News Segment


November 3, 2004

Tommy Lee’s life is an open book – well, at least his sex life is. The former Motley Crue drummer goes into so much detail in some sections of his autobiography, “Tommyland” – about bedding porn stars, wooing Pam Anderson and making that famous videotape with her – that he hopes when people read it, those chapters will be closed once and for all.

“I’m laying it all out,” Lee said, “because I am tired of answering stupid questions. I don’t want to talk about the sex video anymore. It’s done, it’s documented, it’s in the book, check it out. That sounds a bit harsh, but you just have no idea what I have to go through, all the stupid questions I have to deal with on a daily basis. You would trip. It would make your head snap off. And the fact that I can still laugh about it tells you a lot about me, you know what I’m saying?”

In addition to describing the party-boy escapades, Lee opens up about the rough spots in his life, including his jail time for spousal abuse, the death of his father and the 2001 drowning of a 4-year-old boy in his Malibu, California, pool. Not that this openness came easily. Co-writer Anthony Bozza, who moved into Lee’s house, was charged with the responsibility of getting Lee to purge. “There were mornings he’d be like, ‘OK, dude, we have to talk about your father’s death today,’ ” Lee said. “And I’d be like, ‘No, I don’t want to,’ ‘I’m just not in the mood to do that,’ or ‘It’s hard for me.’ So, yeah, there are parts that were really not fun. But when somebody reads this book, I want them to close the last page and go, ‘Wow, I feel like I know that guy now.’ “

While Lee didn’t want to create a “fluffy autobiography” that was just sex and fun (although there’s plenty of that, considering he allows his penis to be a central character), he also didn’t want to write a conventional autobiography, either. Once he started working with Bozza, the two eliminated “generic stock chronological autobiography,” he said. “We’re like, let’s break some rules, let’s jump around, let’s keep it fun and refreshing, let’s start something new out there in bookland,” Lee said. “What a snore: ‘I was born in 1962 in Athens, Greece. By 2 months old, I had pots and pans and was banging on everything in the kitchen. I was making my parents crazy.’ It’s a drag.”

By doing it his way, Lee ended up fighting with his editor over some sections so much that he ended up including those conversations, making the editor himself a character in the book. “You would not believe the arguments we had with the publisher,” Lee said. ” ‘We can’t have Dr. Lee’s sex tips in chapter two.’ ‘No way, dude, this stays.’ At one point, it got a little juicy, but you know what? I called [our editor] and said, ‘Luke, by the way, you’re now an official character in the book. We think it’s hilarious, you trying to change my book and I’m not having it.’ And he goes, ‘Oh God.’ But once he was in there, I think he kind of liked it.”

Speaking of those sex tips, they’re probably the most quotable sections of the book. (Sample: threesomes bad, foursomes good; fat girls rule.) Lee also recounts his turn-ons and -offs (including the smell of gardenias, which reminds him of his mother) and the fetishes that dictate his taste in women, including the one that rules out any “collaboration” with Paris Hilton. “The first thing I do is check out a woman’s toes, and I could never go there,” he said of the hotel heiress. “She doesn’t have pretty feet.”

He did, however, collaborate in a musical manner with Hilton’s ex, Nick Carter, since the Backstreet Boy wanted to use Lee on his solo album. Once that album failed to materialize, Lee decided he might as well use the two tracks he wrote for Carter – one heavy, one mellow – for his own solo work. “I know people think this is really bizarre, and I don’t blame them,” Lee said. “But you’d be surprised. That guy’s a huge rock fan.”

Lee has also just laid down tracks with Butch Walker and Something Corporate’s Andrew McMahon for the album, due out early next year, on which he’s also hoping to work with Dave Grohl, Lenny Kravitz and Nikka Costa. “I just love to collaborate,” Lee said. “It’s going to be fun.” Would that openness to collaboration extend to his old band? That depends. “I did get together with Nikki [Sixx] and record a couple of tracks,” Lee said. “But as far as all four of us being in a room together and deciding to go on a tour, that’s just a rumor. We haven’t decided that yet. Mick [Mars] just got hip-replacement surgery; he’s been really ill for a while. So no, we haven’t been able to do that”.

That doesn’t mean he’ll rule it out, though. Since adding “author” to his list of accomplishments, Lee has a new mantra: to go where he hasn’t gone before.

“I’m going to be an astronaut next, I swear to God,” he said. “I got a list like you wouldn’t believe. I’m going to climb a pyramid in Egypt. I’m going to go to the moon. I’m just so into moving forward and doing everything I haven’t done yet.”

Jennifer Vineyard courtesy of VH1