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Guest Panel Discusses Politics and Religion; Interview with Tommy Lee

Aired October 26, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Bush versus Kerry. Born again versus Catholic. Does religion when picking a president? One week before the election we'll ask religious leaders Max Lucado, minister and bestselling author, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, twice a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Pastor John MacArthur, the nationally syndicated Christian broadcaster, Father David Hollenbach, professor of theology at Boston College. And Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and States.

And then, Tommy Lee, the rock'n roll wild man speaks out on Pamela Anderson, a honeymoon sex tape, jail time, the tragic drowning of a little boy at his son's party, his new reality show and more. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: We have a terrific show tonight. Let's spin right into it. Let's deal with the obvious. Max Lucado in San Antonio. Should religion matter in an election campaign?

MAX LUCADO, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN MINISTER: Well, genuine religion has to matter. We elect character. We elect a person's world view. Faith can define that world view. If that faith is genuine and sincere, then that needs to connect. American population says 85 percent of us say that religion matters to us. 72 percent of us say that the religion of a president matters to them. I think it's an important issue.

KING: Since everybody ever running for office talks about God, how do we know who has real faith and who has not, Reverend Jackson?

REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: You tell a tree by the fruit it bears, by its behavior. People of the Christian faith and its mission is to preach good news to the poor and it is to heal the broken hearted and set the captive free but that would be against slavery and racial segregation. So in Dr. King's book "All Against Segregation in Alabama," the white right wing churches attacked him. The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Birmingham Jail were challenging the right white wing.

KING: So you know it by their deeds. JACKSON: You know it by their deeds and so to that extent your faith should at least inform other priorities. So it seems to me, Larry, if you're a person of this faith, it has something to do with how you treat the least of these and how you treat those whose backs are against the wall.

KING: John MacArthur, if I'm Christian should I vote for someone because they are a Christian.

PASTOR JOHN MACARTHUR, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN: I think there's a natural affinity to do that, if somebody is genuine Christian with a genuine relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ who takes the Bible as their absolute authority which is what true Christianity affirms, how could you not vote for your brother because you know his convictions will be faithful to the word of God, they're going to be faithful to the things that God has established for society, for the family, and for the individual.

KING: And you have to take that individual for his word.

MACARTHUR: I think you go beyond that. I think you take him at his word but you look at his life. If there is a genuine relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ in his life it's going to manifest itself not just in his attitude toward social issues, it will show up there, too, but it's going to manifest itself in morality, in virtue, in character that shows up in every aspect of his life, plus he's going to have a love for God, a love for scripture and a love for the true church.

KING: Father Hollenbach, if that be true, what does a Jew do with this dilemma?

FATHER DAVID HOLLENBACH, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY, BOSTON COLLEGE: The Catholic view of the role of religion in politics is that religion should be a source of inspiration for people to commit themselves to the common good of our whole society. That means the good of everybody, the good of all. The good of those who have been left out, like the poor, the good of those who have lost their jobs and need to regain those jobs. Catholic views are strongly committed to building up the society, building up the community, and therefore, a Jew and a Catholic can join together in promoting the common good for all of us, especially for those who have been left out, those children who are uninsured, without health care and those who have been left out as poor or marginalized in our society.

KING: So you don't say vote for a Catholic because he or she is a Catholic?

HOLLENBACH: I vote for the person who can promote the common good of our society. That's what the Catholic position on voting is all about, how do we promote the well-being of our society. The political sphere is a sphere that concerns the well-being of everybody in that society, and Catholics support that well-being of everybody. Therefore, we vote for those who support the common good, especially the good of those who are left out or left behind.

KING: Reverend Lynn, you're an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. You stand for the separation of church and Christ. How separate? Should religion not be a part of politics?

REV. BARRY LYNN, EXEC. DIR., AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE: Well, I think the first thing I hope we all agree on is that there is no state election official in any state that has God as a registered voter. Which means we don't know if God is a Republican, a Democrat or perhaps even a Naderite or a libertarian. I think Americans do want their candidates to have a moral center, they do want those candidates to have values and principles and be able to articulate those and tell us what kind of policies they would adopt and those kind of policies that they would have for the rest of the country.

However, I don't think it matters how many times a candidate goes to church, if he goes to church or how well versed he is in the Holy Scriptures or the Christian Bible or any other holy document. That's where I think we're making a terrible mistake this year. We're actually linking decisions to vote with very partisan political ideas and very clear religious ideas, merging religion and politics as if God in fact was clearly on one side of the political aisle and not the other. That's the danger.

KING: But Reverend Jackson, if I want to vote for someone because he represents my whatever values, it's my business isn't it?

JACKSON: Yes, but we live in our faith, we live on the law. And people of faith fight for just law. That's what the Moses/Pharaoh fight was about. That's what the Daniel/Nebuchanezzar was about, fighting for just law. So how we manifest that today, one says that we must fight to raise the minimum wage for working people. If you can't work your way out of poverty, then what? A fight for overtime pay for overtime work, a fight that make seniors more secure.

KING: Can't you be a good person, a religious person and not agree with an increase for another economic reason in minimum pay? Must you be for minimum wage?

JACKSON: Not necessarily so. If you are a rich young ruler, you see life from the mansion down not the manger up. Therefore you tend to fight for that which favors the rich as opposed -- Christianity is driven by -- it's really kind of a poor person's religion, born in a manger, defining character, how you treat the least of these. In many ways with, our religion informs our public priorities.

KING: Max Lucado, isn't that a good point, shouldn't the good Christian be first for the poor?

LUCADO: God doesn't exist to bless America, America exists to bless God. Nations come and go and have since the beginning of time and if the Lord tarries will continue to come and go forever. The purpose of nations is to be a studio in which God can do his great work. So I would agree with the Reverend Jackson that the role of a government is to reflect the will of God. The danger is when we try to apply our government and our preferences to God and tell him what to do, where our questions should be as a government and as a people, God, what do you want us to do? That's the big question.

KING: John MacArthur, does God care who's elected?

MACARTHUR: I think not only does God care, but according to Romans 13, God ordains leadership, God ordains who those leaders are, God in his sovereign providential purposes is unfolding history his way. I really do believe that the powers that be as Romans 13 says are ordained by God. That not only is government but that God lifts up and puts down leaders, and rulers and kings and he always has. He has an agenda however that's far greater than perhaps we would ever be able to comprehend. We can't always know what his invisible hand is achieving.

My concern is not that all the people in political office or all the people with social responsibility in this nation necessarily be Christians. But if I have the choice to choose someone that I know has Christian convictions that are consistent with the word of God, then I know that's going to best for the country because the Bible was written by the Maker and he knows what's best for his creatures.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll be right back with our panel. Tommy Lee to come.

Tomorrow night, by the way, Senator Richard Shelby will debate Senator Joe Biden on American foreign policy. And two outstanding op- ed writers of the "New York Times" will go at each other. Maureen Dowd and William Safire. We'll be right back. Don't go away.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that God wants everybody to be free. That's what I believe. That's been part of my foreign policy in Afghanistan. I believe that the freedom there is a gift from the Almighty. I can't tell you how encouraged I am to see freedom on the march. So my principles that I make decisions on are a part of me and religion is a part of me.




SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I went to a church school and I was taught that the two greatest commandments are love the Lord your God with all your mind, your body and your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.

And frankly, I think we have a lot more loving of our neighbor to do in this country and on this planet. We have a separate and unequal school system in the United States of America. There's one for the people who have and there is one for the people who don't have. And we're struggling with that today.


KING: Father Hollenbach, should a church endorse from the pulpit? HOLLENBACH: No. And the Catholic Church has said and the American Catholic bishops have said they don't endorse any candidates, they don't support one candidate or another.

They stand for certain fundamental values. And those values are inclusion and the common good. They've said that the condition of the poor is a measure of how far we are from being a community at all. So building up a community means including the poor in. It means being committed to peace and reconciliation.

The pope said two years ago that a war in Iraq would be unjustified. It was unjustified then, it's unjustified today. Commitment to support for peace and reconciliation means war only as a last resort. And therefore, that's the kind of values that Catholics stand for.

KING: Reverend Lynn, if Father Hollenbach were to say that conducting a mass, would he be in violation of what you stand for, in a sense quasi-disagreeing with the president on a major issue in the campaign?

LYNN: No, certainly not that alone. But one of the things, Larry, we've seen this election cycle is the Republican and the Democratic Party tending to try to lure churches into doing what is in fact illegal, and that is high-level campaigning right from the pulpit.

The Republicans, for example, tried to get the membership directories of Catholic and Protestant churches. They also tried to use churches as the site for distribution of Bush campaign literature. That's all wrong, that's illegal.

On the other hand, in the last few weeks, the Democrats have seemed to orchestrate pep rallies instead of Sunday morning sermons in some places where John Kerry was appearing.

And I think all of this really needs to stop. I think we need to go back to a time when John Kennedy was running for president and said, no Catholic priest, no Protestant minister should tell his congregation for whom to vote, and at a time when Martin Luther King was of course talking about social justice, the concerns of the poor, each and every day of his adult life, mostly in churches, but never once endorsed a candidate for public office. He (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...


KING: One at a time.

JACKSON: He endorsed Lyndon...


KING: Hold it.

JACKSON: He endorsed Lyndon Baines Johnson. The white church has been in some sense the -- justified the culture. Justified the -- the black church...

KING: Wait a second. You get a tax deferment as a church, do you not?


KING: Therefore, when you stand up on Sunday morning and say, you or any leader, vote for Kerry, vote for Bush, aren't you then not entitled to a tax reduction by using your church?

JACKSON: However, however delicately one handles the politics of that, the black church had to be a church of liberation. It couldn't -- it couldn't be passive and flow with the culture. We had to -- we had to fight to get out of slavery, we had to fight to end legal segregation.

KING: Yeah, but right now, what?

JACKSON: Even right now, we have to fight to protect our vote from being stolen.

KING: So you're different than a white church?

JACKSON: Well, our mission is to defend the poor and deliver the needy, and that is not a passive -- we don't flow with the culture, we seek to transform the culture.

KING: Max, do you endorse in the pulpit, Max?

LUCADO: What I do is try to help our church understand what the Bible says on key issues. We've studied, for example, abortion. We've discussed at length gay marriage. I think a hot issue is stem cell research. I challenge our church to vote. We register voters. I don't have a bumper sticker on my car. I don't promote a certain candidate. But what we do is urge everybody to vote, and to weigh these very difficult issues against scripture, and trust their conscience and their God to lead them.

KING: John...


KING: Barry and then John, OK.

LYNN: OK, one of the problems with this idea...

HOLLENBACH: Let me get in on this, Larry.

KING: OK, Father.

LYNN: ... is we try to apply scripture, is that in the American constitutional system, it is not right, it is not proper to simply turn one's religious beliefs into the public policy of the United States, particularly in those delicate, intimate issues, including human reproduction and religious freedom. So it is -- it's -- I feel very comfortable with a lot of the religious rhetoric that is being uttered here. But we have to remember that in our constitutional system, we have no religious test for public office. It's unfortunate that the president in fact has declared that he would only appoint people to the courts who believe in God. That's a religion test for public office. People should complain about that.

Similarly, it's wrong to try to impose one's moral views on issues like stem cell research, same-gender marriage that are fundamentally theological beliefs on everyone in the community, and that goes for African-American churches, white churches, Republicans and Democrats.

KING: All right, John, how would you respond? And then Father Hollenbach -- John.

MACARTHUR: Well, first of all, I want to say, you know, we all want to help the poor. Everybody wants to help the poor. That is absolutely foundational in Christianity. But Barry can't say to a Christian it doesn't matter what your convictions are, it doesn't matter that you know abortion is murder and it's a sin. It doesn't matter that you know homosexuality is a sin. It doesn't matter that you know embryo harvesting is wrong and violates the word of God, and the blood of the innocents cries out of the ground against this nation for that. It doesn't matter that you're willing to sort of enlarge marriage to mean anything.

LYNN: No, but, sir...

MACARTHUR: It doesn't matter to you. This is a democracy. If that matters to me, then I will vote that way.

LYNN: Sir...


KING: One at a time.

MACARTHUR: It's conviction.

LYNN: I want you to be able to say that from the pulpit, and you have every right to make those moral arguments. My point is, is you believe that abortion is criticized in the Bible -- in fact, it's not even mentioned in the Bible, but you have interpreted certain passages in that way. You have a right to do it.

But when you tell politicians that they should vote your way with your interpretation of scriptures, I think you're running inconsistently with the founding principles of this country.

KING: OK, I know Father Hollenbach wanted to get in. Hold it. Father.

HOLLENBACH: Yes, indeed. I would like to...

KING: Go ahead.

HOLLENBACH: Let me just add, that I think that to be Catholic is to be pro-life. But we have to ask the question of effectiveness. What really is pro-life? In the Clinton administration, the number of abortions went down. In the early years of the Bush administration, the number of abortions has been going up. The question is why? It's because there are women in situations of desperation, with no economic resources, that are being pushed toward making choices that are tragic. And we need to find ways of making that less -- that happen less frequently. We need to find ways, in other words, of being effectively pro-life, effectively enabling women to bring their children to term.


HOLLENBACH: ... that calls for certain fundamental economic resources.

JACKSON: On the one (UNINTELLIGIBLE) appropriates itself to be the part of the righteous and those the sinners. And in the Democrat -- in the Republican Convention in New York, Mr. Bush was opposed to civil unions.

Today's "New York Times" says his party -- he says his party (ph) is wrong to oppose gay civil unions. So, now he and Kerry have the same position. Then they attacked Mr. Kerry roundly for saying Mary Cheney was lesbian. But at the Republican prayer breakfast, January 21 -- 25, 2001, Mr. Simpson said that Mr. Cheney loves his daughter. Mary was here with her partner. He's very special (UNINTELLIGIBLE) very much. She was the liaison.

KING: Alan Simpson.

JACKSON: Yes, she was the lesbian, gay lesbian for Coors Beer Company which is all right, except the hypocrisy making one part of the party sinners, the other part of party of the righteous people. And that is not fair or and it's not accurate.

KING: No party is the party of either one.

JACKSON: All men and women have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We must make our public policy on issues broader than selective scripture here and there for ones own purposes.

KING: Let me take a break and we'll be back with more moments. We're going to do lots more on this in the days ahead no matter who wins the election. Religious and politics is a key topic. Don't go away?


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe yearns to be free. I believe people in the broader Middle East want to be free. I believe that because freedom is not America's gift to the world. Freedom is the almighty God's gift to each man and women in this world. (END VIDEO CLIP)



KERRY: When I was in Vietnam, faith was as much a part of our daily lives as the battle was. Some of my closest friends were killed. I prayed, as we all did. And I even questioned how all the terrible things that I saw could fit into God's plan, a question many people ask. But I got through it. And I came home with a sense of hope and belief in a higher purpose.


KING: Max Lucado, do you totally believe in the separation of church and state?

LUCADO: Well, it's a great question. I believe that the government should never run the church. I believe the church should never run the government. But I do not believe in the separation of God and state. I do not believe that there is a neat dichotomy that we can make between the affairs of men and government and the affairs of God in the government.

KING: Why do you think -- why did the founding fathers, Max, then leave the word, God out of the Constitution?

LUCADO: My concern is not that what the founding fathers did, my concern is really what our all mighty God cares to do in our country. The direction I see us headed brings me concern. I feel like what we're trying to do is create a separation that not even our founding fathers intended to exist. And I know our heavenly father doesn't want to.

Max, this is Barry -- this is Barry. Let me just say the founders of this country understood exactly what they were doing. They were in some cases very religious people, in other cases not religious people. But when Thomas Jefferson was asked to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. He said he wouldn't do that as president because it was up to religious people to do that themselves. Throughout the course of this campaign, we have seen so much talk about religion. I think most Americans, Larry, believe John Kerry is a religious man, George Bush is a religious man. We know their hearts and down to seeing their capillaries. We don't need to know that. There were times in the last few months when I thought they would not have the last debate and instead have a round of bible Jeopardy between John Kerry and George Bush. That is not the way to have elections in this country.


KING: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. We're in the final moments here.

Jesse, do you believe of separation between church and state totally.

JACKSON: Well, not totally. Because (UNINTELLIGIBLE). For example, Dr. King said, I believe in non-violence. But he said, he would have joined and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to overthrow Hitler. I thought he was the most -- the absolute tyrant of that time. So, his faith informed him to act. Today, our faith must question (ph). How do we have 100 containers in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti while people are starving in our church is silent. How can we be silent while we look for weapons of mass destruction...

KING: So, the church should speak out on political...

JACKSON: The church can't be silent on Iraq where people -- we're losing money, lives and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Our church, we must speak out morally.

KING: John MacCarthur, do you believe totally in separation of church and state?

MACARTHUR: No. It's because I want to define church. I'm not talking about institutional religion. I'm not talking about the organized church. I'm not talking about the church that says, that ordains a homosexual bishop. That's not the church. When you talk about the church...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that ordains a heterosexual bishop? What church are you talking about?

MACARTHUR: No, what I'm saying -- what I'm saying is, I'm not talking about the structured organized church. You have the real true church of Jesus Christ in America. And they cannot be separated from their country, they cannot be separated from their convictions. They cannot be separated from those things that are precious to them that come to them from the authority of the word of God. And consequently, they're going to vote as true believers in the directions of their convictions. And that's not going to be separated.

KING: Unless they choose to be separated which they have the right to do in a free country?


KING: Do you totally, Father Hollenbach, believe in the separation of church and state?

HOLLENBACH: The Catholic position is strongly committed to religious freedom for everyone, and we therefore support that 100 percent as both an implication of the gospel and the implication of human reason. The fundamental issue we face today is though what kind of values are going to guide us as we choose the next president of the United States? That's the real issue we're facing today. Whose values, what values are the -- is the next president going to embody?

It seems to me the Catholic view on this has long been that this is a judgment based on reason, about how the policies that are being pursued will protect the dignity of everybody in society. And how that dignity will be protected for the most vulnerable in our society, for the poor, for those who are not supported in economic terms, those without healthcare, those without jobs, those are the concerns that we ought to be shaping our election decisions.

KING: We're out of time. Thank you all. We're going to do more on this. Time goes fast.

JACKSON: We live under a Constitution, not under a bible, under the Constitution.

KING: OK, thank you all very much. Tommy Lee is next.

We're going to do lots more on this topic way past the election as well. Election night, we'll be broadcasting from the Nasdaq headquarters in Time Square.

Tommy Lee next, right after this.


KING: No one can deny this program is not diverse. We now welcome Tommy Lee, the renowned drummer who played for the rock'n roll band Motley Crue. He's the former husband of Pamela Anderson and Heather Locklear. And the author of a terrific new memoir "Tommy Land." There is no land like Tommy Land. A rock'n roll icon, a wild reputation, he has it all. He's going back to the University of Nebraska. He's going to have a reality television show. It's great to welcome him here. But he's first -- are you first and foremost a drummer?

TOMMY LEE, MUSICIAN: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

KING: And you're proud to be here, right? You're honored to be here.

LEE: I was just telling you never in a million years did I ever think I would be actually be on this show. And it's an honor to be here. I appreciate it. Thank you.

KING: By the way, the Motley Crue music videos we'll be showing you tonight are available on the "Motley Crue Greatest Video Hits" DVD from Universal.

KING: How did Motley Crue become Motley Crue?

LEE: Oh, my god. That's a long story. Do we have enough time? OK, real quick. Vince and I went to school together, to high school.

KING: In California?

LEE: Yes, sir.

KING: Larry, not sir.

LEE: OK, Larry. Nikki and I started the group. We were looking for a singer. And I had known Vince from school. Vince came to audition. We got him. We found Nick in a recycler newspaper, in an ad, if you can believe that. He came to audition and we were like, this is the guy. Just by looking at him he was the guy and then he started playing, he was the guy. It was real quick for us.

KING: You were a hit right away?

LEE: We played together for probably less than a year. We started selling out everywhere in Hollywood. By the age of 17, for me, we had got an recording contract, and, boom, I was gone.

KING: How long were you a group?

LEE: 20-plus years.

KING: Why did it end?

LEE: It's in the book, actually. I explain it in detail. That would take a long time because I think with success, you know, comes money, and people, interests start to sort of scatter.

KING: When did you -- we'll get to that.

LEE: It's in the book.

KING: When did your reputation go askew? When did Tommy Lee become this kind of out there figure, to be in Tommy Land?

LEE: I don't know. I've always been kind of a -- you know I have my moments, where I can be Tommy, and then I flip a switch, when you're on stage, you turn into this other personality.

KING: A lot of people do that. You became something of a off the stage performer.

LEE: Yes. Being married to two extremely high profile, you know, actresses, and being sort of chased by, you know, paparazzi and people, it's a whole different dynamic happens to a relationship when that happens. All of a sudden, things get a little crazy, a little crazy.

KING: You were married briefly before Heather, right?

LEE: Yes. Very briefly.

KING: 30 days.

You call that the lust marriage.

LEE: Yes. It was annulled, didn't quite work out.

KING: When Heather was on this show, when she was married to you, she really loved you. That was, I thought, a great marriage?

LEE: I did, too. It was seven years of really wonderful time.

KING: What happened? LEE: We had a really great time and we are still really great friends which is after divorce to end up still being friends, I think is amazing. I don't know. Like any relationship where two people are in the public eye, and they have demanding careers, and they're touring and working, it's a lot of pressure. And I really kids. I've always wanted children.

KING: She didn't?

LEE: At the time, she didn't. Now, she does have a girl. At the time, she didn't. I guess after being in a marriage for that long, I sort of figured, like, wow, maybe this isn't right. Then when you start to have those thoughts, you start to wander and other things happen, and boom...

KING: Did Pamela want children?

LEE: Yes. Right away?

KING: So what happened?

LEE: We had two of them back to back.

KING: Why wasn't that happy?

LEE: Why wasn't that happy?

KING: What happened.

LEE: Oh, my god. Once again, I don't know how much time we have.

KING: There was violence involved in that. Pamela was on this show, she brought charges against you, you had to do jail time. You look like a nice guy. You march to your own drum, I have to say that. But what happened?

LEE: Actually, I describe that in the book. That was a very volatile, passionate dynamic relationship, where both of us were, you could say, violent at times to each other and the actual incident that landed me in jail was something that I really never really experienced, never experienced being hit by a woman. I was like, whoa, what just happened?

KING: She hit you?

LEE: Yes. And so you're sitting there and you're trying to restrain somebody, and you're going, like, you know, wait a minute, stop, wait, don't. And one thing leads to another and then pretty soon, both people are in this violent dilemma.

KING: You regret it?

LEE: Do I regret it? Absolutely. I don't think anybody should ever touch anybody in anger, ever.

KING: What was jail like?

LEE: But it happened and I did my time.

KING: Was it tough?

LEE: I apologized a thousand million times.

KING: Was it rough?

LEE: Yes. It was rough. It was not fun.

KING: Did being famous make it rougher?

LEE: Maybe. But I think at the time, when I look back now in retrospect, I think the four months alone in solitary was something that I needed to do, because I hadn't ever, from the age of 17, until then, I had never really spent any time alone. I pretty much had been on tour rocking the world non-stop. And now, when I look at it, I look at it as a positive experience.

KING: Really?

LEE: I actually had time to just check in and really meet Tommy again and see who I was and what was it that I wanted? Where am I going? What am I doing? Being alone is not bad. I would have preferred, you know, a cabin in Montana would have been nice but...

KING: So you were alone for four months? No cell mate, no...

LEE: No nothing. Just myself.

KING: Solitude?

LEE: Yes.

KING: Did you get outside, exercise?

LEE: Once. Every Thursday or every second Thursday I was able to go up on to the roof and get some fresh air.

KING: Where was this, in California?

LEE: Yes, L.A. County.

KING: The county jail. I didn't know that they had seclusion in the county jail?

LEE: If you are a celebrity, a musician, artist, it's called the keep away, it's called the K-10, where they put you away from regular population.

KING: Did it change you?

LEE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

KING: You're a better person now because of it? LEE: Absolutely. I'm actually really excited for people to read that in the book because you can see the transformation, you can read it and you actually feel it.

KING: And you can. It's very well written.

LEE: I think I painted a picture that I think everyone can taste and smell.

KING: We'll take a break and when we come back, we'll ask about this reality show going back to the University of Nebraska, more about the book. Tommy Lee of the Motley Crue, right after this. Don't go away.





LEE: As a matter of fact, no, I don't have a problem with my temper. I'd like to say I'm sorry to Mr. Trapler (ph), actually. I've never formally got a chance to say I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say your sorry in court at our civil case.


KING: Tommy, did you have an alcohol problem? Was that part of this.

LEE: No. Actually, no.

KING: Why did you write the book.

LEE: You know why I wrote the book. There's a few different reasons. One, I just turned 42-years-old. I figured this is somewhere around the halfway point, perfect opportunity. I had some time off this summer from touring to write a book and sort of document my life, up to here. And, two, I thought, you know, what a -- another perfect opportunity, because I believe misconception is my worst enemy. What a perfect opportunity to like...

KING: Set it straight.

LEE: To put it all out there. Because really, I've taken the high road through a lot of moments, where I could have, you know, retaliated or just -- or spoke my truth or whatever it was. And I just chose to be quiet. And this is a perfect opportunity for me to put it all out there. And hopefully, hopefully, the readers and the press people and everybody else who just only sees bits and pieces or hears, you know, what they've seen or read in the press, they can all help, as I have, in this book, turn the page and move on to the second chapter of my life. Maybe they can all do that, too, and we can move on. God, I really hope I can at some point, stop answering a lot of silly questions. Because there's a lot of silly ones, too.

KING: There are second chances.

LEE: Yes. Sometimes thirds, too.

KING: So you decided to grab yours by your own grounds.

LEE: Yes.

KING: State it, write it, be honest about it.

LEE: Yes, it's totally honest.

KING: Before I ask about Nebraska and reality, what's with the drumming upside down?

What is that?

How did that come about?

How did that idea even come about?

LEE: You know what, I had a dream one night. And I woke up and told the guys in the band, I said, you guys, you're not going to believe this. I just had the craziest dream. I would love to have my drums elevate and go out over the crowd and spin around forwards and in reverse, right to left, and then gyroscope. And, you know, strap myself in, bottle down the drums, I go, the fans would lose their minds. And...

KING: Can you drum just as well?

LEE: It's extremely difficult. Drums weren't meant to be played upside down. But we pulled it off. To this day, it's one of those -- one of those spectacles that went down in history.

KING: You're not kidding. You were born in Greece, right?

Your mother's Greece -- Grecian and your father's American?

LEE: Yes.

KING: Raised in California?

LEE: Pretty much, yes.

KING: Why Nebraska University?

LEE: Well, we wanted -- we really wanted to give you a quick synopsis of the show. It's very (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: You're going back to school.

LEE: Yes.

KING: Did you go to college? LEE: No, I didn't get a chance to. I left -- I got a recording contract at 17. I left my senior year with about a month and a half to two years to go to graduate. And I was like, recording contract, go rock the world and tour the world.

KING: I see. Are you enrolled at the University of Nebraska?

LEE: Yes. And we're filming a show.

KING: Are you a music major?

LEE: Yes.

KING: Are you in the band?

LEE: Yes.

KING: You're a drum major?

LEE: No. I'm playing with the drum line, which is awesome. Because I used to do that in the high school.

KING: You're on the football field?

LEE: On the football field, did the halftime show at the Nebraska/Baylor game.

KING: You come back, and they've got a bad team. They've got a bad team.

LEE: Well, they just kicked some butt...

KING: I know.

LEE: ... last weekend. Yes but...

KING: What's the reality show, following you around at school?

LEE: Yes, basicly they're, you know, following me around. And it's -- I can't get into too many details because of -- I've been asked not to. But it's basically fish out of water, rock star goes to college, middle America, just, you know, just think about it.


LEE: I'm sorry.

KING: Are you in school now?

LEE: Yes. I just left for a couple of days here to go promote my new book.

KING: OK, is it weird? You're the oldest man on campus, I bet?

LEE: I might be.

KING: Probably.


KING: What's it like to go to class?

How are you treated?

LEE: It's interesting. I think that everybody's really -- everyone's really excited that I'm there, obviously. I mean, everybody wants to be on TV. And the classes that I selected, everybody's, you know, real willing...

KING: Camera crews follow you around?

LEE: Sure. In the classroom, in the campus, in the dorm.

KING: You have a dorm?

LEE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. We're doing this for real.

KING: How long do you want to do this?

LEE: Right now, we're shooting six episodes. And at some point it could turn into a whole season. We'll see but...

KING: Are you enjoying school?

LEE: I'm loving it. You know, it's an experience I never got to have. So, I'm really digging getting a chance to learn some things that I always wanted to learn about.

KING: Do you still go out and play -- drums?

LEE: Concerts? I'm actually recording a new record right now.

KING: With who? With a group?

LEE: No. I'm doing a solo record. And so, sometime earlier next year I'll have some new music. And I'm writing music for the TV show, as well.

KING: And when you go out on concert, you bring a group with you?

LEE: Oh, yes. Absolutely. Yes.

KING: Is it still what they call hard rock? Would you call that hard rock?

LEE: Yes, I guess so. Yes. I have some hard rock, new rock.

KING: Got to ask you a question about hard rock.

LEE: Yes.

KING: Why can't you hum it? LEE: Why can't you hum it?

KING: You can't hum it.

LEE: Well, I need to get you one of my solo records. You might be able to.

KING: Really?

LEE: Yes. Yes.

KING: I'll be able to hum.

LEE: Yes, sure. And if anything, you can definitely play some drums to it. I can give some drum lessons here real quick.

KING: Give me some truck lessons.

LEE: How about a paradiddle, OK. It's called a paradiddle.

KING: Paradiddle.

LEE: Right. OK, so you go, right left right right.

KING: Right left right right.

LEE: Left right left left

KING: Left right left left.

LEE: So...

KING: Now we do it again.

LEE AND KING: Right left right right left right left left right left right right.


KING: It's left.

LEE: It's hard, isn't it? It's hard.

KING: Now here's for getting me tattooed.

LEE: He's what it sounds like fast, ready?

KING: Oh, yes! That's exhilarating.

LEE: There you go.

KING: There's something about it. Is that one of the first things you learn?

LEE: One of them, yes.

KING: What did you call that?

LEE: It's called a paradiddle.

KING: A paradiddle.

LEE: Yes, sir.

KING: Why are you a drummer? Why didn't you take trumpet, piano?

LEE: I did, from what my parents told me, from I think probably the age of 2 and half, 3, I started pulling out every pot and pan, and fork and spoon and knife and drove them basically insane. But I was put on this planet to make music and I was obviously here to...

KING: You must have been a hit in the neighborhood?

LEE: To play -- I guess so, to play drums and make music.

KING: Why all the tattoos?

LEE: This is a really interesting story, actually. My father and mother got married, and my mom spoke no English. My dad was in the service in Greece. Spoke zero English. And I met with this dream analyst guy/therapist, who one day saw my tattoos, and I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, and he saw them sticking out of the bottom and he said -- and after I had told him about my story and my parents and my childhood, he -- my mom used to draw pictures. That's how they communicated. If we needed eggs, she would draw a chicken and an egg. Or if we needed soup, she would draw a can of soup. Or if we needed -- this is really great...

KING: That's what you're doing with this?

LEE: Well, he said, he said at a real young age, that's what I knew as communication. And so this -- he -- this is his...

KING: That's logical.

LEE: This is a form of communication for me. I sort of wear my emotions on the outside sometimes.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Tommy Lee, author of "Tommyland" right after this. Don't go away.


LEE: Check it out. This downstairs right here, this is Club Mayhem. This is where actually a lot of the music is made. My drum kit's there.

Nice. My piano's here. Going to make the girls cry.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Since we're running close on time, the two serious areas I should cover, the sex tape with Pamela Anderson. Embarrassed about that?

LEE: Man, you know what? That's one of the reasons I wrote the book. Larry, I'm just so over that. That was like five years ago. It just seems like, old, old, old news.

KING: But the question is, were you embarrassed by it?

LEE: Well, of course. Yeah, I mean, you know, I mean, and everybody does it. Everybody tapes themselves on vacation or on their honeymoon.

KING: They do?

LEE: Yeah. Come on, don't you?

KING: I'm Jewish.

LEE: Come on!

KING: OK. No, I haven't. I -- Tommy!

LEE: I don't know.

KING: We're different -- OK, maybe I -- but I haven't.


KING: And the young man who drowned on your property. That had to be the hardest thing for you?

LEE: Yeah. Yeah. That...

KING: Were you there?

LEE: I was right there. And, you know, every single day I go out, you know, out there with my children, I still see it. I still...

KING: Still at that house?

LEE: I still see the whole thing. Yes. And I'm selling it because I just need to start over and move, and move on.

KING: How has that boy's family dealt with it?

LEE: You know, I don't know. I'm sure like any parents, I would be, you know, extremely hurt, sad, angry. You know, we...

KING: It wasn't your fault, was it?

LEE: No. We haven't had any communication, so I don't know. I'm sure, like any parent, they would be just trying to do their best to also deal with their emotions and loss. And I can't even imagine -- like I can't -- I'm a father, I can't even imagine what they're dealing with and what it's like.

KING: We have a minute left. What's next in your life?

LEE: What is next?

KING: You're not attached to anyone now, right?

LEE: No.

KING: Life's cool.

LEE: Yeah, life's...

KING: Going to Nebraska, reality show, going to do another album, going to have a hit book?

LEE: Could be. Who knows? Yeah, I'm just kind of taking it day-by-day.

KING: Kids OK?

LEE: My kids are beautiful. They're doing every sport on the planet. I'm actually looking forward to getting home and spending some time with them. So everything's good. I can't complain, Larry.

KING: Good meeting you, Tommy.

LEE: Likewise.

KING: Thanks for the lesson.

LEE: No problems. We'll work on it later.

KING: Tommy Lee, the renowned drummer from Motley Crue. Now out on his own. The new memoir is "Tommyland," and the publisher is Atria -- a-t-r-i-a, a division of Simon and Schuster.

I'll be back in a minute and tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Movie recommendation, from 5-year-old Chance and 4-year- old Cannon. They saw a preview of -- a premiere of "The Incredibles." They love it. It opens Friday. I didn't see it. They saw it. They loved it. Got a 5-year-old and a 4-year-old, go see "The Incredibles."

Tomorrow night, Senator Richard Shelby and Senator Joe Biden go at it about foreign policy. And Maureen Dowd and William Safire, two op-ed columnists at "The New York Times," go at it about Bush and Kerry.

Right now, we go at it by turning it over right here in New York to our man on the scene -- there he is. Hey! Speaking of incredible, here is the incredible host of "NEWSNIGHT," my man Aaron Brown. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT

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