Love can always make you act a little bit crazy. Even though the world of rock and roll has created its fair share of love songs, it doesn’t take long for love to get ugly as well. And when you put people like Tommy Lee and Kid Rock against each other, it’s going to turn into a slugfest real quick.
As Mötley Crüe capped off the 1980s with their smash album Dr. Feelgood, Tommy Lee began dating Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. After taking time away from the Crüe, though, the happy couple fell into a bit of drama, making a widely publicised sex tape that ended up sold in adult shops around the world. The mayhem only continued when Lee was arrested in the mid-90s on domestic abuse charges, after which the two separated.
Around the time of their breakup, Kid Rock was becoming one of the biggest names in rock music, riding his own wave to stardom on the back of ‘Bawitdaba’. After being smitten with Anderson, the two eventually got married in 2002. While the marriage didn’t end up lasting, things weren’t exactly sunshine and roses between Lee and Rock when they met at the MTV Awards in 2007.
While Lee had been out of Mötley Crüe and had started working on his hip-hop-infused solo projects, he wasn’t about to play nice with Rock. As Lee went over to say hello to Puff Daddy, Rock was ready for war and started a fistfight with Lee in the common area. Although the scuffle cooled down rather quickly, the jury is still out on who started the fight.
From Rich Nice’s perspective, it looked like Lee instigated most of the problems. He said: “Kid Rock was ignoring him and Tommy Lee kind of antagonized him. When Tommy stands up is when Kid hit him the first time with a backhand and then Tommy Lee looked like he was trying to get at him to aggressively retaliate – and then Kid Rock hits Tommy Lee again”.
While Lee eventually defended himself in a statement after the fact, he wasn’t about to kiss and make up with Rock either, saying: “minding my own biz when I get a tap on the shoulder from Kid Pebble. I stand up and embrace him with a semi hug and say ‘Hey dude. What up?’ He punches me in the face”.
According to Rock, the tension began with Lee harassing Rock about his relationship with Anderson, saying, “I had with him was when me and Pam were going through our divorce. He picked up her Blackberry and started emailing me a lot of horrendous things. It was extremely disrespectful”.
Although Lee doesn’t want anything to do with Rock, his career trajectory took a similar turn around the time of their fight. While taking a break from the Crüe, Lee’s solo outings like Methods of Mayhem had a similar style to Rock’s music, blending rock aesthetics and energy with hip-hop music.
Since neither man have backed down from a fight, Rock remarked that the relationship between him and Lee was always going to end up like this: “I had to do what I had to do because this was a long time coming,” he said. “You know, I came back from the bathroom and he was sitting right there. It was even more disrespectful after everything he’s said. I was like, ‘That’s enough. That’s it”.