The Day Vince Neil Bit Eddie Van Halen: ‘Good Job, A–holes!’
In 1984, Motley Crue were part of the Monsters of Rock tour alongside Van Halen and AC/DC. The timing coincided with what Crue drummer Tommy Lee referred to as a “crazy biting phase” for his band.
“Motley had this thing we would do if we really loved you: Some people high-five, other people hug. We would bite you,” the drummer explained to USA Today. One person who was not a fan of this love-bite habit: Eddie Van Halen.
“Vince [Neil] went over and just chomped on Eddie, and Eddie was so mad. He was like, ‘What the [expletive] is wrong with you?’" Lee recalled of the incident.
Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who said the band’s bites occasionally drew blood, admitted the strange custom nearly cost his band the tour. “I remember [manager] Doc [McGhee] came to us and he goes, ‘Good job, assholes, I think you’re getting thrown off the Van Halen tour,” he recalled in a 2019 interview with Eddie Trunk (as reported by Alternative Nation).
Part of the reason for Van Halen’s anger was the location where he was bitten. For whatever reason, Neil decided to sink his teeth into Van Halen's hand, a big no-no for the prodigious guitarist.
“Not Eddie’s hand, that is not a target!” Neil laughingly recalled.
“It turned into a huge fight,” McGhee confessed on the Talk Is Jericho podcast in 2015, revealing that he had to “apologize every day” for the Crue’s shenanigans.
Unsurprisingly, Motley Crue’s chomping antics were also poorly received from other bands. “I bit Malcolm Young, and he hated it, too,” Lee admitted. “We did that for a couple of years until we were either over it or realized it might be a little dangerous.”