In 1984, Motley Crue was part of the Monsters of Rock tour with Van Halen and AC / DC. The timing coincided with what Crue drummer Tommy Lee described as a “crazy bite stage” for his band.
“Motley had this thing we would do if we really love you: Some people are high five, other people hug. We will hurt you,” the drummer explained to USA Today. Someone who is not a fan of this love bite habit: Eddie Van Halen.
“Vince [Neil] just went and chomped at Eddie, and Eddie was furious. He was like, ‘What is [expletive] is it wrong with you? ‘”Lee remembered the incident.
Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who says the band bites occasionally draws blood, admits the strange custom almost costs his band on tour. “I remember [manager] Doc [McGhee] came to us and he was going, ‘Good job, assholes, I think you are being thrown away from touring Van Halen,” he recalled in a 2019 interview with Eddie Trunk (as reported by Alternative Nation).
Part of the reason Van Halen was angry was the location where he was bitten. For whatever reason, Neil decided to soak his teeth in the hands of Van Halen, a big no-no for the amazing guitarist.
“Not Eddie’s hand, that’s not the target!” Neil laughed fondly.
“It turned out to be a big fight,” McGhee confessed Talk Is Jerico podcast in 2015, revealing that he had to “apologize every day” for Crue shenanigans.
Not surprisingly, Motley Crue’s chomping antics are also not well received from other bands. “I bit Malcolm Young, and he hated it too,” Lee admitted. “We did that for a few years until we finished it or realized it was a bit dangerous.”