I love the Crue and was excited to tuck into Tommyland – Tommy Lee’s version of his life in the limelight. To say that Tommy’s no shrinking violet would be an understatement to beat all understatements, and consequently his book is chock full of subject matter that ranges from public nudity to porno shoots, editorial comment by his own penis to love and life won and lost. But I can’t help but feel like Tommy pulled some punches; The Dirt dished way more dirt and in greater detail.
What Tommyland did do well was let us inside his head a bit. He’s lead a life that would have put most of us six feet under, but he seems to have flourished (he might be part cockroach). He survived, his musical love and talent is intact, and he’s learned how to balance rock n’ roll with generosity and love. In my humble opinion you can thank his parents’ example: their great love for each other and the unconditional support they offered Tommy.
Tommy’s obviously a formidible ego and he’s admittedly got some anger management issues. But I can’t help but feel like I’d really really like him in person. He loves indulging his inner child, doesn’t take himself too seriously and despite the crap that has happened in his life (to him and because of him) he’s managed to retain his joie de vive – he’s not afraid of Life or of striving for more. He knows how to forgive, he knows how to laugh, he knows how to work, and knows the value of true and dedicated relationships. And most importantly he knows how to be introspective and honest with himself about himself. He’s certainly lived many more lifetimes than most of us will ever live and seen more than most of us will ever see (thank god).
I got alot of what I expected from the book – gross excesses, generally poor writing, some juice. But Tommy clearly did not intend for the book to be a dish about what everyone already knows about him. It was his attempt to help us understand him better and to explain a few things. It’s about him, not his life. And while most of it was a ramble there were a few moments where you could see that hey, maybe he’s actually getting it. I’ll leave you with them here – but if you ask me, read The Dirt. Tommyland is really just an appendix to that book.
On the gossip industry and the fascination with the Cult of Celebrity:
“That kind of ‘entertainment’ is the staus quo today. I don’t even know anymore if that’s what the public craves or if it’s just a brand of societal therapy. Do people really feel better watching strangers feel bad? Or is it watching famous people feel bad? Whatever. Just remember that information is like clay: It’s easy to get and those with a good hand can bend it into whatever shape they want to.”
A Dr. Lee love tip:
“If you want a [mate] and you’re looking for one, then stop, because in love you only find what you want when you’re not looking. If you’re on the prowl, think about your attitude…where do most people prowl? Clubs and bars. Trust me, if you’re digging for treasure in a Dumpster, you might find some, but you’re gonna get pretty fucking dirty rootin’ through all that trash. I shouldn’t say shit because, aside from Heather [Locklear], I’ve met just about every woman I’ve ever been with in a club… Hey, maybe that’s my problem: I never meet the women I date in normal places like supermakret or bookstore or kids’ soccer games. Whatever.”
On companionship and emotional intimacy:
“One of my favorite things in the whole world is watching two old-as-fuck people walking down the street, still kissing or holding hands at lunch, not doing anything but looking into each other’s eyes and having a conversation. You just know they still love each other. Think of that visual the next time you see a young couple together with so much ahead of them and absolutely nothing to say to each other. You know who I’m talking about: They’re both on their cell phones, one is clicking away on his Crackberry, emailing whoever-the-fuck. When I see people who still have something to talk about and they’re old, I get so happy just knowing that it’s possible.”
On expanding your horizons:
“Reading is like vitamins for your soul. A good book can change your life as much as a perfect piece of music or an amazing painting. It can take your world and show you parts of it you might be missing. And don’t you want to know as much about being a human as you can?”
“I don’t know, but it seems to me that people don’t do anything unless something is broken…taking the time to ask yourself the big questions isn’t a part of the regularly scheduled program. Those who have a child or a demanding job, or fuck, just trying to get the bills paid and get a nice comfortable life for themsleves know how fast the days, weeks, and years go by. Finding time for yourself is a challenge, as dumb as that sounds. Do it. More important, it’s the only way you’ll know who you are, how you feel, and discover what you really want out of life. If you don’t have those answers clear in your mind yet, don’t worry, there’s still time if you’re still breathing. Time is all we have here, so make the most of it.”