15 Years Ago: Tommy Lee Goes Multimedia With ‘Tommyland’
For Tommy Lee, a gala 2004 reunion with Motley Crue was just the beginning of a busy period. His second solo album, Tommyland: The Ride, subsequently released independently on Aug. 9, 2005, would actually be part of a multi-media event.
Lee paired the record with both an autobiography, also titled Tommyland, and a new six-episode reality television series titled Tommy Lee Goes to College. The premise was that Lee had never attended school, since he'd hurtled to fame with Motley Crue at such a young age, so cameras would follow him around as an adult student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
"Good Times," a single from Tommyland: The Ride featuring guest Butch Walker, also served as the TV show's theme song – though it only reached No. 95. The album didn't fare much better, despite being loaded with star power.
In fact, Walker was joined on the Tommy Lee project by a string of other famous guests. Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses) and Sum 41's Deryck Whibley were also featured. "Tryin to Be Me" included contributions from Nickelback's Chad Kroeger while "Hello Again," another single from Tommyland: The Ride, featured Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate. Good Charlotte's Joel Madden was on "Tired." "Say Goodbye" even found Lee working with the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter.
Listen to Tommy Lee's 'Hello, Again'
Together, they created a musical stew featuring metal, rap and alternative influences, even if Tommyland: The Ride didn't go very far. The project ultimately stalled at No. 62 on the Billboard album charts, well back from the Top 40 finish Lee had earned for his solo debut, 2002's Never a Dull Moment. By 2006, Tommy Lee was back on the road with Motley Crue for the Route of All Evil Tour, with Aerosmith as their co-headliners.