John 5 Recounts Near Misses Flying With Motley Crue
“I hate flying and I really despise private planes,” John 5 admitted during an appearance on the Kenny Aronoff Sessions podcast. “And Motley … everything they do is in a private plane.”
The guitarist then recounted a pair of close calls during Motley Crue’s recent world tour.
“We’re in South America. And we’re on, you know, those massive 500-seaters like when you go to Europe. So it’s the band, Def Leppard and all the road crew. We’re all on this massive plane. It’s like the size of Rhode Island,” John 5 explained. According to the guitarist, most people on board didn’t seem to notice when the plane made a loud, unusual noise – but he did.
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“Well that doesn’t sound good,” John 5 thought to himself. “Then we take this turn. I’m like, ‘Well that’s not right. Why are we turning around?’”
The plane was having an issue with its landing gear and, as a result, had to circle for two hours dumping fuel.
“I’m freaking out,” John 5 admitted, adding that his bandmates were far less concerned. “Nikki [Sixx] is giving me a hard time. I’m dying.”
Once the fuel was fully emptied, the scene on board changed. “And so it’s really quiet now on the plane,” the guitarist recalled, which only made the moment more stressful. “I’m like, ‘Oh, my god.’”
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The plane was able to get its landing gear down and everyone on board departed safely, yet that wasn’t the end of the airborne incidents.
Things were eerily similar just a few weeks later when Motley Crue was in Europe. “We’re on this other private plane, and they don’t know if the landing gear is coming down,” John 5 recalled. “I'm like, ‘Again?’”
That plane made multiple approaches to land, only to have to pull up and continue circling. At this point, John 5 said he was “writing [his] will,” convinced that the worst was going to happen. Thankfully, the crisis was averted once more and the band continued their trek without further incidents.
John 5 Said He’s Cursed
Part of the reason for John 5’s in-flight fears can be traced to the guitarist's history.
“I always thought that I was cursed in a way because something great would happen in my career, and then something really tragic would happen in my life,” he revealed. “I would join a band and I would lose a family member. Or we would get a gold record and I would lose [someone close]. It was always success and then something would happen tragic. And it happened for a long time. I was like, ‘Whoa, this is really strange.’”
The guitarist noted that nothing tragic has happened since he joined Motley Crue, which is exactly why the plane crash scares were so frightening: “I [was] convinced this is my tragedy. This is terrible.”
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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening