The Tragic Death of Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley


They say we must be careful what we wish for because we might get it. Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley was living the best life to care much about what he did or said. He had always wanted to visit Los Angeles, and when the plane landed, he was so excited his wish had finally come true. However, the late drummer uttered the words that would seal his fate resulting in an untimely death. Razzle said it did not matter if he died since he had attained his dream. He ended up being involved in a tragic car accident, and he is the only passenger that was fatally injured. Let’s share the story of his death that haunts those who were with him on that fateful day.

A Desire to Visit Los Angeles

Razzle was a fan of Hanoi Rocks and asked to join them as their new drummer since their drummer back then, Gyp Casino, had a drug addiction and was suicidal. The young Razzle revitalized the Finnish band, and they later said that if he had not joined, they probably would have broken up. So after going on tours around Europe, Hanoi Rocks finally went on their first American tour. They toured different cities, and in Syracuse, during one of the opening shows, a beer bottle fell, spilling the beer onto the right-hand side of the stage.

According to Louder Sound, it was a catastrophic chain of events that eventually led to Razzle’s death because that spilled beer caused Michel Monroe, the lead vocalist, to slip and fracture his ankle. Still, Monroe continued performing until later, after about four shows, when the pain became unbearable. He had been misdiagnosed as s a sprain, suffering from a sprain, but another diagnosis showed a fracture that needed his leg to be in a soft cast. He had to take a break, and the band also was forced to cancel a few gigs. After their last gig in Cleveland, which would also be Razzle’s last show, they had nothing left to do. The band’s manager had warned Razzle against partying too hard lest he died, but the drummer said all he wanted to do was go to Los Angeles and did not care anymore if he died. So the band decided to go to LA for some interviews and celebrate as they waited for Monroe to recover. Timo Kaltio, sat next to Razzle. He recalled the drummer saying that he had always wanted to be in LA. Therefore, upon the plane’s landing, Razzle said after that day, every day would be the same even if he died.

Partying Leads to an Accident

Hanoi Rocks was invited to Motley Crue’s singer Vince Neil’s home in Redondo. According to Oxygen, Neil threw a party for his friends in his two-room apartment. The party lasted for days, and those present included Neil’s pregnant wife, Motley Crue’s drummer Tommy Lee, Motley Crue’s guitarist Andy McCoy, Neil and Hanoi Rocks bassist Sami Yaffa. Yaffa almost didn’t make it to Neil’s home because Neil had driven a sports car to pick his friend. Razzle, however, said since Yaffa was skinny, he could sit on Razzle’s lap.

After three days of partying, they ran out of liquor, and Neil decided to rush to the nearest store to get some more. McCoy saw them drive off, not knowing that would be the last time to see Razzle alive. Neil drove his sports car with Razzle in the passenger seat, and they made it to the liquor store. The singer started driving back home at 104 km/hr in a 40km/hr zone. He lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an oncoming vehicle with two passengers. Consequently, Razzle was rushed to South Bay Emergency but was pronounced dead on arrival at 7.12 am local time. According to Grunge, the two passengers in the other vehicle were severely injured; one was in a coma for over a month. Neil’s pregnant wife was becoming restless back home because it had been an hour since her husband left. Therefore, Lee and McCoy went looking for Neil and Razzle, and they drove past the accident scene. However, McCoy was curious after noticing Razzle’s hat at the scene and asked the color of Neil’s car. They returned to the scene and were told to go to the hospital where Razzle had been rushed, but Lee and McCoy were told Razzle had passed away. Since they could not tell the band members over the phone, they asked them to go to the hospital, where they broke the sad news.

The Aftermath of Razzle’s Death

Neil sustained minor injuries, and his alcohol level was .17, way beyond the legal limit of California’s .10 at the time. He was arrested on suspicion of death and driving under the influence. The singer was charged with vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to 30 days in prison, but according to Ultimate Classic Rock, was released after ten days for good behavior. Neil knew that he got off easy and said he deserved to go to prison. However, like Brad Paisley sings in “Celebrity,” that’s what happens when you have money. All he did was write a check of $2.5 million, and he blames the power of cash for letting him off the hook.

Still, the guilt did not allow him to continue living in peace. He drowned himself in beer and kept being on the wrong side of the law. In 2010, he was arrested on suspicion of a DUI. At the time of the arrest, the singer was highly intoxicated. McCoy has never forgiven Neil for killing Razzle. He said that Neil killed one man and crippled two others but only got a night in jail. McCoy was so angry at the injustice and remarked that the singer would have served a life sentence in San Quentin if he were a broke Black or Latino guy. What made it worse is that Neil never apologized while the other Motley Crue members were sorry for something that was not their fault. To this day, Neil can never face McCoy, so every time they cross paths, he runs off. McCoy, however, says karma will serve Neil what he deserves, and so far, the singer never seems to get out of trouble. He concluded by saying that Neil made his bed and he should lie in it.

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