Thomas Lee Bass (born October 3, 1962) is an American musician and founding member of Mötley Crüe. As well as being the band's long-term drummer, Lee founded rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem, and has pursued solo musical projects.
His first successful band Suite 19 played the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles during the late-1970s. Around this time, he met future bandmate, Nikki Sixx. Casually, Sixx was forming a theatrical band that would specialise in anthemic heavy metal, and was impressed by Lee's drumming. Shortly afterwards, guitarist Mick Mars joined the band. Tommy recommended a singer he had met during high school, Vince Neil, who soon joined the group, and Mötley Crüe was formed.
Mötley Crüe quickly built a strong fanbase and they released their debut album Too Fast for Love in 1981, on their own independent label (Leathür Records). Elektra Records decided to sign the band shortly thereafter, reissuing their debut in 1982. The band then began a string of hit releases throughout the decade—1983's Shout at the Devil, 1985's Theatre of Pain, 1987's Girls, Girls, Girls, and 1989's Dr. Feelgood—establishing the quartet as one of the biggest hard rock/metal bands of the 1980s.
Lee used several memorable gimmicks during his drum solos at concerts, such as having his entire kit revolving and spinning, or having the entire kit float above the crowd while he continued to play. He was legendary for mooning the crowd at nearly every show. The band was known for their decadent behavior both on and offstage, often consuming excessive amounts of drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, pills and alcohol.
In 2004, Lee reunited with the original Mötley Crüe line-up to release the double-disc anthology album entitled Red, White & Crüe, which went quadruple-platinum and launched a monumental reunion tour to support it, The Red, White & Crüe Tour 2005: Better Live Than Dead, the band's first tour in six years. They finished the year at #8 on the Top Concert Money Earners list.
In 2014, Tommy Lee joined the Smashing Pumpkins to perform drums for their Monuments to an Elegy album. That same year Tommy Lee joined the rest of his Mötley Crüe bandmates in a farewell tour. As part of the tour each member signed a legal document preventing them from ever touring under the Mötley Crüe moniker again.