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VINCE NEIL

Current Members

Past Members

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Biography

Singer Vince Neil (Vincent Neil Wharton) was born 8th February 1961 in Hollywood, California to Odie and Shirley Wharton. As a youngster, Vince relocated numerous time throughout Southern California, residing at times in Inglewood, Watts and the tough streets of Compton. He was discovered by Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee fronting a fledgling outfit dubbed ROCKANDI in 1980 and promptly inducted into the ranks of MÖTLEY CRÜE.Here he found global fame fronting one of America's biggest Rock exports for the albums 'Too Fast For Love' in 1981, 'Shout At The Devil' in 1983, 'Theatre Of Pain' in 1985, 'Girls, Girls, Girls' in 1987 and their biggest seller 'Dr. Feelgood' in 1989.

Vince Neil got his first taste of movie action in 1990, portraying the character of Bobby Black, singer for the fictional band BLACK PLAGUE in the film 'The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane'. His band mates on this ocassion comprised QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, OZZY OSBOURNE drummer Randy Castillo and former OZZY OSBOURNE, BILLY IDOL and BEGGARS AND THIEVES bassist Phil Soussan. The movie opened with Neil using a zip line to swoop into action at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, after which his character dies onstage.

Fired by MÖTLEY CRÜE in February 1992, vocalist Vince Neil almost immediately received a request from the Walt Disney company to create a song for their 'Encino Man' production, a comedy starring Pauly Shore and re-titled 'California Man' for European consumption. Collaborating with TOMMY SHAW and Jack Blades from DAMN YANKEES, the trio duly came up with 'You're Invited (But Your Friend Can't Come)'.

Putting together his post MÖTLEY CRÜE solo outfit, Neil finally settled on ex-ENUFF Z' NUFF drummer Vikki Foxx, bassist PHIL SOUSSAN. After having talked with the likes of RATT's WARREN DE MARTINI and WHITESNAKE's Adrian Vandenberg amongst others, erstwhile BILLY IDOL, ATOMIC PLAYBOYS and JERUSALEM SLIM guitarist Steve Stevens landed the job. Guitarist Dave Marshall also contributed. The resulting album, 1993's 'Exposed', charted high in America at number 13, undoubtedly due to the singer's profile and track record whilst fronting MÖTLEY CRÜE. However, the split had divided loyalties amongst MÖTLEY CRÜE fans as 'Exposed' failed to reach Gold sales status, as did the 'Mötley Crüe' album of 1994 seeing Neil replaced by John Corabi.

During 1992 Neil continued his involvement in the Indy Lights racing series, a step down from the fully fledged CART championship, as a driver and sponsor. In his first race in Long Beach Neil retired due to crashing on the third lap after trying to avoid a spinning car.

Stevens was long gone by the time of the second album and in his stead came ex-WILDSIDE man Brent Woods. Ex-NEW HAVEN bassist Robbie Crane was also drafted. 'Carved In Stone', produced by the Dust Brothers, was held back from release for many months due to Neil's daughter Skylar losing her battle against cancer shortly after recording had finished. The album eventually surfaced in 1995.

Unfortunately, touring resulted in Crane and Neil ending up in a fist fight. Needless to say the bass player lost his position with SLAUGHTER's Dana Strum a temporary replacement. Neil then, somewhat predictably, and despite those bitter words in the world's media upon his departure, returned to MÖTLEY CRÜE for their 1997 'Generation Swine' album. Needless to say, the blonde frontman's appearance making a noticable difference for the positive in MÖTLEY CRÜE's album sales. 'Generation Swine' peaked at no. 4 on the Billboard charts.

Subsequently, Crane worked with the former RATT and ARCADE vocalist Stephan Pearcy on his VERTEX project prior to joining RATT for their 1997 reformation tour of America. Foxx had joined BULLETBOYS by 2000.

Neil, now sporting somewhat of a Hawaiian beach bum image, assembled a fresh band for a headlining summer 2001 national jaunt dubbed the 'Voices Of Metal' tour backed up by STEPHEN PEARCY'S RATT, SLAUGHTER and BRITNY FOX. Alongside Neil and the loyal Brent Woods, band members included the UNION rhythm section of bassist Jamie Hunting and drummer Brent Fitz. Unfortunately, mid way through the dates, Hunting exited in acrimonious circumstances and was swiftly replaced by Neil's erstwhile colleague Phil Soussan. With the tour wrapped up, Soussan only having covered for three gigs, Hunting and Neil settled their differences in time for a September Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The singer was firmly back in the public eye in 2002 when he was cast as one of the celebrities on the reality television show 'The Surreal Life' alongside 'Beverley Hills 90210' actress Gabriele Carteris, rapper and preacher MC Hammer, 'Goonies' actor Corey Feldman, 'Survivor' contestant Jerri Manthey and 'Webster' star Emmanuel Lewis.

Neil's band would participate as co-headliners for an American summer 2002 package tour billed with TESLA, SKID ROW and JACKYL. SKID ROW and VINCE NEIL would also put in a short run of Canadian dates during June. With the tour underway it would be learned an arrest warrant had been issued for Neil for misdemeanor battery charges, the singer being accussed of punching and knocking to the ground a record producer outside a club in April.

The press would get worse for Neil as the media lapped up a story that the singer had stormed offstage at a solo gig at the Steamboat Springs in Colorado. According to initial reports Neil had cut the show short into the third number when the crowd did not sing along to one of his solo tracks although management claimed a missile had been thrown onstage. Vince's band for late 2002 included Jeff Blando of SLAUGHTER on guitar and IMPOTENT SEASNAKES man Alan Vine on bass. Neil's band joined POISON and SKID ROW for a summer arena tour of North America in May.

Back on the live circuit in 2004 Neil's band would at first see the NO LOVE LOST, KILLER DWARFS, BRAIN STEM BABIES, NEW POP EDEN, RHINO PARTY and BULLETBOYS credited Canadian guitarist Jason 'Hook' Grinstead in the ranks. However, JASON HOOK bowed out in mid May to join Popster Hilary Duff's backing band and craft his own solo EP 'Safety Dunces'. Drafted in his stead would be ADLER'S APPETITE man Keri Kelli, also a scene veteran of SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, RATT, WARRANT, PRETTY BOY FLOYD, L.A. GUNS and BULLETBOYS. A one off gig at the Altitude Club in Lake Tahoe on 3rd July though saw Neil backed by SAMMY HAGAR's former backing band THE WABORITAS.

In preparation for the much vaunted 2005 MÖTLEY CRÜE reunion the 43 year old Neil put himself through the unusual step of a full "extreme makevover" course to be aired on national MTV's 'The Remaking of Vince Neil', involving a fitness regime, lifestyle training and plastic surgery. Unfortunately, upfront of a 23rd July gig at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, the singer broke his leg in a car accident.

Although Neil would spend September collaborating with Nikki Sixx on new MÖTLEY CRÜE he would also cut a new solo track, entitled 'Promise Me', working together with producer Desmond Child. A promotional video for the track would be filmed during the singer's appearance at Playboy "old Playmates versus new Playmates" competition The Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on 3rd October. UK tour dates set for November was to see support coming from STARWOOD and Swedish Rockers M.ILL.ION. However, these gigs would be cancelled just days before commencement, then rescheduled for later that same month.

Neil's 2005 schedule would be focused on a gargantuan MÖTLEY CRÜE world tour, promoting the 'Red, White & Crue' album and stretching through until Australian dates in December. Despite all this activity, Neil made time to diversify into some unexpected areas, collaborating with the Hard Rock Hotel chain in a series of motorcycle cafes and launching his own wine label, Vince Vineyards of the Napa Valley. To launch the latter he put in a solo launch gig at the Pussycat Doll Lounge at Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada on 17th May.

VINCE NEIL band guitarist Brent Woods temped for WARRANT in September 2005. The following month found Keri Kelli touring with SKID ROW, filling in for Snake Sabo. Besides touring the USA extensively with MÖTLEY CRÜE throughout 2006, Vince Neil also conducted solo gigs. Another enterprise saw the singer's Las Vegas tattoo shop, the 2,200-square-foot 'Vince Neil Ink', opened on November 3rd.

Vince Neil announced Australian shows for March 2007. His touring band comprised SLAUGHTER guitarist Jeff Blando, SLAUGHTER bassist Dana Strum and drummer Will Hunt. However, these gigs would be cancelled. US shows were affected too, a management statement explaining "Vince Neil recently underwent some necessary medical procedures which forced him to postpone his March 10th Owensboro, Kentucky performance at the Executive Inn." That July the band appeared at a once in a lifetime gathering of 80s Rock acts dubbed 'Rocklahoma', a three-day outdoor festival held in Pryor, Oklahoma, sharing the billing with RATT, POISON, WARRANT, SLAUGHTER, QUIET RIOT, WINGER, DOKKEN, JACKYL, FASTER PUSSYCAT, ENUFF Z'NUFF, STEELHEART, 36 INCHES, Y&T, FIREHOUSE, BULLETBOYS, BANG TANGO and GREAT WHITE.

On 19th January 2008 Neil celebrated the opening of his club 'Dr. Feelgoods' with a live show on West Beach, Florida. His live band involved Jeff Blando, Dana Strum and drummer Zoltan Chaney. Neil was back fronting MÖTLEY CRÜE in 2008 for their 'Saints Of Los Angeles' album and world tour.

Following a MÖTLEY CRÜE performance in Las Vegas as part of their 'Crüe Fest 2' tour on 1st August 2009, Vince Neil made an unannounced appearance at his recently opened Las Vegas location of his bar and grill, 'Feelgoods'. He once once again backed by Dana Strum on bass, and Jeff Blando on guitar and Zoltan Chaney on drums.

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