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.
(click images to enlarge & READ)
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.
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.’
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.