Classic Rock

The History Of Vince Neil and Guns N’ Roses’ Feud

todayMarch 21, 2024 3

Background
share close

In the heyday of 80s LA rock, a war of words and (alleged) fists erupted between Guns N’ Roses’ volatile frontman, Axl Rose, and Vince Neil, the brash lead singer of Mötley Crüe.

Rose, known for his explosive temper, was itching for a fight and made his intentions known in a bombastic interview. This feud reportedly stemmed from an altercation at the Cathouse, a notorious Sunset Strip club frequented by LA’s metal elite. However, the truth behind this incident is as murky as spilled whiskey on a sticky bar floor.

Both Rose and Neil offered wildly different accounts, leaving fans to speculate about what truly sparked this legendary rock and roll brawl.

This article briefly and succinctly dives into the history of this feud, separating fact from fiction and exploring the tangled web of accusations, threats, and outrageous pronouncements that fueled this long-lasting animosity.

The spark ignited at Cathouse

The feud’s roots trace back to the infamous Cathouse nightclub. While Vince Neil was away white-water rafting, his then-wife Sharise Neil, a model and mud-wrestler, found herself at the club alongside Izzy Stradlin, Guns N’ Roses’ rhythm guitarist.

Accounts of the night sharply differ. Sharise claims a drunken Stradlin grew aggressive, harassing her and receiving a slap for his advances. Her story details a violent retaliation – a kick to the stomach.

Stradlin, however, paints a different picture. He claims Sharise initiated unwanted flirtation and was simply dismissed. This unresolved incident set the stage for a future confrontation.

Months later, at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, Vince Neil nursed a grudge. Unknown to everyone, particularly Stradlin, Neil planned a fiery encounter backstage. The awards show, hosted by Arsenio Hall, was about to witness the first act in a long-lasting feud.

The infamous backstage brawl at the MTV Awards

The 1989 MTV Video Music Awards seemed like a night of camaraderie. Mötley Crüe even presented the award for Best Heavy Metal Video to Guns N’ Roses for their iconic song “Sweet Child o’ Mine” from their landmark album Appetite for Destruction

 Photos captured a seemingly friendly exchange onstage between the two bands.  However, tensions simmered beneath the surface.

While Izzy and Axl joined Tom Petty for a rendition of “Free Fallin’” and later closed the show with Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”, Vince Neil remained backstage, harboring resentment.  In his 2001 memoir, The Dirt, Neil described the encounter that ignited the feud.

According to Neil, as Stradlin exited the stage, Neil confronted him. Words escalated, and Neil punched Stradlin, sending him sprawling to the ground. The altercation escalated further. A member of Tom Petty’s crew retaliated with a punch to Neil, and a Guns N’ Roses manager intervened before things spiraled further.

An unquenchable feud that grew into fistfight challenges

Following his fiery interview with Mick Wall, Axl Rose assured the journalist his quotes about wanting to fight Vince Neil were accurate. The published story, prominently featuring those threats, caused a stir. 

However, Rose did an about-face, vehemently denying he ever made such statements. This sudden reversal left Wall feeling “shattered”, as detailed in his book W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose.

The public denials didn’t extinguish the flames. Neil, appearing on MTV, challenged Rose to a televised brawl – an offer Rose swiftly rejected. Rose, through intermediaries, issued challenges to meet Neil at the parking lot of Tower Records and later the Venice boardwalk.

However, these supposed confrontations never materialized. According to Neil, Axl “chickened out about a half-dozen times”. With these anticlimactic standoffs, the feud simmered but ultimately faded from the public eye.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

Rate it

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Who we are

Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, alternative, or heavy metal, LP Rock has got you covered. Our curated stations and live DJ sets will keep you entertained and rocking out for hours on end.

Listen Links

LP Classic Rock
https://cast.lprock.live/proxy/lpclassic?mp=/128k

LP Active Rock
https://cast.lprock.live/proxy/lpactive?mp=/128k

LP Country Rock
https://cast.lprock.live/proxy/lpcountry?mp=/128k

Navigate

0%