Bob Rock Clarifies Comments on Nikki Sixx’s Early Motley Crue Bass Playing in New Statement
Producer Bob Rock has issued a new statement following comments made on the Talk Is Jericho podcast (heard below) in which he shared a story about working with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx in the early days of the band in which the bassist questioned whether or not he had actually played on the band's first four albums. In the new statement, Rock explains the context in which those comments were made, chalking it up to Sixx joking around in a self-deprecating style.
While appearing on the podcast, Rock recalled, "[While making] 'Dr. Feelgood', [Nikki] says to me, he goes, 'I don't think I ever played on any of the Motley Crue records. I think somebody came in at night and replaced all my parts.' He says, 'So I don't really know how to play bass.'"
"And I said, 'Too bad. You're playing bass on it,'" the producer continues, "So I worked with him through 'Dr. Feelgood,' did a lot of edits and made him play every note."
Rock would later share how Sixx has continued to improve as a player over the course of his career. "When we did The Dirt [soundtrack], the songs on The Dirt, I went to see him and we started working on the demos. He picked up the bass and started playing, and I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa. What's going on here?' He had been taking bass lessons for five years," revealed Rock. "All of a sudden he's an amazing bass player. And I think that's so cool, in that point of his career, he wanted to be better. I admire that. So now, on The Dirt, Nikki and Tommy [Lee] played live off the floor, both of them."
In October of 2021, Sixx himself opened up about taking guitar, bass and vocal lessons before the pandemic and that he even learned to play bass with his fingers, as he had been using a pick up that point.
Now, to offer a clarification of what was said on the podcast and the context in which is was shared, Rock issued a statement that reads as follows:
Yesterday on a podcast with Chris Jericho I told a story about working with Nikki Sixx and Motley Crue on the Dr. Feelgood record. Unfortunately, like many things on the Internet today, it was taken out of context and misconstrued. When I began working with Motley Crue on the Dr. Feelgood record, the band was sober for the first time and Nikki particularly was recovering from a very public addiction to heroin. We joked around a lot and Nikki, in his very self-deprecating style would say he didn’t even remember playing on their prior records. This was Nikki’s way of saying that for the record we were working on, he was showing up to do the best he possibly could and to make the best record of the band’s career. Which we did. At no time did I ever actually think Nikki didn’t play bass on Motley Crue’s records. He’s one of the most unique and talented players in the world and his approach to the instrument is part of what has made Motley Crue great throughout the years.
Lastly, I was commenting on and commending Nikki because he never stops learning and never stops improving. I respect Nikki for always wanting to be better at his craft and it shows. I have worked with some of the biggest bands in the world and I can say unequivocally that Nikki Sixx is one of the most talented players, lyricists and songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And if the Internet wants to latch onto a story from one or two sound bytes, its extremely unfortunate because it doesn’t reflect the truth of the contributions he’s made to music over the last 40 years.
Mahalo - Bob Rock
Rock has continued his working relationship with Motley Crue of late, most recently working with Sixx, newly added guitarist John 5 and drummer Tommy Lee on new material.
Motley Crue have returned to the road, once again playing alongside Def Leppard in a continuation of last year's North American "Stadium Tour" that is now hitting other parts of the globe. Be sure to get your tickets to see them here.