Michael Monroe revealed he’d written a letter to Vince Neil after the pair met for the first time last year, because the ex Hanoi Rocks singer could see his Motley Crue counterpart was still in pain over his fatal car crash four decades earlier.

When Neil lost control of his vehicle in Hollywood on Dec. 8, 1984, two people were permanently injured and his passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle Dingley, was killed. Neil, who was over the drink-drive limit, later served a short prison term and was fined $2.6 million for vehicular manslaughter.

The bands’ paths hadn’t crossed again before Monroe – who’d never met Neil – initiated a meeting in June 2023, with the help of Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott.

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

He contacted Elliott – who he described as a “sweetheart” and an “angel” – asking him to pass on a message to Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. As a result, a meeting was arranged at the Rockfest event in Finland, where Crue were playing.

“And [Sixx] replied, e-mailed me right away,” the Finnish musician recalled. “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.’”

If he’d arrived earlier, Monroe had aimed to join Crue on stage for a rendition of “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room.” He explained: “I had my [harmonica] with me… but I got there like five minutes before they went on stage, so I was on the side of the stage.

“I never saw them live before… it was good. Vince Neil was singing for real, I could tell… it was really sounding great out there.”

The meeting took place as soon as Crue’s show ended, and that’s when Monroe and Neil came face-to-face for the first time. “I just told him that Razzle always wanted us to meet because us singers, we’re alike,” Monroe said.

“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.”

But he felt there was more to be said – so he wrote a letter a week later and asked Sixx to send it on 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.’”

Michael Monroe Wants Vince Neil to Forgive Himself for Crash Tragedy

Monroe said of Neil: “I’m sure he’s sick and tired of being tormented by the whole thing [and he] should forgive himself and live a happy… That’s what Razzle would want for him. He’s a good person. He deserves happiness in his life.

“He’s had a really rough time and he’s never been the same after that. It’s a horrible thing to happen. And it could have happened to any of us.”

He added: “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.’”

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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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