Tommy Lee’s shenanigans in the tabloids have at times eclipsed the dazzling drum-tastics that made him noteworthy in the first place. The ear-popping force with which he walloped his snare and dug into his double bass drums practically leaped out the speakers on Mötley Crüe’s 1983 commercial breakthrough, Shout At The Devil. The impact was amplified by his stick-twirling, stage-production extremes, like when he fell from the harness during a solo on his airborne kit on the Dr. Feelgood tour and had to be rushed to the hospital. But Lee’s one of those rock stars who bounces back no matter how many injures he sustains, drugs he does, or times he reunites with Pamela Anderson. Lee also saw the potential of acoustic drums in hip-hop, which he explored in rap-metal project, Methods Of Mayhem, but this is a footnote in a career filled with great, drummy albums. The golden age of Sunset Strip hair metal might be in the past, but Lee’s search for fat drum sound is more daring than ever. That 40" bass drum on his current tour isn’t just a prop, it helps the bass drum he’s playing behind it to resonate like a woofer.
“Go crazy or stay home. I’ve always prided myself on that. And who knows, hopefully one of these days, when it’s all said and done, somebody will put together a reel of all the crazy stuff I’ve done.” –DRUM!, February 2007
Gear DW drums and hardware, Zildjian cymbals, Ahead sticks, LP cowbell, Remo heads.
With Mötley Crüe (on Elektra): Too Fast For Love; Shout At The Devil; Theatre Of Pain; Girls, Girls, Girls; Dr. Feelgood. (On Motley/Beyond): Generation Swine.
Style Lee creates drum parts that just kick butt. His slamming intro to “Livewire” is a perfect example of this. The guitar riff is chugging along and Lee pounds accents on his snare and floor tom before launching into the double bass groove that drives like a freight train into the verse.