SPIN DOC­TOR

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - IAIN SHED­DEN

THE never- end­ing saga of Amer­i­can rock band Mot­ley Crue has of­ten read like a comic book, al­beit one you can buy only from un­der the counter, but the latest de­vel­op­ments in­volv­ing the take- no- pris­on­ers glam- metal band and their drum­mer Tommy Lee’s man­age­ment is be­yond fan­tasy or in­deed pornog­ra­phy. For those who missed the story last week, the Crue are su­ing Lee’s man­ager Carl Stub­ner and Sanc­tu­ary Man­age­ment Group for more than $ US20 mil­lion be­cause, they claim, Lee’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in re­al­ity television show Tommy Lee Goes to Col­lege ‘‘ de­tracted from Lee’s im­age as a re­spected mu­si­cian’’. The suit, filed in the Los An­ge­les Su­pe­rior Court, claims fur­ther in­jury from Lee’s ap­pear­ances on an­other show, the must- see- if- you- only- haveFox- 8- and- there’s- noth­ing- on- Ra­dio- Na­tional Rock Star Su­per­nova, de­priv­ing the band of squil­lions of dol­lars in earn­ings be­cause in­stead of tour­ing and record­ing with the band, Lee was off get­ting paid else­where just for be­ing fa­mous. Hardly sur­pris­ingly, Lee’s man­age­ment has said ‘‘ ut­ter tosh’’ to all of this, cit­ing that it was do­ing only what it thought best for its client ( and thus what was best for its per­cent­age of his earn­ings). But let’s go back to that term ‘‘ re­spected mu­si­cian’’. It is true that Lee is a fine drum­mer, in­deed one of the best rock drum­mers of his gen­er­a­tion. He can even play up­side down ( and not just on the drums, if you look at the video ev­i­dence). But is that re­ally the point? Have mil­lions of peo­ple gone out and bought Mot­ley Crue al­bums dur­ing the past 20 years be­cause of their mu­si­cian­ship? Or is it be­cause they have writ­ten a few good tunes and backed them up with an im­age as the mean­est, dirt­i­est, drug­gi­est, drinki­est party dudes in the his­tory of the world? Me­thinks the lat­ter. It may be true that Lee, a high- school dropout, has tar­nished his rep­u­ta­tion by go­ing to the Univer­sity of Ne­braska- Lin­coln to learn chem­istry or au­di­tion for the col­lege march­ing band in front of the cam­eras, but it could hardly be dam­ag­ing to his rep­u­ta­tion as a mu­si­cian. Could it be that it’s be­cause, to bor­row from Aero­smith, the dude looked like a lady on telly com­pared with his rock- rebel im­age of old that his col­leagues are so en­raged? In­ci­den­tally, the univer­sity agreed to the film­ing of the show be­cause it thought it would be a good pub­lic re­la­tions ex­er­cise. Stub­ner may ex­pect a le­gal- look­ing let­ter from the uni ad­min­is­tra­tion some­time soon. SPEAK­ING of dis­torted re­al­ity, the man be­hind Amer­i­can Idol , Si­mon Fuller, has an­nounced the ref­or­ma­tion of his most fa­mous charges, the Spice Girls, for a world tour that will, no doubt, take in Aus­tralia. Each of the five girls will earn £ 10 mil­lion for their trou­ble. How much would they take to leave us out of their plans? I’ll start the ball rolling with 50 bucks.

spin­doc@ theaus­tralian. com. au

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tom Jel­lett

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