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Don't Dare Ask Tommy Lee For A Photo

Tommy Lee apparently felt the need to take a public stance on the issue of having to take pictures with his fans. Below is what he posted on his official Facebook page on June 28, 2012 (the profanity edits are mine, the poor spelling and grammar are from the original):
Dear Fans,
I f---ing LOVE my fans! And you know this!!!... If you asked anyone that knows me really well they would tell ya the same thing...Tommy loves his fans. He lives for this shit...he eats, breaths, shits music 24/7. They’ll also probably tell ya that he’s a down to earth grateful life lovin dude and a nice guy too. What I have a problem with is... Taking pictures! I hate it! Irritates the f...uck out of me when people owe it to your fans, they put you where you are, etc etc! I certainly dont owe anybody anything! When I bought all my Led Zeppelin records and concert tickets I didn’t say “one day these fuckers are gonna owe me a picture” It’s the least they can do for me! people? You dont admire something so that it can give back... You just cherish it! And to those who should be grateful that people wanna take your picture maybe one day they wont want it!.... That day cant come soon enough! BTW..I’m not here to take pictures with you, I’m here to entertain you!
Nobody put me where I am but ME! They may have helped inspire me with their love for what I do...but I put myself right here where I want to be with a lot of hard work, practice, talent, luck, etc. What I do owe myself and others is being THE BEST I can be! And that’s making great music, being a good man, father, lover and human being! We all owe that kinda stuff to ourselves and each other. People do we really need a silly picture?... For what bragging rights? Really?.. Who fucking cares! Someones not gonna believe you if ya dont have the proof pic?...then fuck em! I’d never go up to someone that I admired and bug them for a picture!! Why!.... I might say a quick hello...maybe a handshake?.. I depends on the “situation”... Most people never consider the “situation”. Thats really important... Ya wouldn’t wanna handshake standing at the pisser in the mens bathroom next to me would ya?... And Yes thats happened to me too... Or when your eating a nice quite meal with your family some rude jackass comes up and asks for a picture! You cant even imagine what kinda crazy has happened to me. I understand the excitement and all but just take a second and think... Is this cool right now? Its called Consciousness; it’s the quality or state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. Be Conscious. So like I said.. The fastest way to get me to leave is whip out a camera! Maybe just say hello and I'll probably take ya home with me! Well I’d have to ask my girlfriend first! Hah!

Sincerely yours,

The Picture Taker Hater!
Tommy Lee
So that is fine, Mr. Lee, if you do not want to take pictures with your fans... but then riddle me this? Why are you willing to take such pictures when those same fans pay $1,500 per ticket for the Motley Crue VIP Experience? To me, that is glaring evidence of your hypocrisy. If it is about the music, then why are you able to set your personal feelings about the act of taking picture with your fans aside when you are making some easy money? Perhaps you need to re-examine your position on this issue, and either (1) live by the words you typed above and stop cashing those VIP Experience checks, or (2) acknowledge all fans equally, and do not begrudge every fan that asks you for a quick picture. I understands some situations don't warrant you agreeing to a picture, but remember, these are your fans that probably have followed your career (missteps and all) for decades, and it is probably an exciting moment that they want to memorialize. I'm sorry we don't all have the exciting life that you lead Tommy, but to take a stance like this is pointless and is only going to serve to further alienate Motley Crue from their fans.  Well played, Tommy... well played.

Reader Comments (34)

Once again Tommy proves himself to be an idiot. How shocking. *sarcasm*
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I have never asked to take a picture with any of our heroes. I have been fortunate to meet, even had lunch, beers, drinks or spent time with them at the dinner table, the latter probably happening because I engaged in conversation with said heroes on a human and anecdotal level, and NOT asking for a picture.

I guess I realized early on it's far more interesting to engage people we admire on a human level in order to tell them how their music, movies or photographs influenced me.

Throughout my life, starting at an early age, I have wound up one way or another meeting or working with celebrities, TV Stars, famous musicians, actors, actresses, photographers and directors, or hanging out with models, even dating a few, or partying and/or having a meal with Rockstars AND Moviestars in L.A., NYC or on Shiprocked! or The Monsters of Rock Cruise.

These people are nearly always interesting talented people. I much prefer a cool conversation with them that all parties can learn from and appreciate -- a celebration of connecting "in the moment" as human beings.

Capturing that same moment in a photograph, I've always felt, reduces it to nothing more than a swordfisherman posing with his catch.
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
There is some delightful irony in the fact that Lee chose to express himself by cutting and pasting a standard dictionary definition into a discussion of his own individual will to power.

But it cuts a bit deeper than that if you focus in on the key part of the definition: “. . . being aware of an external object or something within oneself.” The fans exist external to Lee; his talent (this isn’t the place to take shots) exists internal to him. But Lee’s fame suggests the fairly clear relationship between the two. Being aware, mindful, and thankful for that relationship would suggest a slightly higher (no pun intended) level of consciousness.

A truly giving artist doesn’t need to remind the fans that he/she loves them. That artist shows it in how they act. A truly dedicated fan recognizes when it is appropriate and when it is not to ask for an autograph, or a photo, or even to strike up a conversation. This relationship is far from reciprocal.

But it is a relationship. Sometimes, a fan shells out far too much scratch simply because they care about seeing a band. Sometimes, an artist puts up with behavior because they understand that the fan is doing something they have rarely, if ever, gotten to do. Lines can be crossed on both sides. That is the price to be paid for caring about something dearly, whether it be meeting an artist or being said artist.

I agree and disagree with Metalboy! I count myself lucky to have met some truly incredible artists. Some of them have been great to me. Others have been disappointing. I have never asked for a photo, though several have been taken as a result of the situation. At the same time, I recognize that not every fan keeps and holds onto memories the way I do. Like a chance to revisit a family reunion, or a childhood vacation, photos can oftentimes help to stir up really cool memories.

Though it isn’t completely analogous, let me end by saying . . . I often “remember” bands like the Crue by the way they looked on their early albums. It reminds me of who I was as much as it reminds me of why I still care. And, in the case of albums, I didn’t ask them to take the photos on the covers. But those artists did derive something—even if but a bit—from my decision to purchase them.
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHim
I guess some people would say he is ungrateful but I understand what he is saying. Like the other guys here, I never asked for a picture, ever, and preferred to have the experience, whether it was a quick conversation or hanging out for a while.

He might actually be brave to come out and say this because I bet a lot of people feel this way but don't want to alientate their fans by saying this.

Good for him.
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRita
Gotta say, I completely disagree with anyone who says Tommy's rant is cool.

I think this is one of the lamest things I've ever read by a famous musician. This is akin to celebs talking about hating the paparazzi - then acting completely insane in public to get followed even more!

If Tommy wants a no photo policy, that is fine and his right -- but I agree with Brian that it is a load of crap to write the above diatribe and then charge a thousand bucks with Motley for a photo session. Give me a break.
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
I understand there is a time and place for picture taking, but as a huge fan of this kind of music and having grown up on it also, I find this kind of bullshit attitude more and more from individuals and bands like this which has started to turn me off on spending anymore money to support this stuff. Geoff Tate telling fans "You suck", Axl dissing fans at the HOF, 2 LA Guns, 2 Great Whites, last years Whitesnake tour (That was the last time I will see them as I felt ripped off) Poison's same old same old every Summer, These are just a few (As I am sure I could find a lot more)and believe me I have supported all these bands since day one, over 20 years of t-shirts, albums, cassettes, Cd's, videos and concerts and then I as a supporting fan have to listen to crap like this? It's condescending as hell!
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGunntherd
I understand what he is saying, but how did Tommy feel when he met his heroes/idols? Yeah it is an intrusion but if you choose this lifestyle/career path you have to deal with it somehow. I guess this is his way. My question to Tommy is, how long does a picture take?
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarry
To say that we don't need a picture with a musician/actor/celebrity is ridiculous. We take photos with family/friends. Is that to prove that we have them? It's capturing a moment in time. Why shouldn't we be able to do that with one of our idols that we grew up with? I've taken photos with dozens of musicians/celebrities. I am aware of the surroundings & whether it is an appropriate setting & time & am ALWAYS respectful. If they say no, then fine. I'm not going to curse them, or be an ass. Just move on.

If someone has a no picture policy, then that is their prerogative, but I don't see what the big deal is to stop, for 10-20 seconds & take a pic.
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeo2
I am not one for photos, that's just me. I do have friends that love having them. I understand why, it can be fun to look back at old photos. If he would have just said that do not interrupt me while I am in the bathroom or when I am eating, cool. Those instances are incredibly rude and selfish. However, he went over the edge saying he doesn't owe anyone and blah blah blah.
Just fade away please.
June 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterscott whitt
I can see this issue being a real conundrum for both artist and fan. A little "Situational Awareness" is what is required by both parties in "The Magic Dance of Picture Taking".

Fans should be aware the artists are constantly "harassed" to have their picture taken. It is "objectifying" the artist. On the inaugural Monsters of Rock Cruise, I was having a conversation with Steve Whiteman of KIX in one of the wide hallways of the mighty MSC Poesia (they should really rechristen it "Battleship Metal" because it also plays host to the annual Shiprocked! cruise, as well).

Suddenly, a group of fans just swarm him, oblivious to our conversation or even that I existed. He just shrugged and rolled his eyes as they fired away, not even talking to him, or thanking him -- they just wanted their picture and they were off. They really could have cared less about him -- it was all about the picture wIth him.

And I was off. Next thing I know, I was in the coolest conversation with Ron Keel and Jamie St. James (well, he wasn't as cool as Keel or Whiteman -- James was a little annoyed because I was telling Ron Keel about when I saw Steeler, apparently one of only 9 shows they ever performed and we all realized -- without saying it -- that I witnessed one of The Greatest Shows in Metal History, reducing his whole career to a photo op by comparison. It was a photo op I didn't take as it just never even occurs to me to have my picture taken with any of our idols.

On the other hand, I heard a horrible story while on Shiprocked! a couple of years ago. This was told to me by one of the Tesla entourage (think nanny) about Vince Neil. A woman in her 40's told him she was breast cancer survivor and politely asked to have her picture taken with a few of her friends (also cancer survivors).

He reluctantly agreed. When one of the woman's friends (who sacrificed herself out of the photo op in order to take the picture) fumbled with the camera in all her excitement, Vince Neil barked, "Hurry up and take the f*ckin' picture, b*tch!"

Situational Awareness. It can go a long way on both sides of the camera. Pass it on.
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy- Are you & I starting to agree more & more? Are one, or both of us maturing? What the hell is going on? 4-5 months ago, we were like oil & water. I said the sky is blue, you'd say it was red you'd Say that there was alien life in our solar system & I'd say that you were nuts Now, we're on the same page. Rock on, Sir.

P.S- Don't know if you caught it, but Poison asked their fans, on Facebook what song they most wanted to hear on this tour. I said 1)Love on the Rocks 2) Living' For the Minute. 99 % of the requests were for Every Rose, Talk Dirty to me & the same old stuff. I know that there are certain songs they HAVE to play, but I didn't realize that we were that much in the minority, when it comes to the set list. It seems like, almost, everyone was screaming for the same set list we hear every summer.
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGEO II
Hahaha!!!, GEO!!!

What the h*ll, if we all agreed, it would be a pretty boring planet. As far as maturing, you can count me out. I am forever 14.

Thought about Tommy Lee's situation. Guys, it's a tricky one, but I think I gotta side with him...

This guy gets barraged by undead zombie rabid vampire Rock'n'Roll fans and most of 'em want a picture. Now just imagine, going through your day and at every turn somebody wants to take a frickin' photo with ya.

It would be a day full of photo ops, not a day full of whatever you were gonna be doing, going about your business. To me, that sounds like a pretty lousy way to spend my time. Especially when you're made to feel objectified.

Now, on the other hand, I can see him willing to pose for photographs at the PIP Package meet & greets. In that moment, he is on duty, not off duty like the daily routine situation I described above. When he's at the arena on the night of the gig, those people posing for a photo are also paying for seats in the first 5 Rows and some merch plus the photo op.

I've actually got a chance to get one of those tickets to see KISS and Crüe but the seat is FRONT ROW center. I would also get a photo op with each band and some other sh*t. Now, the thing is, if I had the bread, I would be doin' it for the front row ticket. I could really care less about the pictures. If I go, I would still enjoy having the photo ops, even if it's not my bag, primarily just to mess with Simmons and Nikki

As far as Poison goes, it's ridiculous to have people vote but since they are gonna do it they should definitely be sure those most requested songs, but realize it's all coming' back that way cuz of Rock of Ages, etc., plus the fact that if that's the only list of songs their gonna play year after year, that's the feedback they have to expect.

Still, you don't see 'em droppin' their signature show opener, Look What The Cat Dragged in" night after night since they wrote it. I hear ya on "Love On The Rocks", but I would still prefer they dropped those filler covers to make room for my favorite Poison song, "Cry Tough" and the ever Glamtastic "I Want Action"!
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
not the most intelligent sounding of people.
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlou
Dang Auto correct! Not the PIP meet & greet (as in Gladys Knight & The Pips)... The "VIP" meet & greet.

p.s. Who, Lou?
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Dang it again! This is what happens when you try and write sumthin' at 5 A.M. after partyin' with a bunch of Rock'n'Roll Punks...

To clarify: Poison polls their fans asking what songs do they most want to hear live and all the hits get the most amount of votes. Uh-duh. But Poison is not gonna drop "Look What The Cat Dragged In" for the same reason they should add "Cry Tough" and "I Want Action" and jettison their standard dumb a*s covers.

They should always play those songs because they are their songs, not somebody else's. Poison have enuff great songs to play so they don't need to be playin' covers. To be honest, the covers come off like filler. Those songs off the first album I mentioned will always go over big. If Michaels only realized that.
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
If that story about Vinny (chocolate eclair) Neil is true,considering he lost a daughter to cancer,somebody should have kicked his fat,drunken ass and rolled him overboard (where he most likely would have been fucking harpooned when mistaken for a sperm whale by a fisherman)

As for Tommy,he once again confirms that his penis size is bigger than his I.Q. by about 3 inches......TIt's getting to the point,where the only one in that band I actually like anymore is Mr. Mars....
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary
I would agree that it's a bit tacky to chase people with cameras and assume you can invade their space. I saw Billy Gibbons eating a meal with family in Vegas, and my wife said 'go and say 'hi'', but I felt that it was wrong to invade this private meal to say what exactly ? On the other hand, I can't help but think that Tommy doesn't want to give out free pics in case it causes the price he can charge VIPs to drop. Supply and demand, people....
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Vince Neil acted like an asshole!?!? I never thought I'd see the day. (what font was i supposed to use for sarcasm?)
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
Xtian! Gary! That's not why. Read what I wrote. He and every celebrity are hounded nonstop by people, either the average idiot or paparazzi, wanting a photo op. This goes on when he's off duty, clubbin', goin' to the grocery store, Spago or frickin' PetSmart. It's different when he's ON duty when he is more than happy to oblige photo ops with fans as part of their VIP meet and greet obligations.

Again, as far as Tommy Lee goes -- it's OFFDUTY vs. ONDUTY, simple as that.

Brian C. -- Reflecting back, I actually have to honestly believe Neil wasn't even bothering to listen when the woman mentioned she was a cancer survivor. Given the fact his son did not survive Cancer, Neil should have been way more gracious.
June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Now this is a surprise: I got Metalboy! beat in age . . . by one year! Finally. I pull ahead on something on this site.

Seriously, though, I think the “off” and “on” distinction doesn’t really hold. Public figures give up quite a bit of private protection. Sure, that can lead to some pretty nasty and unfortunate and downright repulsive behavior. But the tradeoff is baked into the concept of an artist: they choose to perpetuate a persona, and pursue a lifestyle, that is largely predicated on their fans (not discounting wise investments in strip clubs or endorsement deals with Kia).

Commonsense would dictate that a fan . . . when have fans shown tons of commonsense?!!? But I take several posters’ point(s) that a fan should observe some decorum. When they don’t, feel free to let your jerk flag fly, Lee, because you aren’t the one who is being a jerk.

And there is also a scale at work here. Some artists have been humbled by the downturn in their overall popularity and respond by being more humble. Some artists are still popular and will always be humble because, it would seem, that is their nature. And some artists whether still popular or barely hanging on will be—surprise—arrogant because that is their nature. Paging Mr. Lawless. Table for one at Sizzler.

This is just my take. And I place a great amount of emphasis on my own experiences in drawing it up. A couple of cases in point: Crane and Corabi are no one’s definition of “high on the hog” artists (even if they deserve to be). They treated me like an equal. They took time to dignify my attendance at their shows and didn’t make it look like this had happened to them a thousand times. Pearcy and others . . . well, you get my point.

If it were as simple as “on” and “off” then it wouldn’t be rock, or glam, or metal, or whatever.
July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHim

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