With a blockbuster Motley Crue reunion tour underway and the best-selling memoir, Tommyland, under his belt, drummer Tommy Lee is preparing to unleash his third solo album, Tommyland: The Ride, on August 2nd.
"I've been working my ass off," Lee told Rolling Stone in the fall. "These are probably the best songs I've ever written in my life -- as the years go by, I'm just getting better at my craft."
A mix of rock, pop and electronica, Tommyland features guests Dave Navarro, Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter and producer Butch Walker. The album's first single, the straight-up rocker "Tryin to Be Me" -- Lee's diatribe against paparazzi stalkers and passersby who snap pictures of him with their cell-phone cameras -- has just hit radio.
One week after the album's release, Lee's new TV show, Tommy Goes to College -- in which the high-school graduate rocker, now forty-two, attends classes at the University of Nebraska -- will debut on NBC. (VH1's Tommy Lee: The Naked Truth, documenting a day in the rocker's life, became one of 2002's guilty pleasures.)
"It is so bananas," Lee said of his college stint. "Just imagine, like, total fish out of water: rock star goes to college in Middle America . . . I tried out for the drum line, which I did in high school, and I had two weeks to learn their half-time show and all the drum patterns. They told me I could perform the half-time show with them. It was killer. I've got a bunch of new friends now."
Motley Crue's Red, White & Crue tour runs through October.