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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Vince Neil Tries to Show There Can Be Life After Crue

January 27, 1994|KATHERINE TURMAN

After Vince Neil was fired by big-time metal band Motley Crue in 1992, he launched a solo career that sputtered badly. Now he's resurfaced with a new Tuesday evening rock club called Ruby Tuesday's, held at the tony Bar One on the west end of the Sunset Strip.

This relatively low-pressure situation could be a good way for the flashy performer to renew his rock 'n' roll spirits, but Tuesday's loose 25-minute set was anything but fun. Instead of inspired spontaneity, an air of forced joviality prevailed as Neil and two members of his regular band (absent were star guitarist Steve Stevens and drummer Vikki Foxx) offered a smattering of Crue hits, including "Dr. Feelgood," "Girls, Girls, Girls" and a faltering version of "Kickstart My Heart."

The low ceiling and floor-level stage impeded visibility, and the club's strong sound system magnified every instrumental and vocal glitch. Neil is a basically adequate metal singer, but this format didn't bring out the best in his voice, or in the material.

In the tradition of the defunct China Club, Ruby Tuesday's is being touted as an upscale ($15 admission, $5 beers) pro-jam situation, with Neil serving as the figurehead as local luminaries drop in for impromptu sets. With old-school metal out of vogue, it seems likely that when the initial curiosity wears off, it will be goodby Ruby Tuesday's.

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