Scott Ian Recalls The ‘Most Rock-Star Moment’ He Has Ever Experienced With Tommy Lee
In an interview with Fred Minnick, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian looked back to a rare private jet trip with Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee, Slash, Ace Frehley, and Gilby Clark and revealed Lee’s insane request from the pilot which turned out to be one of the most rock-star moment he has ever seen.
During the interview, Scott Ian talked about the time he was invited to join a supergroup to play before KISS when they were being inducted into the ‘VH1 Rock Honors.’ The supergroup included Scott Ian, Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee, Slash, Ace Frehley, and Gilby Clark from Guns N’ Roses, and apparently, they all flew to Las Vegas on a private jet together.
According to Ian’s story, right after the take-off, Tommy Lee went to ask the pilot if he wanted to do some tricks and the pilot accepted to display a little show for the iconic musicians on air. Scott stated that after the pilot got the necessary permission from the air traffic control, he told them he was going to do a real steep climb, and then they would get to the top of the parabolic arch and go back down. Ian mentioned that this trick, which was called ‘vomit comet,’ made them feel weightless for maybe about five seconds.
Here is what Scott Ian stated about the time he ended up in a private jet with rock music icons:
“I’ve been in private planes a few times, and I’ve got a really quick story for you. This was in the late 2000s – I don’t remember specifically which year but VH1 used to do this thing called ‘The Rock Honors,’ and it was kind of their version of the Hall of Fame.
So they would have the bands that were getting inducted, and then they would have people play to pay tribute to the band that was being inducted. So when KISS was being inducted into the ‘VH1 Rock Honors,’ they put together a supergroup to play before KISS was going to play.
So it was me, and Rob Zombie, and Tommy Lee, and Slash, and Ace Frehley – which is really weird because we had Ace Frehley in the group that was paying tribute to KISS – and Gilby Clark from Guns N’ Roses. So when we were flying to Vegas because that’s where this whole thing was being shot, they flew us on a private jet.”
“And we get on this little jet at Van Nuys Airport, and Tommy, who’s obviously flown on private jets many times in his life – he immediately, as soon as we get up in the air, he says, ‘Hey, should we ask the pilot if he wants to do some tricks?’ And everyone’s just kind of like, ‘Uh, OK…?’
So he bangs on the little door and the pilot opens the door, and Tommy’s like, ‘Hey man, you think we could do some tricks like do the weightless thing, and whatever?’ And the pilot’s like, ‘Alright, let me call into air traffic control.’ Because he has to call in and let them know that we’re gonna go off the flight plan and go out over the desert so he could fuck around, basically.
And he gets the OK, so he’s like, ‘We’re going to do a real steep climb, and then when we get to the top of the parabolic arch and go back down, you’re going to feel weightless for maybe about five seconds.’ And I’ve known about this because they have that thing in Houston at NASA where they train the astronauts.
It’s called the ‘vomit comet’ because they take them up and everyone throws up. And I’m totally into this- at this point, I’m like, ‘Weightless? I’m in!‘ So he does it so all of a sudden – we’re climbing, and you’re thrown back in your seat, you’re going practically straight up, and you get to the top of this arch, and I didn’t take my seat belt off but I loosened it a whole bunch, and suddenly I’m floating in my seat, which is amazing!”
Furthermore, Scott stated that while he was sitting in his seat with his felt fastened, Tommy Lee was not even sitting down. Apparently, while the private jet was going up and down, Lee was still standing in the aisle holding his vodka-cranberry which he didn’t even spill a drop. Ian said that that behavior of Tommy was the most rock-star moment he has ever seen in his life.
Here’s what Scott Ian stated about Tommy Lee’s iconic rock star moment:
“Tommy Lee is not even sitting down, he’s in the aisle of the plane with a vodka-cranberry – he’s floating in midair, and he didn’t even spill his drink. I would go on record as saying it’s the most rock-star moment I have ever seen in my life! It was insane!
And then he starts yelling at the pilot, he’s like, ‘Let’s go upside down, let’s do a barrel roll!’ We did the weightless thing like four times and that was amazing, it was really cool! But I’m like, ‘Barrel roll? Yeah, I don’t know…’ And then the pilot said, ‘We can’t do that in this plane because a blah, blah, blah…” It was a bunch of technical jargon that I couldn’t repeat. So we couldn’t do it on that plane, and then we got back on our flight path, and we headed to Vegas.”
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