Vince Neil doesn’t mind admitting that he’s “way out of my comfort zone” as one of the contestants on ABC’s new “Skating With the Stars” reality show.
“It’s hard work. It’s an Olympic sport, and it’s just really tough,” the Motley Crue frontman told Billboard.com as he prepared for the reality show’s second week when, among other things, he’ll lift his professional skating partner Jennifer Wester above his head. “I’m in rehearsals from 10 in the morning ’til six o’clock at night, seven days a week. It’s pretty grueling. It’s hard on your body. I’ve got bruises all over. It’s tough.
“Y’know, I look at the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ thing and I’m like, ‘How easy is that? You’re not on ice. You’re actually on your feet in a nice, warm environment.’ We’re on ice, on a blade, trying to do things to dance on ice. It’s a whole other ball game.”
Video: Vince Neil performs on “Skating with the Stars”
Neil is not a total stranger to the ice, however; his memoir, “Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen,” even features a photo of him receiving a trophy for figure skating as an adolescent. “It’s one of those things that your mom makes you do — ‘Your sister’s figure skating, why don’t you skate with her?,’ so I did it,” he recalled. “But I hadn’t done it since, like 1973…so my body is definitely not what it used to be.”
After receiving the invitation for “Skating With the Stars,” Neil says he repaired to an ice rink in Las Vegas, where he resides, “to see if I could stand up on skates. So I got on the ice, and my first thought was, ‘Absolutely, no. There’s no way I can do this.’ After 10 minutes I was skating and 10, 15 minutes later I figured out how to go backwards, so I thought ‘Why not?'”
He and Wester began practicing together in mid-October and continue to work out in Las Vegas, though he noted that “it keeps getting harder and harder. We had five weeks to learn the first routine; now you only have five days to learn the next week’s. You’re a better skater, so it’s a little easier, but it’s tough. It’s scary.
“But once you accomplish it, it’s a great feeling,” he says. “It’s like I never thought I’d be doing anything like this. I’m not the best at it, but I’m way better than I was six weeks ago.”
But, Neil cautioned, “don’t bet the farm” on him winning the competition. And don’t count on him taking part in a “Skating With the Stars” tour if it follows suit with other talent-based reality shows like “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol”; he hits the road with Motley Crue to start celebrating the group’s 30th anniversary during March in South America, with Crue Fest tours of North America planned for the summers of 2011 and 2012.
No new band album is planned at the moment, but Neil said that “there’s gonna be a lot of special stuff” coming out to commemorate the anniversary.
“It’s a weird thing to say, ‘We’ve been together for 30 years,’ ” he noted. “That’s quite an accomplishment, if you look back at what we’ve gone through as a band. And we’re still out there, selling tickets.”