A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

What’s A Few Million?

I came across an interview from Vince Neil in Faces USA 1993. Post Crue departure, Vince was the man, the centre of attention. Here are some sections in italics.

Faces: It was announced in late 1992, that you were suing Motley Crue for 25 percent of future profits. Why did you instigate this action?

Vince: they’re trying to keep money that is owned to me. I was in the band from the very beginning, and you can’t kick somebody out of something and say ‘goodbye I’ll see you later’. I helped build up the name Motley Crue to sign the $30 million deal, so it was kind of a slap in the face. All I really want is my fair share. Nothing less, nothing more. They’re saying, “No! No! You can’t have anything because you’re not in the band anymore.” So it’s time for the lawyers to decide. It’s like they tried to throw me out on the streets. I’ve got a family to support.

Faces: What surprised you the most about the reception you received upon your departure from Motley Crue?

Vince: How quickly I was accepted. A lot of the labels had faith in me. I had a lot of different labels that were interested. It was a really exciting process, walking in there and talking with the different companies, like the heads of Geffen and Giant and Epic.

All these corporate presidents were like “Come on, come and be with us.”

I sat in with Mo Ostin at Warner Brothers and all these dudes and I felt so much power in the room. When I made the deal, went “Okay, give me the money I want and a Warner Bros jacket with Bugs Bunny on it and I will sign the deal.”

I went with a Warner Brothers basically because they gave me the money I wanted and the security of being on the Warner’s label.

Faces: Can you tell us what the deal was?

Vince: Eighteen million dollars for 5 records.

Think about the sums.

Motley Crue signed a 5 album deal with Elektra worth $35 million and the singer who wasn’t even the main songwriter then goes and signs a solo deal with Warner Bros for $18 million and 5 albums. It goes to show the value the record label boss Mo Ostin attached to Vince Neil as a marketable product.

And to be honest, the “Exposed” album is a great slab of hard rock during a time when hard rock albums started to disappear from the record store shelves.

But in music, these long term deals very rarely are seen to the end. Two years later in 1995, Vince was no longer accepted, and he had no record deal and no management after “Carved In Stone” disappointed commercially.

The person who signed him, Mo Ostin left Warner Bros in 1994, so it’s safe to say the new team, didn’t really like some of the signings that the old team did.

Even Motley Crue didn’t see the end of their Elektra deal. The people who negotiated the Motley deal in 1992, were no longer at Elektra by 1995 and the new Elektra management team didn’t really care for Motley. All they cared about was the bottom line and Nikki Sixx constantly called out current Elektra boss, Sylvia Rhodes at the groups concerts, even calling her from the stage, so the crowd could tell her to fuck off.

So what’s a few million when bands make the labels multi-millions.


One thought on “What’s A Few Million?

  1. Amazing just how much dough these companies tossed around back than.
    Look at the Aerosmith/ZZ Top deals as well….
    You are correct that Vince released a pretty decent debut..
    He opened on VH’S 93 Summer Tour that year so he was getting publicity and such and than two years later the wheels fell off

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