Boy George and Vince Neil Clash Over Sobriety on 'The New Celebrity Apprentice'

By David Konow 01/05/17

The musicians went at it after George pushed back when Neil began drinking wine in the studio.

Boy George and Vince Neil

Addiction can sometimes be par for the course in the music world, and with the exception of Guns N' Roses, it’s hard to think of a band that epitomized the excesses of the '80s more than Mötley Crüe. During a recent episode of The New Celebrity Apprentice, the band's lead singer Vince Neil and another ‘80s icon, Boy George, argued over Neil’s drinking, which clashed with George’s hard-won sobriety.

Boy George, the lead singer of the multi-platinum '80s group, Culture Club, is known for his distinctive style. After the band peaked, he fell into a downward spiral with the help of drugs before finally getting sober in 2008.

Neil, on the other hand, continues to drink and has run into trouble with the law, even after a vehicular manslaughter conviction for the accidental death of Hanoi Rocks drummer, Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, while driving under the influence in 1984. (Neil would later admit that his 30-day jail sentence wasn’t harsh enough, telling Blender, “I definitely deserved to go to prison.”)

As Ultimate Classic Rock reports, the fight happened during the season premiere of The New Celebrity Apprentice, which is now hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two singers worked on a song together, and Neil drank wine in the studio while recording. George said, “I was a little alarmed. I’m a recovering addict. I do not need to be in the room with someone drinking alcohol. It’s just not a good look for me. I’m not happy about it at all.”

Likewise, Neil wasn’t happy about George playing sober police. “I love to have a couple of glasses of wine while I work,” he explained. “It helps you relax a little bit. If I’m laying on the floor with a bottle of vodka, then there’s a problem.”

George and Neil would later clash again in the Apprentice boardroom, with George taunting Vince by saying, “Cocktails in the afternoon is a bit Jacqueline Susann for me.” Neil then jumped down George’s throat, telling him, “It’s just a couple of glasses of wine. You can’t put your sobriety on everybody else … If you choose not to drink, don’t drink. But I’m way over 21.”

Whether the friction contributed to the music George and Neil recorded together is unclear, but (spoiler alert) their team did win the Apprentice challenge, and Schwarzenegger joked that they should celebrate with “a bit of champagne.”

After a slight pause, he added, “Not you, Vince.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.