April 23, 2024

Mötley Crüe – as famous for their off-stage “antics” as they were for their music.

Mötley Crüe came together in ‘81 and almost immediately began pulling itself apart. Bassist Nikki Sixx (Frank Ferrano) teamed with drummer Tommy Lee (Bass). Guitarist Mick Mars (Bob Deal) signed-on. The original lead singer lasted two days before he was dumped in favor of Vince Neil (Wharton).

“Too Fast For Love” drew attention and sold well for an indie release. Soon signed to a major label, the group launched “Shout At The Devil,” in ‘83. This set featured “Looks That Kill” and the accompanying video.

Neil, driving intoxicated crashed into another car, killing his passenger, Hanoi Rocks’ Nicholas Dingley. Neil served jail time and performed community service for a vehicular manslaughter conviction.

Meanwhile, “Theater Of Pain” blasted up the charts riding a cover of Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” and the power ballad “Home Sweet Home.” Tommy Lee got hitched to actress Heather Locklear in ‘86. “Girls, Girls, Girls” came out in ‘87 and Sixx died from a drug overdose but was revived by medics.

Figuring it was time, some tour dates were canceled as band members went into rehab.

They returned in ‘89 with “Dr. Feelgood” which yielded the title track, “Kickstart My Heart,” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).” The compilation album, “Decade Of Decadence,” followed (debuted at #2 on the album charts).

Neil seemed caught is an endless series of assault arrests, usually a result of intoxication. Lee had a short-lived, high-profile marriage to another ‘actress’, Pamela Anderson, plus an array of his own legal troubles. 

Recording their next album was a disaster. First, Neil was sacked. Was it his interest in car racing or that he didn’t like the group’s musical direction? End result, John Corabi became Mötley Crüe’s vocalist. A self-titled album did well but was considered a disappointment considering what Mötley Crüe had been.

By ‘97 Neil was back for “Generation Swine.” Initial sales were strong but the album had no legs and quickly faded. “Greatest Hits” soon appeared.

When is the best time to pull the plug? While you are still on top. That’s what Mötley Crüe suggested when they announced their farewell tour in ’14. Though the group appeared to have a generous definition of what “still on top” meant.

Not everyone bought it. So Mötley Crüe became the first group ever to sign a binding “Cessation of Touring” agreement. In other words, see us now, because this is it!

In reality, Mötley Crüe seemed down for the count, and little more than a punchline to a bad ‘80s joke looking to cash-in one last time.

Then “The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band” arrived.  The ‘tell all” bio was a huge success with a film adaptation on Netflix. “It’s not just sex, drugs and car crashes,” claimed Sixx.  “Those things happen – and, in our case, more than usual. But what’s at the core of it all is the creativity and the personal relationships between each band member.” 

Mötley Crüe were on top again.  They ignored the earlier “Cessation of Touring” agreement and planned a mega-tour.  However, the Covid-19 pandemic halted those plans.  But the tour did get the green light in 2022.

Mars left the band for health reason and was replaced by John 5 (who had worked with Rob Zombie).

The Mötley Crüe/Def Leppard joint “Stadium Tour” won the Rock Tour of the Year at the ’23 Pollstar Awards ceremony in L.A. The twice-postponed North American “Stadium Tour” was one of the highest grossing tours of ’22, earning over $173 million.  

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