Truth be told, Vince Neil can be a nice guy.
Make no mistake — he's still the badass, hard-partying wild man who fronted Mötley Crüe for over 30 years, married his fourth wife in a ceremony officiated by rapper MC Hammer, and revealed shocking tales of sex and drugs in a New York Times best-selling tell-all book. But he is also gracious, and above all, he is a serious musician.
Selling upward of 80 million albums,
Although Mötley Crüe played its final concert together on New Year's Eve in 2015, Neil has no plans to quit touring and is scheduled to tear up the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre June 18 with a show he assures will give fans the mind-blowing metal they expect.
"We play all the great Mötley stuff," he says. "I'm proud to be that guy carrying on the torch. It's a great, energetic, fun show with good, raw energy. We pull out some fun surprises, too."
Aside from Mötley Crüe, Neil has toured and recorded solo for ten years with his current lineup, which includes Grammy-nominated Neil on vocals with Slaughter alums Jeff Blando on guitar, Dana Strum on bass, and the crazy-ass Zoltan Chaney on drums.
"He's over the top," Neil says about Chaney's drumming. "People flip. If you fucking dig rock 'n' roll, then you're gonna love what we do."
Gone is the lipstick and hairspray of yesteryear, and what remains, Neil says, is a band of serious, hard-hitting musicians.
"Those guys are really fucking good. They keep me on my toes. When I first started with them, I was like, 'You guys are fucking smoking!'"
While the touring vibe today may be slightly more mellow than the drug-laden orgies for which the Crüe is notorious, Neil's bad-boy reputation for women, alcohol, and excess has not diminished.
Despite making recent headlines when an altercation at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas between Neil, Nicolas Cage, and a fan was partially caught on video, Neil says riding his two new horses helps keep him grounded.
"There nothing like a horse being able to kick your ass that brings you down to earth," he says, laughing.
Neil, who famously dated Pamela Anderson before she married Tommy Lee, says that although he is a star, he is still human, and he remembers a time when he became slightly starstruck walking through an airport.
"I saw the Deadliest Catch crew. I love it! I was like, 'Wow, the captain!'"
It hasn't always been a
Neil was sentenced to 30 days in jail, five years' probation, 200 hours of community service, and roughly $2.5 million in restitution. While both fans and members of Hanoi Rocks have largely moved past the incident, it appears to be Neil's own conscience with which he still struggles.
"I have huge regrets and huge sorrow, and I live with those demons," Neil says, still shaken by the memory.
But Neil is known to be a fighter, both literally and figuratively. After losing his beloved 4-year-old daughter to cancer, a brokenhearted Neil founded the Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation, which has raised upward of $2 million to combat childhood cancer.
A diverse businessman, there is not much Neil hasn't attempted over the years, including an upcoming appearance on Celebrity Apprentice, a winery, a tequila company, a tattoo parlor, a clothing store, and an assortment of restaurants.
Dr. Feelgood's Rock Bar & Grill, which has since closed, once called Clematis Street home, sweet home. Neil says that at one point he was asked to be the honorary mayor of West Palm Beach, where the restaurant was located.
"I have a huge affinity for [South Florida]," he says. "I love the water; I love the Intracoastal [Waterway]. I've got friends there. It's kick-ass."
While Neil, 55, may be the grandfather who took his grandkids on the tour bus to Chuck E. Cheese on Mother’s Day, he is also a hard partier with a penchant for tattoos and tequila.
He is the adrenaline junkie who races Indy cars, but he is also the chill dude who likes to golf and hang by the pool. And while he admits to being something of an anomaly, above all, he is the crazy-ass, balls-out showman who’s wants to rock your world.
“If you think you know me, you might not know me, and if you think you might not know, you might know. That’s really the best way I can put it… I’m a rogue singer. That’s what I do."
With Great White and Krush. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $38 to $78 plus fees via ticketmaster.com.
Wendy Rhodes is a freelance writer and award-winning author. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @WendyRhodesFL.