The True Story Of Mötley Crüe Singer Vince Neil’s Car Crash That Caused The Death Of Nicholas Razzle Dingley
Mötley Crüe lead vocalist Vince Neil has an exceptional music career that spans over four decades including monumental albums with his band such as ‘Shout at the Devil,’ ‘Too Fast For Love,’ and ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ in addition to performing in sold-out arenas, and creating endless chart hits like ‘Looks That Kill,’ ‘Wild Side,’ and ‘Live Wire.’
As many of you know, Mötley Crüe was formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, and lead guitarist Mick Mars. The lead singer was discovered while performing with his band Rock Candy and the newly-formed band was looking for a lead vocalist. Being suggested by Tommy Lee who knows Vince Neil from high school, the band members were impressed by Neil after seeing him perform live which led him to join the band in 1981.
Despite having an exceptional music career for decades, there’s one unfortunate incident that stuck with Vince Neil when his drunk-driving caused a fellow musician’s life, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas ‘Razzle’ Dingley. While the tragic accident shocked everybody since Razzle who was 24 at the time and his band was on their way up with their music career, the unexpected car crash ended his dreams and also his band’s.
Mötley Crüe And Vince Neil Before The Crash
After releasing their debut album, ‘Too Fast For Love’ back on November 10, 1981, Mötley Crüe became rapidly successful in the United States, especially after playing at the US Festival in May 1983, along with the aid of the new medium of MTV. Their success only went up as the band’s second album, ‘Shout at the Devil,’ which was released in September 1983, represented the band’s mainstream breakthrough and would eventually be certified 4x platinum.
Just as expected, it was inevitable for the band members to start struggling with addictions soon after the newly achieved fame and success. Even before their breakthrough, Mötley Crüe members’ seemingly endless abuse of alcohol and drugs helped them during the creation of their debut album reportedly.
The Night When Razzle Passed Away
While alcohol and drug abuse isn’t something uncommon among plenty of rock stars back then, it often only affects delays for rehearsals, live performances, and even maybe for recordings. However, everything turned black when the flourishing lead vocalist Vince Neil’s alcohol addiction caused somebody’s life.
It was when Hanoi Rocks was on their second American tour in late 1984 and the band members including drummer Nicholas ‘Razzle’ Dingley visited Neil’s home and spent the day in Redondo Beach. After partying for countless hours, Neil and Razzle decided to visit a local liquor store for more alcohol.
That’s when things took a turn since the lead vocalist was already very drunk, therefore, he lost control of the car on the way back from the store and hit another vehicle. While the two occupants of the other car were seriously injured and suffered brain damage, Dingley wasn’t that lucky since despite being rushed to the hospital, he passed away instantly in the collision at the age of 24, on December 8, 1984.
Mötley Crüe And The Aftermath Of The Car Crash
Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol as a conclusion of the devastating crash and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years’ probation in September 1985. In addition to this, Neil was required to pay $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash and undergo 200 hours of community service. Despite being sentenced to only 30 days, to begin with, Neil was paroled after serving 15 days in jail for good behavior.
Following the horrible incident, Mötley Crüe released its third studio album, ‘Theatre of Pain’ in June 1985 and dedicated it to Dingley’s honor. The album started a new glam metal phase in the band’s style and it was commercially successful, reaching number 6 on the Billboard album charts, eventually being certified quadruple platinum.
However, the recording of the album was filled with tension in the wake of Neil’s accident and Sixx’s growing addiction, thus, despite having a commercially successful album, the band had hard times after the heartbreaking accident just as expected.