Motley Crue’s Vince Neil to Nikki Sixx: “Happy birthday to my brother!!” – 2022

Metal Edge: Happy 64th birthday to Nikki Sixx! Read our interview with the Motley Crue bassist, who tells us he “feels pretty fortunate I got to be raised at a time where you could just be a little bit more of a troublemaker.’

You can read the entire interview @ this location. An excerpt from the conversation has been provided below.

First Time I Got High

Nikki Sixx:

“I experienced marijuana, unfortunately, at sometime between six and nine years old. I can’t remember exactly. My mom was with a guy named Bernie Comer, a trumpet player who played with Frank Sinatra. And for some reason in the ‘60s we just pulled up roots and moved to Puerto Vallarta for a year. Which is also a really cool experience. I have a deep love for Mexico still to this day because of that. But I remember down there everybody would be drinking, and the smell… I now understand what that smell was. And he asked me to try his stuff. Or kind of said, ‘You should…’ And you’re a kid. You’re like, ‘Whatever you say. You’re the authority figure.’ I don’t really remember how it felt; I just remember feeling weird. It was a really different time on the planet, man. That memory didn’t really pop up again for me until I was doing some of the work on myself around The Heroin Diaries. I was like, ‘Damn, you’d get arrested for that now.’ “

First Gig in L.A.

“I remember playing in bands that lasted a day or a week. One band was called Rex Blade. We had a female singer, and we took a picture in this back alley where we spray painted ‘Rex Blade’ on the wall. [laughs] I don’t even know what happened to those guys. But that’s all part of the process. So my first actual gig was really with London, let’s say ‘77, ‘78. And the Starwood was the first venue. We worked there in the daytime [cleaning the club], and we were just always there. It was kind of like our hangout. I remember walking down those stairs to the stage with Lizzie [late guitarist Lizzie Grey] and Dane [drummer Dane Rage] and I felt like ‘This is what I do.’ I hadn’t even done it yet. But I knew.”

First Sunset Strip Band I Loved

“I really, really loved Quiet Riot. There was also a band called A La Carte that was super-cool. A three-piece. But Quiet Riot were different. They kinda had it right. Kevin DuBrow had a great voice, and of course we don’t need to talk about Randy Rhoads and how influential he was. I used to really enjoy hanging around those guys and seeing them play. It’d be like 200 people in the Starwood, but to me, when I was that young, I was just like, ‘They look cool, they sound cool, and they have great songs.’ The songs were important. I have a hard time with music where I can’t really dive into the songwriting. EDM is an example of something that doesn’t really connect to me because there’s not the verse/chorus/post-chorus/explosive guitar solo/outro thing. But whether it’s hip-hop or pop or different kinds of metal, if there’s a great song, I’m drawn to it. And Quiet Riot had all those elements.

First Fight I Got Into

“That’s all the way back in Anthony, New Mexico, riding the bus to school. Kids would just be messing with me. And I remember filling my lunchbox with rocks and hitting these two guys that had been messing with me right in the face. I actually got rewarded for that, which is probably a bad thing to do. My grandfather was like, ‘I’m proud of you for not letting anybody fuck with you.’ I wonder how much of that influenced me later in life? [laughs] Because with Mötley Crüe it was like, ‘No one’s going to fuck with my band.’ I had a fighting spirit. And when I met Tommy and Vince and Mick, they had a fighting spirit, too.”

First Time I Felt Like I Had “Made It”

“Playing the Whisky three nights in a row [in February, 1982] with Mötley was big, but around that time we had also started to build these stage sets and have all these ideas. We met these guys that were in drag racing, and they got two dragsters onstage with us. We had this crazy drum riser and we started to build in all this production, like during ‘Piece of Your Action’ we rolled a mannequin out and Vince took a real chainsaw and cut its head off. I would be holding a chain that held the head up, and blood would just go everywhere. I remember doing that at the Santa Monica Civic [on November 17, 1982], and looking out from the stage… I can’t remember how many people the Civic held. Probably something like 2,500. And the place was packed. We didn’t have a record deal at the time, nobody was coming a-knockin’. And I was like, “We’re doing this on our own.” I just remember feeling like we’d made it, and we’d made it on our own terms. And that was a cool thing.”

You can read the entire interview @ this location.

Vince Neil:

Happy birthday to my brother!!


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