Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has come to realise he can’t “kick ass” when he plays shows drunk.
The 53-year-old musician’s wild lifestyle has almost become better known than the band he plays in, but he has started to calm down recently. In his younger years he’d think nothing of downing alcohol before a performance, but these days he gets that it doesn’t make him play well. He still has a couple of drinks before taking to the stage because he suffers from nerves, but that’s as far as it goes.
“Now, I do like a beer, maybe two before I go on stage so that I am nice and loose and relaxed,” he told Drummer magazine. “I have done the opposite of that plenty of times in the past and had far too much, and this is not cool at all. The thing is, you go out there totally blasted, and you are thinking to yourself, ‘Man, I am kicking ass tonight!’ And then you watch a piece of video the next day and you think, ‘Dude, you were absolutely not kicking ass, or anywhere near it!'”
There is another reason the star has started to calm down. His group’s off-stage behaviour has detracted from the music, which initially upset Tommy. As the years have passed he’s got used to that, realising that what other people think doesn’t really matter. That said, he would like to be remembered for his work.
“Do I feel underrated as a musician? Yeah, I do,” he said. “Years ago I used to get really frustrated over that, but when you start to get a little older, you realise that it’s not really that important. I mean, Nick, our guitar player, is a really great guitar player, but he is never going to be thought of in that way first and foremost because he is Mötley Crüe’s guitar player. A lot of the time the antics that go on kinda take on a life of their own, and the mothership that is this band has its own engine and its own atmosphere because it is just this huge thing to be a part of.”