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Tommy Lee Has Learned It’s a Bad Idea to Drink and Drum

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Tommy Lee has learned the hard way that alcohol does not make him a better drummer.

Lee, speaking with the Drummer Magazine between dates on Mötley Crüe‘s Final Tour, admits he’s cut his pre-show intake in recent years after listening to one too many painful playbacks of himself performing in an inebriated state.

“Now, I do like a beer, maybe two before I go on stage so that I am nice and loose and relaxed,” he admitted. “I have done the opposite of that plenty of times in the past and had far too much, and this is not cool at all.”

The problem, he went on to explain, comes from leaving “loose and relaxed” territory and crossing into the type of sloppy performances that happen when you’re making mistakes while thinking, as Lee put it, you’re “kicking ass” — only to have those illusions cruelly dashed after you sober up. “You watch a piece of video the next day and you think, ‘Dude, you were absolutely not kicking ass, or anywhere near it!'”

Lee’s hedonistic past is just one part of the reputation for partying at all costs that has overshadowed Mötley Crüe’s music throughout the band’s career. Admitting that the popular focus on their bad behavior has made him “really frustrated” in the past, he insisted he’s made his peace with the likelihood that he and his bandmates will rarely be recognized for their musical contributions.

“When you start to get a little older, you realize that it’s not really that important,” he shrugged. “A lot of the time the antics that go on kinda take on a life of their own.”

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