Best Of '99: Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx Arrested, Tommy Lee Wanted On Riot Charges

Pair accused of using racial slurs, inciting Greensboro audience to assault security guard.

[Editor's note: Over the holiday season, SonicNet is looking back at 1999's top stories, chosen by our editors and writers. This story originally ran on Tuesday, Sept. 7.]

Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx was arrested Friday on charges

of inciting a riot during a Greensboro, N.C., concert in October 1997.

The arrest came after a show in Raleigh, N.C. Stemming from the same

incident, a warrant for the arrest of the band's former drummer, Tommy

Lee, is still out, Guilford County, N.C., Sheriff B.J. Barnes said.

Sixx is due to be arraigned Wednesday in Guilford County Criminal Court.

"The deputies waited until after the concert was finished," Barnes

said. "No one wanted to deprive the audience of the performance."

Barnes said Sixx and Lee hurled racial slurs at John Allen, an

African-American security guard, at a Mötley Crüe show at

Greensboro Coliseum on Oct. 28, 1997. They also encouraged the

audience to assault Allen, the sheriff said.

Sixx faces one felony riot charge and misdemeanors for inciting a

riot and disorderly conduct. The bassist, who posted a $7,500 bond,

was traveling Tuesday (Sept. 7) and was unavailable for comment,

according to Ashley Smith, a publicist for Beyond Records, the group's

label.

Allen filed a civil suit against Lee and Sixx last year, claiming

assault and battery and civil-rights violations. The lawsuit is

pending, according to a court clerk.

Sixx (born Frank Carlton Serafino Ferranno) also was arrested Aug. 11

in Las Vegas on charges of provoking violence during a show at the

Mandalay Bay Event Center there. Sixx and Lee were arrested in Phoenix

in December 1997 for assaulting a security guard onstage at America

West Arena.

Barnes said his office has spoken with attorneys for Lee about

arrangements for the drummer to turn himself in. Lee could not be

reached for comment, his publicist at MCA Records said.

After 18 years with Mötley Crüe, Lee (born Thomas Lee Bass)

left the band in the spring to pursue a solo career. His first solo

album, due in the fall, will be released under the name Methods of

Mayhem. It will feature cameos by rapper Snoop Dogg, DJ Mix Master

Mike and others.

Mötley Crüe's current lineup also includes guitarist Mick Mars

(born Bob Deal), singer Vince Neil (Vince Neil Wharton) and drummer

Randy Castillo. The band became popular in the 1980s for its blend of

onstage theatrics and pyrotechnics and thundering heavy metal music.

Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil (1983) produced such

riff-rockers as "Looks That Kill" and the title track

(RealAudio excerpt).

Neil left the group following 1989's Dr. Feelgood but returned

for Generation Swine (1997). Last year the band released

Greatest Hits, which included the new song "Bitter Pill"

(RealAudio excerpt).