‘Cowboy-Biker-Punk-Street Sleaze’ . . . Gutter Glam, 1987


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Designer Ray Brown was the man behind much of the Crue’s costumes & clothes from 1985 into the Dr. Feelgood years. Brown tackled the band’s new vision of  a kind of rock n’ roll, biker, cowboy image for publicity shots on the eve of the release of Girls, Girls, Girls in May of 1987.


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You can see above that the Crue were only willing to stray so far from the glam of their previous incarnation. Brown is the man behind this second phase of the band, towards a more stylish, glammy & rock n’ roll Crue, away from their punk & metal days.


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I think these costumes present the guys in a too-stylized light & give off an image of wealth & luxury rather than sleaze & grittiness which was what the new record was suppose to be a celebration of. There are several photo shoots from this era into the Feelgood days that I think spotlight an unfortunate trend in hard rock towards a more posh image. These decadent pirates of fashion would soon be drowned in a sea of flannel, & viewing these almost strange & wild mutations (Vince called this look, ‘Cowboy-Biker-Punk-Street Sleaze’) you get the sense how creative & visual popular music became in the 1980s . . . & how necessary the change in 1990s Rock was.

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Although this photo session has never been one of this fan’s favorites I like it much more than some other Motley shoots & so I have not included it in a forthcoming post, ‘Motley Crue Photo Sessions I Hate’ . . . . .



We’ll leave with footage from October of 1987 with the band filming a performance video for ‘Wild Side’ at a Winnipeg, Canada strip club . . . for Japanese TV! Before the action begins Vince & the band are interviewed & then they run in & perform. You’ll notice the time in the top right-hand corner . . . The Motleys are up at 7am to film this for a Japanese TV show! Japan were an important market for the Crue & as we’ve already discussed, Japan is where their demons finally caught up with them. This rare video just popped up on YouTube, enjoy!

Motley ‘Ultimate Backstage Pass’ Stickers, Hostess Chips, 1987


Motley Hostess Chip Stickers, 1987-001

Motley, Bon Jovi & a host of other artists were featured in a set of potato chip bag stickers touted as ‘The Ultimate Backstage Pass.’ I’ve somehow held onto 6 of them & here they are in all their 1 1/2" x 1 3/4" glory.

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Motley Hostess Chip Stickers, 1987-004

A Google search found a few of these floating around on EBay & even full sets for sale. Apparently there were 10 Crue stickers, probably 2 of each member (studio & live shots) & 2 band photos. I also remember a same sized patch of the band’s name in the Theatre Of Pain font but that may have been around earlier than 1987. The live shots show the band on their Girls, Girls, Girls tour which didn’t start until June of 1987 so these may have been in circulation as early as that summer.

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Motley have always been infamous & their reputation has carried a lot of clout. Bon Jovi became a household name by selling tens of millions of records & writing catchy, safe pop hard rock whereas the Crue became a household name on a lot less record sales & an almost scary public reputation & more aggressive sound. That a Canadian potato chip company would market them equally is a testament to the band’s popularity in the late 1980s.

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