Who was Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley & how long did Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil serve in jail for the fatal car crash?

30 March 2019, 08:00 | Updated: 2 April 2019, 14:14

English drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley in 1982 before he became a member of Hanoi Rocks
English drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley in 1982 before he became a member of Hanoi Rocks. Picture: Erica Echenberg/Redferns

Following Netflix's The Dirt biopic, we look into the tragic death of the Hanoi Rocks drummer and if Vince Neil served time for the crash.

Netflix released Mötley Crüe's biopic The Dirt last week, which tells the dramatic and controversial tale of the 80s hair metal band.

One story in particular covered in the music film is the tragic death of Nicholas Dingley, who died while in a car crash with Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil.

Get the full story here, including the background of Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley, how he died, and how long Vince Neil served for the tragic passing:

Who was Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley?

Nicholas Dingley was an English drummer who was born on 2 December 1960 in Royal Leamington Spa.

He played in various UK bands including Thin Red Line, The Fuck Pigs, Demon Preacher and The Dark.

He then became the drummer of Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks from 1982, where he was known by his stage name Razzle.

80s Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks with Nasty Suicide, Sami Yaffa, Andy McCoy, Mike Monroe and Razzle
80s Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks with Nasty Suicide, Sami Yaffa, Andy McCoy, Mike Monroe and Razzle. Picture: Mike Prior/Redferns

How did Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley die?

1984 saw Hanoi Rocks embark on their first US tour. With their frontman Michael Monroe laid up with a fractured ankle, the band were forced to skip a few gigs and take a break.

It was during this break that the band were invited to party with Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil at his California home in Redondo Beach.

On 8 December, a very intoxicated Razzle and Vince Neil decided to take a trip to the liquor store in Neil's 1972 De Tomaso Pantera- with the Mötley Crüe singer at the wheel.

While speeding and driving drunk, Neil lost control of his car and swerved around a stationary fire truck at 65mph in a 25 mph speed zone.

His car went into the path of oncoming traffic and was hit by another car, whose inhabitants were left injured and with brain damage.

Vince Neil escaped serious injury but Razzle was pronounced dead on arrival at Redondo's South Bay Hospital at 07:12 local time.

Neither Razzle nor Vince Neil were wearing seat belts and according to Louder Sound, Vince Neil had an alcohol reading of 0.17, high above the legal limit of 0.10.

Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley was buried at Holy Cross Church in Binstead, Isle of Wight in 1984.

Did Vince Neil go to prison for the crash and how long for?

Vince Neil was taken to a police station where he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and "vehicular manslaughter," but was then released on bail for $2,500.

In July 1985 Vince Neil was sentenced to 30 days in jail, five years probation and ordered to pay $2.6 million in compensation to the victims of the car crash.

However he only served 18 days in jail due to good behaviour, completed 200 hours of community service and attended lectures on the dangers of alcohol and drug use.

In 1985 Mötley Crüe dedicated their third studio album Theatre of Pain to Razzle.

As Contact Music reported in 2005, speaking to BLENDER about how he wan't punished enough, Neil said: "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**ked up.

"It's changed now. But you're 20-years-old and you've got a million dollars in your pocket and drugs and drink and women and fame and there are lawyers to protect you. We just thought we could do anything."

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