pig with lipstick" (fat girl). Saunders can also perfectly duplicate each Crüe member's signature and often signs their eight-by-ten glossies. "I don't like doing them, but there's such a demand," the muscular, bearded Saunders says apologetically. "At least they're not hand stamped."

It's midday in the blazing Arizona heat, and Seven is nursing a hangover ("My brains are oatmeal," he confesses) in his room, curtains drawn, watching an episode of Kung Fu on TV. Mick Mars, the least social of the Crüe, looks like Paul Williams wearing an Addams Family wig. Born in Indiana, the son of a factory foreman, Mick moved to California when he was eight. He changed his name, he says, because "the initials were B.A.D., and it was bad luck for me." Twice divorced, he says he's "real picky" about girls. "There's too much disease going around."

Mars is the band's cutup, the one most likely to scream unexpectedly or talk about muffs and woodies. He calls Jack Daniel's "mouthwash." But he admits he drinks for confidence: "It's weird to get out onstage and be real animated. I feel awkward."

His hobbies are "fucking around" in his Corvette and dabbling in his eight-track home studio. Though he can quote extensively from Penthouse's "Forum," he admits, "I'm not too big on reading."

Does he picture still being Mötley ten years from now? "Yeah, at least putting out albums, getting together, goofing around, if only for – what's that word? – nostalgia's sake."

 

It's the afternoon before the first concert of the new tour, and Tommy Lee is taping public-service announcements for a local Tucson TV station. He seems uptight; whenever the camera's off, he lights up another cigarette. He glances at a script for a drinking and driving spot. "I got a good one for this," Lee says. "Can I mention that I've had a couple of 502s?" He's told that Arizonans won't know what that means.

"DUI," he explains helpfully. On one take, he says, "Do me and yourself a favor, man. If you're going to drink and drive . . . oh, shit."

Lee later says he didn't "dig" doing the P.S.A.: "I didn't have an accident, and I didn't check into a hospital. I know when to say, 'No, that's enough.' I guess it's a good thing for kids who are in trouble all the time, but if they don't listen to their parents and friends, they're gonna listen to me? I'm not a preacher, man. I just play drums."

Tommy "T-Bone" Lee is the youngest, most gungho and instantly likable Crüe member. Born in Athens, Greece (his mother is Greek, and his father was in the armed services), he soon moved to California, where he went to Neil's high school but only attended three classes: music, coed volleyball and graphic arts, in which he'd print up Aerosmith T-shirts. Since both parents worked, he'd go back home and whack his drums until three o'clock, then leave before his mother arrived and return as if he'd just got home from school. "The first president of the United States really didn't matter to me. I don't give a shit. I wasn't around then. I don't need that upstairs." He was only seventeen when the band formed.

Lee has the most "tats" (tattoos) of anyone in the band – no small accomplishment – including a phoenix over his entire right thigh and a rose with the name Heather on his left forearm. He met Dynasty star Heather Locklear at an REO Speedwagon concert. He took her hand and said, "Hi, I'm Tommy, nice to touch you." He got her phone number from his accountant's brother, a dentist who knew Locklear's dentist. But the first time he called her up, he almost blew it. He told her, "Hey, check it out, you're on channel 2." A minute later she was back saying that the person on channel 2 was Heather Thomas of The Fall Guy. "I was confused," Tommy says, "as to which Heather I'd actually be going out with." That obstacle was soon overcome, and they married May 10th, 1986.

Marriage is "great, it's very cool," says the man who admits he used to "fuck anything with a pulse." "If I wasn't married, I'd probably be dead, the partying and stuff."

Even now that he's a family man, Lee has no problems with the image of women that the band projects. "It never enters my mind. I really don't think about anything, I just do it."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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