The Time Tommy Lee Was Fined for Mooning a Motley Crue Concert Crowd
Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee got a little too cheeky with the local authorities during the band's stop in Augusta, Ga. on March 25, 1990, and ended up at the police station after pulling off his part in what was probably one of the weirder publicity stunts in Crüe history.
As Crüe fans are aware, Lee had a reputation for mooning the crowd at concerts. The band, then on tour behind their massively successful Dr. Feelgood LP, didn't need any extra attention from the press, but according to a police officer who was working vice and narcotics for the city at the time, they went out of their way to determine whether his stunt would have any legal repercussions in Augusta.
"Crüe's manager came to me before the show and actually asked me what the ramifications would be if Lee 'mooned' the audience," Sgt. Dave Bourbo told the Augusta Chronicle in 2010. "I told them that Augusta had a new local ordinance that prohibited that behavior and if anyone did that it would result in a small fine. The manager smiled at me and left."
Knowing they wouldn't get into any serious trouble, and always willing to shore up their reputation for bad behavior, the band gave that night's crowd a little extra spectacle. In an incident that made national news, Lee was reportedly charged with indecent exposure and performing a sexually explicit act after mooning the crowd — and for the kids in the crowd, it looked like a genuine conflict between the Crüe and the police.
Remembering that Lee "ran off the stage wearing only a g-string" after mooning the audience, attendee Trey Simmons told the Chronicle, "The rest of the band seemed to act as if they didn't know what was going on. Vince Neil and Mick Mars came back to the stage, and Mick was still playing his guitar, unaware that his drummer was gone. The floor lights came on right as Neil made some derogatory comments about Augusta's police department."
According to Bourbo, however, the entire thing was essentially staged. "We didn't really arrest him. He followed us down to [the station], and he signed the citation and paid his fine," he laughed. "He could not have been a nicer guy, and the entire group was extremely cordial and even thanked us for doing our jobs."
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