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Tommy Lee on Running of the Bulls: It’s ‘More Twisted’ Than ‘My Wildest Days With Motley Crue’

Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee did his part in upholding the band’s reputation as the most debaucherous group in rock history. His outrageous antics, along with those of his bandmates, have been chronicled in The Dirt, but there’s still other things out there that he feels upstage any of his actions: Spain’s running of the bulls.

Lee, a longtime PETA supporter, recently authored a piece for Independent, slamming the annual event, which runs from July 7 through July 14, featuring a number of different bull runs spread across the week. The drummer initially painted a visual of what these bulls endure, stating the animals “are held in dark enclosures before being forced out – usually with an electric shock prod – into the jeering, drunken crowd.”

From there, bystanders and those fleeing from the bulls’ charging paths “hit them with sticks and rolled-up newspapers.” The bulls run down cobblestone streets, often losing their traction, careening “into walls — or spectators — in their desperate attempt to flee the chaos.” While a small number of participants typically wind up injured, being gored by the bull, Lee commented, “This isn’t a test of nerve and resolve. It’s a pathetic display of human idiocy and cruelty.”

After running through the streets, the bulls are herded into an arena where they are subject to further abuse, fighting to the death where “as many as eight men spear and stab the exhausted animal to weaken him further.” Sickened by this, Lee feels that “it’s truly more twisted than anything I could have imagined, even during my wildest days with Motley Crue.”

He also found the notion of accepting this behavior as “tradition” (the event dates back to the 14th century) deplorable, adding, “And let’s be honest: if people paid to watch a man in a sparkly leotard torment and butcher a dog or cat in this way, we wouldn’t dare try to excuse it as ‘tradition’ – we’d declare him a sicko, lock him up and throw away the key.”

Lee recognized that “most people in Spain don’t support bullfighting and many consider it a national disgrace” and that tourists are a major contributing factor to the success of the running of the bulls. “By the time they rush out of the arena in horror, the damage has already been done,” he cautioned.

The first day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain has already resulted in three injuries as reported by ABC News. One Spaniard is undergoing surgery for “serious injuries to his head and leg” and two Americans were also injured with one being gored in the abdomen and the other in the scrotum.

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