John Corabi Tackles His Motley Crue Detractors: ‘I Dare Anybody to F—ing Do Anything Different’
"There was a little exchange -- a verbal exchange -- between my manager and their manager," Corabi tells Jim Chinnici. "And he called me and he told me what was said, and I just said, 'You know what?! F-- that. I'm not anybody's doormat. And if this guy thinks that he can piss on me and walk away from it and I'll just lay there, it's not gonna happen.' So, I kind of pushed back."
Corabi joined Motley Crue in 1992 after Vince Neil had been fired. The resulting self-titled project debuted at a respectable No. 7 and went gold, but that represented a steep drop off from the previous 'Dr. Feelgood,' which had gone six-times platinum. Neil perhaps inevitably returned in 1997, leading to Corabi's ouster -- but only after they'd already begun work on the album that became 'Generation Swine.'
Corabi says he contributed to as much as 80 percent of the material on that troubled 1997 release, but received just two credits ('Flush' and 'Let Us Prey'). Legal action claiming breach of contract, fraud and slander followed, and Corabi went to the media with charges that Motley Crue stole both credit or royalties. "If you look at the record, I was like, okay, I know how much guitar I played, I know how many songs I co-wrote, and I know my voice when I hear it," Corabi says. "And I'm pretty sure there was a lot of my guitar parts, a lot of my vocals, and I felt like I didn't get as much credit as I should have for the songwriting, as well."
Today, Corabi says there are no hard feelings. In fact, he and Nikki Sixx worked together in the early 2000s under the Brides of Destruction banner. A tour in celebration of their 1994 collaboration followed more recently, with Corabi performing most of the 'Motley Crue' album on stage.
He also explains how a recent rumor about Aerosmith helped him understand why Motley Crue fans were so hard on him. When the story circulated that the legendary group -- one of his favorites -- were searching for someone to replace Steven Tyler, Corabi says his initial response was, "How can they f---ing do that? That's bulls---.'" And then, he made the connection to his own life. "This light bulb went off, and I'm, like, 'Oh, I kind of lived this before.' I get it. Now I know why they were pissed. But I had nothing to do with it. So don't be an a--hole to me. I wasn't the f---ing chick that came in and made the husband leave his wife. You know what I mean?! That whole Vince and Motley thing happened days and weeks before I ever got the phone call. I dare anybody to f--ing do anything different than I did," he says.