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Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee said rock and roll scandals or wild behavior were a lot easier to keep secret before the dawn of social media, joking about how people could “get away with murder.”

Lee and ex-wife Pamela Anderson made headlines when their sex tape was leaked in the ’90s. This was long before even social media platforms like My Space was available. Lee continued to make headlines for other wild behavior and he revealed a lot of the debauchery is still kept in the vault.

Tommy Lee says pre-social media was a ‘free for all’

Lee reflected on his wilder days, sharing that the world was so different in terms of what fans knew. “Oh man! I tell people this all the time, and it is a fact and it is the truth, that we got away with… when I say murder, I mean everything but the act of physically killing somebody (laugh),” he said on the Allison Interviews podcast.

Motley Crue ended a press conference at Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989
Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx |Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images

“We carried on and we did anything and everything you could possibly imagine,” he continued. “Because there wasn’t social media. People were not carrying around a cell phone that had a camera on it all the time.”

He added, “If you were going to take a picture of something, you needed to take a picture. And [then] get it developed at the one-hour photo place, and even that wasn’t always an hour. Sometimes it was a day. It was a free-for-all before social media. You didn’t have to worry about where you were. [Asking] is this going to show up on Instagram in four minutes?”

He says it was ‘absolutely what it was like’ back then

The younger generation has no concept of life before social media. “A lot of fans that watched the Mötley Crüe movie The Dirt, will ask, ‘Is that really what it was like back then?’ It was absolutely what it was like,” he said.

“And a lot of them feel like they missed out on that in their lifetime. And they will never get to experience it. It was crazy back then. And when I say ‘back then,’ it wasn’t that long ago before cell phones, cameras, and social media,” he added.

Tommy Lee has advice for his sons

He also has advice for his sons, Brandon 25 and Dylan 24 about authenticity in a world that celebrates the Instagram selfie.

“I share this [advice] with my sons constantly, because I see it in so many young people. I always tell them, ‘Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.’ So many people, especially now with [social media], they watch other people’s lives and try to emulate this or that, and say, ‘That’s super rad.”


Tommy Lee Is OK With ‘Pam & Tommy’ but Pamela Anderson Thinks It’s a Joke

And “I need to have that, because someone else has that.’ This younger generation tries so hard to be somebody or something, and they’re going in the wrong direction,” Lee shared.

“The correct direction is inward,” he continued. “I just always support them in being their authentic selves. That’s my best advice. Be yourself above anything else, because there is only one of you, and that one is precious. Just rock what your mama gave you. My sons live in a very different world than when I was their age, and nobody really said those kinds of things to me.”