So last night I went to a concert (not Van Halen, though they were playing less than 2 miles from the show I was at) and in between the opening band (Blood Orange, who I thought was pretty cool) and the main attraction (Florence + The Machine), the topic of Tommy Lee’s stupendously-stupid “360 Drumming” somehow randomly came up.
I’m not the world’s biggest Mötley Crüe fan, but I can acknowledge that they have a few pretty good songs. Anyway, my best friend (a Fiona Apple kind of guy) had never heard of Tommy Lee’s stage antics, so I decided to track down a video. I honestly thought it would be hard to find, I had no idea that as recent as last year Mötley Crüe was still using this schtick in their live act. You would think that after years of drug and alcohol abuse, ‘ol Tommy wouldn’t be able to hang upside down and bang the drums…but I guess he still can.
Growing up I had a pretty big aversion to being upside down. I’m still not crazy about roller coaster loops, but I can do them because they’re usually mercifully brief. But hanging inverted like he does in the video below? Forget about it. I know he’s strapped in there pretty good, but how the hell does he keep from dropping his sticks? Part of me wants to dismiss these shenanigans outright…but how is this any different than Jimi lighting his guitar on fire? Or Ozzy “biting” the heads off fake bats? Or Alice Cooper beheading himself? Theatrics have been a part of rock since the beginning, like Chuck Berry’s duck walk. Something to think about.
Oh the humanity.