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Methods of Mayhem Biography

Rap-metal combo Methods of Mayhem was formed by frontman Tommy Lee after quitting his drumming duties in Motley Crne. Born Thomas Lee Bass on October 3, 1962 in Athens, Greece, he grew up in Los Angeles, co-founding the band Christmas with bassist Nikki Sixx in 1981; with the subsequent additions of guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil, the group was renamed Motley Crne and immediately became a top attraction on the local hard rock scene. Signing to Elektra in 1983, the Crne emerged as one of the best-selling and most notorious metal bands of the era, scoring a series of hit albums including 1985's Theatre of Pain, 1987's Girls, Girls, Girls and 1989's Dr. Feelgood; famed for their glamorously excessive offstage antics as much as their music itself, Lee in particular became steady tabloid fodder in 1986 with his marriage to Dynasty vixen Heather Locklear, a tumultuous relationship which ended in divorce eight years later.

Even as Motley Crne's fortunes waned, Lee remained in the limelight thanks to his 1995 marriage to pin-up Pamela Anderson, a union which produced two children as well as an infamous homemade sex video which became a bestseller. Run-ins with the law were also common -- in 1997 he and Sixx were arrested after encouraging fans to rush the stage during a concert stop in Phoenix, and a year later Lee was arraigned for assaulting a photographer. Most scandalously, in May 1998 he was sentenced to six months in jail for assaulting Anderson, although the two later reunited. He left Motley Crne in 1999, collaborating with rapper TiLo on Methods of Mayhem, an all-star project featuring input from Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, the Crystal Method, Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg and MixMaster Mike. Signing to MCA, Methods of Mayhem issued their self-titled debut LP in late 1999.

Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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