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Tommy Lee, on The Final Tour with Motley Crue

Throughout Motley Crue's touring history (which began in 1987), drummer Tommy Lee has used several memorable gimmicks in his drum solos. Among his stunts during Motley Crue concerts were amazing feats like having his entire drum kit revolving and spinning, or having the entire kit float above the crowd while he continued to play.

Tommy Lee's amazing drum career, spanning three decades
Tommy Lee's amazing drum career, spanning three decades
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Tommy Lee on Cruecifly
Google images

Tommy was also legendary for mooning the crowd at nearly every show. This band has always been famous for their decadent behavior and excessive alcohol and drug use. The party lifestyle of Motley Crue is detailed explicitly in the books "The Dirt", and Nikki Sixx's "Heroin Diaries".

Somehow, despite all of the wild partying, drugs, and alcohol, Lee has done quite well for himself. Celebrity Net Worth compiled "salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements", and reported Tommy Lee's net worth at over $70 million dollars, making him one of the "richest drummers in the world".

In the beginning . . . . Tommy Lee, in a recent interview with Randi Rico, explained that his "evolution" first began in the 80's, when he noticed that during the drum solos, people would leave their seats, going to get a beer, going to the bathroom or whatever, instead of really appreciating what the drummer was actually doing, so he began to think of ways to show the crowd exactly what was going on with the drummer, and how important his role was in relation to the group as a whole. Tommy, no longer content with being hidden from the audience by the other band members, devised a way to tilt the drum set up at an angle so that people could actually see what he was doing back there. From that point, he continually strived to make his drum set more and more visible.

"Wild Side" was released on the 1987 album, "Girls, Girls, Girls". Nikki Sixx has described "Wild Side" as "more complex in comparison to some of the simpler songs on the album. The song's tempo is 118 beats per minute." This song did not have a guitar solo, there was a drum solo instead. "Wild Side" has been on the set list of every live concert since its release. On the 1987 tour Tommy Lee lived out "a dream he had", and played in a suspended, rotating drum cage over the crowd. Check out this original bootleg video of the spinning drum cage here.

When talking about the making of "Dr. Feelgood", Tommy has been quoted as saying, "I think you're just only as good as your last effort, and we would always try to outdo ourselves with the live show, outdo ourselves with a better record with better songs. You're always like, "It's gotta be better! It's gotta be better! Faster! Cooler!" So there's a lot of pressure."

Tommy has not gone unscathed performing his daring stunts during Motley Crue concerts. In 1990, Lee was injured while performing a rapelling stunt during a concert, falling 20 feet from a lighting rig. He was briefly hospitalized with a concussion. Tommy was hospitalized in 2005 when he suffered minor burns on his arms and face after being hit by sparks from a pyrotechnic stunt while he was swinging on a wire between drum sets suspended 30 feet above the stage during a Motley Crue concert in Casper, WY.

For Motley Crue's 2011 and 2012 tours, Tommy did something unbelievable - playing a drum set on a looping roller coaster! At every concert, one lucky fan was chosen to take a ride with him on his coaster during the concert. On these tours, Tommy used his Pearl Drums rollercoaster drum set. They were all mounted in place while doing his 360-degree drum solo in which he played his drums upside down.

Now, Motley Crue is on The Final Tour. The tour features a new drum rig for Tommy Lee that he has dubbed the "Crüecifly." The kit runs along and spins on a rollercoaster like track, pausing at times to hover over the audience. It's proven so dangerous that Lee had to issue a disclaimer on Twitter about why it has not been featured at some concert stops. "Want you to know certain venues cannot handle the Crüecifly!", he wrote. "It's not our fault their roof cannot hang the rig! It's massive!"

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the first major venue for The Final Tour, on the third song, “Primal Scream”, Tommy Lee broke the head on his kick drum, so Mick Mars attempted to fill the void with a guitar solo. After five minutes of Jimi Hendrix, Mars passed the ball to Vince, who took the mic, apologized, and told the crowd that it would be a few minutes before they were ready to play again. Later in the show, at the point when “On With the Show” was supposed to merge with “Too Fast for Love”, the band stopped playing suddenly. “He broke snearlomething again,” Vince said, refering to Tommy Lee. “The band forgot their own song”, bassist Nikki Sixx said. They restarted the song, Sixx visibly upset and off his game, and Neil looking confused. Then Mick Mars experienced problems with his monitors and guitars. There were some boos heard from the audience. Not a good start for The Final Tour. But regardless of the technical difficulties experienced in Grand Rapids, it was to be one of the more spectacular shows, even thought the crowd did not realize how special it was. This concert did have the complete track for Tommy's newest over the top extravaganza, his "Cruecifly". Many cities on the tour were not this lucky. Dallas was one of the venues with a shortened version of the coaster track. But, we had it much better than Phoenix, where the whole rollercoaster was totally omitted from the concert, at a venue that is built nearly identical to Gexa. If that was the only show I got to see on the tour, I would have to feel a little disappointed.

The second stop on the tour, Milwaukee, also had some technical problems.There was an hour delay due to some difficulties in setting up Tommy's rollercoaster. To make matters worse, Vince's mic continuously faded in and out, and reportedly seemed to not work at all for much of the show. A huge amount of pyrotechnics distracted from the problems that were being experienced.

Considering the massive amount of technology involved, as well as the limited amount of time to set up in each city, it is understandable how it could take a few stops on the lengthy tour to get all of the problems ironed out. Despite any obstacles that might have been encountered, this is an unforgetable, once in a lifetime concert that will be talked about for years. Motley Crue is definitely going out in style.

During an interview with the Reno Gazette Journal in July, Tommy stated that he wanted every show on The Final Tour to be like a wake. "I always thought it was weird and cool, there's something very bizarre about going to a wake; I still find it so odd that after somebody's funeral, there's that thing where everybody gets together and has drinks and celebrates and parties. And you're like, 'This is f-ing weird.' But there's something real cool about it too, because everybody's celebrating a life and death simultaneously, the beginning of something new and the end of something old. So I think we've figured out that's how we want this to play out, much like a happy funeral, a celebration."

If you missed out on this celebration when it was in Dallas. all is not lost - Motley Crue will perform in Oklahoma City on October 10, The Woodlands October 11, and Bossier City on October 12. The Crue's final performance together is scheduled to be November 22 in Spokane, WA. Tickets for all upcoming concerts can be purchased on their website here.

Alice Cooper is the opening act throughout the complete tour. You can see the set list Alice Cooper is using on this tour in my article, "A sneak peek at the Motley Crue / Alice Cooper concert".

Motley Crue's set list for The Final Tour is shown below:

1. Saints of Los Angeles

2. Wild Side

3. Primal Scream

4. Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)

5. Looks That Kill

6. On With the Show

7. Too Fast for Love

8. Smokin' in the Boys' Room (Brownsville Station cover)

9. Without You

10. Mutherfucker of the Year

11. Anarchy in the U.K. (Sex Pistols cover)

12. Dr. Feelgood

13. Shout at the Devil

14. Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

15. Drum Solo

16. Guitar Solo

17. Live Wire

18. Too Young to Fall in Love

19. Girls, Girls, Girls

20. Kickstart My Heart

21. Home Sweet Home

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