Great Motley Tunes #1 – ‘Starry Eyes’

When she laughs . . . she’s got the power of a child in her eyes
And when you cry now, she’ll hold you like a man’s supposed to be held
I can’t get into words how I feel, get it right in this song, no, no, no
Set her free, needed a friend to come back to me . . .
The starry eyes . . . who-oh
The starry eyes . . . who-oh

 Too Fast For Love is one of the moments in Motley’s career that puts them in a different place & category than the other Hard Rock bands of their generation. The album is almost a ‘missing link’ type document in itself . . . not an example of punk & metal turning into glam metal but THE iconic moment when something happened. I didn’t hear the record until the late ‘80s & it sure sounded immature & strange to my ears . . . but as I got to know it more I began appreciating the things present on this album that were almost subsequently lost as Motley forged ahead in the ‘80s.

That one thing that I couldn’t articulate at the time was the vulnerability & wistfulness of some of the tunes, especially ‘Merry-Go-Round,’ ‘On With The Show’ & ‘Starry Eyes.’ These tunes were like little 3 minute Hollywood dramas, street operas or stories of a time that had more to do with the ‘70s almost. That’s the difference between early Motley & many of the bands that came after: the Crue were still somewhat from an older scene or vibe than a Bon Jovi or a Poison or a Ratt. You really hear that on Too Fast.

Standing alone in the light you can see her cry
With a smile & a wink & a sparkle in her eyes
She calmly sighed, ‘I will be alright . . . ‘
OK child, you gotta take the pain of a man in the streets
You better let me in, you’re needing a friend even just for one night . . .
The starry eyes . . . who-oh
The starry eyes . . . who-oh

And then it’s time for Mr. Mars to play one of his strange, wailing, shredding solos that still somehow have all kind of heart & sentiment. The stuff he plays as the song ends is just great too . . . real dramatic & powerful.
The intro with the gong lends to that minor feel of the song, the kind of Chinatown, gangland thing that they hinted at again with the ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’ video & even the Shout At the Devil track ‘Danger.’ This is the kind of stuff that the macho caricatures of the Glam Metal scene could never duplicate. In fact, this type of Hollywood sleaze drama stuff would be done to much greater success about 5 years later when Guns N’ Roses released ‘Appetite For Destruction.’ Songs like ‘My Michelle',’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’ ‘I Think About You’ & several others sound like updated versions of these early Crue tunes.

The breakdown is one of the examples of kinda ‘rock band jazz’ that was in the Crue’s sound at that time. The breakdown to ‘Stick To Your Guns’ is very jazzy as well & I gotta think this is Tommy’s influence because he would have been playing jazz stuff with the school band(s) he was in up to the formation of the Crue. It’s another eclectic element to their sound that was lost even by Shout.

More Classic B-Side Motley COMING UP ON THE SLEAZE PATROL FILES . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Just stopped by & this blog is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this with us who wasn't there at the time! Reading everything here kinda brings tears to me eyes. The Crue has indeed been special to lots of people.