It would be ill-advised to expect Chaucer from Vince Neil’s new autobiography. But even with assistance from ghost writer Mike Sager, Tattoos & Tequila reads like a coked-up Fun with Dick and Jane, only much less interesting and hopelessly obsessed with big tits. That a bona fide internationally known rock star, notorious for his outrageous behavior the world over, manages to reduce his own life to a rote and robotic highlight reel is no mean feat. So listen up, if you had to pick a rock bio you fully intended to pretend to read, Tattoos & Tequila is the one!
• Born Vince Neil Wharton, Vince is part Spanish (or as he ignorantly insists to this day: Mexican), and part Native American.
• Raised in Compton before the place devolved into a post-apocalyptic gang hell, Neil is exceedingly shy (unless he’s drinking, on stage, or both).
• Vince is dyslexic, a fact he unsuccessfully uses to try and argue that he doesn’t really care to read anyway.
• Vince’s first child was born while Vince was still in high school. The mother, Tami, moved in with his parents. He moved out.
• His first gig is entering lipsync contests at the local roller rink. He wins regularly and is actually able to get laid repeatedly as a result of his virtuosic ability to not actually do anything creative.
• Thanks to his growing lipsync notoriety, Vince is recruited to sing for a new cover band called Rockandi.
• Rockandi became the undisputed kings of the LA yard-party circuit (whatever that is), drawing the attention of not only the skankiest girls in town, but also the likes of a fellow by the pseudonym of Nikki Sixx. Before long, like-minded pussy hounds and shameless hucksters Tommy Lee and Mick Marrs join in and quickly name themselves Mötley Crüe.
• Vince’s now infamous crotch adorns the cover of Mötley Crüe’s first album, Too Fast for Love.
• The Crüe signs to Elektra records.
• The boys establish themselves on their first tour as the hard-partying, oversexed madmen they end up being for well over a decade.
• Three of the four original members live in an LA apartment they dub the Mötley House. They are eventually evicted for never taking out the garbage that has piled up on their balcony.
• Their first attempt at pyrotechnic effects was essentially putting a flammable gel on Nikki’s boots and seeing how long he could burn ... in the apartment.
• Vince has been married four times.
• Their first domestic tour was opening for Kiss. They were kicked off the tour after five or six dates.
• In 1983, Mötley Crüe played the Us Festival in front of 370,000 fans, propelling their second album Shout at the Devil to No. 17 on the charts.
• During a party in 1984, Vince takes his friend, Razzle, drummer for the Finnish glam band Hanoi Rocks, for a ride to the liquor store four blocks away. Drunk and coked up, Vince crashes the car, killing Razzle instantly and severely injuring the two passengers in the other car. As punishment, he is allowed to go on tour to pay for a $2.6 million dollar settlement. After the tour, he serves 18 days in jail, whereupon he enjoys free beer from the guards as well as the company of a groupie allowed in from said guards.
• His second wife Sharise was a mud wrestler at a strip club. She would bear his third child, Skylar, who tragically died of cancer in 1995.
• Vince hates Grey Poupon mustard.
PW's Music Issue 2014