From the Archive: TOMMY LEE
I’m only moderately embarrassed to say I’ve been watching and enjoying Pam & Tommy on Disney+. The going was tough at first coz of the canoodlng and Tommy being an arsehole - threatening tradies with guns and beating up photographers. But as it goes on, you can see Tommy’s not too bad. Here’s the my interview I did with him in 2002, after he’d been to jail and gone to anger management classes. He was quite funny. And charming - almost to the point that I could see what Pamela saw in him.
THE photographer-bashing, wife-kicking, mascara-wearing Tommy Lee is on the phone.
That's right — the sometime musician, accidental porn star and spousal abuse felon, who wore "filthy" leather pants the first time he married Pam Anderson, and a space-suit the second — is apparently “standing by” ready to talk.
In the time it takes for the operator to connect us I do 10 push-ups to calm my nerves and brace myself for a surly bastard who only wants to talk about his new album. After all, it's been a difficult few weeks for the former Motley Crue drummer - what with Kid Rock asking for Pam's hand in marriage and her accepting.
But that's not all.
The former Baywatch star has also publicly accused Lee of giving her hepatitis C before telling a British magazine that Tommy’s fabled appendage was "middle of the road" when compared to that of "the Kid's".
It's enough to make your average metal hell-raiser boil over with rage. But not Tommy.
Tommy’s reconstructed. His anger management tutorials have kicked-in and he says he’s just happy "Pammy's been taken off my hands”.
"People always say, 'Tommy, are you going to kick The Kid's ass? Are you going to get that guy?',” he says.
"And I'm like, 'Dude, you don't understand, I want to hug him and thank him for taking her on.' He can now sit there and deal with her.
"I was actually quite bummed that they didn't get really intoxicated in Las Vegas and get married straight away. That was terrible. They should have done it."
Just quietly, the reason Lee has granted this interview is to promote his solo record, Never A Dull Moment - his second since Motley Crue split. He’s proud of the album, claiming it was made with his heart, not his head.
"I wanted to do something brand new and fresh," he says. "I wanted to try and create some good shit. You know, stuff I could never create in that band."
Lee often refers to Motley Crue as "that band" and says he’s glad it folded. He accuses his former band-mates of being lazy — "they were more interested in flying helicopters than making music" -- but remains proud of what "the Crue" achieved.
"With Motley Crue, we did it all," he says. "We came, we saw, we kicked butt. It was good that we went out with a bang rather than beat a dead horse.
"But, the last few years of being in that band had become unpleasant. Not just on a personal level but on a professional level, as well."
When Tommy Lee was a little boy, he assembled a deck of pots and pans in his room and would play them while listening to Led Zepplin and AC/DC. And when the neighbours complained about the noise, he resorted to air guitar.
Back then, Tommy dreamed of being the biggest rock star in the world. And, it’s only now, after jail, probation and marriage to "the second most famous woman in the world" - a melodramatic union that made Tom and Nicole's look geriatric - that Lee has come to understand the mantra: "Be careful what you wish for".
"I was speaking to a spiritual close friend of mine the other day and I was complaining about something - wishing for something," he says. "And he said, 'Tommy, careful what you wish for.' And I'm like, 'What are you talking about?'
"And he said, 'Just roll back time a little bit and think about when you were a kid jumping up and down on your bed, playing your air guitar and wishing you were a rock star. Look Tommy, it all came true. Be careful what you wish for.' I never really thought of that before."
Lee says he laughs at other musicians who have made millions and are tucked away in their Beverly Hills mansions unable to write. That’s a cross he’ll never have to bear.
"I never ever sit down when I'm writing music and think, 'Hmm, what am I going to write about.' he says. "There's plenty of material. The last 10 years for a start."
But today is a special day for the single father of two.
No barbs fired from Pam's publicist can affect him today because his probation has been served and he’s finally allowed to sip his first beer in three years.
"I'm so excited," he says. " All that shit is behind me now. I've just gone and said goodbye to my probation officer. If you want to talk about one happy guy named ‘Tommy’. There's a smile on my face like you wouldn't believe. The trauma is over."