Early Dr. Feelgood Era 1988-1989 Part 2

21st century Crue fans are so lucky! At this moment I can go to any number of webpages & get a Crue fix. I can reach for four autobiographies on my bookshelf & read about the band at a depth that I wouldn’t have dreamt of in 1988 (I actually only own The Dirt but happen to have Nikki’s & Vince’s bio’s on loan. Tommyland will have to wait.). It really wasn’t until the ‘90s when things started getting surreal for Rock fans. Ozzy’s TV show with his family, I mean the idea of having that kind of candid access into his life was far more of a novelty than it may seem today. What I mean is that despite Motley & Ozzy & Metallica selling millions of records they were still rarely seen on prime-time TV & were mostly relegated in the press to genre mags, only making it into mainstream press whenever they did something outrageous or married famous actresses. I would say in the case of Motley, less info was a lot more. There’s almost nothing left to tell . . . & a lot of it was already told & retold in the ‘80s & early ‘90s.
So 1988. A whole year of no Motley public activity. They crashed & burned in Japan & back home in December 1987. 1988 was to be a very important year for them. The decisions they made in 1988 lead them to have the biggest record of their career & allow them to finish their decade of decadence on a high note. As soon as they got their shit together they started pre-production in L. A. & didn’t get up to Canada to record with Bob Rock until the next year. The near silence made the writers at Blast!, Hit Parader & other magazines speculate on the success of the band & give us some of that celebrated legend which has come to overshadow the fact that they wrote some of the best songs of their generation. The second Hit Parader article by Ernie ‘Spuds’ MacKenzie has Nikkie talking about rehearsals & his fight with addiction. Set time machine controls to 1988!!
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Here’s two articles from a magazine called Concert Shots. They both are in the biography vein with the second one by Susan Levine, ‘Tommy Lee: From Genesis To Revelation,’ retelling its hero’s & Motley’s career in a mock-biblical narrative style. Articles like this were the ones I really treasured & read over & over as a teenager. Again, because they had no new Crue photos to print (the above ‘straight-jacket’ sessions are from sometime in 1989) we’re treated to some vintage Crue shots, mostly from the Shout era.
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Blast! was a real bubblegum-type mag, I would say aimed at girls mostly. They had really nice colour photo reproductions & usually featured the more Glam or Hair Metal type bands & Crue were regularly featured. They actually printed a bunch of really candid interviews with all four band members from when they were in Canada making Dr. Feelgood & I’ll be featuring those soon, but in 1988 the two following articles whetted the appetite of the curious Crue fan as to what the hell these guys were up to! A ‘spokesperson’ & then the boys give us some of the skinny on the making of the new record.
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Before we go we’ll slide into early 1989 when the band headed up to Canada to record. By this time the album was being called Dr. Feelgood & to say they seemed jazzed about it is an understatement. The feeling you’ll get from these & the oncoming articles as the record is released is how truly excited they seemed about music & being Motley. Ah, the good old days . . . .
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Stay tuned for Motley in the year 1989 & more lead-up articles to the release of Dr. Feelgood.

He’s the one they call . . . Monstrous?? Early Dr. Feelgood Era, 1988 & Happy 30th!


Motley Crue celebrated their 30 year anniversary this month. If you had told the 1980s me that they would still be around in the year 2011 (I guess they could be a thing of the past as I write . . . the Motley camp is quiet lately), I would have thought you crazy . . . but here we are. The Sleaze Patrol Files pretty much keeps to the first third of their career, their greatest era, but 30 years is really quite the accomplishment & so I say ‘Wow’ & ‘Holy Shit!’ & ‘Congrats boys.’

I know of no other way to celebrate than forge ahead with a series of posts of vintage Motley memories from the Rock magazines of the day.


By 1988 the Crue were an unstoppable force in the Rock world. Although they were being outsold by bands like Guns & Roses, Bon Jovi & Whitesnake, they were still considered by many to be the premier Hard Rock band of the 1980s. By the time the year 1988 rolled around, these four cats had been through hell & back & got scared straight, as the saying goes. 1988 saw the band preparing for their fifth record by quitting alcohol & drugs & focusing all their attentions on the record that would come to be called Dr. Feelgood. Here are some articles from those classic days in the months before the band went North to Vancouver, Canada to record with Mr. Bob Rock. What would the new Crue sound like? What were the names of some of the new tunes they were writing? What might they title their new album? Metal Edge got these answers and more from Mick & Nikki in a late 1988 interview. Below is a short piece about the state of the Crue in 1988 & early info on the new record. I actually bought this issue of Metal Edge for this article alone. I was pretty excited.
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Nikki sounds confident in the above interview & that’s kinda the vibe they were putting out to people at the time. Lots of references to a more mature Rock style a la Zeppelin & the idea that the new album was almost going to be experimental at times . . . which did not pan out. An interesting thing about these & many of the upcoming articles is the discussion of the art of songwriting, the quoting of lyrics, as if lyrics were anything of importance (they are!! . . . too bad they mostly stink on Dr. Feelgood) & the mention of songs that would eventually not make it to Dr. but have since seen the light of day on various Crue releases.
And as had been the case with the break between the Theatre & the Girls records, the magazines wanted to at least have some Crue content & were perhaps increasingly surprised & impressed with their longevity as a band & felt it was again time to take a trip down memory lane . . . Metal Edge did an awesome photo retrospective that contained some vintage (even in 1988) Crue shots I had not seen up to that point. I was in Motley heaven.
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Here’s more Motley from mid 1988, probably when they were in pre-production in L. A. Nikki & Mick talk to Mike Greenblatt of Metalshop magazine. This is another article in which Nikki’s excitement with the new songs has him reciting lyrics for several tunes that didn’t even make the record. Some of these demoed songs are on YouTube. So here’s ‘Say Yeah’ & ‘Rodeo,’ a song Nikki can’t stop talking about in this interview but, to me, sounds like a pretty mediocre tune, almost a different feel than a Motley song. I dare say Bob Rock heard these tunes & said, ‘OK, but I really think you guys got some better songs in you.’
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More early Dr. Feelgood era stuff to come as we take an almost chronological look at the making, release & tour of Motley’s best-selling album.

Motley Quotes, Facts & Pin-Ups

We’re entering Dr. Feelgood territory again with this post. 1980s teeny-bopper Metal & Hard Rock magazines loved to give fans all the information they ever needed about their Rock N’ Roll heroes. Crue were a perfect combination of image & legend. These short chronologies & collections of Crue quotations were little shots of information we would read more at length in their written biographies & many biographical video documentaries from the last 20 years. These are 2-sided pin-ups.
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There’s a lot of little mistakes in some of that information but you get the idea. The Crue were at the mercy of their own reputation & however inaccurately some of these fly-by-night publications reported, at least they spelled the band’s name correctly.
Here’s some more vintage Crue & we leave you with a YouTube video of a Much More Music segment about Heavy Metal music from 1987. The Canadian interviewer Denise Donlon is pretty hard on them, watch Vince squirm when she asks why the band isn’t ending their Girls, Girls Girls shows with a warning about the dangers of drunk driving!! That’d be a good show.
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