John Corabi Explains How Leaving Mötley Crüe Affected Him Financially, Reveals Odd Job He Had to Do

There’s often this misconception that joining a big rock band and recording an album or two would financially settle you for life. But nothing lasts forever, especially if we’re talking about the classic metal bands from the 1980s who need to keep touring to have the income flowing in.

Speaking of which, vocalist John Corabi recently reflected on his financial situation after leaving Mötley Crüe. Serving as the band’s vocalist between 1992 and 1996, Corabi recorded one album with Crüe, the 1994’s self-titled record. While chatting with Logical Logistics, he explained what his position was after leaving the band by saying (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“That’s one of the things everybody assumes, because I did the Mötley thing, that I was a multi-millionaire. And it was funny — I made money when I first joined Mötley; I got bonuses and publishing and all these advances and stuff.”

“But at the same time, I joined Mötley in 1992 and I left the band in ’97, and in that five years my son was diagnosed with diabetes, my mom had been diagnosed with cancer.”

MOTLEY CRUE - Replacement Singers - Who Did It Better? Vince Neil - John Corabi

“So fortunately/unfortunately, I wound up taking care of them financially. And then there’s the normal shit — you’ve gotta pay your taxes. I remember, fuck, there was two tax checks that I wrote.

“My first one was $139,000 and then the following year I had to spend $219,000 in taxes. Like, wow. So by the time the five years had passed, I lived off that money and beyond, but it was starting to get dangerously low. The music industry was changing; a lot of the ’80s bands weren’t selling any records. So it was a weird time.”

Discussing the issue further, Corabi also explained that he had to work as a truck driver for one year. This was around the time when he was a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist for Ratt in the 2000s. The musician explains:

“I wasn’t in dire straits financially. Ratt was taking a year off. At that point, I think I was paying child support and alimony — I was paying $2,500 a month — but I was going through a second divorce, and it was this push-and-pull thing where the girl would come back, and she would disappear, then she would come back. And I’m, like, oh my God. I just needed and wanted a little bit of a change. So I was, like, ‘All right. I can get a trucking license in three weeks. And I’m gonna learn how to do this.'”

Ratt "ROUND AND ROUND" John Corabi Replaces Stephen Pearcy

“I was telling a friend of mine not that long ago. I said: ‘You know what’s weird? I spent most of my life traveling in a tour bus, but you’re usually traveling at night, and you see shit in a tour bus. And I could not believe some of the places that I saw driving that truck and just moving goods around the United States.‘ I’m, like, wow. There’s parts of the United States… I’ve been literally touring my whole life and there was things that I’d never seen before until I started driving a truck. And I had a fucking blast.

“I did it for almost a year. And then Ratt called and said, ‘Hey, we’re getting ready to go back out on tour again.’ And I called my boss and I just said, ‘Hey, man. I’m going back to touring.’ And it was funny. ‘Cause a lot of people didn’t know who I was, or they didn’t know anything about my history. When I told my boss, I said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go back to touring again,’ he was, like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m actually a musician.’ And I told him who I was and all that stuff. And I just handed him the keys back and I said, ‘I thank you. I had a great time. It’s been awesome. I’m going back on tour again.’ So I did it for almost a year. It was cool. Mentally, it cleared my head, ’cause I was just driving and thinking and mapping things out in my head. And then I made a really decent living, and I had health insurance for me and my son. It was cool, man. I had a great time. It was awesome.”

Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg (The Dead Daisies – Hamburg Harley Days 2017 19)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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