Bob Rock clarifies comments about Nikki Sixx’s recordings: “At no time did I ever actually think Nikki didn’t play bass on Mötley Crüe’s records”

Nikki Sixx and Bob Rock
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin / Stringer / Amy E. Price / Getty)

Bob Rock says that an anecdote he told on a recent Talk Is Jericho podcast has been “misconstrued” and that he was not actually suggesting Nikki Sixx did not play bass on the band’s first four albums.

“When I began working with Mötley Crüe on the Dr. Feelgood record, the band was sober for the first time and Nikki particularly was recovering from a very public addiction to heroin," explains Rock in a new statement. 

“We joked around a lot and Nikki, in his very self-deprecating style would say he didn’t even remember playing on their prior records. 

“This was Nikki’s way of saying that for the record we were working on, he was showing up to do the best he possibly could and to make the best record of the band’s career. Which we did. 

“At no time did I ever actually think Nikki didn’t play bass on Motley Crue’s records. He’s one of the most unique and talented players in the world and his approach to the instrument is part of what has made Mötley Crüe great throughout the years.

“Lastly, I was commenting on and commending Nikki because he never stops learning and never stops improving. I respect Nikki for always wanting to be better at his craft and it shows. I have worked with some of the biggest bands in the world and I can say unequivocally that Nikki Sixx is one of the most talented players, lyricists and songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. 

“And if the internet wants to latch onto a story from one or two sound bytes [sic], its extremely unfortunate because it doesn’t reflect the truth of the contributions he’s made to music over the last 40 years.”

The sound bites Rock refers to were volunteered in a conversation with Chris Jericho on the latter’s Talk Is Jericho podcast and were widely reported. 

“I’ve got to tell you a story about Nikki Sixx, this is funny,” said Rock during the interview. “So, Dr. Feelgood, he says to me, he goes, ‘I don’t think I ever really played on any of the Mötley Crüe records. I think somebody came in at night and replaced all my parts, so I don’t really know how to play bass.’ 

“I said to him, ‘Too bad, you’re playing bass on it. So I worked with him on it through Dr. Feelgood and I did a lot of edits and made him play every note.”

As he says in his statement, elsewhere in the same interview Rock was indeed very complimentary about Sixx’s ability as a bassist and his continued dedication to his instrument, noting “he’s an amazing bass player.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.