Last week, producer Bob Rock shared some interesting remarks on the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast. During the discussion, he shared an anecdote about working with Nikki Sixx, bassist of MÖTLEY CRÜE, in the early days of the band, where Sixx questioned whether he had played on the band’s first four albums. In the new statement, Rock clarifies the context of those comments, attributing them to Sixx‘s self-deprecating humor.
Rock said: “He goes, ‘I don’t think I ever played on any of the MÖTLEY CRÜE records. I think somebody came in at night and replaced all my parts.’ He says, ‘So I don’t really know how to play bass.’ And I said, ‘Too bad. You’re playing bass on it.’ So I worked with him through Dr. Feelgood, did a lot of edits and made him play every note.
“But when we did The Dirt, I went to see him and we started working on the demos. He picked up the bass and started playing, and I said, ‘Woah, woah, woah. What’s going on here?’ He had been taking bass lessons for five years. All of a sudden he’s an amazing bass player. And I think that’s so cool, in that point of his career, he wanted to be better. You know what I mean? I admire that.”
Later on, Rock issued a statement to clarify his previous remarks, writing: “Yesterday on a podcast with Chris Jericho I told a story about working with Nikki Sixx and MÖTLEY CRÜE on the Dr. Feelgood record. Unfortunately, like many things on the Internet today, it was taken out of context and misconstrued. When I began working with MÖTLEY CRÜE on the Dr. Feelgood record, the band was sober for the first time and Nikki particularly was recovering from a very public addiction to heroin. We joked around a lot and Nikki, in his very self-deprecating style would say he didn’t even remember playing on their prior records. This was Nikki’s way of saying that for the record we were working on, he was showing up to do the best he possibly could and to make the best record of the band’s career. Which we did. At no time did I ever actually think Nikki didn’t play bass on MÖTLEY CRÜE’s records. He’s one of the most unique and talented players in the world and his approach to the instrument is part of what has made MÖTLEY CRÜE great throughout the years.
“Lastly, I was commenting on and commending Nikki because he never stops learning and never stops improving. I respect Nikki for always wanting to be better at his craft and it shows. I have worked with some of the biggest bands in the world and I can say unequivocally that Nikki Sixx is one of the most talented players, lyricists and songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And if the Internet wants to latch onto a story from one or two sound bytes, its extremely unfortunate because it doesn’t reflect the truth of the contributions he’s made to music over the last 40 years.
Now legendary drummer Carmine Appice has weighed in on the matter with a hilarious joke.
Appice joked that Carol Kaye, a renowned bassist who has played with the likes of THE BEACH BOYS and Frank Sinatra, was actually the one playing bass on MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s early records.
He wrote in a Facebook post, while sharing Metal Addicts’ article about Rock‘s previous remarks: “Nikki Sixx bass parts played by Carol Kaye. That’s the furthest musician you can get away from Motley Crue as far as looks.”
He later followed up with another post, writing: “Carol Kaye playing bass for Motley I just found out from my buddy Duane Baron who recorded many Motley songs said it’s a lie. I believe him. So I took it down. …”
While it’s clear that Appice‘s comment was made in jest, it still adds to the intrigue surrounding the band’s early years and the musicians who played on their albums.
Earlier this year, Appice made the news when he disclosed information shared by his friend and guitarist Mick Mars regarding alleged events that took place during last summer’s The Stadium Tour, which featured MÖTLEY CRÜE, DEF LEPPARD, POISON, JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS, and CLASSLESS ACT. Among the claims was that Nikki Sixx‘s bass parts were pre-recorded.
This led to a tense verbal exchange with Sixx, who responded via a tweet stating, “A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us.”
Fascinatingly, Mars later gained attention as he filed a lawsuit against the band, alleging widespread use of backing tracks during live performances and accusing bassist Nikki Sixx of manipulating him into thinking he had lost cognitive abilities and guitar skills.
In the lawsuit, Mick alleges that MÖTLEY CRÜE reduced his share of earnings from 25 percent to a mere 5 percent after revealing his decision to withdraw from touring. Additionally, he states that the group’s attorneys made him feel as if he should appreciate this minimal portion, as they believed they had no obligation to provide him with anything. Mick also asserts that a complete band gathering took place where they chose to “unilaterally” exclude him from MÖTLEY CRÜE.
Mick consistently alleged that bassist Nikki Sixx was “gaslighting” him by suggesting his guitar abilities were declining, even though Sixx didn’t “play a single note on bass” throughout a recent tour, as stated by the guitarist. Mick asserts that all of Nikki‘s segments were pre-recorded.