Tommy Lee surprised fans earlier this month at the kickoff show of Mötley Crüe’s current reunion tour when he exited his drum kit after five songs, telling the audience that he had recently broken four ribs. He’s only been playing three or four songs at each date, with Ozzy Osbourne drummer Tommy Clufetos taking over for the rest of the set each time. Now, we finally know how he broke those ribs leading up to the tour.
Lee has been performing a few songs each night against doctor’s orders, with bandmate Nikki Sixx praising the drummer for his efforts. “The fact that Tommy was told by the doctor to not play with 4 broken ribs & he beasted [a portion of] our show is a miracle,” the bassist wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “We are a band and are proud of his strength. He is doing the whole tour and day by day adding more songs. What a f**king animal. Anybody out there ever break ur ribs?”
When addressing the crowd at the kickoff show, Lee commented, “I wish I had a f**kin’ badass story like me and Connor McGregor f**kin’ scrapping out in some f**kin’ bar or something, but I don’t.” In a new Snapchat video, as transcribed by Blabbermouth, Lee’s wife, Brittany Furlan, finally explained how Lee broke his ribs:
“Everyone keeps asking how Tommy broke his ribs, so I’m just gonna tell you. We were staying at an old rental house in Nashville. It was a cool, old quirky house. But the stairs outside were made out of stones, and they were really uneven, and the roots were pushing them up from the tree. And everything was fine. I actually fell up the stairs a few times getting groceries, but whatever. So, the day that we were leaving Nashville, our driver came and we had all this luggage and he wasn’t helping us; he just stayed in the car. And so Tommy was trying to carry all of our luggage for us. And he fell down these crazy stairs and broke — broke — four ribs. Not fractured, not bruised — broke. And it was crazy, ’cause I came out and he couldn’t breathe. It was really scary. He was on the ground [and] he was gasping for air. And he got on a plane that day still and went and did the rest of rehearsals [for the tour] in Pennsylvania. He went to the hospital in Pennsylvania when we landed and they were, like, ‘You have four broken ribs.’ And they wanted to keep him there, but they he did not wanna stay. And he’s just a fighter. He’s the toughest guy I know. I mean, look at all his tattoos; he just really fights through the pain. Anyway, that’s what happened.”
Mötley Crüe’s co-headlining “Stadium Tour” with Def Leppard, featuring support from Poison and Joan Jett, continues through a September 9th concert in Las Vegas. Tickets for the remaining shows are available via Ticketmaster.
See a recap and video footage of the tour’s opening night here. Watch Brittany Furlan explain her husband’s injuries below, followed by Heavy Consequence‘s 2020 video interview with Tommy Lee.