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June 29, 2010

My rocky Vince Neil run-in

vince neil mug shot courtesy of reutersI wasn't going to post about this until I saw reports of Motley Crue singer Vince Neil's arrest for suspicion of DUI the other day.

A couple weeks ago, Vince was in town to perform at the M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Vince's camp arranged a phone interview with the middle aged rocker and me, to talk about his new solo album and tour.

Vince has (allegedly) been sober for a while now. But on the cover of his new CD (check it out), "Tattoos and Tequila," he is holding a glass of what appears to be tequila.

Typically, I save the tough questions for last. This time, it was Friday and I was feeling feisty, so I started the interview with "Vince, how are you. You're sober, right?" ...

Stupid me didn't save the tape, because I was so flustered with how it went. But here's the paraphrased version of it. Again, I must stress, these are not exact quotes, but I'm 99 percent on it, because your most memorable interviews, for better or worse, always get etched into your brain:

Sam: The album is called "Tattoos and Tequila," and on the cover, you've got a glass of tequila in your hand.

Vince: So? I'm not the sobriety police. I don't drink but I don't tell other people not to drink. I've had my own line of tequilas for four years now.

Sam: I know. So is that water in the glass you're holding on the album cover? 

Vince: No, it's tequila. (Pause.) It's just a (freaking) photograph, man. Why are you busting my (ahems) over it? What the (cuss word)?

The interview quickly spiraled downhill from here, and ended with Vince hanging up on me shortly thereafter. 

Maybe I should have waited until the end of the interview to ask him these questions. I could have been more tactful, too. At the end of the day, I was left wondering why he had such a thin skin about the issue. It's common knowledge that Vince is/was sober -- he's discussed it in previous interviews.

I think it's interesting how someone who is sober can have a line of tequilas (and wine, I believe), and be holding a glass of tequila on his album cover. So I asked him about it. Calamity ensued.

Now, we find out that he was allegedly drinking and driving. Hmm.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:57 AM | | Comments (23)


Sam gave him that little nudge/love tap over the cliff that he so needed.

TMZ reports Vince Neil had a relapse after a tactless "news" reporter asked about his line of tequila and what it tasted like.

The idea of a (necessity-driven) sober person holding a glass of tequila in his hand for hours during a photo shoot is absurd. Sounds like he was asking to jump back off that cliff.

You're extreme, interrogative style of questioning obviously pushed Neil over the edge. Heck, he might even come down on you within the lyrics of a new song when he gets out of Club Rehab.

This guy actually killed someone in a accident where he was impaired (don't remember if it was booze or dope). When are we going to get this jacka$$ off the street and into a nice cell where we are safe from his problems?

The first sign of guilt is "doth protest too much".
If you you're a public figure that has pics of a new tattoo, don't be surprised when people ask what it means. DUH.. life in the limelight has a harsh glare.
Vince Neil is a tool, anyway. He was stopped because he assaulted a woman and broke her camera. If you take a look at his history, he likes getting rough with the ladies, this will be what, 3-1, the one dude being a sound guy at a club?

30 years is a long time to get from fraud to has-been.

Donald Trump has a line of vodka and has never, never had a drink.

If I was a famous rock star and some small town reporter asked me questions like that, I'd hang up on you too.

Vince Neil started this interview with a problem.
He has 30 years of interviews behind him AND needs the publicity push for a new album, but can't re-focus a interview to his advantage or at least try? The fool has a product to sell that he doesn't try to make nice with the interviewer?

Obviously it was a touchy point because he already had problem.

It would have been of greater wisdom to approach the subject later. Strifle feeling feisty until you got the bulk of interview.

Damn, Sessa, straight for the jugular!

He didn't sound very good at M3. I don't think he was remotely sober during his set.

It's a shame, because the guy has been through a lot of bad stuff (some his fault, some not), but just can't ever seem to get it together for an extended period of time.

Vince Neil killed the drummer of Hanoi Rocks in 1984 while speeding and driving drunk. He was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Some people never learn....

Keep in mind that in a previous experience Mr. Neil was under the influence and caused an accident that took the life of another human being. He brags about how while in jail for thirty days - not prison mind you - he "got laid" and "drank beer".

This goes to show you that there are two different sets of rules for the world. If you are affluent or well liked in the public eye, you literally can get away with murder. Mr. Neil did say that he believes he deserved prison - I have to give him some kudos for admiting that. However I would have felt better had he admited he should have gotten the chair...that would have been more manly of him.

And what of this? He was rather rude to you in the interview. And arrogant. What an ass he is. I hope he gets what he deserves.

I bet you wouldn't have asked Neil those questions to his face, Sam, you pumpkin pie haircutted freak.

A day late, but I saw someone reference Trump vodka. A few years ago, I was staying at the Trump Taj Majal in AC. All over the place, Trump had ads for his vodka calling it "the greatest vodka in the world." The ads were everywhere and you couldnt avoid them.

I was eating dinner at one of the bars in the casino when a guy came in and ordered a vodka and cranberry. The bartender used Grey Goose. I asked him how come he didnt use the Trump vodka since it was the best in the world. I asked if it sucked. The bartender looked around as if he didnt want to be overheard. Then he just said with a laugh, if you like Popoff vodka, you'll like Trump vodka. That was all I needed to know!

That was then and this is now. Vince got a much lighter sentence back in the 80's, but the view about drunk driving has changed so much over the years. Had that same accident happened now, Vince would have found himself behind bars for years...celeb or not.

The cd is called tattoo and tequila dumb ass, Kinda makes sense that there would be a bottle or glass of tequila on the cover! Sounds kinda funny you got rid of the tape with the interview on it. As for Vince hanging up on you good for sound like a idiot!

Well Lisa, your attitude is a bit cavalier and if you had read interviews with Mr. Neil - which you obviously have not - you would have understood that Vince attributed his lenient sentence to the fact that he had money (his own admission) and not to sentencing attitudes in regards to driving under the influence. The crime in fact was not just DUI - but manslaughter and attitudes to that crime have - since the criminal justice system began - become more lax. The syllogism behind your weak and uninformed argument is obviously not there.

In addition to the fact that Mr. Neil has a previous criminal record, this violation may be enough to convict him under one of the three strikes ordinances. I realize that he may have been arrested in NV (if i recall correctly), but his pattern of misbehavior and being caught at it should be able to hold him under Federal guidelines.

Those of you who are defending him...why are you doing so. You were probably those dopies that sat in the back of classrooms doodling rock related graffit and smoking dope. You probably knocked someone up or got knocked up yourself and are bleeding our assistance programs dry.

Keep in mind that a GED is in fact, a Good Enough Diploma.

Ok, Im not defending Vince for his actions...But! These rock bands have always had a full-on lifestyle and are given everything they want like Money, Drugs, Alcohol, Cars & Girls,Girls,Girls! Mix all that together and it ='s TROUBLE!!! Most people only care about these Rockstars when they are on top! This guy has to live with the fact he killed Razzle, Lost his daughter Skylar to cancer & has been screwed over by all of his wives and most of his friends...Also all the high's and low's that come with being famous!

Ok, Sam. I usually agree with you, but here's the thing about Crue and other bands of their kind. They are trading on their 80's excess while proclaiming sobriety. They make money on the reputation of being party monsters, but they want people to think they are reformed. In some cases, of course, they are not. So they are trying to have it both ways. That's what the album cover is about. You weren't going to get him to say "well, we're just trying to make money based on our reputation. You knew that, right?

@Jay in Fells Point -- You never know. I got Moby to open up:

Still, Moby acknowledges, he's guilty of making bombastic, overproduced music himself. Looking back on his 2005 album "Hotel," Moby loathes how "generic" and "mainstream" it sounds. Back then, he wanted to make a record with broad appeal. To that end, he was successful: "Hotel" sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. In hindsight, the way he produced the songs leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

Moby is also disgusted by the amount of money he spent on music videos in the hopes that they would be played on music TV stations around the world.

"There's definitely some decisions that were made that were not necessarily motivated by creativity, but were motivated by pressure from the record company to increase market share and the desire to have a little more fame," he said. "I say that with a lot of trepidation and shame. In hindsight, those are the decisions I regret the most."

Same goes for Jamie Foxx:

Though Foxx's own albums have become club staples and sold millions of copies, he knows that artistically, they might pale in comparison to (Ray) Charles' or (Nathaniel) Ayers' music. Foxx is fine with that. Right now, he just wants to make music that will appeal to as many people as possible and fill large venues like Merriweather Post Pavilion, where he performs Saturday.

"Sometimes you've got to turn your back on what you know to be good music, and you have to do what is good music for today," Foxx said. "There's no such thing as saying, 'OK, I'm going to do it from my heart.' The art of it now is being able to create something and have people understand it and like it and sneak your integrity in as much as you can."

These are both from profiles I did for The Sun in the past year or so. Sometimes you get stock answers. Other times, the artist opens up. Either way, as a journalist, it's my job to ask.

Well I was at the playboy club last night at palms hotel... and guess who was there drinking with a lady.... Vince.. sober don't think so.... but he wasn't drinking hard liquor ... but who we to judge... just let him be!!

You should've followed the tequila questions w/ these...."Vince, you like Gladiator films? The smell of a gymnasium? Ever been in a Turkish prison?"

Vince is high on himself. He's just a human being, and yet I've heard strange stories about him. Like for instance if you go back stage to meet Motley Crue, you're asked not to look him in the eyes. I have grown up since the days that Motley Crue was my favorite band. They still have some timeless music, but much of the later material was crap.

He's not above anybody. The fact that he keeps getting DUIs after killing his buddy early on amazes me.

How come a judge doesn't put this repeat offender away for some real time?

I like Vince, but he's full of crap about his drinking. For a guy who has had such a long and public battle with drug abuse and addiction, his attitude about talking about his tequila hypocrisy is just silly.

Get over yourself, Vince. I realize you're an alcoholic and I'm sure you like mostly everyone is more likable sober.

Stop being stuck up and quit drinking.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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