Vince Neil Feature From The Inlander

Winning. Everytime.

Why Vince Neil is the frontman we secretly crave.

Think about all the characteristics of your ideal rock ’n’ roll frontman. You’re thinking of Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, aren’t you? So, is Vince Neil the greatest frontman ever?

Heavens, no. There have been a myriad of more talented performers who were better singers and who made superior music. But that’s not the point. In fact, the argument here has almost nothing to do with music. Rather, Neil embodies more of the stereotypical characteristics of the rock frontman than any of his peers. In this sense, he is the pinnacle, a measuring stick by which we compare all other rock frontmen. Just look at all the categories he covers in the rocker checklist:

Bad-Boy Mentality: At its peak, Motley Crue was the walking, breathing definition of boys you wouldn’t want to take home to Mom. Tattooed, troublesome, and legitimately destructive (proof: countless hotel rooms), the band and Neil terrorized each city they swung through. But, amazingly, Neil is making debauchery pay off. Today, he owns a Vegas tattoo shop, his own vineyard, a tequila line, and he founded his own poker tournament and a chain of three bars called Dr. Feelgood’s Bar and Grill. Check.

Womanizing: According to the Motley Crue biography, The Dirt, Neil may be one of the few souls to approach Wilt Chamberlain’s illustrious claim of laying 20,000 women, often making his way through five or more groupies after each show. Failed marriages to mud wrestlers and Playboy playmates also score him points. But really all you need to know is Neil was Motley Crue’s chief lothario despite being in the band with Tommy frickin’ Lee. Check.

Booze & Drugs: While Motley Crue was a volatile cocktail of every substance imaginable, Neil was always an alcohol guy. Numerous empty bottles and empty trips to rehab were left in his wake. Check.

Showmanship: To be an elite frontman, one needs the ability to run around and fire up any crowd. This is why frontmen who play guitar or bass don’t compare. In his heyday, Neil could strut with the best of them. Check.

Success: How does five albums going platinum sound? Check.

Rivalry: An underrated aspect of frontman lore. The singer needs rival bands in order to elevate his standing. Not only did Neil and Co. have a beef with Poison, who they viewed as an inferior and fake version of Motley Crue, but he also feuded with Axl Rose. After a confrontation backstage at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, Neil famously and publicly challenged Rose to a boxing match. Rose never accepted. Check.

Internal Band Struggle: Be it McCartney and Lennon, or Morrissey and Marr, it’s hard to be an elite frontman if you aren’t at odds with your bandmates. Neil took it far enough to briefly get fired from Motley Crue because of his spats with Nikki Sixx. Check.

Hair: Long, big, blonde. Check. Continue reading

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Courtney Marie Andrews Feature From The Inlander

Young Blood

By 18, Courtney Marie Andrews was a music industry vet

Courtney Marie Andrews is a freak among us. Where most teenagers have suffered through the agony of reading book reports in English class — sweat forming on the back of necks as they stumble through Twain, Fitzgerald or Salinger — Andrews started writing songs at 13 and began gigging a few years later. The indie-folk songwriter even had her first well-received album out (2008’s Urban Myths) by the time she was 18.

But even Andrews is still confused by how she did it. Onstage, she was willing to open her soul up to the world, yet she insists that in the day-to-day schooling grind she was a nervous wreck — just like the rest of us.

“I would definitely say I’m much better at getting in front of an audience and singing as opposed to talking,” she says, “When I was 14 or 15, I was one of the kids in class who was really afraid in front of people.”

Despite being the runt at the music venues around Phoenix, Ariz., Andrews’ wide-eyed innocence made her impervious to feeling like the outsider among older musicians.

“I’m sure it seemed weird to other people, but it didn’t seem weird to me. ’Cause when you love to do something you don’t really think about it. You just do it because it’s what you know.”

Andrews’ sound has grown fuller and richer over the years. She says her music’s evolution actually has nothing to do with how she sings or plays, but rather how she senses the music around her.

“When you start to know what sound is. You can’t really hear things well. You can’t really make out differences.” Continue reading