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30 Years Ago: Hanoi Rocks Drummer Razzle Killed in Car Crash

Razzle Vince Neil
CBS / Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle (left in above photo) was killed on Dec. 8, 1984, in a tragic car accident. Born Nicholas Dingley, he was a passenger in a car driven by Motley Crue‘s Vince Neil.

The two bands were at a party given in honor of the Finnish band’s first U.S. tour, when Neil and Razzle — both of whom reportedly had already been drinking — decided to make a run to the liquor store. As the car made its way around a winding Hollywood road, Neil lost control of the vehicle and smashed into another car. All involved sustained injuries, but Razzle was less fortunate. He was taken to South Bay Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. He was 24 years old.

Two decades later, Neil — who was released from his 30-day jail sentence for the incident 10 days early for good behavior — expressed remorse and admitted that he got off too easy for driving under the influence, telling Blender (via OpposingViews), “I wrote a $2.5 million check for vehicular manslaughter when Razzle died. I should have gone to prison. I definitely deserved to go to prison. But I did 30 days in jail and got laid and drank beer, because that’s the power of cash. That’s f—ed up.”

In a 2006 interview with Metal Express, Hanoi guitarist Andy McCoy was asked about the accident: “I was there, what happened was Razzle disappeared, so did Vince. So me and T-Bone, Tommy Lee, took his car and went looking for them. We drove past this accident, and I was like, What color was the car they were driving? Because we just passed a f—king accident with a bright red sports car. Then I saw Razzle’s hat on the street.”

In 2011, Hanoi singer Michael Monroe gave his take: “There was an accident, and unfortunately our drummer was killed. As far as Vince Neil, I have nothing to say. It was an accident. What happened happened, and it can’t be changed. Everybody suffered from the whole thing.”

Hanoi Rocks soldiered on briefly, bringing in former Clash drummer Terry Chimes to finish off some standing European dates, but shortly after, the band called it a day.

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