Tommy Lee talks sobriety, rehab: 'I was drinking out of boredom'

Tommy Lee recently spoke to Yahoo Entertainment about his new album "Andro" and how he is about to celebrate one year of sobriety. He recalled that recently being stuck inside due to the pandemic led to boredom, which led to excessive drinking. Lee mentioned that he goes through "phases" of sobriety and partying but that last year he spent over a month at rehab to help reset. Concern from his wife, Brittany Furlan, partly influenced that decision. "She was like, 'I don't think I've ever even seen anybody drink that much.'" Lee recalled. "'You're scaring me ... Like, are you going to wake up?' You know, am I going to wake up to like, you know, you not breathing, you know, that kind of scaring." He joked "I must have a horseshoe stuck in my butt" and added, "somebody is obviously looking out for me because that shouldn't be the case."

Video Transcript


LYNDSEY PARKER: First of all, it's awesome to welcome you, Tommy, from the studio where I assume the magic happened with your album, "Andro," right there.


LYNDSEY PARKER: You've been there long before--

TOMMY LEE: Oh, no.

LYNDSEY PARKER: --this COVID stuff, right? Didn't you spend, like, two years down there working on this album off and on?

TOMMY LEE: I did, actually. God, I started, like, in 2017. Yeah, like, Sep-- like, mid-2017.

I started working on it after the Motley tour was done. I took a year off. I was like. I'm not doing music for, like-- I'm just gonna, like, reset, clear it out, and just, you know, welcome fresh, you know, song ideas and stuff.

So I did that. I made it about a year. And then I came down here, and just all this stuff started pouring out. And the result is "Andro." It's pretty-- it's a pretty wild record.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Were you, like, burned out after Crue? Were you sort of like-- obviously, you would never quit music forever. But were you sort of like, I can't do music for a while?

TOMMY LEE: [LAUGHS] Yeah, you-- totally. I was so over it.


TOMMY LEE: You know, just burnt, just burnt on-- on just-- yeah, on everything. You know, it was, like, touring, music-- I was just like-- I ju-- I want to do-- I want to do something I never get to do. I'm gonna do nothing.


TOMMY LEE: Just like-- literally, I did nothing. And I just-- I remember that time, you know, my people around me were like, dude, what are you doing? And I'm like, nothing. I'm not gonna do anything.

I promised myself. So I did that. I floated in my pool and did absolutely nothing for a year.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You're sober now, right?


LYNDSEY PARKER: And you've been sober for how long?

TOMMY LEE: In, like, two weeks, it'll be a year.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Oh. Just, well, congratulations!

TOMMY LEE: Yeah, thank you, thank you.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I didn't realize it was that recent. I thought it was more like three or four years. What happened a year ago that made you decide to get sober?

TOMMY LEE: I've been sober for four years. I've been sort of on and off for a long time. I go through these phases where I want to live a different life and [BLEEP] all the dumb [BLEEP]. And then I decide, you know what, I don't want to live like that anymore. I want to have fun and play and be [BLEEP] up and stupid and all that [BLEEP].

So it's weird for me. It's always just sort of-- this particular instance, I had been home. And I'll tell you-- I'll tell you this right now. Idle time at home, not touring, just being at home, I did what I told you.

I just enjoyed being home. I literally did nothing. I would just float around, drink, and [BLEEP] drink.


TOMMY LEE: And what's crazy-- and I didn't notice it until towards the end of it, when I was like, oh, dude. I gotta stop. This is [BLEEP] insane. Like, I was drinking-- and just out of boredom. I would just wake up and just build-- just all vodka and just a little eyedropper of cranberry or a lemonade or something, literally straight vod--

I was drinking two gallons-- not pint, not-- gallons, the big handles, a day. That's [BLEEP] crazy. You know, going to get a full checkup with the doctor and stuff, he's like, dude, I don't know what the deal is with you, but your liver's fine, you're super healthy. Like, [BLEEP], what are you made of?

Like, you know what I mean? Like, I-- you know, for most people, they'd probably have, you know, destroyed a bunch of stuff. But anyway, that's not important. What's important is I just realized, like, whoa, dude. This is-- you're drinking enough to, like, you could probably die.

Like, it's just-- and and it wasn't even fazing me. I was just like, oh, yeah, whatever. It's-- you know what I mean? That stuff's kind of crazy.

I just became sort of immune to it and realized, whoa, this is a lot. Like, this isn't good. So it was time for me to pump the brakes and, you know, just-- just get rid of it for a while. I don't know if it's a forever thing. But for now, I'm not drinking vodka today.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Was your wife-- 'cause I know you just kind of recently celebrated your one-year anniversary.


LYNDSEY PARKER: Was she involved in this decision to sort of pump the brakes on that? Was she concerned to see you drinking in that kind of volume?

TOMMY LEE: Yeah. Concern is-- that's probably the right word. She was like, baby, I don't know. I don't think I've ever even seen anybody drink that much. Like, you're kind of scaring me.

Like, not scaring her as in, like, violent or that kind of thing. Just like, you're scaring me, like I-- like I'm scared, like, are you gonna wake up? You know? Am I gonna wake up to, like, you not breathing, you know, that kind of scaring?

And I was like, you know, that sucks. I can't-- that's not cool to have you have you worry like that. And it's worrying me, you know. But yeah, she was definitely concerned.

And her concern obviously helped in my decision to just go, get out of here. I bailed for, like, over a month and just was like, that's it. I'm done for a while.

LYNDSEY PARKER: What do you mean, you bailed? Did you go to r--

TOMMY LEE: I went to rehab, yeah.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Oh, I was unaware of that. Where--




LYNDSEY PARKER: This was-- you took this seriously. This wasn't just, like, I'm gonna, like, not drink for a little while. You--

TOMMY LEE: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

LYNDSEY PARKER: It seems to be working out. You went to the doctor, and he was surprised at what good health you were in, which--


LYNDSEY PARKER: --I'm happy to hear.

TOMMY LEE: I'm like, did you get my papers mixed up with another guy with the last name Lee, because there's got to be something like--

LYNDSEY PARKER: Well, that-- that's the question is, like, how are you still alive, basically? This is just one of the few-- many times that you've put yourself in harm's way, right? Like, how?

TOMMY LEE: I must have a horseshoe stuck in my butt. Like, I just-- I'm really lucky. I'm grateful. And I don't know, man. It's pretty crazy. Somebody's obviously looking out for me, because it shouldn't be the case, and-- you know what I mean, because I was doing some pretty serious damage that would probably hurt anybody else badly.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I'm glad that you went, you know, to rehab and got help. And obviously, you're keeping busy, which is good.

TOMMY LEE: Yeah, I definitely have to-- I'm one of those guys that has to keep myself busy.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I'm glad you're staying busy doing whatever it is you're doing, making music.

TOMMY LEE: Thank you.

LYNDSEY PARKER: The "Andro" record is great. Glad you're staying sober, and--


LYNDSEY PARKER: All things are going well for you. So is there anything you-- what you look back on, whether it's something you did in your own behavior or certain music video or lyrics where you're just like, nah, I shouldn't have done that, or that doesn't seem right, or what-- I mean, you know, is there anything-- do you have any sense of shame or regret? You don't seem like the kind of man who lives with any regrets. But who knows?

TOMMY LEE: So I don't really regret anything in-- you know, those are all-- that's life, man. You know, you do stuff, and you do stupid [BLEEP]. And you go, OK, well, that hurt. I'm not gonna do that again, or-- you know what I mean. I think all those things are put in front of you for a reason to make you a better person.