Friday, March 25, 2011 | 12:44 p.m.
The arm gave him away. All those tattoos. A forearm stained almost totally in ink.
It was the arm of Vince Neil. The extended right index finger, also, was of Vince Neil. And the unmistakably high-pitched voice, of course, was that of Vince Neil, and he was shouting “Eff you!”
Using more colorful language, of course. As colorful as the artwork on his limbs.
- Vince Neil revisited; Rita Rudner; Terry Fator
- Vince Neil and Alicia Jacobs and comic Gilbert Gottfried
- Josh Strickland and Hal Sparks
“Eff you!” he shouted, first at me. Then it was “Eff you!” at Tricia McCrone, seated immediately to my left. Finally, it was “Eff you!” at Alicia Jacobs, who happens to be Neil’s ex-girlfriend.
Eff you. This is the mantra of 50-year-old Vince Neil.
And just as soon as he spewed, Neil wheeled away and skulked out of Las Vegas Hilton’s Shimmer Cabaret. There would be no encore.
It all happened so fast, officer, at 10:20 p.m. Thursday. That’s what we were able to report officially later -- to Hilton security officials and Metro Police officers who were summoned to investigate what was at least a clear case of felony buffoonery and, maybe worse, as McCrone and Jacobs said Neil poked them with his right forefinger. They say he poked me, too. I honestly couldn’t tell who was or wasn’t poked (I felt nothing), but Jacobs came away with a circular bruise on her right shoulder.
Neil committed this drive-by belligerence as comic Hal Sparks was taking the stage during his run in the Shimmer’s “Icons of Comedy” series. McCrone and I were in attendance because we had interviewed Sparks last week on “Kats With the Dish,” and we thought it a good idea to see his act. As for our friend Jacobs, she was a later addition to what we now call the “Eff You Triplets.”
At first, all seemed rather unordinary. Sparks’ opening act, Chris Bonno, had just finished his set, having battled a quartet of seemingly besotted guys from Oklahoma seated in the front row.
But like Bonno, they were a mere warm-up.
Bonno introduced Sparks and, as if on cue, Neil ambled into the showroom and told us to eff off, thrice over.
There were several seconds of stunned silence, then the people seated around us started asking, “Do you know that guy?”
“Oh yeah,” I said. “I know him.”
Then, still dumbstruck, I turned to McCrone, my friend of more than a dozen years, and said, “We have arrived.”
Why would Vince Neil do this? Because he’s Vince Neil. And also because he’s upset at me for reporting his whereabouts and activities since he was released from house arrest on his latest DUI charge, partying it up at the Hilton (a hotel that seems to need a babysitter these days) and the Palms while his Lamborghini was parked in valet. On Thursday, the Lambo was nowhere in sight, but his red Ferrari was parked out front, with the vanity plate WYLDSDE tipping off its owner (one of the Metro officers, who happens to be a Motley Crue fan, understood the irony of that plate).
In the moments after Neil’s ill-advised cameo, Jacobs -- her eyes tearing up -- left the Shimmer and walked out into the casino floor to, maybe, reason with her ex. No chance. Neil shouted her down, saying he was upset with her and everyone at the table for the unflattering media coverage he’d received as his conduct was being witnessed by concerned hotel guests at places like, well, the Hilton.
In one particularly odd moment, McCrone and I were told by the Shimmer maitre’ d that L.V. Hilton executive (and a close friend of Neil’s) Ken Ciancimino wanted to speak with us outside the theater. I felt bad for Sparks, who was having a tough enough time playing to a room of about 50 highly distracted patrons without having to cope with all the theatrics unfolding in the showroom’s epicenter.
I also wondered how an ill-intended Neil was able to burst into the Shimmer Cabaret and perform his shout-at-the-devil routine, no problem, but one of the hotel’s highest-ranking officials required a maitre’d to summon us for an impromptu meeting.
At that point, we were determined to finish the show. It was a war of wills. But it wouldn’t happen, as minutes later a security officer told us that Metro Police wanted us out of the theater, immediately, to question us about the unscripted episode at Shimmer.
We left at once, with Sparks calling out, “They’re leaving! And they are being taken away by a guy with a gun!” Interactive comedy at its best.
McCrone actually spun back into the showroom, Metro officers flanking her, to retrieve her purse and Sparkle, Jacobs’ dog. Yep, Sparkle was the fourth guest seated at our table. He’s a beautiful pooch, and he ably averted the F-bombs, but he is not the greatest watchdog. During this retrieval, a cocktail waitress chased down McCrone and demanded that she pay our table’s bar tab (two glasses of wine and a diet cola, which the hotel did take care of, and thanks for that).
Meanwhile, Sparks called out, “You have a dog, too?” More hilarity ensued.
Finally, we were gathered in the Hilton’s security office and met by at least a half-dozen Metro officers. They painstakingly asked about what had transpired and if we believed Neil intended to harm us. I said I didn’t believe he was out to cause bodily injury to me, but he was obviously intent on venting in a swift, profane, two-syllable outburst. I filed a voluntary witness report to Hilton security and Metro.
As I told the officers, it was just a case of a guy succumbing to anger and bad judgment who lurched into a comedy show and made an idiot out of himself.
But Jacobs’ role as Neil’s ex-girlfriend complicates issues, as she reported that Neil made contact with her. Such an act could fall in the realm of domestic abuse, and Metro could charge Neil, even though Jacobs opted not to press criminal charges Thursday night.
At this sitting, I have no idea what legal ramifications the Motley Crue frontman faces. Police are said to be investigating the matter today. But I’m not pressing any criminal charges. Why bother?
Sometimes it’s best to just watch the show.