Magazine Readers’ Awards #2: 1986-1987



The Motleys were the darlings of Hit Parader, Circus & Metal Edge magazines in the mid to late 1980s & would often top the annual Readers’ Polls. It’s surprising how many Crue fans were filling out those ballots because they would often beat bands that outsold them, record-wise. Our Readers’ Awards posts will cover the years 1986-1992. [The first Readers’ Poll post for Metal Edge in 1987 can be found HERE]


Hit Parader fans edge Motley for the 1986 ‘Group Of The Year,’ garnering around 30,000 more votes than the second place Ratt. Although The Hit Parader writers insist that Motley are ‘the most popular band in the world’ they were more accurately only one of the world’s biggest bands (Bon Jovi sold approximately 6 million MORE records than Motley in those years) & were riding the high off another smash record with Theater Of Pain.


The Motleys almost swept Circus Magazine’s 1987 Readers’ Poll with wins in Best Band, Concert, Vocalist, Drummer, Bassist, Songwriters, Album, Video (‘Wild Side’), Producer & Best Long-Form Video (‘Uncensored’). Anne Raso caught up with Vince in Knoxville, Tennessee where the Crue were playing the Civic Coliseum on November 17th, 1987. Honored that it was his fourth year in a row winning Circus’ Best Vocalist Award he admits, ‘I’m not really that good of a singer’ & talks about his life on & off the road in 1986-87.



Nikki is interviewed by Adrianne Stone in his Knoxville hotel room & responds to the news that he has been chosen Best Bassist by Circus readers by confessing that he stole a subscription of the magazine as a teenager! This classic interview has him telling wild road stories including one involving Slash of Guns N’ Roses (who were then currently on tour with the Motleys & on the brink of becoming the biggest Rock band in the world).

img613-circus nov 1987 img614


Tommy got top honors (his fourth year as well) but Mr. Mars did not  win the blue ribbon spot in his category. Although Mick would usually place & even won Best Guitarist in Circus’ 1985 Poll he was not often awarded first place in these polls. Does that make him the least talented or least important Crueman? No sir. These polls were popularity contests & Nikki Sixx’s appearance was as important as his songwriting or instrumental abilities to the average Circus reader.


The staff at Faces Magazine seem to be less than impressed with Motley’s reign of their 1987 Readers’ Poll. P. T. Barnum & even Oscar Wilde are quoted to sum up the writers’ opinion that Motley are essentially style over substance & that their fan base consists of a whole lotta suckers. 


So Randy Rhoads wins Best Guitarist & he had been dead how many years by 1987?? [edit-commentor reminded me that Ozzy Osbourne’s Rhoads ‘Tribute’ album was released that year] Mick ties second place with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, that’s cool.


Motley win Hit Parader’s Readers’ Award for Best Band for the fourth straight year in 1987. When asked why he thinks Motley’s appeal has endured, Nikki insists it’s the authenticity of the band & offers up one of his favorite sayings from the 1980s:

‘Look, you can paint a garbage can with gold paint, but underneath it’s still a garbage can.’


More Magazine Readers’ Polls in future Sleaze Patrol File Posts, stay tuned!!!!


  1. The reason Randy Rhoads won fave guitarist that long after his death that year was that Ozzy released Tribute, the live album featuring Rhoads. Not a big surprise if you think of it like that.

    1. The Sleaze PatrollerMay 14, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      Great point, thanks.

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