Michael Monroe wrote letter to Vince Neil in hope to alleviate his pain over Razzle crash tragedy

Author Arto Mäenpää - 7.3.2024

Michael Monroe disclosed that he penned a letter to Vince Neil following their initial meeting last year, as the former Hanoi Rocks frontman could sense Neil’s enduring anguish over the fatal car accident that occurred four decades ago.

When Neil lost control of his vehicle in Hollywood on December 8, 1984, resulting in the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle Dingley and permanent injuries to two others, it left a lasting scar. Neil, found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit, served a brief prison sentence and was fined $2.6 million for vehicular manslaughter.

Monroe and Neil’s paths hadn’t intersected until last June, when they met for the first time, facilitated by Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliott.

We were friends originally, and we will always be connected by that unfortunate accident. Unfortunately, it can’t be helped,” Monroe revealed in a recent interview with Swedish radio station Rockklassiker. “But I would so much rather have that connection be on a more positive note.”

Monroe reached out to Elliott, whom he praised as a “sweetheart” and an “angel,” requesting him to relay a message to Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. This led to a meeting at the Rockfest event in Finland, where Mötley Crüe was performing.

[Sixx] replied, e-mailed me right away,” Monroe recounted. “It was a very heartfelt letter, and you could see he was sincere. And he was like, ‘Yeah, we’re coming down… Joe Elliott said that you’re coming down. Let’s meet up tomorrow and see each other again.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, sometime I’d like to meet Vince.’ I never met Vince Neil before. So I said, ‘I would like to meet him too, if possible, at some point.‘”

Although Monroe hoped to join Crue onstage for “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room,” he arrived too late. Nevertheless, he praised Neil’s performance during the show.

Their meeting occurred shortly after Crue’s performance ended, marking the first encounter between Monroe and Neil. Monroe expressed to Neil that Razzle had always wanted them to meet, emphasizing their shared experience as vocalists.

I just told him that Razzle always wanted us to meet because us singers, we’re alike,” Monroe recalled. “And he smiled, and then we looked each other in the eyes for about like a half a minute or something. I could just see how much pain he’s been living with.”

Feeling there was more to convey, Monroe wrote a letter a week later, requesting Sixx to deliver it to Neil. “I wanted to… maybe make him feel a little bit better about things,” Monroe explained. “A couple of days later, [Sixx] said Vince came to his room and he read the letter… He had a big smile on his face and he said, ‘That’s amazing.’

Monroe hopes that Neil can forgive himself for the tragedy and live a happier life, in accordance with what Razzle would have wanted. He concluded, “I was glad to be able to do that, reach out to him. And next time they come to Finland or wherever we are, if we’re in the same place, I’ll be up there playing the harp on ‘Smokin’ In The Boys Room.’