Revisiting That Time Tommy Lee Injured Himself After Falling Off His Drum Kit
All of Mötley Crüe's tours have no doubt been eventful for drummer Tommy Lee, but the band's spring 1990 dates in support of their hugely popular Dr. Feelgood album ended up making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
On April 7, just a few days after being hauled down to the police station and fined for mooning a concert crowd in Georgia, Lee ended up making a different kind of post-show detour after the band's stop in New Haven, Ct. — only this time, he ended up at the hospital instead, with the band forced to end their show about halfway through their usual set list.
The Associated Press reported that Lee was hospitalized with a mild concussion — but was "alert, awake and in good spirits" — after falling off the kit at the end of his "flying drum solo" and hitting his head on the floor. A hospital spokesman, while admitting he wasn't exactly sure how it happened, told reporters the fall was "part of the routine," but that wasn't entirely true.
Watch Tommy Lee's 1989 Drum Solo
As the Chronological Crüe timeline details the incident, on most nights, Lee's solo ended with a spectacular but fairly uneventful bungee drop — but in New Haven, he was worried that the brake wouldn't be pulled in time, so he uncoupled himself in order to "reach his foot strap, turning him upside down." Thus inverted, Lee culminated his 20-foot fall with a painful head-first landing.
Fortunately, Lee didn't sustain any serious damage, and although he'd finish his next few solos with a far less death-defying version of the bungee drop, his injury was just part of the band's all-out approach to its music. "We don't just play rock 'n' roll, we live it," bassist Nikki Sixx is quoted as saying in the AP report. "We go on tour and get broken bones, diseases, the crowd leaves bloody. It's more like going to war."