Hanoi Rocks' Michael Monroe finally meets Vince Neil, 39 years after car crash that killed drummer Razzle: 'One of the most important moments of my life' (2024)

Four decades after the auto accident that ended Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle’s life — and ultimately ended that Finnish glam-rock band’s burgeoning career — Hanoi frontman Michael Monroe has seemingly made amends with Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, who was behind the wheel on that tragic night in 1984.

Over the weekend, Monroe and Neil came face-to-face for — surprisingly — the very first time, backstage at Finland's Rockfest 2023 festival. Monroe posted a candid photo of the emotional encounter on his Instagram account, calling it “one of the most important moments of my life.”

In the early ‘80s, Hanoi Rocks made a splash in in Europe with their first four glitter-metal albums (all now considered cult classics), and they seemed on the brink of mainstream success with the ‘84 release of their first major-label Stateside album, Two Steps From the Move, produced by Bob Ezrin of Lou Reed/Alice Cooper/KISS fame; they were also set to embark on their first U.S. tour. But on Dec. 8, 1984, Hanoi drummer Razzle (real name: Nicholas Dingley) went on a beer run with Neil during a party at Neil’s Redondo Beach home. Neil, whose blood alcohol content was well over the legal limit at 0.17, crashed his De Tomaso Pantera sportscar on the way back from the liquor store; two passengers in another automobile involved in the accident were seriously injured, and Razzle was killed instantly. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and received a light sentence of 30 days in jail (he actually served only 19 days) and five years’ probation. Mötley Crüe went on to even greater fame — their next album, Theatre of Pain, was actually dedicated to Dingley — but the tragedy spelled the end for Hanoi Rocks, who split up in 1985 after a brief overseas tour with former Clash drummer Terry Chimes filling in.

Hanoi Rocks' Michael Monroe finally meets Vince Neil, 39 years after car crash that killed drummer Razzle: 'One of the most important moments of my life' (1)

“We weren't strong enough to keep it together,” Monroe told Yahoo Entertainment last year while promoting his bittersweetly titled 11th solo album, I Live Too Fast to Die Young. “Maybe if we would've taken a break for half a year or a year, if we would've been in that position, it might have been able to salvage the situation. I mean, the situation was such that we were very likely to become one of the biggest bands in the world and all that. And Bob Ezrin also was looking forward to producing the next album; he felt the same about us as he did about Alice Cooper. We were looking at it as a long haul. But I didn't want people to get to know Hanoi in the wrong way, because it wasn't what it was originally. It wouldn't have been the same. So, what can you do? It was bad luck, but I don't look back at it like that. I'm just sorry I lost my best friend Razzle. We had a special chemistry.”

This week, Monroe, who was not present at Neil’s ill-fated party in ’84, captioned a shot of himself and a smiling Neil chatting backstage at Rockfest with: “One of the most important moments of my life was meeting Vince Neil for the first time last night. Razzle always wanted us to meet as he thought ‘us singers’ were a lot alike. Under different circ*mstances both bands probably would’ve ended up as good friends, but fate had other plans… Thank you for your time, Vince. We didn’t say much but your eyes told me more than 1000 words ever could. And your singing was great at the show. Nice to finally see you guys live!”

As of this writing, Neil has not publicly posted or commented about his meeting with Monroe, but Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx posted a photo from the same day of himself with the gracious Hanoi Rocks singer, writing: “What a wonderful surprise seeing Michael Monroe at the show tonight. Haven’t seen this fine gentleman for years with everybody’s personal life on top of careers and then living in different parts of the world. You're a class act Michael, and please bring your harmonica next time.” Monroe responded in Sixx’s comments: “It was truly wonderful to see you again, my friend. I had the greatest time and meeting you all meant the world to me. I will definitely bring my harmonica next time so we can do some rockin’ together! Love, respect and rock’n'roll!”

The original Hanoi Rocks lineup — Monroe, Andy McCoy, Sami Yaffa, Nasty Suicide, and pre-Razzle drummer Gyp Casino — reunited for a surprise eight-song set at Helsinki Ice Hall for Monroe’s 60th birthday last September. Monroe was in good spirits around that time, telling Yahoo Entertainment, “I've been through a lot of stuff, yes. Haven’t had the best of luck. But things could be worse. I'm still healthy. I'm alive. Every day healthy and above ground is a good day. I love doing music and making a living out of that. I don't need much to be happier, and money doesn't get you happiness.”

Read more on Yahoo Entertainment:

  • Michael Monroe on Hanoi Rocks' influence: 'Labels were looking for copycat bands — but they didn't realize they had the original'

  • Nikki Sixx talks recovery, sobriety, advocacy: ‘I’d rather be the guy that people don't think is cool than be the guy in a coffin’

  • Alice Cooper talks early-'80s 'blackout albums': 'The co*ke had done its damage'

  • Nikki Sixx talks memoir 'The First 21,' the sister he never knew, and learning to 'maybe have some empathy' for the father who abandoned him

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Hanoi Rocks' Michael Monroe finally meets Vince Neil, 39 years after car crash that killed drummer Razzle: 'One of the most important moments of my life' (2024)

FAQs

Hanoi Rocks' Michael Monroe finally meets Vince Neil, 39 years after car crash that killed drummer Razzle: 'One of the most important moments of my life'? ›

Over the weekend, Monroe and Neil came face-to-face for — surprisingly — the very first time, backstage at Finland's Rockfest 2023 festival. Monroe posted a candid photo of the emotional encounter on his Instagram account, calling it “one of the most important moments of my life.”

What happened to Razzle Hanoi Rocks? ›

On the way back, they crashed into another car. Razzle was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead at 7:12 p.m.; he had died instantly in the collision. Both occupants of the other car were seriously injured, sustaining brain damage as a result of the crash.

What car was Vince Neil driving when Razzle died? ›

Neil, whose blood alcohol content was well over the legal limit at 0.17, crashed his De Tomaso Pantera sportscar on the way back from the liquor store; two passengers in another automobile involved in the accident were seriously injured, and Razzle was killed instantly.

Who did Vince Neil have a baby with? ›

In April 1987, Neil married Sharise Ruddell, a mud wrestler and fashion model. The couple had one daughter, Skylar Lynnae Neil (March 26, 1991 – August 15, 1995), before divorcing in 1993.

Who is the drummer for Hanoi Rocks? ›

On this day in 1984, drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley of Hanoi Rocks dies in a drunk-driving accident in Redondo Beach, California. The 24-year-old drummer is the passenger in a car driven by Motley Crue's frontman, Vince Neil.

When did Hanoi Rocks end? ›

This line-up never performed live, and on 17 June 1985, Monroe officially left Hanoi Rocks, ending the band. At the same time, "Don't You Ever Leave Me" rose to number 6 on the Polish singles chart and Hanoi Rocks's popularity continued into the 1990s.

What happened to Nikki Sixx? ›

On December 23 1987, Nikki Sixx was pronounced dead for 2 minutes, after a heroin overdose. For the story behind this extreme event, read here: In 1987 the members of "Mötley Crüe" were on the roof of the world.

How many times did Vince Neil get married? ›

He was married four times to exes Beth Lynn, with whom he shares daughter Elizabeth Ashley Wharton; Sharise Ruddell, with whom he shares the late Skylar; Heidi Mark; and Lia Geradinir. In 2011, Neil began dating longtime girlfriend Rain Hannah.

Does Vince Neil have multiple wives? ›

So far, Neil has had three ex-wifes: Beth Lynn Neil, Sharise Ruddell, and Lia Gerardini. Furthermore, he has had numerous high-profile relationships; his ex-girlfriends list includes rock 'n' roll groupies like Tawny Kitaen and Lovey Graham.

Who was the rock drummer that lost his arm? ›

He wanted us to go in there and do it right." Millionaire rock drummer Rick Allen has had his left arm torn off in an horrific car crash. But doctors stitched it back in a miracle of micro surgery.

How many records has Hanoi Rocks sold? ›

This is a complete discography of the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks. The band have released eight studio albums throughout their career and sold approximately 1 million records worldwide.

How did Hanoi Rocks get their name? ›

Hanoi Rocks – From "Hanoi rock", a type of pink heroin produced in Hanoi. The name was invented by Andy McCoy as an allusion to the Johnny Thunders/The Ramones song Chinese Rocks as "Chinese rock" is a type of white heroin that can be further refined into "Hanoi rock".

What was razzles cause of death? ›

Razzle, whose real name was Nicholas Dingley, died in a car accident in late 1984, in which Neil had been operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The Crue singer was charged with vehicular manslaughter and a DUI, and spent 15 days in jail before he was let out on parole for good behavior.

Did Vince from Mötley Crüe lose his daughter? ›

Skylar was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor, a kidney cancer affecting children, according to an article Neil wrote for People. After six operations, chemotherapy and radiation, she died on Aug. 15, 1995. “This ordeal is something no parent should have to go through,” the then-34-year-old heavy metal singer wrote.

How old was Mick when he joined Mötley Crüe? ›

They formed in 1981 so singer Vince Neil was 2o, basest Nikki Sixx was 23, Guitarist Mick Mars was 30 and drummer Tommy Lee was 19. Mars was the most experienced in the band having played in several others bands before joining the band.

Why is Hanoi Rocks called Hanoi Rocks? ›

Later that year they moved back to Helsinki and Michael met Jan Stenfors aka Nasty Suicide through Andy McCoy. Andy was in Pelle Miljoona at this point. On a bus trip one day trying to come up with cool names Andy suggested "Chinese Rocks" after the Johnny Thunders song and then "Hanoi Rocks" and the name stuck.

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