Vince Neil Reveals The Bad Side Of Opening For Van Halen

Vince Neil Reveals The Bad Side Of Opening For Van Halen | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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After splitting from Mötley Crüe in the early 1990s, Vince Neil started a solo career, and one would have thought that he would be presented with a ton of exciting new options. One of these opportunities was to open for Van Halen, the iconic rock group during the Sammy Hagar era. But as Neil recently revealed in an interview with the Outsider podcast, this chance was not as spectacular as it appeared.

The Opening Act Struggle and the Road Back to Mötley Crüe

Reflecting on his first solo tour, Neil expressed initial enthusiasm. “No – it was great! I opened for Van Halen, my first tour as a solo artist. … It was pretty cool,” he recounted with a hint of nostalgia. This setup, however, had its downside, largely due to the timing and demographics of the concerts. “Except for, when you open up for Van Halen – because it was Sammy – it was like date night…you’d take your chick to go watch Van Halen. So when I was onstage, no one had gotten there yet!” Neil explained, highlighting the disheartening experience of performing to a sparse crowd who were primarily there to see the main act.

This experience, among other frustrations, contributed significantly to Neil’s eventual reunion with Mötley Crüe. He discussed the dynamic shift that prompted his return, noting both his and the band’s struggles during their time apart. “When Motley went out, their tickets stopped selling; and I was doing pretty good, but I wasn’t selling out places – I was opening for guys,” he said. This change in fortune led to a pivotal call from the Crüe’s manager, who reached out to propose a potential reunion. Neil shared, “So their manager called me up and said, ‘We’d like to meet with you…’ It took a while for me to say ‘okay’ [but] I finally gave in and I went to the recording studio where they were making Generation Swine… and I dunno… it was bad for a while, because I didn’t wanna be there.”


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Dissonance and Discontent on Recording “Generation Swine”

The studio reunion, for the recording of what would be the “Generation Swine” album, was fraught with tension and dissatisfaction on Neil’s part. He expressed his disdain for the album candidly: “I hated that record. I still hate that record,” and added, “[There are] no good songs on it… I told ‘em, ‘This record sucks!’ [They said] ‘No. We love it. We love it.’”

Neil’s challenges during this phase of his career also reflect on the broader context of his departure from and return to Mötley Crüe. He addressed earlier accusations that his interests had shifted towards racing cars, overshadowing his music career. “And when we broke up I was the first guy to put out a top 10 single… so I did everything they said I couldn’t do.”