Andrew Daly of Ultimate Guitar spoke with legendary drummer Carmine Appice, the interview appears in its entirety below.

Ultimate Guitar: I know that you’re good friends with [Mötley Crüe guitarist] Mick Mars. What are your thoughts on his departure from Mötley Crüe?

Carmine Appice: Well, I tell you what I’ve been talking to Mick, and he told me, ‘When I was on the Stadium Tour, I was not happy.’ Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. And Mick is a pretty good player, and so, to not let him loose and play the way he wants, that was never going to work for him. The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with Mötley Crüe, and Mick didn’t like that everything was on tape. Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.

When you play in a stadium like that, you can hear a lot of things come through the monitors or what doesn’t. And with Vince’s vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and all the other stuff, it was obvious that it was all on tape. And Mick was pissed off and said, ‘I can play these things. I want to play them. I don’t want to make believe I’m playing them.’ So, I think that’s one of the reasons why he said, ‘I’m done.’ Sure, the disease that he has doesn’t help, and it doesn’t make life easy on tour, but Mick can play all the licks, and he was [not] allowed to.

Ultimate Guitar: So, Mick wasn’t getting along with the rest of the band?

Carmine Appice: No, he wasn’t. He had his own means of travel and would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere. He said, ‘Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.’ They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. Mick wasn’t interested in wasting time and money flying everywhere, so he traveled by bus. Their lifestyles are different than his, and so there were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done. They were supposed to have done their last tour, and then they came back. Then they did the Stadium Tour, and that was apparently supposed to be the last. So, when they came back again, he said, ‘You can do it. I’m not going out with you for this.’

Ultimate Guitar: What are your thoughts on John 5? Do you feel he’s a proper replacement?

Carmine Appice: He’s a good player. But if they’re on tape, it doesn’t matter. It’s sad because when Mötley Crüe first went out with Ozzy [Osbourne], they were smoking. I lived out in L.A., and I’d see them perform on the Strip; they’d walk in with their makeup, and they looked like the New York Dolls. A lot of people said, ‘They’ll never make it; that look is over.’ But a year later, they blew up and did it all themselves. They put their posters all over town, and they were selling out arenas quickly. Then they got a record deal with Tom Werman producing, and that’s when Ozzy caught wind of them and asked them to open for us. At that point, they were really good.

Ultimate Guitar: So, you were friendly with Mötley, then?

Carmine Appice: I got to be friends with them all, and I used to hang out with Tommy [Lee] and Nikki [Sixx] all the time. They lived around the corner from where I lived, and we’d go to breakfast all the time. And I used to go to Tommy’s house with him when he was with Heather [Locklear]; we were good friends, too. I had a red Ford Pantera, and that’s why Vince [Neil] got one, which is the car he crashed and killed the Hanoi Rocks drummer [Dana’s note: Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley] in.

So, yeah, I was good friends with all of them. I remember that when they did their second record, I lent them a bass drum of mine, which they used on the album. I went down to the studio while they were recording, and I realized that the bass sound that Tom Werman was getting was not that great, so I stepped in and lent them mine. In the end, it sounded great. I stayed in touch, but then, as they got bigger and bigger, things changed. But again, all of Tommy’s tricks that he does, a lot of that came from me. He credited me for that, and I respect him for it. He became a good drummer. I watched him grow, and I watched him get huge. So, it’s sad that we’re not in touch anymore.

17 Responses

  1. Interesting to hear this from Carmine about how Mick Mars allegedly feels about his band mates.. Just one of many drummer’s the man has influenced. Hope the best for Mick as he’s lives with his condition. The man can shred.

  2. The laziest band in our genre . It really is irritating these guys pretty much get a pass from using tracks .
    Eddie should be blowing these guys up but because they are “transparent” about it he doesn`t exploit them like he should in my opinion . Other bands see how the mighty crue gets a pass for using tapes and then they start using tapes it becomes the epidemic that Eddie forsees . I know they are your buddies Eddie but how much can you overlook ? Now Blackie admits to using tracks, wtf . Is it ok because he is transparent about it ? Hell no . The crue needs a beat down and I`m glad Carmine shared how Mick feels about tracks . How about an interview with John 5 and have a talk about his time with crue so far and how he feels about tracks ? That would be pretty interesting

    1. Ray,

      I sent your message to Eddie, and here is his reply (he gave me permission to post):

      “I addressed this on air. I have called out all these bands. But if they are being honest about what they do, and fans and promoters still book them, what else am I supposed to do?

      FANS have to put their foot down on this stuff or it will never change and get worse.”

      In other words, we have to vote with our wallets and not pay for lip synch theater.

    2. Thanks Dana .
      I listen pretty much every day and I did hear his response yesterday . It just really sucks that one of the biggest bands is guilty of using tracks and seemingly people have been turning a blind eye or didn’t know until recently.
      Since these guys are transparent about it lets see if we can get one of them to interview and ask them why they do it ? They have backup singers, the music isn’t difficult to play, so why use tracks ? That would be one of the best interviews of the year .

  3. Hearing that they had most everything on tracks, is just sickening to me, what a fraud My God, I was never a big fan. Now? I have zero respect for these fools. All, except for Mick, he couldn’t stand for it anymore and left.. good for him !

    1. This band is the most annoying out of all of them. I would not spend a penny to see these guys. In 2023 these guys are has beens. In their day they were the s–t. Now thats all they do is make fools out of themselves and the people who pay to see them.
      There are so many great bands that never lost it and continue to make great music! George Lynch with KMX. Accept and UDO. Armored Saint. Def leppard. Ace Frehley. Anthrax . I say no more artlcles on boring MC until new music.

    2. George,

      Now you have me wondering if they even used tracks back in the 80s, as well?? I saw them on their Girls. Girls, Girls tour, and from what I remindered they sounded pretty good, minus Vince, who I never thought has a great voice, to begin with, even on professional recordings.

  4. Mick Mars has been noticeably quiet since his retirement from touring with Motley Crue. Why? Is there an NDA in place about certain things?

    And I wish Mick would finish his solo album. From the teases I’ve heard, it sounds like it’s gonna be killer.

    1. I suspect it’s ‘cause Mick has more important things to do like enjoy his life as much as he can and that he’s not one to talk about the inter turmoil. The older generations pov of being a class-act, I suppose. Then again, it could be an NDA. It is cool that Carmine spoke on his behalf.

      What I know is that when I saw MC during their Girls Tour in Roanoke, Va they played very well. Three years later when Ii saw them on the Dr. Feelgood tour in Johnson City, TN they were using pre-taped drum solos for Tommy and left the stage after 6 songs. It was a soup-sandwich of shows and that’s the last time I saw the wrecked Crue.

    1. Dana, That is an interesting point that you brought up about if recording were used during supposedly live shows in the 80’s. During the 80’s most fans were not even thinking about that and that is a good question for Eddie. During The Shout at the Devil tour, they came to my area on the East coast at least 5 times and it did sound a lot like the record. The beginning of the song SATD set the stage for a whole show recorded. Maybe.
      Until there is a law suit against one of these bands it will continue. But our politicians are so lazy and the system is very broken.The people voted in accomplish close to nothing.
      One of my favorite shows during that 80’s time was Krokus! The raw energy brought from that Headhunter tour was incredibly!!

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