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Vince Neal: The Fatal Accident That Took Razzle's Life (Hanoi Rocks drummer)

This fatal tragedy, during which Razzle died, and two passengers of another car received brain injuries, became one of the key scenes in the film "Dirt" ...

The fatal crash that destroyed Hanoi Rocks...

Before a fatal car accident brought a tragic and untimely end to Hanoi Rocks' career, the band was on its way to stardom...By December 1984, bursting into a lackluster rock scene marred by empty new romanticism and post-punk austerity, five glamor-soaked soundtracks Hanoi Rocks thugs were about to enter the global market…

After finally landing a major label deal with CBS, the band have just released their fifth and most confident glam studio album to date, Two Steps From The Move. And when the second single from it, Underwater World, went down the charts, Hanoi Rocks got ready for their first American tour.

Background to the tragedy...

In the dreary and monochromatic depression of the mid-80s, Hanoi Rocks seemed like a bright flash to the eye! Their reputation as a live band was impressive... Japan had already fallen to Hanoi Rocks, and it looked like the United States would follow. MTV was filled with clips of the five glam members, their concerts were selling out at the speed of sound, and even Andy Warhol himself was looking forward to their welcome party in New York...

Hanoi Rocks
Hanoi Rocks

Everything seemed to go like clockwork! But something soon happened from which Hanoi Rocks never recovered...

Michael Monroe fracture...

Curiously enough, very often the most catastrophic chain of events can be set in motion by a seemingly small and insignificant factor...

At one of the first shows on the ill-fated American tour in Syracuse, a bottle of beer fell off the top of guitarist Andy McCoy's amp. Its contents spilled over the right side of the stage ... Literally a few moments later, vocalist Michael Monroe jumped out there, slid over a puddle and ... broke his ankle. To his credit, Monroe ended the show before he was taken to the hospital.

After being misdiagnosed as a severe sprain, the tour went on for four more shows: Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland. Monroe, now in constant agony, eventually turned to another specialist for help. As a result, the vocalist was found to have a fracture! He was put in a cast, which forced the band to take a break.

Hanoi Rocks (Michael Monroe in the center)
Hanoi Rocks (Michael Monroe in the center)

Hanoi Rocks' unquenchable passion for partying inevitably led them into the orbit of Los Angeles-based band Mötley Crüe. Razzle's drummer vaguely knew Crüe vocalist Vince Neil... While the two bands were never the closest of friends, they did have an unhealthy appetite for self-destruction. So it's no wonder that as soon as the Hanoi Rocks touring car - temporarily derailed - arrived in Los Angeles, Mötley Crüe threw an impromptu welcome party for their glam counterparts.

And while Monroe lay in his hotel room, McCoy, Razzle, Jaffa and Nasty Suicide had a giant Crüe binge that was forever destined to end in absolute disaster...

Tragic accident, Razzle's death...

According to fragmentary recollections of those present, somewhere in three or four days after the start of the party, namely on the evening of December 8, the stocks of alcohol ran out. The question arose of buying more booze. Vince Neil, heavily intoxicated (and not just from alcohol), but wanting to show off his brand new red Ford Pantera 72, went to the store with Razzle as a passenger.

Nicholas Dingley, better known as Razzle
Nicholas Dingley, better known as Razzle

Nearly an hour later, Andy McCoy became concerned that the couple still hadn't returned... He and the band's road manager set off in hot pursuit... Along the way, they passed a car accident near Neil's home in Redondo Beach. Seconds later, when it dawned on them, they returned to the scene to find Vince being questioned by the police and Razzle's motionless body being loaded into an ambulance...

Photos from the scene of the accident...
Photos from the scene of the accident ...

Apparently, shortly after leaving at 6:38 p.m., Neil lost control of the steering wheel on a wet road while driving around a stationary fire engine at 65 mph. Then his Ford Pantera drove into the oncoming lane and was hit by two other cars...

Vince Neil narrowly escaped serious injury (only broken ribs and minor cuts to his face), but Razzle was declared dead...

Neil was taken to the police station, where he was immediately arrested for drunk driving and manslaughter.

Vince Neil
Vince Neil

Subsequently convicted in July 1985, the singer was released on $2,500 bail. He served only 20 days in prison! He was ordered to pay 2.6 million dollars in compensation to the victims, do 200 hours of community service and attend lectures ... And that's it. The life of a promising drummer, the fate of an entire band, was valued at 20 days and 2,500 bucks...

Hanoi Rocks without Razzle

The day of this tragic accident - December 8, 1984 - marked the first day of National Drunk Driving Awareness Week in the United States. Neil's BAC was 0.17, well over the legal limit of 0.10. To make matters worse, neither he nor Razzle were wearing their seatbelts that ill-fated evening...

But what about the group? Alas, even after so many years, the remaining members of Hanoi Rocks could not recover from what happened. There was no more talk of their brilliant career. The death of Razzle was the end for everything they had been going for so long...

“I cleaned myself up completely and we were going to work hard! Some people had a different attitude to all this: for them it was a party, party, and more party until you fall ... Basically, it was Nasty and Razzle. I remember Zeppo, our manager, said to Razzle, "You're going to kill yourself if you keep hanging out like this!" And I remember how drunk Razzle listened to him quietly, and then looked up at him and said: “You know, I don’t care if I die or not. I just have to get to Los Angeles." And he ended up in Los Angeles. The American dream came true, damn it ... ”Andy McCoy recalled nineteen years after that fateful day ...

 

“... About a month before his death, we saw a photo of a broken car - people died when speeding. It was like a grim omen that looked the same as at the crime scene... Why? Because, damn it, it was a crime! Not only did Razzle die, the two young men became crippled. And this guy spent 20 nights in jail and got away with it!” Andy McCoy commented.

To say that there is a fierce antipathy between Andy and Vince is to say nothing. Underlying this is an unforgivable lack of remorse:

"He never apologized..."

 

“…He is afraid of me. Every time he sees me, he runs away. But it doesn't matter to me. There are certain moral values and things that need to be respected. The rest of the Mötley Crüe guys apologized, even though they didn't do anything wrong. They were so mad at him that they almost disbanded that same day as a group! Yes, we could sue and get millions, but I was against it. I said, "How the hell can we put a price on a brother, a family member? Money alone is not enough… Let him live with it, sooner or later karma will get him…”

Many people do not believe in karma, but if you study Vince Neil's biography, you involuntarily start thinking about it... The beginning of the 1990s turned out to be the most difficult period for the musician. Scandal with Mötley Crüe, divorce from his wife, and ... the death of Skylar's little daughter. The girl was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in the abdomen. Doctors fought for the life of the baby for 5 months. At some point, it seemed to everyone that the disease had receded. But! 3 days after the last operation to remove cancerous tissue from the only remaining kidney, Skylar died ... After her death, Neil went on a drinking binge.

This fatal tragedy, during which Razzle died and two passengers of the other car received brain injuries, became one of the key scenes in the film "The Dirt".

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