Tommy Lee plays first full set with Mötley Crüe since breaking his ribs

Tommy Lee of Motley Crue
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)

It's been a rough month or so for Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. Two weeks before his band were set to head off on their North American stadium trek on June 16, alongside Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Lee sustained a major injury in Nashville while Crüe were rehearsing, breaking four of his ribs.

Desperate to not pull out of the tour, the drummer has been striving to play as much of each set as possible, before having to hand over the drum sticks to his stand-in Tommy Clufetos due to being in too much pain.

At the quartet's recent show on June 28 in Charlotte, North Carolina however, Lee finally was able to make it through a whole performance. 

According to his wife, Brittany Furlan, the 59-year-old musician broke the four ribs on his right side after falling down the stairs of a rental home. However, Lee has been reluctant to tell the story of how sustained the injuries himself, due to the tale apparently not being "fuckin' cool" or "fuckin' badass" in any way.

In a recent snapchat video, Furlan did disclosed the full details of what really happened, revealing that Lee simply took a tumble because he was carrying too many bags.

She explains: "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."

Here's the drummer back where he belongs:

On June 17, a day after the tour began, bassist Nikki Sixx expressed his admiration for Lee on Twitter for "beasting" through each set: "The fact that Tommy was told by the doctor to not play with 4 broken ribs & he beasted half our show is a miracle. 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 fucking animal. Anybody out there ever break ur ribs?"

Although Lee has been struggling with each performance, unable to make it to the end of the set until now, he has however managed to find humour in the situation. During Mötley Crüe's show in Washington, D.C. on June 22, the drummer lobbed a tray of beef ribs into the audience. 

"For the people that know, here's a little fucking joke on the whole situation," Lee told the crowd. "For those of you that don't know, I brought a couple of unbroken ribs for y'all to throw down on."

"Let's fucking party, goddammit. Ribs? How about some fucking ribs? Any of you guys ever broke a fucking rib? Yeah? Does that shit suck or what?"

Welcome back Mr Lee.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.