Motley Crue Dump Vince Neil, Michael Jackson Tours Africa, Salt-N-Pepa Talk AIDS: This Week In 1992…

After 11 years together, this week in 1992 Mötley Crüe announced
they were splitting with their frontman, Vince Neil. Apparently the band was ticked that race car driving had “become a priority in Neil’s life.” The singer himself offered a different take on his departure from the group a week after the official announcement was made.

“It happened like out of the blue,” he said. “We’re rehearsing, writing new songs for the album, and it just came as a complete shock to me. The one thing is, I really didn’t like the way the music was heading, and so maybe I didn’t have the enthusiasm for the new music, but I don’t think it was a reason to be fired. Anytime I wanted to say something about the music, I was always just shut down right away and I guess they just thought that it was time to go on and look for a new singer.”

Neil then expressed excitement about going the solo route.

“Actually I’m really jazzed about starting a solo career, and all my buddies from all kinds of other bands are like, ‘Hey dude man, I want to play on your record,’ and it’s just great. I think things happen for a reason and I think this just might be the best thing right now for both of us. I feel really sorry, really sad for the fans because Mötley Crüe was one of the greatest bands there ever was and it’s really sad to not be part of it anymore, but it really wasn’t my decision.”

(Neil rejoined the Crüe in 1997 after the band recorded one commercially unsuccessful album with singer John Corabi — 1994′s Mötley Crüe, which sold a measly 323,000 copies, a 95 percent drop in sales from the band’s last album with Neil before the split, 1989′s six-times platinum Dr. Feelgood.)

Michael Jackson cut short a tour of Africa back in 1992 as it quickly began turning into a public relations nightmare. Jackson’s visit to Abidjan went off without incident and he was crowned an honorary king by a tribe near the Ghanian border, but in both the Ivory Coast and Tanzania, police brutally beat thousands of fans greeting the singer’s arrival. A spokesperson for the Ivory Coast government, which had urged fans to give Jackson a warm welcome, explained that perhaps the police were a bit brutal but not with the intention on doing any harm.

There was also some unpleasant comment about Jackson’s holding his nose when dashing from his plane to his limousine. As one Ivory Coast newspaper editorialized, “This voluntary mutant, neither black nor white, neither man nor woman, took it upon himself to remind us that we are impure.” Jackson’s press people quickly explained his nose touching thing was simply a nervous habit.

This week in 1992, the rap duo Salt-N-Pepa re-recorded their hit single
“Let’s Talk About Sex” as “Let’s Talk About AIDS” for a public service
announcement.

“A lot of people are misinformed about AIDS, and this PSA will tell you how you can get it,” Cheryl “Salt” James said. “Some people think it’s just a gay disease so they don’t pay it any mind … but this is letting you know this is an everybody disease.

Since what happened with Magic [Johnson, who had recently announced he was HIV positive] … I mean, even we didn’t take it as seriously as we should, but that kind of opened our eyes a little bit.”

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