MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee recently spoke to freelance writer Steve Knopper of Newsday about the group's "Red, White, and Crüe 2005...Better Live Than Dead" tour, which hits New York City's Madison Square Garden Thursday night (March 3).
"My hands are actually disgusting — blood blisters and calluses and they're tore up. They're actually quite frightening. They look like ditchdigger hands or something," said Lee, 42, drumming in the CRÜE's first tour in six years. "The first few shows, I was like, 'Are we almost done yet? I'm about to die.'"
Although Lee at first resisted a MÖTLEY CRÜE reunion tour — he and singer Vince Neil aren't exactly the best of friends — he has said the money would be nice for his children. So he found himself rehearsing for the first time in years with bassist Nikki Sixx and guitarist Mick Mars in early December.
"We just kind of got in the room and started jamming and goofing around," he recalled. "Some songs seemed like only six days had passed, and others sounded like six years."
In the process, Lee, Sixx and Mars reminded themselves that they once were a killer rhythm section — even if their outlandish personal behavior has always received far more attention than their musical accomplishments.
"Sometimes all the hoopla overshadows a lot of the cool musical stuff, which is OK with me. I know what we do," Lee said. "It's never really quite about a great record you made. It's about a lifestyle or how many chicks were backstage. It's a little frustrating, but whatever."