Tommy Lee refers to his experience with addiction as “on and off” substance dependance “for a long time.” After a four-year period of sobriety, he most recently went through a phase of drinking two gallons of vodka a day.
“I go through these phases where I just want to live a different life and fuck all the dumb shit,” he recently explained to Yahoo Entertainment. “And then I decide, ‘You know what? I don’t want to live like that anymore.’”
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Things went downhill during his last tour with Mötley Crüe, where the drummer says he “literally did nothing” and would “just fucking drink.”
“I didn’t notice it until towards the end of it, when I was like, ‘Oh dude, I’ve got to stop. This is fucking insane.’ Like, I was drinking just out of boredom,” he admitted.
“I would just wake up and be just building [a glass with] just all vodka and just a little eyedropper of cranberry or lemonade. I was drinking two gallons — not pints, not quarts, but gallons, the big-handles — a day,” Lee revealed. “That’s fucking crazy. … I just realised, ‘Whoa dude, you’re drinking enough to like, you could probably die.’ And it wasn’t even fazing me. … I just became sort of immune to it.”
That’s when he decided to go to rehab. Now, Lee’s been sober for nearly a year; however, he acknowledges it’s a day-by-day process. “I don’t know if it’s a forever thing, but for now, I’m not drinking vodka today,” he said.
Lee’s putting out a solo album, Andro, on Oct. 16. Read SPIN’s recent interview with the drummer here.
To see our running list of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, click here.