After 33 years of debauchery and demonic rock and roll, Mötley Crüe is closing up shop. The fearless foursome -- Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars -- are going into retirement but not until they hold one last blowout.
The Crüe says goodbye to Long Island Friday night when they play Jones Beach for the last time. Newsday spoke with drummer Lee, 51, about the band's final act.
What is the main reason you guys wanted to call it quits?
We have musical peers that we've watched fade out by playing in clubs and county fairs. There was no way we were going to let this band hobble around on three legs. We chose the route that every professional actor, athlete and musician should do -- leave the legend intact and bow out at the top. It's such a respectful way to do it. This way you leave all your fans with great memories. It's been such a crazy tour so far. Everywhere we are playing it's been maxed out to the rafters. I got perma-grin; it's insane.
How has it felt saying goodbye every night?
We play "Home Sweet Home" out in the middle of the audience, and there have been moments where my eyes got watered up. I'm looking around going, "This is the last time the four of us are going to play for these people." It's cool but it's weirdly emotional.
How has your relationship been with each other?
Everybody is so cool and chill because we all know what we are doing here. Plus we've stepped it up several notches, too. Every night is the last show for that area, so we aim to make it insane. We try to bring it as much as we can because we know the job at hand.
You are known for your crazy drum solos. What do you have planned for this time around?
It is the most insane thing. The evolution of my solo has grown since I started in the band. This current one is called the Crüecifly. It goes out 150 feet over the crowd while spinning upside down, forward and in reverse then drops down in the center of the audience. It's out of control, dude. No one will ever do this again. It's a game changer.
Does it amaze you that all four members are still alive after more than 30 years of insanity?
Nikki (Sixx, bassist) mentions that every night on stage and I do pinch myself and say, "You know, he's right." We are all lucky to be here. We've gone through enough stuff to take down several small armies but we are still going strong.
Will there be a final recording?
We recorded this song, "All Bad Things Must End." It's mixed and mastered. I don't know when it's coming out. It's an aggressive tune that kind of sums up our time here. As far as anything in the future I don't know, but nothing is planned at the moment.
What's the update on the band's autobiographical film, "The Dirt"?
Nikki and I sat through a table read of the entire script with 14 actors, a producer and a director, which really was a surreal moment to watch. I drove home in a daze. We've chosen to go with all unknown actors.
Looking back do you have any regrets?
Not really. The ones that could possibly be, I believe, the universe puts in your path to teach you something.
You weren't on the 2000 album "New Tattoo." Did that bother you?
No because at that point in my life I really had to stop. I needed a break. Creatively I was dying and I needed to do something completely different. In order to be a happy person I had to paint a different picture for a while. I couldn't keep doing the same thing anymore.
What is the backstage scene like now? It must be different than the past.
People have wives and kids. It's much different but it's a cool scene. We still have parties back there all the time, for sure.
Will you and Nikki continue to work together in another capacity?
We talk about that. I'm sure we will. The dude literally lives less than a minute away from me.
In addition to drumming, you often come out from behind the kit and get everybody going. Is that part of your role?
It's just my thing. I love connecting with people. They are all there watching, so I want to say something meaningful. I enjoy it, and they get a kick out of it, too.
How long will the tour go?
It's supposed to be a year and a half. We are going to end in Los Angeles where it all started.
On the Sunset Strip?
We've been talking about that, too. It's definitely in the plan.
Have you been documenting the whole thing?
Yes, we've been filming. We are trying to have it shot in 3-D IMAX. I think this is the right kind of band for that experience.
Have you ever thought or talked about the possibility of getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
If we get in, cool, if not that's cool too. I don't need material things like gold and platinum records on my wall, Grammys or Hall of Fame nods. If you looked at the list of people who've never won a Grammy it would make your neck snap off. It's insane. There's a lot of red tape and weird stuff involved. At the end of the day, I know what we've done.
Your guitarist Mick Mars suffers from ankylosing spondylitis (inflammation of the joints, mainly the spine). How is he feeling?
He's doing great and he's happy. For what he experiences to go up every night and rip through the set the way he does is amazing. You can't ask for more than that.
Who are you seeing in the crowd these days?
I see kids to 60-year-olds with every size, shape and color in between, man. It's nice to see that we've made a dent in a new generation of fans.
What's the set list like?
We are playing songs we've never played live to the obvious hits. It a nice balance of what we think everybody wants to hear. It's not about us but our fan's last experience with us.
Do you have plans post-Mötley?
I can't talk about it, but I am writing and putting things aside. It's a different direction from my last solo work because I'm changing around all the components. It won't be something you've heard or seen before. Believe me, I'm not done after this.
MÖTLEY CRÜE with ALICE COOPER
WHEN|WHERE 7 p.m., Friday, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh
INFO $20-$125, 1-800-745-3000, livenation.com