It all started when Steel Panther frontman Michael Starr and drummer Stix Zadinya were interviewed by Little Punk People and asked which musician they'd bring back from the dead. Michael Starr replied “I’d bring back Vince Neil,” to which Stix replied: “He’s not dead.” Michael snapped back “I’d bring back the Vince Neil from back in the day because that guy is dead.”'
This slight did not sit well with Sixx, who tweeted late last week "The singer in Steel Panther can go fück himself… wanna be band putting down Vince Neil." When a fan responded saying he didn't understand why Panther were coming after Neil, especially after Neil performed on stage with Panther, Sixx added "That’s why they are assholes. Backstabbers."
Over the weekend, Steel Panther decided to have some fun with Sixx's outrage. It started with drummer Stix Zadinya tweeting "Sounds like someone needs some fucking attention. Haha." He later added "In order to stab someone in the back, you have to have been somewhat cordial to begin with."
But, the Panther weren't done yet. The band's account tweeted a video with the caption "Hey Siri, what's 'backstabbing'?" The video was an MTV News interview from 1994 with Motley Crue, after Vince was fired from the band and later suffered an accident on a jet ski. The clip shows Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx laughing about Neil when asked about the incident.
Hey Siri, what's "backstabbing"?
— Steel Panther (@Steel_Panther) October 19, 2019
"My heart goes out to you, [Vince]," guitarist Mick Mars said with a laugh. "What happened to the coral reef, though?" "Hey, when 300 pounds of blubber land on the coral reef, you know there was some dust flying around," Sixx added.
We're going to assume this won't sit well with Sixx, but it seems like at this point, it's probably best for Motley Crue to move on.
There is no love lost between the Panther and Motley Crue. Apparently, Motley Crue do not find the band funny at all, and see Panther as insulting their legendary status.
During a 2018 appearance on the Meltdown radio show, Panther guitarist Satchel talked about how odd it was touring with Crue:
"There are bands that hate our guts… We did a tour a few years ago with Def Leppard and Motley Crue.
"Def Leppard, they got us on the tour. It was an arena tour in the UK, and they loved us – they were so nice and so cool.
"And Motley Crue – they hated us. They wanted to kill us. [Laughs] Every night they wanted to kill us.
"They talked to us like once the whole tour. And Tommy Lee and I, we just butted heads a lot. Because – Tommy Lee… I don't know why he hates us so much.
"Listen, I extended the olive branch, I wanted to be friends with them. I think some people feel threatened because we… I think maybe Tommy Lee feels like we're poking fun at him personally. But we're just having fun.
"We love heavy metal, I think it's pretty obvious to people that like Steel Panther that we are good at playing it because we've been playing it our whole lives.
"If we were just out to make fun of heavy-metal players, then we probably wouldn't be as good at playing it and writing songs. We just love what we do.
"And someday maybe Motley Crue will be our friends but… I think Tommy Lee would love it if one of us got hit by a bus. [Laughs]"
Stix Zadinia, in 2018, shared a similar anecdote with Music Life Magazine:
"Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx did not like it when we went on tour with them in 2011. That was the only time that we really felt unwelcome.
"The thing with those guys is – I think they thought we were actually making fun of them directly. And I just gotta chalk that up to their egos being too big, because nothing that we do has anything to do with them directly.
"But we ended up doing the tour and it went off great and everything was totally fine. Leppard was fully supportive of it. They were amazing dudes, and I am not kidding you, that on the first day of the tour, they knew every single one of our names.
"And when you're Def Leppard, you don't have to do that. It's just a testament to the kind of dudes those guys are, all of them. They and their crew were very, very generous."
Ironically, it seems like Vince Neil is the only member who gets the joke. In 2015, Starr was interviewed by The Daily Bulletin and said the band was able to convert Neil into a fan and Starr even joked "You know, he told me, 'Hey, Michael, when we retire, you can have all our fans.'"
Steel Panther are currently out on the road. Get tickets here.