John Corabi Recalls The Ultimatum That Led Him Leave Mötley Crüe

John Corabi recently joined an interview with Ultimate Guitar to discuss his ‘respected but not great’ time with Mötley Crüe, the major contract the act got with their record label, and how that particular deal had led to an ultimatum that forced Corabi to leave the band.

The singer’s relationship with his former bandmates hasn’t been the best, as the bitterness and feud between Corabi and the band has been no secret for all these years. The rocker had even previously speculated how Mick Mars, who recently retired from touring, was forced to leave as Mötley Crüe wasn’t pleased with his guitar riffs for a while.

So, we can understand better where this bitterness might come from as it seems like John Corabi’s decision to leave wasn’t necessarily voluntary; it was because of an ultimatum their record label put on the table. Corabi discussed that before he was recruited, Mötley Crüe’s label signed them into a $40 million worth contract.

However, the record company made the deal, thinking Vince Neil would be in the band. So, when Mötley Crüe announced that Neil would no longer be there, the executives weren’t pleased. After a while, upon seeing that the band didn’t have much success with Corabi, the label made an ultimatum that basically stated, ‘If there’s no Vince, then the contract is off the table.’

The rocker recalled his time with Mötley Crüe and discussed why he left the band in a nutshell:

“In short, Vince Neil returning. Basically, the record label was like, ‘This record isn’t selling well enough. We want Vince Neil band in the band. We’re not supporting anything until you get him back in the band.’

Because you gotta remember right before, like, I don’t know, six months, or seven months before I joined, Elektra had given them a massive contract. But they gave them that massive contract, thinking Vince Neil was the singer, not John Corabi.”

Corabi remarked how the record company wanted their money’s worth:

“So, the label just gave Mötley Crüe like 40 million dollars, and then they found out they’re gonna record a record without Vince Neil. Tommy [Lee], Mick [Mars], and Nikki [Sixx] were just like, ‘Oh, by the way, Vince is out, and John is in.’

So, we did a record, we did a tour, and while it was respectable, it was not great at all. It wasn’t at the level it was with Vince, and Elektra just said, ‘Okay, we’d let you do this one. We want our money’s worth. Give us Vince Neil, or you can go f*ck off.’ And so, Vince came back, and I was out of the band.”

Mötley Crüe’s label had given them nice checks thinking Vince Neil would record and tour with the band. However, when the band members announced Vince wouldn’t be with them anymore, the record company had doubts about the band’s new lineup without Neil. So, when the band commercially failed while John Corabi was fronting, the executives made an ultimatum to bring back Neil or lose the deal.