I cannot imagine what extraordinary shudder of revulsion must course through Nicholas Dingley’s family when they see a poster for San Diego’s upcoming Spirits Festival, to be held this weekend at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. The poster features the smirking mug of the most deplorable, depraved, diabolical and dangerous douchetard ever belched forth onto the Big Blue Marble as he gleefully displays not one, but two fifths of his latest ‘creation’, Tatuado Liquor.
Thinkers upon these theatrical theses? This is travesty in motion.
Hiring a grinning Vince Neil to hawk hootch from a national platform is like bringing in Ted Nugent to give Columbine High School’s commencement address. It’s Bernie Madoff taking teenage Future Business Leaders of America under his palsied wing, Tommy Chong becoming acting head of the DEA, Phyllis Schlafly asking Ellen DeGeneres for a quick roll in the munch wagon.
It’s burning a cross on the White House lawn.
History of Shite Rock (Cliff’s Notes):
Glam metal sucked as a genre, Mötley Crüe sucked as a band, Vince Neil sucked as a vocalist, Generation Swine was the worst comeback album ever, and above all else in this vast and putrid suckosphere, Vince Neil sucked as Razzle’s drinking buddy.
On December 8, 1984, Nicholas ‘Razzle’ Dingley, drummer for the cultish, flash-in-the-pan band Hanoi Rocks, was hanging out with Neil and getting wasted in Vince’s Redondo Beach crib, where they ultimately ran out of booze. For reasons known only to Vince the Invincible—a Hollywood-born entitlement-attituded punk with a soprano so shrill that some of his tunes can only be heard by Yorkshire Terriers—decided to take the utterly illogical next step of hopping into his De Tomaso Pantera and driving to the liquor store for more liquor. I say illogical not merely in the sense of ‘savagely stupid’, but also because the delivery boy from said liquor store routinely made so many trips to Neil’s house that he sold the directions to starstruck groupies. In any event, Vince opted not to call and, with Razzle riding shotgun in the suicide seat, drove instead. According to police reports, on the way back he nodded out, swerved into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a Volkswagen Beetle, severely injuring Lisa Hogan, 18, and Daniel Smithers, 20—and killing Dingley.
When dealing with vehicular manslaughter (with which Neil was charged), judges were a trifle more lenient in 1984 than they are today. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, of which he served only 15, likely still hung over when released.
Is that where his current snicker comes from? Beating the rap? Or is it the irony inherent in his dedicating an album to Razzle, which he just had to call Theater Of Pain? Can we assume that this record does not appear on the Dingley family sound loop?
So, some epic fails I understand: We’ve all done things that, in retrospect, were insane; stuff that could have gone south in a cocaine heartbeat, and most of us have wound up with kismet, not karma, on our side. But Vince, who by all accounts is a violent and unrepentant psycho, was not the unlucky one when his number finally came up; his victims were. You can tempt this shit for only so long.
One can but hope that had you or I been in this icky situation, we’d have understood that we’d been offered an undeserved wake-up call, and would never touch another drop of liquor as long as we lived. Not true our glitter-glam golden geek, as his subsequent police record indicates:
2002: Neil punched producer Michael Schuman to the ground in a nightclub parking lot; was found guilty, paid restitution and did community service.
2003: Charged with battery for choking a Las Vegas sex worker and throwing her against the wall of the Moonlight BunnyRanch; he was fined and ordered to undergo an anger management class.
2004: Arrested after a fight during a show on October 30 where he left a soundman unconscious for 45 minutes.
2007: Arrested for drunken driving in Las Vegas; pled down to reckless driving to avoid the DUI.
2010: Again arrested for drunken driving in Las Vegas after smashing a fan’s camera during a temper tantrum. Served 15 days in jail, paid fine. Not sure what lesson Vince learned, but I know which one I learned: Extinguishing a Nikon carries the same legal penalty as extinguishing Nicholas Dingley.
2011: Charged with battery and disorderly conduct after attacking his girlfriend Alicia Jacobs; plead down to disorderly conduct alone and paid a fine.
Now, not all of the above incidents mention alcohol, so shit-facery may not have been an issue. Although one sort of hopes it was. When you become violent again and again and again when you drink, the solution is obvious: Don’t drink. When you are a serial thug who can’t control himself sober, the solution is a little more problematic, and likely involves buying a deserted island somewhere in the Norwegian Sea and living there alone, forever.
I do not think you could make much of an argument that it involves being the public face for a line of vodka, sneering into a camera while displaying enough alcohol to kill the rest of Hanoi Rocks.
What in the world is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (the federal agency that regulates the permits, labeling and advertising of distilled spirits) thinking in giving this walking nightmare brand approval, let alone the go-ahead to represent it in marketing campaigns?
You know who cannot legally appear in a liquor ad? Muhammad Ali, Brett Favre, Tim Tebow and Albert Pujols, none of whom drink and all of whom have, to varying degrees, spoken out against alcohol abuse. But they are professional athletes, and as such, may influence minors into thinking that in order to win the Superbowl, you need to play Rum Pong three nights a week and close the bar the other three—or so the Bureau would have you believe.
Now, I am aware that anyone born the same year that Mötley Crüe had their last hit is no longer a minor (by a long shot) and likely does not look to Mr. Neil as a role model, but this is not the point, of course.
And if I haven’t made the point by now, shame on me.
And meanwhile, shame on the city of San Diego for not doing due diligence on the dirty doo-doo of the jackhole representing them, and double shame if they did do it and decided they couldn’t care less about his alcohol-related rap sheet, which is longer than Tommy Lee’s tonsil tickler.
Vince the Vegas Village Idiot launched the Tatuado Liquor Line at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino—the city in which he can’t seem to stay straight. Blissfully, he signed bottles of vodka for adoring fans.
Hey, Vince, you twaddling, twittering, manslaughtering twat : The only thing you should be signing is The Pledge, whereupon, do the home team a favor and make like Razzle and hit the road.