Bad blood, blame, and hard times

DD: For years afterwards, there was a lot of bad blood between Mike and Andy. They said they'd never work with each other again, but obviously time passes. Here we are, fifteen odd-years on. It's like Page and Plant getting back together, where we all said, "OK, you've done a bunch of other stuff, but really, you belong together." But as I said, there was a lot of bad blood between Mike and Andy at the time, and everybody fell out with everybody else. When you go through all that, get sight of the promised land, only to have it all taken away from you again, you start looking around for people to blame. You can't blame the guy who got in the car, because he's dead. Andy, with a degree of justification, blamed Vince Neil. Driving when you're drunk is never a particularly good idea, but then, what the hell was Razzle doing in the car anyway? That makes no sense.

JR: Especially when you take into account something you once reported - that Vince Neil's own bandmates wouldn't drive around with him, and you're not talking about fraidy cats in Motley Crue. You're talking about guys like Nikki Sixx, who injected himself with so many drugs he was actually pronounced dead on at least one occasion. If these guys refused to drive with Vince, it probably wasn't such a good idea.

DD: Razzle was just a big kid, so if he had the opportunity to drive in a sports car, he was probably like, "Oh yeah, hey, wow!" To a degree you can blame Razzle, or you can blame Mike, because if he hadn't had his accident they wouldn't have been there, and you can blame Andy basically for being Andy. So you can blame all sorts of people, but ultimately it becomes purposeless because we all make our own decisions, and Razzle made the wrong decision. OK, so Vince Neil does get off incredibly lightly. I was just appalled when I heard the verdict come down.

JR: Well, that's "justice" in the States for those with money to spend, nothing personal against Hanoi Rocks.

DD: I suppose, but I was pretty upset at the time. From a personal point of view, I'm saying, "OK, you killed a personal friend of mine, and you destroyed a band I had such high hopes for." Again, I was searching for someone to blame. And yet, looking back, it really wasn't Vince Neil's fault that the band was already falling apart at the seams before that happened. Yes, it was Vince Neil's fault that he was drunk; it was Vince Neil's fault that he persuaded Razzle to get in the car; it was Vince Neil's fault that the accident happened, but he didn't hold a gun to Razzle's head. Looking back, Vince Neil is the obvious guy to blame, but he's not the only one.

JR: But when you're talking about a band where the central appeal is a certain raw dangerousness and a punk-like attitude - very few bands like that have had a long life span. There ARE bands that have made transitions from a punk/dangerous vibe to more sophisticated craftsmen - Metallica comes to mind, as do the Stones and potentially U2 (although I guess U2 were never really "dangerous," but there was a political agitation about them in their early years). You do have to wonder how long Hanoi could have gone on looking and sounding like Hanoi while signed onto a major label, regardless of what happened. But those "what ifs" loom so large because they were never allowed to play out.