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