MÖTLEY CRÜE's TOMMY LEE On Hearing LED ZEPPELIN's 'Physical Graffiti' For First Time: 'It Freaked Me Out'

March 19, 2019

During an appearance on "Winyl", the podcast hosted by former Rolling Stone staff writer and New York Times bestselling author Anthony Bozza, MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee talked about hearing LED ZEPPELIN's "Physical Graffiti" album for the first time and how John Bonham influenced his drumming style in the early years.

"Music is so hard to explain sometimes, or the feeling that you get when you hear something is really difficult," Tommy said. "But I think that… I'm doing my best to explain it. It's like when something comes over your body and makes you just feel like, 'Woah! What is happening?' And it just engulfs your entire being, and you don't even know what's happening to you. It's almost like a musical rape. You know what I'm saying? [You're, like], 'I don't even know what is happening,' but it sucked me in and I was done. I was, like, "That guy is a fucking badass, and the band is amazing.' But the drumming, to me, was so spectacular. God, the feel was so cool. Such a big, heavy foot and the big grooves and all that stuff. Dude, it freaked me out, and it inspired me to be as good or better."

In a 1986 interview with Modern Drummer, Lee acknowledged Bonham as "a very big influence" on his playing. "I would say that he is just about my all-time hero when it comes to groove players," Tommy said. "He played very hard and very simple. I enjoy that more than listening to someone who is technically trained, and can do lots of weird timing and stuff like that. One day I would like to learn to do some of that, but it is completely uncalled for in the type of music I do. So the greatest influence on the way I play has definitely been John Bonham… But John Bonham didn't only influence me with his playing; it was the sound he used to get from those drums as well. Wow! I'm very sound conscious. I always used to use much heavier heads than I do now until I saw a video of John Bonham, and I said, 'Hey, that's how he gets that sound!' I think he was using white coated Ambassadors. They ring more and give you more of an ambient sound. The Bonham sound is a good direction for me to go in for the type of style that I play."

MÖTLEY CRÜE's Netflix film "The Dirt" launches with its soundtrack on March 22. The movie, which was helmed by "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" director Jeff Tremaine, was picked up by Netflix after being previously developed at Focus Features and before that at Paramount. The film's 18-song soundtrack, mastered by Grammy winner Dave Donnelly, features a collection of MÖTLEY CRÜE classics that meaningfully underscore significant moments that shape the movie. Exclusive to the film's soundtrack, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs, including the first single "The Dirt (Est. 1981) (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)" and a cover of Madonna's "Like A Virgin".

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