In December 1984, Hanoi Rocks were on their first major tour of the United States, when Michael Monroe fractured his ankle. They needed to skip a few gigs and were invited by Vince Neil to a BBQ at his house.
Picture the scene: you're in your 20s, you're on an unexpected break from touring and you're invited to party with one of the world's most notorious bands. You're hardly going to reply with; "Thanks, but I'm washing my hair tonight", are you? Michael Monroe decided to stay home and recuperate, but the rest of the band were there in a flash.
Article continues below...
Little did they know that this decision was likely to be the worst one they'd ever make. The party was to celebrate the start of Motley Crue's next album and had been going for quite a while. In need of more beer, Vince offers to drive and asks who wants to go with him in his new 72 Pantera sports car. Hanoi Rocks' drummer Razzle volunteers first and on their way back, only four blocks from Vince's home, his car slides sideways due to water on the road and Vince loses control, heading straight into the path of cars travelling on the opposite carriageway.
As the accident was so close to Vince's house, Tommy Lee allegedly ran to the scene on foot after hearing sirens, only to see Vince sat on the curb holding his head in his hands and Razzle's shoe lying in the middle of the road.
At 7:12pm on December 8th, 1984 Nicholas 'Razzle' Dingley was pronounced dead after sustaining severe head injuries. Due to the time difference, the anniversary of his death back home in the UK is December 9th.
MetalTalk.net's very own Pippa Lang paid the following tribute to Razzle:
"Razzle was a lovely, down-to-earth bloke and a top drummer. I can't believe he's been gone 27 years. There was a whole gang of us Metal journos and bands who used to hang out at Wardour Street's St Moritz in the 80s. Hanoi Rocks were in and out of there a lot, and I got to know Razzle a little. He had time for everybody and anybody, including my non-music industry friends, and he'd come and sit at the Moritz's infamous round table and chat and drink - which made him pretty special to all of us.
"When we heard about the car crash, I guess you could say there was a real sense of losing one of our own, and we still talk about him now. The circumstances of his death, of course, were the worst. 'Too fast to live, too young to die' read his tattoo. How apt."
Tina Saul adds:
"The band never forgot Razzle, and whenever they played 'Million Miles Away' there was always a dedication to him, right up until their final shows at the Tavastia in Helsinki back in 2009. I was there and the intense feeling as Andy McCoy started playing the opening notes remains with me every time I hear the song. Everyone was in tears, which only intensified when Michael Monroe said the words; "This is for you Razzle".
"You can see the pain in Hanoi Rocks fans in this video, and just how hard it is for the band to play".
Sign up here for your free MetalTalk Newsletter...