Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle was killed on Dec. 8, 1984, in a car accident. Born Nicholas Dingley, he was a passenger in a car driven by Motley Crue’s Vince Neil.
Razzle became the drummer of Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks from 1982, where he was known by his stage name Razzle.
The two bands were at a party ( Vince Neil home in Redondo Beach CA.) given in honour of the Finnish band’s first U.S. tour when Neil and Razzle — both of whom reportedly had already been drinking — decided to make a run to the liquor store. As the car made its way around a winding Hollywood road, 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. Neil lost control of the vehicle and smashed into another car. His car went into the path of oncoming traffic and was hit by another car, whose inhabitants were left injured and with brain damage. All involved sustained injuries, but Razzle was less fortunate. Vince Neil escaped serious injury but Razzle was pronounced dead on arrival at Redondo’s South Bay Hospital at 07:12 local time. He was 24 years old.
In more detail…Neil’s Ford Pantera careered into the path of oncoming traffic and was struck by two other cars. The driver of one of them, 18-year-old Lisa Hogan, who was rushed in a critical condition to the intensive care unit of the Little Company of Mary Hospital, where she remained in a coma for about a month with a broken arm and two broken legs. Brain damage, meanwhile, left her liable to psychomotor seizures. Lisa Hogan’s passenger, 20-year-old Daniel Smithers, suffered a broken leg and some brain damage. The driver of the third vehicle was thankfully uninjured.
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. His blood alcohol level was reportedly 0.17, which was way above the legal limit of 0.10 at the time
The singer, entered the plea after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office agreed not to seek a prison term for Wharton, provided he does community service while on probation and makes restitution to the surviving victims and to the dead musician’s family
Two decades later, Neil — who was released from his 30-day jail sentence for the incident 10 days early for good behavior — expressed remorse and admitted that he got off too easy for driving under the influence, telling Blender (via OpposingViews), “I wrote a $2.5 million check for vehicular manslaughter when Razzle died. I should have gone to prison. 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—ed up.