Former Motley Crue frontman “insulted” by “pathetic” portrayal in The Dirt

(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

Former Motley Crue frontman John Corabi says he feels “insulted” by how his character is portrayed on-screen in the LA hard rock quartet’s controversial Netflix biopic The Dirt.

Philadelphia-born Corabi joined the Crue in 1992, following original vocalist Vince Neil’s exit, and fronted the band on their self-titled sixth studio album in 1994: when the album failed to match the success of its predecessor, the band’s 1997 Billboard chart-topping Dr. Feelgood, and the tour promoting the record stiffed, the vocalist was shown the door and approaches were made to Neil to rejoin Nikki Sixxx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee for 1997’s Generation Swine. Perhaps understandably, the period is given short shrift in the quartet’s 2019 biopic, a fact that hasn’t escaped, and certainly hasn’t pleased, Corabi.

“The portrayal in the movie, it was pathetic,” the singer complained in a new interview with The Metal Summit podcast. “It really made it look like I was really pissed when [the band are seen] basically walking into a high school gymnasium to, like, eight people. And I'm sorry — regardless of what the ticket sales were like [while Corabi was in the band], it was never that bad. So I just kind of took it as a little bit of back-handed compliment — not even a compliment; it was like an insult. I was insulted. And I'm, like, you know, dude? If you're gonna be a fucking asshole about it, whoever's choice it was to put that in there… At the end of the day, I didn't appreciate it."

"I think I'm in the movie 20 seconds," Corabi says. "So, take that 20 seconds out and skim over it completely."

Having gone on to front Ratt and The Dead Daisies, Corabi hopes to release a ’70s rock-influenced solo album, and his autobiography, in 2022.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.