Vince Neil has performed as the lead singer for Motley Crue, a solo artist after being fired/quitting Motley Crue and continues to perform shows in between Crue gigs. In addition to his vocal career, Neil has also invested in tattoos, tequila and even an airline. Oh, and of course, a strip club.
Neil’s career started when he was the lead singer for Rockandi. He had been friends with Tommy Lee and by 1980 had joined Motley Crue, releasing their debut album, ‘Too Fast for Love’ the same year. After many years of success, the band split. In 1992, Vince Neil and Motley Crue parted ways, opening the door for Neil’s solo career. That same year Vince released the single “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” and was featured on the Encino Man soundtrack. In 1993 Neil released his first solo album, ‘Exposed’, debuting at #13 on the Billboard charts. The band toured with Van Halen. The video for “You’re Invited…” was geared toward glam Vince Neil, wearing nylon-like leggings and Theatre of Pain period eye-liner. Pauly Shore had a cameo in the video, so, well you know.
After the success of ‘Exposed’, Neil recorded his follow-up, ‘Carved in Stone’, an industrial sounding album produced by the infamous Dust Brothers. The album bombed, selling fewer than 100,000 copies in the US. Part of the problem was Neil preoccupied with his daughter (age 4 at the time) who was dying of cancer. (Neil would go on to create the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund in his daughter’s honor. The fund has raised awareness and millions of dollars that have been donated to the T.J. Martell Foundation.) There is also a case to be made the album was very much ahead of its time, mixing classic rock with hip hop beats and an industrial backdrop. After a brief tour Neil left the spotlight for a couple of years, only turning up to do embarrassing chicken dances and to star in the 2002 reality TV series The Surreal Life.
Motley Crue eventually reunited and Vince continued to also tour as a solo artist, playing a majority of Crue songs in his solo set. In 2003 Neil released a live album titled ‘Live at the Whisky: One Night Only’ and in 2010 Neil released his third album, ‘Tattoos & Tequila’, a soundtrack to his book (Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen) released the same year. Each song corresponds with a chapter in the book. There was a also a video for “Tattoos & Tequila” which begins with a blond, covered in tattoos, walking along the side of a pool. There is a quick shot of Vince chilling in a club; a big bottle of tequila is sitting in front of him. Judging from the look we are in either L.A. or Vegas. Cut to Vince screaming into a microphone and a young (relatively speaking) and intense band jamming in black and white. Back at the pool the blond comes out of the pool. Instead of handing her a towel, Neil hands her a glass of tequila. If we are counting “moves that only work in rock videos.” Back to Vince and the tattooed girl. Predictably, we find that they are in Vegas and they are walking into Vince Neil Ink, Neil’s tattoo parlor on the Vegas strip. Both get a new tattoo and leave in a Z.Z. Top like car to go party at presumably, Feelgoods Rock Bar (also owned by Vince Neil). Oh, Gene Simmons must be jealous of this cross-advertising. The video finishes up with Vince, a booth full of girls, and a lot of tequila.
Off stage trouble has followed Neil most of his life, the worst coming in 1984 when driving drunk with Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley and losing control of his car, killing Dingley and seriously injuring two others. Somehow Neil, despite being charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, only served 15 days in jail. Over the years Neil has been involved in countless assault cases and drinking/driving violations. Too many to list or even try to understand. (Apparently 15 days in jail didn’t fully rehabilitate Neil.)
In addition to his singing career, Neil (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RockStar Investment Group) has his hands in many other ventures including:
– Owner of Las Vegas tattoo parlor Vince Neil Ink
– Founder of Vince Vineyards, a winemaking venture that produced a 2004 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2003 Sonoma County Chardonnay
– Creator of the “Off The Strip Poker Tournament” in Las Vegas
– Neil has own brand of tequila called Tres Rios
– Neil opened Dr. Feelgood’s Bar and Grill in West Palm Beach; he has also opened locations in Miami Beach and Las Vegas
– Continued his reality TV career, appearing in ABC’s Dancing with The Stars
– Vince Neil ventured into the Gentlemen’s Club business, opening Deja Vu Presents: Vince Neil’s Girls Girls Girls in Las Vegas
– This year, Neil acquired part ownership of AFL football team, the Jacksonville Sharks
Since 1979 Vince Neil has been performing as a lead singer and my guess is he will continue long after Motley Crue wrap up their final tour. Neil has given a lot of ammunition to his critics and (also) my guess is he will continue to do so. Regardless, Neil has millions of fans and will always be the voice of Motley Crue and an aging rock star you can count on as the face of sleazy Las Vegas venues and events for many years to come.