Tommy Lee, Hollywood, CA, on March 20, 2012
|Birth name||Thomas Lee Bass|
October 3, 1962 |
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock, glam metal, alternative metal, rap metal, electrohouse, progressive house|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, drummer, DJ|
|Instruments||Drums, piano, vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, turntables|
|Labels||Leathür, Elektra, MCA|
|Associated acts||Mötley Crüe, Methods of Mayhem, Rock Star Supernova, Fuel, Deadmau5, Sum 41, Jack's Mannequin, Rob Zombie, DJ Aero|
Remo Drum Heads
Schecter Guitar Research
Thomas Lee Bass (born October 3, 1962), best known as Tommy Lee, is an American musician and founding member of glam metal band Mötley Crüe. As well as being the band's long-term drummer, Lee founded rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem, and has pursued solo musical projects. He has been married to model Elaine Starchuk and actresses Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Television career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Album discography
- 6 Singles
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Lee was born on October 3, in Athens, Greece, as Thomas Lee Bass, the son of David Oliver Bass, a US Army serviceman partly of Welsh descent, and Vassiliki Papadimitriou, a 1957 Miss Greece contestant. His family moved to West Covina, California one year after his birth. He received his first drum when he was four and his first drum kit when he was a teenager. Lee has one younger sister, Athena Lee (Athena Michelle Bass, b. 1964), who was married to James Kottak, the drummer for the band Scorpions and she was also the drummer of his solo band KrunK.
As a teen he listened to Queen, Kiss, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest. After listening to Kiss, his main drum influence became Peter Criss. After transferring from South Hills High School (West Covina, California); he joined the marching band at Royal Oak High School (now Royal Oak Middle School) in Covina, California.
His first successful band Suite 19 played the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles during the late 1970s. At this time he met future bandmate, Nikki Sixx. Casually, Sixx was forming a theatrical band that would specialize in anthemic heavy metal, and was impressed by Lee's drumming. At this time, he changed his name to Tommy Lee and earned the nickname "T-bone" due to his 6′ 2½″ height and his skinny physique. Shortly afterward, guitarist Mick Mars joined the band. Tommy recommended a singer he had met while in high school, Vince Neil, who soon joined the group, and Mötley Crüe was formed.
Mötley Crüe quickly built a strong fan base and they released their debut album Too Fast for Love in 1981, on their own independent label (Leathür Records). Elektra Records decided to sign the band shortly thereafter, reissuing their debut in 1982. The band then began a string of hit releases throughout the decade—1983's Shout at the Devil, 1985's Theatre of Pain, 1987's Girls, Girls, Girls, and 1989's Dr. Feelgood—establishing the quartet as one of the biggest hard rock/metal bands of the '80s.
Lee used several memorable gimmicks during his drum solos at concerts, such as having his entire kit revolving and spinning, or having the entire kit float above the crowd while he continued to play. He was legendary for mooning the crowd at nearly every show. The band was known for their decadent behavior both on and offstage, often consuming excessive amounts of drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, pills and alcohol.
In 2004, Lee reunited with the original Mötley Crüe line-up to release the double-disc album of hits entitled Red, White & Crüe, which went quad platinum and launched a monumental reunion tour to support it, The Red, White & Crüe Tour 2005: Better Live Than Dead, the band's first in six years. They finished the year number 8 on the top concert money earners list. They played 81 shows and grossed $33 million US (Billboard Boxscore).
Tommy Lee came back once with Motley Crüe to go on the Crüe's Greatest Hits tour in 1999. With the popularity of rap metal, Lee formed a band called Methods of Mayhem. The band released a self-titled album the same year and toured in support of it. Although Lee distanced himself from Mötley Crüe after splitting, he agreed to take part in their 2001 autobiography, The Dirt. In addition to Mötley Crüe and Methods of Mayhem, Lee has made guest appearances on albums by other artists, such as Stuart Hamm, Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie. He also contributed a song, "Planet Boom" (originally on Mötley Crüe's Quaternary EP) to the soundtrack of then-wife Pamela Anderson's 1996 movie, Barb Wire, and produced an album for the pre-Goldfinger project from John Feldmann and Simon Williams, the Electric Love Hogs. Lee parted ways with Methods of Mayhem partner TiLo and began recording with members of Incubus. He then released his first solo album. The album, 2002's Never a Dull Moment, has tones of rap metal and electronica. The song "Blue" features guest vocalist Rodleen Getsic (the credits read: "Rolleen"). In August 2002, Tommy Lee and his solo band joined Ozzfest, mainstage. In 2006, he formed a new band called Rock Star Supernova with Jason Newsted (Voivod, ex-Metallica) and Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N' Roses).
The 2006 season of Rock Star selected Lukas Rossi as the lead singer for Supernova. Dilana, Magni Ásgeirsson, and Toby Rand with his own band Juke Kartel were the three runners up and accepted an offer to go on tour with Supernova. The self-titled debut album Rock Star Supernova was released on November 21, 2006.
Lee released his autobiography, Tommyland and his second solo album, Tommyland: The Ride in 2005. The CD featured as a soundtrack to the book and includes the singles, "Tryin to be Me", "Good Times" which was the theme song to his reality TV series Tommy Lee Goes to College and "Hello, Again" which features Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin. Tommy Lee was also a guest DJ at WXRK "K-Rock" in New York during the Fourth of July Monster Metal Meltdown in 2005.
In November 2007, it was announced by Nikki Sixx that Tommy Lee was no longer a member of Mötley Crüe. Lee reportedly quit after the rest of the band sued his manager, Carl Stubner, for forcing Tommy to take part in reality TV shows, thus forcing the cancellation of a lengthy leg of Crüe tourdates in 2006. Lee already quit once in 2007 in September before returning to the band. Vince Neil refuted the claims that Tommy Lee resigned from the band and that the band would be going into the studio in January to start recording their newest studio album. In the end, Tommy Lee did end up recording the new album, Saints of Los Angeles, and toured with Crüe in 2008 in their tour, Crüe Fest. Mötley Crüe is now on their Saints of Los Angeles Tour, which started on February 2, which includes Lee. This tour will be followed by Crüe Fest 2.
Tommy Lee's current artistic endeavors include touring as an electronic dance music DJ with his Methods Of Mayhem DJ/production partner, DJ Aero (birth name: Chester Deitz). As DJs, they are also known as Electro Mayhem and have clocked over 60 club dates as DJs throughout North America (with stops in the Bahamas and Central America) in 2007 alone, with more international dates planned for 2008 (including a stop in Iceland). Lee and Aero debuted as DJs on the mainstage at Ultra Music Festival during Winter Music Conference (WMC) in 2004. Lee and Aero have been DJing together since 2000, and they will again have a major presence at Miami's WMC in 2008. In 2009, Lee appeared in select cities with Sharam, one half of Grammy Award nominated and Grammy Award winning Deep Dish, accompanying Sharam live on the piano during his house DJ sets. Lee and DJ Aero also accompanied deadmau5 in his 2011 Meowington Hax tour.
In an interview held backstage at the 2009 Download Festival, Tommy Lee confirmed that he is currently working on his yet-to-be-named third solo album. It is expected to be released sometime in 2010. On June 27, 2010 Tommy played drums for Ludacris at the BET Awards 2010. On March 25, 2010, he co-presented the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) along with Roger Sanchez and DJ Rap.
In 2004, Lee briefly attended, but did not enroll in, the University of Nebraska for a few weeks in the fall of 2004, while filming a reality television show for NBC called Tommy Lee Goes to College. The show featured a "fish-out-of-water" premise as it followed Lee's effort to fit into the collegiate experience, including trying out for the marching band (as a drummer), taking courses in horticulture, chemistry, and literature, and receiving constant support from a sexy and smart tutor.
Lee was also one of the producers of the show. In spring 2008, Lee commenced filming another reality TV show with rapper Ludacris for Planet Green (Discovery Channel's 24-hour eco-friendly network) titled Battleground Earth. The show focuses on environmental challenges between Lee and Ludacris to raise awareness for green causes. The Planet Green shows aired through until September 2008.
Lee was married to Elaine Margaret Starchuk, model, married 24-Nov-1984 and divorced 1985.
In 1986, Lee married actress Heather Locklear, divorcing in August 1993.
In 1995 just 96 hours/four days after they met Lee married actress and Playboy Playmate Pamela Anderson. Together they have two sons, Brandon(June 5, 1996) and Dylan(December 29, 1997). They wed on a beach, with Anderson in a bikini. The couple divorced in 1998. Although divorced, the couple reunited briefly upon Lee's release from prison but eventually split again in 2001. They reconciled and split again in 2008.
In 2008 it was announced that Lee and Anderson were back together and living with each other and their children. In 2010, Tommy Lee began dating singer Sofia Toufa (also known as SOFI), best known for her collaboration with deadmau5, Sofi Needs a Ladder.
Lee and Anderson had videotaped their sexual activities while on vacation. The video was stolen in 1995 and released on the Internet, becoming a prime example of viral pornography. According to The Dirt, Tommy Lee says that he was having work done at his house, and a person (who, according to the book, was a former porn star) working at the house found the tape and sold it. Anderson sued the video distribution company, Internet Entertainment Group. Ultimately, the Lees entered into a confidential settlement agreement with IEG. Thereafter, the company began making the tape available to subscribers to its Web sites again, resulting in triple the normal traffic on the site.
Lee served four months in prison after pleading no contest to kicking Pamela Anderson while she was holding their son Dylan.
Lee faced a 1998 lawsuit when he allegedly exposed a right-facing Nazi swastika tattoo on his arm to public scrutiny (the tattoo was in fact a left-facing swastika). In 1996, Lee had pled no contest to criminal charges of battery against a Jewish photographer after Lee attacked the man outside the famous Viper Room, in L.A. When the photographer sued Lee, the swastika tattoo (which has since been removed) was said to be visible and Lee's lawyer argued it would inflame the jury and create unfair prejudice against Lee. Shortly after claiming that the introduction of the tattoo into the court record would produce prejudice, Lee denied its existence. Lee's attorney reported the swastika was a "stupid tattoo obtained several years ago".
In October 1999, Tommy Lee was arrested in North Carolina after instigating a riot during the 1997 concert at Greensboro Coliseum. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx allegedly made racist comments to a black security guard, suggesting that the crowd attack him. Sixx and Lee were said to have poured beer over the guard's head.
On June 16, 2001, four-year-old Daniel Karven-Veres drowned in Lee's swimming pool while attending a birthday party for Lee's 5-year-old son, Brandon. His parents, James Veres and Ursula Karven, sued Lee for negligence. Lee was cleared by a jury in April 2003.
Tommy Lee is a supporter of animal rights and PETA. In 2010, Lee sent a letter to Terry Prather, the president of SeaWorld, protesting the treatment of Tilikum the killer whale. Lee believed that the killer whale should be set free, but claimed that SeaWorld wouldn't do so, since Tilikum is the company's primary sperm donor. Lee wrote that he was appalled by SeaWorld's "sick and twisted" methods for obtaining Tilikum's sperm. Lee concluded that he wished to avoid further tragedies of trainers being killed, resulting from these "smart" animals' aversion to captivity. Tommy Lee, in 2013, sent a letter to Alberta premier Alison Redford requesting that she end the Calgary Stampede's chuckwagon races that have resulted in 50 horses, since 1986, being euthanized from injuries. Lee writing for his friends at PETA wrote, "There was a time when cowboys respected their horses instead of riding them to death just to show off for a crowd," to which the ministry responded that Lee's letter was worthwhile.
- 18x26 bass drum
- 6.5x14 snare
- 11x14 rack tom
- 16x16 floor tom
- 16x18 floor tom
Tommy uses the Pearl Tru-Trac drum heads, an electronic vibe with triggers. On the 2011 and 2012 tours, Tommy used his Pearl Drums rollercoaster drum set. They all are mounted in place while doing his 360 degree drum solo in which he plays drums upside down.
- Avedis Zildjian
- 14" Z Custom Splash
- 15" A Rock HiHats
- 15" A New Beat HiHats
- 18" Z Custom Projection Crash
- 19" Z Custom Medium Crash
- 20" A Custom Medium Crash
- 20" Z Custom Ride
- 9.5" Large Zil Bell
- 22" Oriental China Trash
- Pearl Demon Drive Double Bass Drum Pedals.
- 9500 Hi-Hat Stand.
- 9300 Snare Drum Stand (x2)
- 9900 Double Tom Stand.
- 9700 Cymbal Stand (x5)
- 9100 Drum Throne.
- Vic Firth (1980s-1990s)
- AHEAD Tommy Lee signature drum sticks, Silver Sleves. (2000–present)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2002||Never a Dull Moment
|2005||Tommyland: The Ride
- Too Fast for Love (1981) Platinum US US #40
- Shout at the Devil (1983) 4x Platinum US US #10
- Theatre of Pain (1985) 4x Platinum US US #6
- Girls, Girls, Girls (1987) 4x Platinum US US #2
- Dr. Feelgood (1989) 6x Platinum US US #1
- Decade of Decadence compilation (1991) 2x Platinum US US #2
- Mötley Crüe (1994) Gold US US #7
- Quaternary EP (1994)
- Generation Swine (1997) Gold US US #4
- Greatest Hits (1998) compilation Gold US US #20
- Supersonic and Demonic Relics compilation (1999)
- Live: Entertainment or Death live album (1999) US #133
- Millennium Collection (2003)
- Music To Crash Your Car To, Volume 1 box set (2003)
- Music To Crash Your Car To, Volume 2 box set (2004)
- Red, White & Crüe compilation (2005) Platinum US US #6
- Carnival of Sins Live, Vol. 1 live album (2006)
- Carnival of Sins Live, Vol. 2 live album (2006)
- Saints of Los Angeles (2008) Gold US US #4
- Mötley Crüe: Greatest Hits (2009)
Methods of Mayhem
Rock Star Supernova
- Rock Star Supernova (2006) US #101
- Rush Street (1991) - Richard Marx
- The Urge (1991) - Stuart Hamm
- The Downward Spiral (1994) - Nine Inch Nails
- Whore (1996) - Dalbello (drums on "Revenge of Sleeping Beauty" track; remark by Sergey Lavrov)
- Hellbilly Deluxe (1998) - Rob Zombie
- The Sinister Urge (2001) - Rob Zombie
- Everything in Transit (2005) - Jack's Mannequin
- Angels & Devils (2007) - Fuel
|2002||"Hold Me Down"||—||—||—||57||64||Never a Dull Moment|
|2005||"Tryin to Be Me"||—||—||—||—||—||Tommyland: The Ride|
- "Miss Greece in 1957". Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- "Biography for Tommy Lee (VI)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- "Electric Love Hogs In The Studio With Tommy Lee". Youtube. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- "Tommy Lee Goes to College soundtrack".2011
- "Tommy Lee to Appear on Californication". TVGuide.com.
- Wells, Melody S. (2008-06-13). "Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee Back Together Again, but mostly for the chlidren". People. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
- Elfman, Doug. (2011-07-13). "More dirt from the mouth of Lee". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- Pelline, Jeff (1997-12-01). "Pamela Lee drops video case". CNET News. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- The Sun-Herald (2002-06-24). "The trials of Tommy Lee". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- "Swastika tattoo controversy". Mtv.com. 1998-04-02. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "News - Lee denies tattoo of swastika". Mtv.com. 1998-04-06. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "News Lite : Judge Backs Jury In Spelling Case". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- Sorelle Saidman (September 7, 1999). Tommy Lee Gets Naked, Nikki Sixx Gets Arrested... Again. mtv.com. Accessed 2011-04-04.
- "Tommy Lee cleared in boy's drowning death". Courttv.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "E! Online". E! Online. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- Rodriguez, Jayson (2007-09-10). "MTV News". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "Kid Rock Cited for Misdemeanor Assault". Moono.com (UGO Networks). 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
- "Tommy Lee Explodes Over Whale Sperm". tmz.org. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- Kaufmann, Bill. "Drummer Tommy Lee urges stop to Calgary Stampede's chuckwagon races". torontosun.com. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tommy Lee|
- Tommy Lee – official site
- CrueTube – Mötley Crüe video site
- Tommy Lee discography at Discogs
- Tommy Lee at the Internet Movie Database
Interviews, and other material
- Battleground Earth on Planet Green – co-hosted by Tommy Lee
- Tommy Lee: The luckiest man alive? interview in Hustler Magazine
- Tommy Lee and DJ Aero Talk to CP – interview on Clubplanet
- Ink Not Mink – interview with Tommy Lee about his support of PETA