June 2, 2023
Phil Lewis feels Mötley Crüe "really f**ked up" when they went with John 5 and not Tracii Guns

Phil Lewis feels Mötley Crüe “really f**ked up” when they went with John 5 and not Tracii Guns

It seems many people have an opinion about Mötley Crüe‘s dispute with their former guitarist Mick Mars and the growing concerns / allegations that at least three of the band members (i.e. bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and singer Vince Neil) have partly or fully playing “live” to pre-recorded parts during the very successful Stadium Tour that occurred last summer.

It seems it is now the turn of L.A. Guns frontman Phil Lewis to express his displeasure with the band. The 66 year old singer didn’t hold back any punches during an interview with Thomas S. Orwat Jr. for Rock Interview Series while the former was promoting L.A. Guns‘ latest studio album Black Diamonds.

Photo by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

Lewis indicated (as transcribed by Sleaze Roxx): “It should be absolutely fucking free to go see a giant screen with a bunch of geezers miming to a track that they did in the studio. Now, that’s a great night out [sarcastically].” When Orwat kiddingly wondered whom Lewis was insinuating to, the singer replied: “Yeah, I wish I was insinuating [laughs]. Yeah, you know I always start our set. I say, ‘Hi boys and girls — We’re L.A. Guns. Unfortunately, our digital equipment is broken down and the laptop is on the fritz. Tonight, we’re going to have to play 100% live. I hope you’re going to be alright with that. Waaaaahhhh [Lewis imitating the crowd cheering] [laughs].”

Orwat then declared the Mötley Crüe thing [using pre-recorded tracks while playing “live”] as the worst kept secret in rock and roll to which Lewis added: “People don’t give a fuck. Do you think — they’re not going for the music Tom. You know, The Stadium Tour — none of that was about the music. It was about the communion, the get together, the nostalgia, the this and the that. It had fuck all to do with the music. And I honestly think most of these people wouldn’t really care. They care now because it’s snowballed into a big scandal but if you would have told them back then, ‘You know they’re miming right? It’s just a big screen with them miming in front of it.’ [The fans would have responded] ‘Hey yeah! It’s Mötley fucking Crüe! Have a beer!’ They don’t care.”

On whether it sucks for a band like L.A. Guns that play their asses off every night, Lewis responded: “Yeah, I wish that I could have canned vocals. I would love that. I would just be up there. I could do all the moves then and I could wear what I want. I wouldn’t be too hot. It would be just fantastic. Tracii [Guns] says, “No” [laughs].” Lewis added: “I wouldn’t mind it some nights [laughs]. After eight in a row, it would be like, ‘Oh well, yeah, I can see that.’ No! It’s incorrigible isn’t it? It really is. It’s such a swindle but you know, it’s probably a lot better. They probably sound like utter shit if they were live. And with the big stadium and the big lights, and Vince [Neil] singing in the way that we’ve come to know and love, they really are a fucking atrocious band. They always have been. The only good player — the only good one in the band — has been very unceremoniously dismissed and it’s, I never liked them. I never did. I never bought one of their records. I loathe Girls, Girls, Girls. I hated all of it.

I mean, occasionally, I caught the attention of Nikki and he doesn’t like me. I’m a sad little pumpkin, is what he thinks about me. I just find him to be a big fraud. You see, a millionaire — it’s a punishment of luxury, [he] became a millionaire at such an early age that they never really developed social skills. It’s like talking a bird out of a nest [laughs] when it’s not ready to fly. It won’t develop and I don’t think really that any of them — the three of them — aren’t really well socially developed. They’re not very good. Mick is a different category entirely because he was so much older before success. Success can be a punishment quite often and in their case, it must be just so painful right now having been idolized for so long and to be called out as frauds — essentially as an instrument holding Milli Vanilli — as a disgrace. They’ve got to be hurting real bad. And do they deserve… I don’t know. They made a lot of people happy. As I said, a lot of people couldn’t care less. They just want to go out there and have a good time, drink beer and be with their buddies. We’re just not that kind of a band. Anyways, that’s the end of my rant. I can see how it’s going to be interpreted and taken out of context but that’s [inaudible]. [When Orwat started speaking, Lewis interjected] No! Not by you! Definitely not by you.”

Orwat then asked Lewis if he would consider singing for Mötley Crüe if he was offered $50 million dollars. Lewis replied: “You know, I would never get that offer but they really fucked up when they went with John 5 and not Tracii Guns. And I am glad they did obviously but he is not the right fucking fit at all and Tracii would have been just so perfect. He’s like Mötley Crüe… He’s like Hollywood. He’s a brat. He’s a brat like them. He’s just like the next generation down. It would have been such an incredibly good fit but Tracii‘s not trendy. It’s got to be a fucking Rob Zombie‘s guy or it’s got to be Lenny Kravitz‘s wife or ex-girlfriend. You know, it’s got to be trendy. It’s got to be somebody tremendously important. And it gives them a sense of importance. And as I said, I’m glad. I’m glad they fucked up and they didn’t. They should have got Tracii. And would I take it? Hell yeah! I’ll take it! I’ll do it in a heartbeat [laughs]! All I’ve got to do is get on stage and mime and wiggle my ass whichever way I want. Yeah! 50 mil! C’mon, let’s go [laughs]!”

You can listen to the interview with Phil Lewis on the Rock Interview Series below:

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