NEW YORK – America's most lovable hard-rock bad boy, Tommy Lee (search), is about to take us back to school. Learning never seemed so loony.
This semester, we get to be classmates with the tattooed rocker as he stars in his new reality series, "Tommy Lee Goes to College," (search) premiering Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on NBC.
Like any other superfly coed, Tommy pimps out his dorm room, joins the University of Nebraska at Lincoln marching band and learns chemistry from a hot blond tutor.
Lee, who dropped out of high school at 17, is touring with his '80s hair-metal outfit Motley Crue, which plays the Jones Beach Theater Tuesday and Wednesday. He's also just released his third solo album, "Tommyland: The Ride."
We caught up with the 43-year-old drummer in Salt Lake City, Utah, as he was popping open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on a much-needed day off. Enter expletives at your own risk:
Q:Were students excited when you arrived at UNL?
A: They were tripping. Nobody knew we were coming there. We basically bum rushed the university with a camera crew and people were like, "Oh my god, that's [bleeping] Tommy Lee!" We got all these great reactions on tape, and it's killer.
Q:Did you make friends?
A: Oh, yeah -- lots. I still talk to them all the time: My dorm mate Matt and one of my drummer buddies. And Natalie, my hot-as-hell tutor.
Q: Did Natalie actually teach you anything?
A: She did, but it was really hard to pay attention because she's so cute. So I found that a little difficult and distracting -- God bless her and her patience. She helped me through chemistry and horticulture. Chemistry was so hard. I thought it was going to be mad experiments in the lab. It was just a [bleeping] giant math problem. It was hell.
Q:Did you pledge a fraternity?
A: I tried to get into this one frat, and they started making me do all this [bleeping] crazy [bleep] like scrubbing toilets, doing dishes and their laundry and [bleep], and I was like, you know what? [Bleep] this. So, I started my own frat. We called it the House of Lee. We went and pledged a bunch of guys. But really we went out and kidnapped people. It was rad.
Q: How were the college girls?
A: They were sweet -- super sweet.
Q: Did they take off their shirts for you like they do at concerts?
A: Kind of.
Q: Did any of them play hard to get?
A: A few, actually. It's Nebraska. There are some pretty girls there. I was surprised. I wouldn't think that there would be.
Q: Any study tips?
A: Definitely get yourself a hot tutor.
Q: But how are you supposed to concentrate?
A: Close one eye. I don't know. [Bleep].
Q: You're on tour right now. Where do people rock the hardest?
A: Europe. We just did some shows in Spain, and those [bleepers] go crazy. They're louder than the band. You finish the song and they start singing their soccer fight song. And you're like, "Should we play the next song? Should we let them play? What do we do?"
Q: How are today's fans different than the '80s generation?
A: It's really bizarre. In the past, you'd look out and see everyone in your age group, right? And now, [bleep], I see 12-year-old kids on top of their dad's shoulders with horns up in the air, going "Yeaaaah!" And I'm sitting there thinking, how does this kid know who we are?
Q: On your new album, you sing "Tryin' To Be Me" about your love/hate relationship with the paparazzi. Are you a little confused?
A: I definitely am. I wrote that song with Chad Kroeger [of Nickelback] and he was, like, "God, dude, your life is [bleeping] crazy. [Bleep], you went to get something to eat, and there's paparazzi just clicking photos. This is [bleeping] crazy." But I can't complain. I hate when people complain about being famous.
Q: How many tattoos do you have?
A: I lost count. I like to call it One Big One. They all blend into one piece of art.
Q: Any new additions?
A: My sons' names on my wrist. I let them write on me with a Sharpie. There's nothing cooler than little kid writing. The "b" is all crooked, the "a" is backwards.
Q: Is there anything you haven't done that you want to do?
A: I have a list, and I'm starting to cross them off. I went skydiving last year for my birthday. I want to go to the pyramids in Egypt. I want to go to Thailand. I'd like to go to South Africa and play drums with some crazy aborigines or something. There's only so much time in the day.
Q: That could be good fodder for the next reality show.
A: Yeah, "Tommy Goes to Africa." Sitting there in a loincloth playing some [bleeping] log drum.