This Was The Most Bizarre Motley Crue Controversy

You may have read about it in the pages of their autobiography "The Dirt" or watched the Netflix biopic of the same name – Mötley Crüe was a band that never shied away from controversy. From their earliest days living in less-than-desirable conditions and struggling to book gigs in the Los Angeles area (via Rolling Stone) up to the very present, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee have made no bones about their bad-boy antics. It would take multiple brushes with tragedy before they, slowly but surely, toned down their act and started acting, well, a little bit closer to their age. (Of course, it wouldn't be the Crüe if they suddenly started behaving completely like 60-year-old men.)

Even at this point in their career, it's not uncommon for fans to look back fondly — or not-too-fondly — on the many things that made them possibly the most notorious of all the Sunset Strip hair metal bands that cranked out hit after hit in the 1980s. With that in mind, we took six of the most infamous incidents or stories in their four decades as a band and asked 600 respondents from the U.S. which of them stood out the most. So which of these Crüe moments was the most controversial of them all? Let's count them down, starting with the ones that took up the fourth to sixth spots in our survey.

A brawl with undercover cops, a strange 'trade,' and the original 'spaghetti incident'

Shortly after "The Dirt" dropped on Netflix in 2019, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel listed 37 crazy stories from the book the film was based on, including some that were included in our survey. That included the sixth-place Mötley Crüe controversy, which saw bassist Nikki Sixx get into a brawl with bikers ... who turned out to be undercover policemen. That fight got 6.83% of the vote and clearly isn't as notorious as other colorful Crüe incidents, but at least it gave Sixx inspiration to write "Knock 'Em Dead, Kid," which appeared on the band's 1983 album "Shout at the Devil." 

Next up, at fifth place with 8.17%, was the incident where drummer Tommy Lee supposedly had sex with a woman in exchange for the opportunity to drive her Jaguar — pretty similar to what the Beatles were singing about close to two decades earlier in "Drive My Car," but much raunchier. 

On a stinkier, or should we say, "dirtier" note, 15% of the readers we polled were grossed out enough by this moment to put it at fourth place — Sixx and Lee's bet on who could go the longest without showering and still be able to do it with a groupie. We won't go into much detail here, but I Love Classic Rock noted that the fallout from this bet (which Lee apparently won) inspired the title of Guns N' Roses' all-covers album "The Spaghetti Incident?"

Nikki Sixx's near-fatal OD came in at a distant second

Our third- and second-place incidents were pretty close to each other in terms of votes, but as far apart as you can get in terms of showing how rock 'n' roll excesses can get out of hand. The third-placer, which got 20.50% of the vote, proved how willing Mötley Crüe was to top other bands when it came to post-show shenanigans. Others threw television sets and chairs out of the windows of their hotel rooms, but Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx decided to go even further by throwing a bed out the window as they watched it land on a Mercedes, according to Louder

While that might have sounded like another decadent night in the lives of a pair of bored rock stars, there was nothing fun about the drug overdose that nearly killed Sixx on December 23, 1987, which came in at second in our poll with a 21.50% share. Per Ultimate Classic Rock, the bassist was partying that night with Guns N' Roses members Slash and Steven Adler and Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby when he passed out after getting injected with a dose of heroin. Although he was declared clinically dead while being taken to the hospital, he woke up a few hours later and ripped the IV tubes off his body, walking out of the facility and getting a ride home from a pair of teenage fans. 

According to Rolling Stone, Sixx did more heroin upon arriving home, but his brush with death ultimately convinced him to enter rehab ... and inspired him to write the hit song "Kickstart My Heart."

The most controversial Crue moment: Vince Neil and the death of Razzle

You probably knew this was coming. The biggest controversy in Mötley Crüe's history, according to 28% of our respondents, was the car crash that took the life of Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley on the evening of December 8, 1984. According to Louder, the Crüe was in the middle of a days-long party with several members of the Finnish glam rock band in attendance. That included Razzle, who decided to join Crüe frontman Vince Neil for a booze run in the latter's 1972 Ford Pantera.

Not long after they left Neil's Redondo Beach home, the singer lost control of his sports car as it spun off on a wet spot; allegedly, he was going 65 mph in a 25 mph zone. The car then swerved into oncoming traffic and hit two other vehicles. The two occupants of one of the cars both suffered serious injuries but survived, while Dingley was pronounced dead on arrival at the South Bay Hospital.

Neil was later convicted on charges of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter, serving only 18 days of a 30-day sentence. He was also asked to pay $2.6 million in restitution and do 200 hours of community service, per Ultimate Classic Rock. And if that doesn't sound harsh enough, even Neil himself admitted that his punishment amounted to a "slap on the wrist," considering how he had "caused so much damage in a lot of people's lives."