But his attempts to finally set the record straight in an autobiography chronicling years of sex, drugs, plastic surgery and numerous arrests, have already landed him back in trouble.
Neil, 49, lashes out at bandmates and attempts to settle old scores with rock rivals in "Tattoos and Tequila", to be published on Thursday.
"It really sickens me today to watch everybody fawning all over Sharon Osbourne," Neil writes in the book, recalling a 1984 tour when Mötley Crüe opened for Ozzy and Sharon was running an especially tight ship.
"This is the most evil, shittiest woman I've ever met," he added. Osbourne shot back with some choice words of her own.
"He (Neil) has murdered somebody in a car," Sharon Osbourne told the New York Post last week. "He crippled two other people and he is still driving drunk. And that is why I used to keep my husband away from him."
Hanoi Rocks member Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley was killed in Neil's car when Neil was driving drunk in 1984, for which he served a jail term.
Neil was arrested again in June in Las Vegas on suspicion of drunk driving, a week after he released a solo album, also called "Tattoos and Tequila" -- a set of classic rock covers.
HARSH WORDS FOR BANDMATES
Neil told Reuters he doesn't like talking about himself. But he wanted to give his side of the storied history of the band, which has sold about 25 million albums in the United States alone.
Mötley Crüe released a best-selling band biography called "The Dirt" in 2001.
"There's been so much written about Mötley Crüe. I've never really had a voice", Neil said of his autobiography.
"This was my experience with Sharon 25 years ago. She was not very kind to Mötley Crüe," he added in an interview.
Osbourne is not the only target.
Neil, who split from Mötley Crüe in 1992 and rejoined in 1997, keeps some of his harshest words for his bandmates, whom he has compared to siblings with whom he feuds.
He faulted bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Mick Mars for not supporting him following the 1984 car accident, and disputed their account of the events that led to his 1992 departure.
The book also seeks to settle scores with old foes such as Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose. Neil reiterates a challenge to Rose to a boxing match that he issued in 1989 after an infamous backstage brawl at the MTV Video Music Awards.
On the sleeve of his book, Neil wrote, "Old rock stars fall hard." But Neil said the hard living has been worth it -- with the exception of the shame he feels about Dingley's death
"I don't have any regrets. Anything that I've done wrong, I've learned from," Neil said.
Neil will spend the fall on tour in support of his solo album and the book. He said Mötley Crüe plans to start rehearsals early in 2011 for its Crue Fest 3 festival but has no immediate plans for a follow-up to its 2008 hit album "Saints of Los Angeles."
(Editing by Jill Serjeant)
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