Given the title of his most recent solo album, Tattoos & Tequila, and his position as the frontman for Mötley Crüe for more than 30 years, you could say fun is a way of life for Vince Neil. How could belting out songs such as "Too Fast For Love," "Looks That Kill, " "Wild Side," and "Kickstart My Heart" amid pyrotechnics and general rock mayhem be anything but fun?
But Neil likes to mix his fun with plenty of business. Since moving to Las Vegas in the mid-'90s, he has quietly established the Vince Neil brand in Sin City complete with a restaurant, gentlemen's club and his own tequila, with a Mötley Crüe residency thrown in for good measure. It's been quite a debauchery-filled journey from the Sunset Strip to the Vegas Strip.
How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
Seventeen years. And it's funny — every time I tell people I live in Vegas they're surprised. They always think I still live in L.A. They'll ask me, "Do you like it?" Well, yeah I like it — it's why I live there.
You are from L.A. What brought you to the land of slot machines and 10-buck prime rib?
I loved the clubs and the cool people and the weather and the vibe — it's almost like the Wild West.
What about the music in Vegas?
Well, for one thing it's getting a lot cooler. [In 2012] Mötley Crüe [became] the first hard rock band to have a residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Usually when you think of residencies, you think of Elton John or Celine Dion. Not Mötley Crüe.
The Mötley Crüe residency ran for three weeks in February. How did it come about?
(Tammy La Gorce is a freelance writer whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, and on All Music Guide and Amazon.com.)