Bob Rock has clarified his recent comments about MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx’s bass playing on some of the band’s earlier albums
Earlier this week, Rock made an appearance on the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast and spoke about his recent work with MÖTLEY CRÜE. The famed Canadian producer also relayed a story about a conversation he had with Nikki Sixx while the band were working on their fifth album, 1989’s “Dr. Feelgood“.
“I’ve got to tell you a story about Nikki Sixx. This is funny,” Rock said. “So, [while we were making] ‘Dr. Feelgood’, [Nikki] says to me, he goes, ‘I don’t think I ever played on any of the MÖTLEY CRÜE records. I think somebody came in at night and replaced all my parts.’ He says, ‘So I don’t really know how to play bass.’ And I said, ‘Too bad. You’re playing bass on it.’ So I worked with him through ‘Dr. Feelgood’, did a lot of edits and made him play every note.
“But when we did ‘The Dirt’ [soundtrack], the songs on ‘The Dirt’, I went to see him and we started working on the demos. He picked up the bass and started playing, and I said, ‘Woah, woah, woah. What’s going on here?’ He had been taking bass lessons for five years. All of a sudden he’s an amazing bass player. And I think that’s so cool, in that point of his career, he wanted to be better. I admire that. So now, on ‘The Dirt’, Nikki and Tommy [Lee] played live off the floor, both of them.”
After the story was published by several media websites with headlines suggesting that Sixx had someone else play his bass parts on early MÖTLEY CRÜE albums, Rock issued a new statement praising the bassist’s playing ability, calling him “one of the most talented players, lyricists and songwriters” he has “ever had the pleasure of working with”.
Rock‘s new statement reads: “Yesterday on a podcast with Chris Jericho I told a story about working with Nikki Sixx and MÖTLEY CRÜE on the ‘Dr. Feelgood’ record. Unfortunately, like many things on the Internet today, it was taken out of context and misconstrued.
“When I began working with MÖTLEY CRÜE on the ‘Dr. Feelgood’ record, the band was sober for the first time and Nikki particularly was recovering from a very public addiction to heroin. We joked around a lot and Nikki, in his very self-deprecating style would say he didn’t even remember playing on their prior records.
“This was Nikki‘s way of saying that for the record we were working on, he was showing up to do the best he possibly could and to make the best record of the band’s career. Which we did. At no time did I ever actually think Nikki didn’t play bass on MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s records. He’s one of the most unique and talented players in the world and his approach to the instrument is part of what has made MÖTLEY CRÜE great throughout the years.
“Lastly, I was commenting on and commending Nikki because he never stops learning and never stops improving. I respect Nikki for always wanting to be better at his craft and it shows. I have worked with some of the biggest bands in the world and I can say unequivocally that Nikki Sixx is one of the most talented players, lyricists and songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And if the Internet wants to latch onto a story from one or two sound bytes, it’s extremely unfortunate because it doesn’t reflect the truth of the contributions he’s made to music over the last 40 years.”
MÖTLEY CRÜE are currently on a world tour with DEF LEPPARD which resumed this past Monday (May 22) in Sheffield, U.K.