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There may be no way to find out if the above story from a now-unknown-to-me magazine is completely factual but it was an early gossip piece item about an infamous chapter in the Motley biography. Paul Miles at Chronological Crue gives us more details:
Mötley presents the award for Best Heavy Metal Album at the MTV Music Video Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. While the rest of the Crüe waits in limos outside the event, Vince waits backstage while Guns N’ Roses plays with Tom Petty. Vince then decks guitarist Izzy Stradlin’ with a punch in the face as he comes off stage, as payback for recently hitting on then kicking his wife at the Cathouse. Mötley’s security chief drags Vince away and as they are about to leave the building, Axl Rose tells Vince he is going to kill him. When Vince encourages him to bring it on, Axl walks away.
This is the start of a feud between the two bands. Axl Rose starts to say in the press that Vince sucker-punched Izzy and he has been insulting Guns N’ Roses for years. Vince feels betrayed after showing Axl vocal tricks to help him out, while they supported Mötley on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour. Axl challenges Vince by sending at least six messages to fight at places like Tower Records in Los Angeles, or on the boardwalk at Venice Beach, but Axl never shows up. Meanwhile Izzy calls Vince and apologizes for his behaviour.
Still angry at the incident and the way Axl has handled it via the press, Vince responds on MTV, telling Axl to name the place and time. He proposes a Monday night fight at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles. Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar from Van Halen say they’ll put up the money to stage the fight at New York’s Madison Square Gardens. No fight eventuates and Vince’s offer still stands to this day.
I think Paul’s version of the story is greatly informed by how the incident is described in the Crue’s bio ‘The Dirt’ & paints a mostly Vince-friendly picture. Of course, the world would find out in the oncoming years how big of a douche Axl Rose could be (just ask his former Guns N’ Roses band mates) & I think that Vince was in the right on this one. If Izzy actually did that to Sharise, he deserved a punch in the face & more!
The Hard Rock & mainstream media had a field day with this story & both Vince & Axl spoke to the folks at Powerline magazine about the beef they had with each other.
Vince can’t help mention Motley’s other enemy of 1989: Bon Jovi! Vince sounds pretty reasonable here. Now read what Axl has to say about the event . . . & about his fight with David Bowie . . . & how big of a dick Mick Jagger is . . . hmmm, I see a pattern here. The extent to which he is violently threatening fighting/killing Vince & how he then subsequently handled it are very telling of the kind of person Axl Rose was.
Here’s a few videos that feature interview clips with Axl in 1990 & then Vince in 1991. Axl mouths off about fighting Vince & then Vince uses an MTV interview about the Crue to challenge Axl to a fight! I’m biased but I don’t agree that Axl would have beat our Vinnie. Axl proved to be all fire & no flame.