Now that Motley Crue has the ultimate cushy gig, a February residency in Las Vegas, frontman Vince Neil has announced that he might be quitting the band again once the Vegas shows are done.. “It’s not definite, but I am thinking seriously about it,” he told the Las Vegas Sun from his yacht in the Bahamas. The last time Neil left the band was in 1992, rejoining the band five years later.
“This is all about me thinking about the second half of my life, thinking about my future, and that future might not include Motley Crue after Vegas. There are so many opportunities that are in front of me that I’m really excited about. I just don’t want to look back later in life and regret that I didn’t pursue them. I’m just not sure I can give these opportunities the time and effort I’ll need to and continue with the band. It’s been a great ride, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it, but being out here relaxing in this beautiful place has given me the chance to reflect on what direction I want the rest of my life to take. I’m really giving it a lot of thought.”
On the one hand, it’s understandable that Neil might want to take a bit of a break. The band’s been on tour for the last few years, and Neil will turn 50 during the residency. But at the same time, the band’s got a residency in Vegas. They should do that as long as they can. There’s no travel involved, they’re being treated well by the Hard Rock, and there’s a constant flow of people on vacation that’ll pony up to see the band. If Neil’s plans include another solo album along the lines of Tattoos and Tequila, he can pretty much give up on that right now. If there’s anyone we’d totally relate to retiring in Motley Crue, it’d be Mick Mars, but he soldiers on. And I guess if there’s any silver lining in the cloudy future of the Crue (way to mix metaphors!), it’s that if he retires to his yacht in the Bahamas, at least he won’t be getting any more DUIs in Vegas.
On Friday, I got to see one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while, then I got to witness one of the worst. The evening started at the Alice In Chains/Deftones/Mastodon blackdiamondskye tour at Madison Square Garden. It was a top notch show, from the musicianship of all three bands to the production. Coming down off the high of that, my friend suggested we head downtown to catch the end of Vince Neil’s set at Irving Plaza. While I’d never been a huge Motley Crue fan, I figured it would be good for a laugh, and I was headed downtown regardless. While we didn’t have to pay for tickets, I feel bad for anyone that did.
At $35, it was a relatively pricey ticket for an act that had no “name” openers (aka, it’s not like it was a package tour – Vince was the draw). And admittedly, the 1,800-capacity club is a lot smaller than the arenas the band had been touring for the last few years. But those Crue fans that that shelled out their hard-earned money were treated to a headlining set that consisted of nine songs sung by Neil. Nine!
The set list above actually shows one more song than his band did, as they cut “Kickstart My Heart” from the set. And the “Blando medley” consisted of Vince’s backup band (including Slaughter guitarist Jeff Blando) paying tribute to Dio with “Heaven and Hell,” and then covering Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” His backing band was actually very solid, and they had to be, because they were playing without Neil. That’s right – during the middle of his nine song set, Neil disappeared backstage for 10 minutes.
Look, I know it’s been a rough year for Vince. His solo album, Tattoos & Tequila, isn’t setting the world on fire, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI, and his autobiography was pretty unnecessary coming on the heels of The Dirt and books from his Crue-mates Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. But lazily phoning it in for nine songs and charging your fans for the experience seems like a good way to keep those fans from coming back to see you play again. We were pleasantly surprised at how good a show the Crue put on only last month at the Ozzfest, but this was the exact opposite.