Why Motley Crue Fired Vince Neil & Brought In John Carabi

Vince Neil of Motley Crue

Why Motley Crue Fired Vince Neil

Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories we take a look at the time Vince Neil was fired by Motley Crue in 1992 and eventually replaced by John Carabi. Check out the full story below!

After some time off, and a huge seismic shift in rock music with alternative rock dethroning hair metal, Motley Crue reassembled in February of 1992 to work on their follow up to Dr. Feelgood.

From the getgo singer Vince Neil wasn’t clicking with his bandmates and  On February 10, 1992 the band held a meeting to fire Neil. 3 days later the band released a statement claiming he’d left because his hobby of car racing had as they put it ‘become a priority in his life.’  Bassist Nikki Sixx would clarify the real reason Neil had left the band claiming that his drinking was taking it’s toll on the band saying. “Except for Mick, we were all slipping off the wagon, but Vince was the only one who was letting it affect his work,”. he was holding us back.”

And Neil would appear on Dennis Miller’s talk show and claim the whole incident was a shock to his as you can see here.

Man I don’t know how the hell you guys are going on without you. I dunno. Yeah it came as a complete shock to me and just happened a few days ago. Yeah just  actually two days after my birthday so it’s like happy birthday Vince. Jesus. Well hey that’s ok.  well i don’t understand now what the did you all come in at the same time so everybody has an equal vote is that what it is.  Yeah the way he had the band is that everybody had 25% input in everything and so 75% voted me out and i was the 25% see it’s weird for little kids across America to hear business considerations with Motley Crue cause you know They think that you and Tommy hang off the roofs at night. They are great guys and they had to do what they felt they had to do and um It seems risky to me though because really you seem like really interwoven with the fabric of the band. Do they have any idea of who they are going to replace you with? Not David Lee Roth for God’s sake. You never know. You never know  I heard they are auditioning people right now. Well see. I  don’t know. I don’t know.

A year later neil talked to the LA Times and shed some more light on why he left the band citing creative differences. Neil claimed he would’ve seen things through had he been given a chance, but he wasn’t.  revealing to the Times

“We had been rehearsing for a few months but we didn’t do any recording,” “It just wasn’t sounding good to me. I’m not a blues singer and Motley is a rock band – not a blues band. I think it’s a stupid idea that will alienate the fans. I would have tried the blues thing and tried to put my own spin on it, but I never got the chance.” The album is stupid. The keyboards you’re putting on the album make us sound like pussies.”

Following his departure Neil was offered a solo artist deal with elektra records, the same label that motley crue was signed too, but he wasn’t happy with the money they offered. At the end of the day Neil would sign a solo deal with Warner Brothers and Neil at one point claimed to be offered a chance to work with fellow musicians from other groups and that opportunity inspired his debut single for the 1992 film Encino Man titled, “You’re Invited But Your Friend Can’t Come ,”The track was co-written with Damn Yankees members Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw.

At the end of the day Neil would sign a solo deal with Warner brothers

He would go on to tell the LA Times about his new career change becoming a solo artist saying “This is like starting a new career – dealing with all those insecurities,” But I think I can deal with them.” He would also address motley crue’s statement about his departure stating “Despite what everybody heard, it had nothing to do with me choosing racing over music,” Neil said. “That was the announcement the band put out and that’s all some people ever heard.”

And Neil would assemble a band that include Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens and began work on his debut record, 1993’s Exposed, which had an impressive debut peaking at number 13 on the billboard album charts. To support the record Neil would open for Van Halen and Motley Crue seemed like a distant memory with Neil telling the LA Times “I haven’t talked to those guys since it happened,” I don’t really care if I talk to them again.”

The remaining members meanwhile of MOtley Crue would audition new singers including a rumored try out with Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach. The band would recruit  frontman John Corabi, who fronted the band Scream. With a new singer in tow they would hit the studio and the end result would be their self titled album coming out in 1994 which arrived half a decade since their last release. The album was the group’s first release since they signed a massive 25 million dollar deal with Elektra records.

With the musical landscaping having changed so much since Dr. Fellgood their self titled record failed to match sales expectations, only achieving gold status, which is selling under a million copies. The album disappointed al ot of the group’s longtime fans due to it’s heavier sound and the absence of Vince Neil.

Neil meanwhile would release his follow up record 1995’s . Carved in Stone, which failed to match the success of his debut solo album with the album bottoming out at No. 139 on the billboard charts. With Neil and The Crue unable to make match the success of their past, it was only a matter of time before the two parties reconnected. Vocalist John Corabi was also tired of the constant comparisons.

Eventually the hate seemed to subside in 1996, but the possibility of a reunion still seemed unlikely as Nikki Sixx would tell Kerrang magazine. “I’m not running around spitting on pictures of Vince Neil. I’m done being pissed off. He’s got to go on; we’ve got to go on. The fans too,” “I know if you’re into a band it means something to you, and until we have a quote-unquote ‘successful’ album like we had in the past, it will always be looked on that that lineup was better” he’d say

Sixx would also claim that following the disappointing performance of their self titled record the group was more motivated than ever to prove this new lineup was better than the old.

he’d claim “We’re obsessed with making this the most invigorating album Motley have ever done. If it’s gonna be about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, then let’s make it the ultimate in decadence! Or if it’s gonna be a love song, let’s break their hearts,” “This album is really extreme!” Now unfortunately Crue fans would never get to hear the band’s follow up with Carabi as Vince Neil would reunite with the band by 1997. The band’s longtime manager Allen Kovac knew the band stood a better chance of staying relevant and making more money if Neil was brought back into the fold so he hatched a plan with Neil’s manager Bert Stein to have the parties reconcile their differences. The resulting album would be 1997’s generation swine, which was widely panned by critics, while fairing a bit better on the charts peaking at number 4.The band however, would also run into legal trouble as former singer john carabi filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the band over unpaid royalties. He would allege that he wrote up to 80% of the material on the generation swine record but was only credited for two songs. He also alleged that he was in the band while neil was brought back into the fold.

So why did Motley Crue really reunite with Neil in 1997? Well Neil would reveal in an interview with Time Magazine in 2010 that for him it was a business decision to return ot the band saying

“We’re still family. We still, basically, love each other. It was a business decision for me,”. “When I was – depending on how you look at it – fired or I quit the band, I was a part of Motley Crue Inc. And I chose not to come back into that. I looked at myself as a free agent on a football team. I didn’t have to be worried about any corporate decisions. All I had to do was show up and sing” he’d say

While the band failed to match the commercial success of the 80’s with Neil’s return in the years that followed they were still a big draw on the touring scene. They were supposed ot hit the road one last time this past summer, but we all know why that never happened.