08/02/2018

Vincent Neil Wharton

Happy birthday to the rocker Vincent Neil Wharton (born February 8, 1961) an American vocalist and musician, best known as the lead vocalist of heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.
Neil was born in Hollywood, California to Shirley (née Ortiz) and Clois "Odie" Wharton. He has Mexican ancestry on his mother's side and Native American ancestry on his father's. During the 1960s, his family moved around Southern California from Inglewood to Watts, before finally settling in Glendora, attending Sunflower Intermediate School and later Royal Oak High School. As well as having an interest in music while a teenager, Neil was also interested in surfing, basketball, baseball, football and wrestling.
Neil was discovered while performing with his band Rockandi in 1979, and joined Mötley Crüe in 1980. Neil had been friends with Tommy Lee in high school. Mötley Crüe was looking for a lead vocalist at the time and were impressed by Neil after hearing him through Lee. Mötley Crüe released its first album, Too Fast for Love, the same year. In 1983, Mötley Crüe released Shout at the Devil, which established the band as a big act in rock and roll.
In 1985, Neil regrouped with Mötley Crüe to record Theatre of Pain. In 1987, the band recorded the album Girls, Girls, Girls. In 1989, the band released their highest-selling album, Dr. Feelgood.
In February 1992, Mötley Crüe parted ways with Vince Neil. Neil had taken up Indy racing a few years earlier, often turning up at celebrity races. Neil enjoyed the sport so much that he eventually formed Vince Neil Racing. He was racing in the Indy Lights open-wheel developmental series at the time. Neil retired from racing in 1992 after crashing his car during a race in Long Beach after the third lap.
Neil signed a solo deal with Warner Brothers for $4 million. He received a $2 million advance on his first record.
Neil sued Mötley Crüe for 25% of their future profits and $5 million in damages for being fired.
In 1992, Neil released his first single. He stated that the song was written in twenty minutes with his friends Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw. The single "You're Invited (But Your Friend Can't Come)" was featured on the Encino Man soundtrack. Neil made a video for the song that featured a cameo by Pauly Shore. The video does not feature guitarist Steve Stevens as Stevens was hired after the song and video had been released. Stevens re-recorded the song for Neil's first solo album. Neil performed the song live on the MTV Movie Awards.
Exposed, was Neil's first solo album and was released in 1993. The album debuted at #13 on the Billboard charts. The album featured Stevens, who subsequently played all bass and guitar tracks on "Exposed", Dave Marshall, Robbie Crane, and Vik Foxx. The band eventually went on tour, opening for Van Halen.
By 1997, both Neil's solo career and Mötley Crüe's fortunes were declining, so he accepted their invitation to rejoin the band. They released the album Generation Swine, which debuted at #4 on the Billboard charts. Tension soon erupted within the band, however, this time prompting Tommy Lee to leave the band. The other band members replaced him with Randy Castillo and recorded the album New Tattoo in 2000. The renewed band went on hiatus when Castillo died from cancer in 2002.
In late 1984, Finnish hard rock band Hanoi Rocks was on their second American tour and a first one ever to reach California. The two gigs meant to be held in Los Angeles sold out in twenty minutes. On the day they arrived in Los Angeles, December 8, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley and the other members of the band (with the exception of singer Michael Monroe, who was recovering from a fractured ankle) visited Neil's home and spent the day at Redondo Beach. After partying for hours, Neil and Razzle decided to take a trip to a local liquor store in Neil's De Tomaso Pantera. Neil, who was drunk, lost control of the car and hit an oncoming vehicle. The two occupants of the other car were seriously injured and suffered brain damage, and Dingley was killed. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the crash. His blood alcohol level was 0.17, well above the California legal limit at that time of 0.10. In July 1986, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Hinz, Jr. sentenced Neil to 30 days in jail, five years probation, $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash and 200 hours of community service. Neil got out of jail in 15 days for good behavior; Mötley Crüe dedicated their third studio album, Theatre of Pain, to Razzle.
Neil was arrested in 2002 for punching record producer Michael Schuman to the ground in a nightclub parking lot. Neil was ordered to pay restitution and complete community service.
In 2003, Neil was arrested again after accusations that he assaulted a sex worker at the Moonlight BunnyRanch by grabbing her around the throat and throwing her against a wall. On April 9, 2004, Neil pled no contest to battery charges and he was sentenced to a 30-day jail suspension, 60 days anger management, and was fined $1,000 plus court fees of $132.
On December 15, 2004, an arrest warrant for misdemeanor assault was issued for Neil after a fight during a show on October 30 where he left a soundman unconscious for 45 minutes. Police had given the singer a criminal-trespass warning before he left the club and headed to Houston for a Halloween show.
In 2007, Neil was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas after police spotted him making some erratic moves in his Ferrari. Neil later worked out a deal with prosecutors where he pleaded guilty to reckless driving in exchange for them to drop the DUI charge.
In June 2010, Neil was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Las Vegas after having allegedly smashed a fan's camera and was released on $2,000 bond. On January 26, 2011, Neil plead guilty to drunk driving and was sentenced to 15 days in the Clark County jail and 15 days under house arrest.
In March 2011, Neil was charged with battery and disorderly conduct after an altercation with ex-girlfriend, Alicia Jacobs. On May 2, 2011, Neil’s attorneys plead not guilty on his behalf during an arraignment and he was ordered to stay away from Jacobs then was scheduled to appear in court on August 8. On August 8, 2011, Neil’s trial was rescheduled for November 7 due to an unexplained emergency.

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