As the drummer for Mötley Crüe, Tommy Lee helped them quickly build a fanatical following, after issuing their debut album, Too Fast for Love, on their own independent Leathur label. Elektra Records decided to sign the band shortly thereafter, reissuing their debut, as the band began a string of hit releases throughout the decade -- 1983's "Shout at the Devil," 1985's "Theater of Pain," 1987's "Girls, Girls, Girls," and 1989's "Dr. Feelgood" -- establishing the quartet as one of the biggest hard rock/metal bands of the '80s. The band took rock theater to a whole new level, especially Lee, whose drum solo centered around such crowd-pleasing gimmicks as his entire kit revolving and spinning, while he continuing to bash on the skins.
Lee formed a similarly styled outfit, Methods of Mayhem, issuing a self-titled album the same year and touring behind it. Although Lee had little to do with Mötley Crüe after splitting, he agreed to take part in their 2001 tell-all autobiography, The Dirt. In addition to his musical output with the Crüe and M.O.M., Lee has made guest appearances on albums by other artists (Stuart Hamm -- The Urge, Nine Inch Nails -- Downward Spiral, Rob Zombie -- Hellbilly Deluxe), contributed a solo song, "Welcome to Planet Boom," to the soundtrack of then-wife Pamela Anderson's 1996 movie, Barb Wire, and produced an album for the pre-Goldfinger project from John Feldmann and Simon Williams, the Electric Love Hogs. He parted ways with M.O.M. partner Tilo and began recording with members of Incubus and the Deftones. Through time, he eventually started recording songs featuring himself almost exclusively, and by the time it came to release the results, it was released as his first solo album. The CD, 2002's Never a Dull Moment, reflected his love of rap metal and electronica and featured little of the Motley Crue swagger he was famous for. Three years later, he and Mötley Crüe reconvened for the greatest hits package Red, White and Crüe. A monumental reunion tour, The Red, White & Crüe Tour 2005: Better Live Than Dead, the band's first in six years, coincided its release. In the midst of the band's resurgence, Lee also prepped himself for his turn in the reality TV spotlight and a new solo album. Tommy Lee Goes to College, which featured Lee taking classes and playing in the marching band at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln