Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, 39, and drummer Tommy Lee, 35, were arrested Wednesday night in Phoenix on one count each of misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching, kicking and spitting on a security guard, Phoenix police said.
The pair spent several hours in the Phoenix city jail before they
were released on bail early Thursday following the alleged attack on 18-year-old Kenneth Lee Chambers, according to police. For Sixx, it was an unwelcome 39th birthday present.
Though the arrest came as the Los Angeles-based band were scheduled to play two remaining dates on their current "Generation Swine" tour, the arrest was not expected to stop band members from going ahead with a show on the night of their release in Albuquerque, N.M.
The incident occurred at the end of the heavy-metal concert at the American West Arena in front of approximately 5,000 fans Wednesday night. During the Crue's finale, band members allegedly invited fans up onto the stage, according to police.
"The band incited the crowd, and taunted them to get up on stage," said Mike Torres, public information officer for the Phoenix Police Department. The situation allegedly got out of hand, he added, when the band and the crowd turned on security guards, who were apparently trying to keep things under control.
In the course of the stage rush, Chambers was allegedly attacked by Sixx and Lee, Torres said. "Two of the band members, Lee and Sixx, tried to overpower the security guard, and assaulted him. They kicked him, punched him and spit at him," the police officer said.
As a result, hundreds of audience members snuck onto the stage, causing some damage to the arena, Torres added. Five concert-goers reported injuries, but none required hospitalization. "Damage to the arena is still being calculated, and it's climbing," Torres said.
Motley Crue -- whose career peaked in the mid-1980s -- recently reunited with original singer Vince Neil after five bitter years, and band members have been in court more than once in recent months. Lee, Sixx and guitarist Mick Mars are being sued by one-time Crue vocalist John Corabi who alleges that he was wrongfully fired from the band.
In other legal matters, Lee unsuccessfully filed a suit against the Internet Entertainment Group to prevent the sale of a videotape depicting him and his wife, actress Pamela Anderson Lee, having sex. He also paid $25,000 in an out-of-court settlement for his punching of a passerby who made lewd remarks at his wife.
The band's label, Elektra, had no comment on the alleged attack on the security guard, and the band's independent publicist at Rogers & Cowan did not return repeated calls. Sixx and Lee are scheduled for a hearing in a Phoenix court 10 days from the incident. -- Brendan Doherty [Thurs., Dec. 11, 1997, 6:00 p.m. PST]