STEEL PANTHER Frontman: If I Could Bring One Musician Back From The Dead, It'd Be MOTLEY CRUE's Vince Neil
And the award for best burn of the day, week, month, year goes to Steel Panther frontman Michael Starr. Starr and drummer Stix Zadinia were interviewed by our favorite interviewer, Elliot of Little Punk People, who always asks really fun questions.
One of the questions saw Elliot ask the band if they could bring back a musician from the dead, who would it be. After Stix answered seriously, Starr came in with a burn-unit level diss:
Stix replied: “Okay, I’m gonna pick a singer, but it’s not to replace you [Michael]. You know who I’d bring back from the dead? Ray Gillen. You didn’t expect that? He was the singer for Badlands [died in 1993 at age 34].
Michael Starr said: “I’d bring back Vince Neil,” to which Stix replied: “He’s not dead.”
Michael: “I’d bring back the Vince Neil from back in the day because that guy is dead.”
Stix: “You didn’t bring back John Bonham, dude.”
Michael: “You know what? It would be too intimidating to sing along with him. Like, John Bonham, he is the best musical heavy-metal drummer of all time – there’s nobody better than him, no drummer even comes close to this guy.”
It's no secret that Vince Neil isn't at the top of his game nowadays. By now you may have seen this video of Neil totally butchering "Kickstart My Heart."
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 out 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.