When MÖTLEY CRÜE Bit Eddie Van Halen and Fought David Lee Roth on the 1984 Monsters of Rock Tour – Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Mick Mars
During an interview with the Rock Experience with Mike Brunn, legendary manager Doc McGhee talked about managing MÖTLEY CRÜE during the Monsters of Rock Tour in 1984.
When we did the Monsters of Rock with VAN HALEN and AC/DC in 1984. We had a dinner party with everyone, 1500 people came and each band had its own table, MÖTLEY CRÜE, VAN HALEN, and AC/DC. Warner Brothers put on this huge thing in Sweden, dinner with all the press that flew in from everywhere, and my guys (MÖTLEY CRÜE) decide to bite Eddie Van Halen. It’s a long story, but they end up biting Eddie and getting into a fistfight, and we ended up getting thrown off the tour. It was just a f***ing nightmare. But we did get out and get on stage the next day. It was very difficult, but we did it.
Noel Monk, who was the manager for VAN HALEN and then AC/DC with Alvin Handwerker, they were so pissed that they tried to throw us off the tour, but they couldn’t because MÖTLEY was so popular. Thomas Johnson was the promoter, and so I said, “Well, you’ve got to talk to Thomas because there’s no way he’s going to let you kick us go off this tour.” Then they came back and said: “You get there, and you’ll be in your trailer. They’re going to pick the trailer up with a crane. When it’s time for you to play, they will lower the trailer. You’ll get on the stage, you play, you get off, get in the vans and leave.
Now, I haven’t told the guys any of this. There’s just been a fight and they were thrown out of a hotel. It was crazy. So, I got them up in the morning, after we had gotten thrown out of the hotel that night and moved to another hotel. I get up, and Tommy (Lee) goes, “Dude, wasn’t that f***ing amazing last night?” I go, “What, you fighting with David Lee Roth?” Tommy goes, “Dude, I f***ing love that guy.” I’m like, “But you guys were fistfighting.” “Oh, dude, we were f***ing around, man, we were having a ball.” I say, “Ok, we’ve got to get ready to go to the show.” As we took off, I didn’t say anything to them, and when we got there, I looked and there’s a crane sitting there next to the stage, and I go, “Uh oh.” I went to the production office and said, “If you move this, we’re gone,” but I didn’t tell the guys this. So, we get there, it’s still hooked up, they don’t pay attention to it. I said, “Listen right after the show, we’re going to get in the vans, and we’re going to get the f*** out of here.” They say, “We want to watch VAN HALEN, we want to watch AC/DC.” I go, “Not tonight, let’s not do it tonight.”
During an interview with the Talk is Jericho Podcast, Doc said:
Of all the bands I’ve had, they were probably the most — they were more like a gang than they were a band. They had their own little things they would do; they would bite people. You’d be on the bus, and of course they were chemically induced most of the time, but they’d come and bite you on the shoulder like a dog. They bit Eddie Van Halen at a dinner!
We’re in Sweden, and they thought, “Well, there’s Eddie, I’ll go bite him.” It turned into a huge fight. “I went through that every day with the CRÜE. You apologized every day. We got thrown out of every hotel. We got thrown out of Howard Johnson’s and motels, and we had to put up $15,000 in cash to get into a Howard Johnson. They’d break sh** all the time and then we’d leave, and then we’d get a big bill. So, I said, this is what we’re going to do, if you don’t report what you broke in your room, then you’ll have to pay double. So, then I’d get a call from Nikki Sixx, and he would say, “Put me down for a tv, a lamp, and I have no idea what the f*** this thing is.” And then Tommy would call. It was pretty crazy.
Asked if it’s true that MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil once bit Eddie, Tommy replied: “Yes. We were all on the ‘Monsters Of Rock’ tour [in 1984]: AC/DC, VAN HALEN, MÖTLEY CRÜE. We were all partying, and MÖTLEY had this thing we would do if we really loved you: Some people high five, other people hug, we would bite you. Vince went over and just chomped on Eddie and Eddie was so mad. He was, like, ‘What the (expletive) is wrong with you?’ He wasn’t very receptive to it. I bit Malcolm Young [of AC/DC], and he hated it, too. We did that for a couple of years until we were either over it or realized it might be a little dangerous.”