Vince Neil has been on a wild ride. As the lead singer in Motley Crue he has seen the rise and fall of glam rock, toured the world many times over and probably slept with more women than any of you can even dream of. On December 31, 2015, Neil (along with Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee) performed their final show as Motley Crue. Now touring solo, he comes to Resorts Casino Hotel 9 p.m. Friday, June 23, for a one-night-only performance. While it is technically a solo show, Neil has no plans to abandon the Crue catalogue.
“We do all the Motley hits,” Neil says. “I try to think ‘what songs would I want to hear if I was a fan?’ and then we do those. Of course, we also do some solo stuff and some surprises in the middle of the show, too.”
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Speaking of mid-show surprises, for anyone who has never been to a glam metal show, be forewarned — it is a scene in itself. And while most ‘80s hair metal concerts make for a fun crowd experience, if any member of Motley Crue is onstage, the antics seem to really reach new heights. Raucous and as hard partying as the band members themselves, age often has no effect on the rowdiness of the audience. Expect lots of booze and bare breasts to be part of the fun on Friday.
Although Motley Crue was notorious for their in-house fighting, one has to wonder if Neil misses having the other guys around when he is out on the road these days.
“It was such a long time … over 30 years with the guys (in Motley Crue),” he says. “But I’ve done solo shows for almost a decade now with the guys in my band and it’s different, it’s raw. We play a lot of stuff Motley didn’t do. It’s cool, energetic and in your face. They are different bands to be honest with you, and I’m having a good time doing this. We’re all friends, they are great players and it’s a different energy, so it’s cool.”
Neil’s solo career came out of necessity, when suddenly he left (or was fired from, depending on who you ask) Motley Crue in early 1992. He had some success with hits like “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” which was featured on the soundtrack to the 1992 Brendan Fraser comedy “Encino Man.” Meanwhile, the other members of Motley Crue made the ill-fated choice to replace Neil with relative unknown John Corabi for 1994’s self-titled album. By 1997, both Neil and the members of team Motley were running out of steam and decided to patch things up.
The wild side
Few bands in the history of rock music have as notorious a reputation for hard partying as Motley Crue had in their heyday. They were the poster boys for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. While the most extreme drug use was done by his bandmates Sixx and Lee, Neil was not exactly a choir boy. He was famously involved in a car crash in 1984 that killed his friend and fellow musician Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley of the band Hanoi Rocks (narrowly escaping a manslaughter charge on that one), once married a mud wrestler, made a sex tape with porn star Janine Lindemulder and has been arrested on numerous incidents involving fighting, drunk driving and other forms of bad behavior.
Motley Crue’s 2001 band autobiography “The Dirt” explored this side of the band in depth, as did Neil’s autobiography “Tattoos and Tequila.” But can someone who lived life on the wild side for so long just shut it all down? Are those wild partying days on the road truly in the past for Neil?
“The craziest stuff was the early stuff that happened in the first few years. I mean, how are you really going to replicate that now? It was just so crazy,” Neil says with a laugh. “But it’s still a lot of fun. I love playing, I’m a road singer. The more I play and the more I’m out there doing it the better it is. Working keeps me going. Once I’m out there, it’s the energy that I love. That’s what wakes me up every day.”
Rolling the dice
Neil’s show at Resorts promises to be a wild night of rock ‘n’ roll mayhem for all in attendance, but if the former Crue frontman seems particularly at ease in a city dominated by casino culture. That is no accident, as many of Neil’s business ventures outside of music have been stationed in A.C.’s rival city, Las Vegas. They included a strip club, an arena football team and even his own tattoo parlor located in the Rio casino. While none of these ventures are still operating, Neil has not lost his love for casinos or the cities that house them. We asked him for his thoughts on Atlantic City.
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“I love it. I’ve got friends who have been with the casinos here for years, and I always invite them out when I’m in town. I’ve done that again this time. It’s a great vibe. Viva Atlantic City!”
Three for the road
While most of the songs you will hear at Neil’s show will be rockers, these are our picks for the best of the best — each is sure to make you wish it was the ‘80s again — if only for a little while.
“Wild Side”: Perhaps no song in the Crue catalog better sums up their hard partying ways than this hit off of 1987’s “Girls Girls Girls” record. Fast, loud and aggressive, it provides the perfect shout along chorus to rock out to in a live setting. Don’t be out getting a beer when they do this one.
“Dr. Feelgood”: The title track to their 1989 record, “Dr. Feelgood” was Motley Crue’s biggest chart-topper, and it’s not hard to understand why. Produced by hit-maker Bob Rock, this song explores the underground drug world with relentless chugging guitars and powerhouse drumming, courtesy of the one and only Tommy Lee. While Lee will not be behind the kit Friday night, this will still bring the house down. Guaranteed.
“Home Sweet Home”: One of the Crue’s only power ballads, this hit off of 1985’s very glam “Theatre of Pain” record is sure to give the crowd that sentimental sing-along moment needed to keep any hard rock show from drowning in an overload of testosterone.