The strange case of the Whitesnake impersonator Jan 16, 2008 0:14:32 GMT -5
Post by HARD ROCK UNIVERSE on Jan 16, 2008 0:14:32 GMT -5
That was Matthew Trippe. Matthew John Trippe claimed Mötley Crüe's managers Doc McGhee and Doug Thaler decided to bring him in as a new Nikki Sixx, after he was unable to continue after a serious car crash in mid '83.
In January 1988, he filed a lawsuit against McGhee Enterprises, Inc. citing civil theft and other relief, claiming royalties that were never paid for songs he said he wrote. These included "Danger," "Knock 'Em Dead Kid," " Girls Girls Girls," "You're All I Need," " Dancing on Glass," and "Wild Side." Mötley Crüe demoed a song called "Say Yeah" about Trippe in March 1989 for Dr. Feelgood. On the 10th December 1993, Matthew Trippe finally dropped his lawsuit.
You mean the story was TRUE?
On the 25th August 1998, Chronological Crue caught up with his former
band member Roger Hemond, to gain this interesting insight into the
Nikki Sixx impostor Matthew Trippe.
Roger Hemond: Back in the summer of 1987, I had just moved to Florida.
At the time I was trying to establish myself in the local music scene
in Tampa. After making friends with some of the people at my new place
of residence, The Abbey Apartments in Tampa, I began hearing a wide
variety of rumours from a variety of people that a guy that used to
live at the apartments claimed to have been used as a stand-in for
Nikki Sixx while Frank Feranna [the real Nikki Sixx as per his birth
name] was recovering from a car accident. Also that he had written
music for a bunch of Mötley Crüe's music, and was planning to sue
them for royalties. After hearing all these rumours, I was curious to
say the least, and as time went on I met some people who knew Matthew
Trippe. I urged these people to introduce me to this flake so I could
once and for all dispel the curiosity. We made a few trips (pardon the
pun) to Matt's house, but he was never home. More time passed and a
gentleman by the name of Carl F came to my apartment looking for Matt.
Someone had apparently told Carl that I knew how to get a hold of Matt,
when I had only been to his house, never actually meeting him. Carl had
met Matt while incarcerated (big surprise huh). Matt had told Carl his
whole story about being used and abused by Doc [McGhee], Doug [Thaler],
and the rest of the gang. That he was in Mötley Crüe until he got
arrested in South Florida in 1986. He said that the band and management
used his going to jail as an opportunity to slip Frankie back in the
band and leave him for dead, in a jail cell, with no money, no way
home, and no identity.
CC: What was the deal with his suit against Mötley? It was all a scam
RH: He could at times be very convincing and to this day, I don't know
whether or not anything he said was true. I have seen copyright forms
processed by the Library of Congress that had every member of Mötley
Crüe's full real name, aka name, and social security number, with the
exception of Nikki Sixx. All it said was Nikki Sixx and gave a social
security number, which I swear to God was the same number on Matthew
John Trippe's social security card which I was holding in my other
hand. I'll tell you one thing, if I were going to try to pull what Matt
alleges Thayer/McGhee did, I would probably pick someone a lot like
Matt to do it with, because nobody would believe him completely - he
was a lunatic! A variety of photos seemed to show differences in facial
features through those years for Nikki Sixx. That could be attributed
to any number of things though I guess. Matt was at the time that I
knew him, a member of the Temple of Set, which is a pretty exclusive
organisation. I find it a little strange that they would allow some
weird-guy-nobody with no money to be a member, but I guess it could
CC: What about his Nikki Sixx tattoos then?
RH: He had all of the tatts through the Theatre of Pain years. They
were not cheaply done and there were several. He had a wife, a brand
new baby boy, and no money - so I have no idea how he would have paid
CC: So this is perhaps a case for Mulder & Scully [from the X-Files] in
your mind then?
RH: He looked a lot like Nikki Sixx. Maybe a little heavier but the
facial features were very similar. There are some things that leave
considerable doubt as well, like the fact that he didn't 'remember'
some of the music he had written. He was NOT a virtuoso bassist! But
weirder shit has happened in this country by far.