Motley Crue frontman kickstarts fans’ hearts at Tinley Park fundraiser
BY NICK SWEDBERG Correspondent August 7, 2014 5:18PM
Vince Neil of Motley Crue receives a warm reception as he arrives at Bettenhausen Dodge in Tinley Park, Illinois, to help the Tinley Wish organization raise money, August 7, 2014.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
With Alice Cooper
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park
Tickets: $29 to $195
Updated: September 9, 2014 6:33AM
Courtney Tebbens was 3 years old when she strained her neck headbanging to a Motley Crue video.
Her mother, Theresa, was furious with her sister, Jennifer Rosales, for introducing the heavy metal band to her sister and showing her the video. Despite the medical hiccup, watching the video sparked a lifelong attachment with Motley Crue.
More than 20 years later, Rosales, 41, of Tinley Park, and Tebbens, 24, of Oak Lawn, found themselves in line waiting to meet Vince Neil, the lead singer of their beloved band. Neil, who is on tour as the band prepares to retire, took time away to visit Bettenhausen Automotive in Tinley Park.
Fans waited in line at the charity fundraising event to meet the 53-year-old rocker.
“It was amazing,” Tebbens said.
Rosales, who was a bit disappointed she wasn’t able to slip Neil her phone number, held up a sign for her sister that read “Wish You Were Here” as she posed with the Motley Crue frontman.
Event organizers expected up to 500 people to show for photo opportunity Thursday afternoon and to raise money for the Tinley Wish Organization, a nonprofit group that benefits families suffering financial or medical hardships. The stop came ahead of Motley Crue’s Friday night show at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park.
Neil’s visit came together after Mike Bettenhausen, of Bettenhausen Auto, got in contact with Motley Crue’s promoter about the chance to help the nonprofit. Bettenhausen said they expected to raise about $10,000 via concessions, T-shirts and fans wanting items signed beyond the one free one to which they were entitled.
Fans from as far away as Ohio drove in to see Neil on Thursday.
Kimmie Sander, 43, and Angel Altman, 42, both from Cincinnati, left home at 8:30 a.m. and stood in line for hours for the chance to meet the rock star. Both were fans but neither previously had the chance to meet anyone from the band.
Sander, whose connection to Motley Crue’s music began when she was in middle school, brought along a 1986 copy of Hit Parader magazine that featured Neil on the cover for him to sign.
“That was the music, for as much as you could party as a teenager,” she said.
Jay Love, 40, and his daughter, Autumn Love, 20, both from Davenport, Iowa, also came to see Neil.
“This is a dream come true,” said Jay, who first listened to Motley Crue on a reel-to-reel bootleg recording.
Autumn came with a copy of Neil’s book “Tattoos and Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen.” She said she was shaking after meeting Neil, whose music she also came to know through her parent.
“It was just awesome, the emotion in the room and everything,” she said.
Motley Crue was founded in 1981 and sold millions of albums worldwide with hits such as “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.”