Is John 5 Cursed? Guitarist Reveals Two Scary Flying Incidents With Motley Crue
Is John 5 cursed? The guitarist thinks so, revealing an odd lifelong phenomenon that has left him a little worried about when the other shoe is going to drop after finding some success.
The guitarist revealed his "curse" while speaking with acclaimed drummer Kenny Aronoff on The Kenny Aronoff Sessions Podcast, explaining, "Now this sounds very strange, but I always thought that I was cursed in a way because something great would happen in my career and then something really tragic would happen in my life."
When asked for an example, the guitarist recalled, "I would join a band, and I would lose a family member, or I'd get a gold record and it .... it was always success and then something tragic would happen afterward and it happened for a really long time. It was like, 'Whoa, this is really strange.' But I would take all of my success away to have the tragic not happen."
When Aronoff asked if anything had happened since he joined Motley Crue, John 5 said nothing yet, but that doesn't mean there hadn't been some situations that had him thinking he was about to experience tragedy.
The guitarist recalls two flying incidents that have occurred in just his brief tenure with Motley Crue. "I hate flying and I really despise private planes. Motley, they'll fly to Orange County in a private plane instead of driving. Everything they do is a private plane. So I was thinking, 'I hope nothing tragic happens,'" he says.
But then he reveals the first incident, recalling, "We're in South America and we're on those massive 500 seaters like when you go to Europe, so it's the band, Def Leppard and all the road crew and we're all on this massive plane and it's like the size of Rhode Island. So you're like, 'Nothing's gonna happen, what's gonna happen? We're on this plane,' so we're having a great time, the flights are great, it's short, no problem. And then all of a sudden, the plane is going [whirrrr] and I'm like, 'That doesn't sound good.'"
According to John 5, everyone continued going about their good time, but knowing his history he was a little spooked. "We take this turn, and I'm like, 'That's not right. Why are we turning around?' So they were saying it was something to do with the landing gear. They saw something going down, and I'm like, 'Oh no.' And they were like, 'We've got to dump the fuel.' And we were going to Florida cause it was the last show from the South American tour. So we're dumping all this fuel and we're going, we're circling for two hours and I'm like freaking out. Nikki [Sixx] is giving me a hard time, and I'm dying. Tommy [Lee] is asleep, sick as a dog. He got the Motley flu. And so I'm like, 'This is my tragedy. This is terrible.'"
According to the guitarist, everyone got really quiet once the fuel was dropped, but luckily the pilots were able to get the landing gear working in time to land the plane.
But that was just the first of two scary flying incidents, with John 5 revealing the band went through something similar while on tour in Europe. "Then we're in Europe on we're on this other private plane and they don't know if the landing gear is coming down," says the guitarist. "And it's, you know those private planes where you can see the pilot? He's going like this, pounding on that button for it to come down. And I'm like, 'Again?!' The plane is circling and we're going like this to land, and it takes off. And I'm like, 'Oh my god. This is the tragedy part.'" But in this case, while the pilots couldn't detect it, the landing gear was in place and all aboard landed safely.
"So hopefully that good fortune / tragedy thing was just a coinkidink," he adds.
John 5 and Motley Crue have some more flying to do starting next month. The band has dates in Japan and Australia to finish out the year.
John 5 Guests on The Aronoff Sessions Podcast
Motley Crue: A Timeline of Their Storied Career
Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner