VINCE NEIL Was All 'In' When MÖTLEY CRÜE Canceled Its Retirement In Order To Do 'The Stadium Tour': 'I Thought It'd Be Fun'

January 20, 2024

Vince Neil says that he immediately embraced the idea of MÖTLEY CRÜE canceling its retirement to headline a U.S. stadium tour.

CRÜE fans who shelled out for the band's 2014/2015 "farewell" tour were led to believe that the group would never return after playing its final concert on December 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band touted the signing of a pre-tour "cessation of touring" agreement as cementing the fact it truly was the end of CRÜE's life on the road.

During an appearance on yesterday's (Friday, January 19) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Neil was asked how he felt about coming out of retirement and playing shows again as part of the CRÜE's 2022 summer stadium tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON. The 62-year-old singer responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We sat around for — what? — five years without doing anything. I was always [doing shows] with my solo band, but I thought it'd be fun. I was in. They said, 'We're gonna get together and do some stadiums.' And I was, like, 'Okay, that sounds pretty cool.' 'The Stadium Tour' got us out to more people, so it was a lot of fun."

When "The Stadium Tour" was first announced in December 2019, CRÜE said the Netflix biopic "The Dirt", about the band's formative years, sparked a renewed interest from younger fans who wanted to see them live. Asked if he felt that it was inevitable that MÖTLEY would start up again, given the success of the movie, Vince said: "I didn't even think about it. I didn't even think about MÖTLEY at all. I thought the movie was great, and a lot of people liked it. And I guess it was inevitable. Because you get so many fans watching the movies, and at stadiums you can tell, because there's kids with their dads and their grandpas — a young kid, like six, seven, eight years old, to 68 years old. It's a lot of fun. It's good to see those little kids out there doing the devil horns and stuff."

Vince's MÖTLEY CRÜE bandmate  Tommy Lee reflected on the band's decision to cancel its retirement during a June 2020 appearance on SiriusXM's Debatable. At the time, the drummer said: "[As far as we were concerned] that was it. 2016 — I'll never forget it. I think it was New Year's Eve. Staples Center [in] L.A. That was it. We all said goodbye. That was the dopest 32, 33 years of our lives. We're out. This is the best way ever to go out — on top. Mic drop, boom, see ya. We're out. And that was it. We're done. We didn't really speak to each other for probably a year. Everybody just went and did their own thing. And here it is four years later, [concert promoter] Live Nation asked us if we'd like to do a stadium tour, and all of us were, like, 'Ehhh…' And then we thought about it for a minute. We were, like, that is the one thing that this band has never done. Yeah, we played stadiums on festivals all over the place, but our own stadium tour? We were, like, 'Hold on. Let us think about this. Okay.'"

Lee also said the success of "The Dirt" movie was the biggest catalyst in getting him and his bandmates to reunite.

"The movie … really [inspired] a whole new generation of kids that are probably… I know, 'cause I've talked to many of them; I stay in touch with a lot of fans, and they're, like, 'Dude, is that really what it was like in the '80s when you guys were around?'" Tommy told Debatable. "And I'm, like, 'That's exactly what it was like.' They're, like, 'Oh my God.' That newer generation feels like they missed out, and they did, because shit isn't like that anymore, man. It was a free-for-all back then — anything went. And I think they wanna be a part of it and see it and witness it. So, yeah, there's this whole generation of kids that that movie has brought into the fold now that are super pumped to come and see what we do, come to see that life that we lived. And [they] probably can't believe we're all still alive. [They're] going, like, 'These guys are still doing this shit. What are they, cockroaches? You can't kill these motherfuckers.'"

In December 2019, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx said that he and his bandmates "missed each other" in the four years since they played their last show. He said: "Honestly, I don't think any of us thought, when we were on 'The Final Tour', we would ever get back together. We weren't really getting along at that point. We had been together 35 years, and it had been a lot of years on the road. I don't think we took a lot of time for ourselves off; we were just constantly touring for all that time. And when it came to the end, we broke the band up and everybody went their own ways. I think we really needed that break, and it was during the making of 'The Dirt' movie, we started working on the script, started being on the set, we started hanging out again together. And I think we really started to realize — without even talking about the music — how much we missed each other. And then that got us to go in the recording studio, which is where the whole thing always starts for all of us. And we wrote a bunch of new music, and had a blast in the studio. And then the movie took off. And our fans were super stoked, but we also got a new generation of people. And that kind of started the conversation. But it really was from the heart. We missed each other, to be honest with you, and we missed being in a band together."

"The Stadium Tour" was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus crisis.

Back in December 2021, Sixx said that the chance for the group to headline a U.S. stadium tour was the primary reason he and his bandmates decided to cancel their retirement. Speaking to the 98.3 CIFM radio station, Sixx said: "It was pretty interesting. We knocked it on the head because we felt like we had said everything we wanted to say. We felt that we were young enough where we had time left on the clock to do other stuff. And I think it ended in a really good way.

"We never intended on getting back together," he continued. "It was the movie [MÖTLEY CRÜE biopic 'The Dirt']… We always knew we were gonna do the movie. And then getting in a studio and making music was, like, 'That was fun.' I was, like, 'Yeah, we'll do some songs for the movie.' And we got the movie. 'It's been great.' High five. 'Tommy call me for sushi.' And it started — it just started rolling and rolling. Now there's, like, 83 or 84 million people who've seen the movie, and the phone calls started coming in from around the world.

"We owed it to ourselves to have that conversation, 'cause if three of us were, like, 'Let's go do it' and the fourth was not, that's what the contract was about," he explained. "We couldn't leave two guys behind and go out and have two versions of MÖTLEY CRÜE. So it was an exciting time, something to celebrate. And if there was any hem and hawing, it was around the idea of going and doing arenas. We've done arenas, we've done festivals. We just felt like it isn't gonna get any bigger than how we ended it. And then came the, 'No, no. They wanna do stadiums.' And we were, like, 'Ah, well, that's a little different conversation.' 'And DEF LEPPARD wants to do it with you. The whole thing.' So then it was us and DEF LEPPARD talking, and what do they see. We've played many shows together before, so it was fantastic. And then I think eight [shows] went on sale and sold out, eight more sold out, eight more sold out, and everyone was, like, 'This is gonna be a great run.' And I figured that was gonna be it. And then COVID came and knocked it on its heels, like everybody else, or a lot of people. And then we decided not to tour [in 2021] because we weren't comfortable enough yet personally, and maybe it wasn't the right thing for the fans, in our opinion, or for our crew. So during that time, we got to start talking more [about], 'What's Europe look like?' 'You know what? We love Japan. Wow. What a show in Japan.' MÖTLEY CRÜE and DEF LEPPARD. And those are huge shows in Australia."

Early last year, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded three new songs with legendary producer Bob Rock, including "Dogs Of War" and a cover of BEASTIE BOYS' "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)".

MÖTLEY CRÜE debuted its cover of "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)" during a "secret" June 30, 2023 club performance for 450 lucky fans at the Underworld in London, England.

MÖTLEY CRÜE's last studio album was 2008's "Saints Of Los Angeles", which was followed by a 2009 "Greatest Hits" compilation.

In 2018, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs for "The Dirt" movie, including the single "The Dirt (Est. 1981) (Feat. Machine Gun Kelly)", "Ride With The Devil", "Crash And Burn" and the band's own spin on Madonna's "Like A Virgin".

John 5 joined MÖTLEY CRÜE in the fall of 2022 as the replacement for the band's co-founding guitarist Mick Mars. Mick announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE in October 2022 as a result of worsening health issues.

Mars suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS),a chronic and inflammatory form of arthritis that mainly affects the spine and pelvis. After years of performing through the pain, he informed the other members of MÖTLEY CRÜE in the summer of 2022 that he could no longer tour with them but would still be open to recording new music or performing at residencies that did not require much travel.

When Mars announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE, he maintained that he would remain a member of the band, with John 5 taking his place on the road. However, the now-72-year-old musician filed a lawsuit against CRÜE in April 2023 in Los Angeles County's Superior Court claiming that, after his announcement, the rest of CRÜE tried to remove him as a significant stakeholder in the group's corporation and business holdings via a shareholders' meeting.

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