Great Motley Tunes #2: Stick To Your Guns

I first heard Stick To Your Guns when I babysat my nephew around the mid to late 1980s & found among my uncle's generic Hard Rock & Rock collection of records & cassettes a copy of Motley's Too Fast For Love. Too Fast existed, for a long time into my Motley obsession as a kid, as a mysterious, rare, almost never heard debut album. It seemed like the band, in my neck of woods, didn't really capture people's attention until Shout At The Devil & Theatre Of Pain. In fact, Motley seemed to pick up a whole new slew of fans pretty much every album they released in the 1980s. A lot of ladies jumped on board with Theatre & 'Home Sweet Home' & the less threatening tone & Glam appearance.

So every time I would babysit my nephew I would crank this rare, never heard Motley gem & wish it was mine. I don't know when it was I realized that my uncle actually had the even rarer Canadian release of Too Fast: For some reason the Elektra Records folks issued a Too Fast cassette version with the revised Elektra song list & artwork [above] BUT the music was the original Leathur version of the album! This version has a very different mix with some songs having different vocal takes & extended intros AND with an extra tune: Stick To Your Guns.

I first got Too Fast around 1987-88. I've always liked the Elektra mix of the record. I disagree with some Crueheads who think it inferior. I think it's a tighter, more cohesive record in the Elektra version. Having said that, it doesn't have 'Stick To Your Guns' & that's too bad because it's a great song.

From the classic Motley era of 1981 we have two studio versions of the song. There are also a handful of live bootleg versions. Above is the Too Fast Leathur album version from later in the year. Below is the version that they recorded when Vince first joined the band in April. Paired with another original, 'Toast Of The Town' (a song I would only read about & not hear until the 1990s . . . & before that via the Pretty Boy Floyd cover), 'Guns' spotlights that early Crue sound which is very much in the vein of pop Hard Rock bands like Sweet & T. Rex. These tunes, along with other rare & not released at the time songs like 'Nobody Knows What It's Like To Be Lonely', a cover of the band The Raspberries' song 'Tonight', & other tunes like 'Why You Killin' Yourself?' (from the April 1981 Starwood video) show us a band that doesn't fit the 1980s' Hard Rock & 'Hair Metal' cliches that the Crue are often accused of originating.

Stick To Your Guns might have got nixed off the Elektra version of Too Fast because it's a pretty long song. The feel of the tune is real slow & groovy, kind of a Motley characteristic that they retained all through the '80s (see 'Dr. Feelgood') & has a great breakdown. The interplay between the band, Mick's moaning & shredding, Tommy & Nikki's jazzy stop time sections make for a real entertaining romp. On top of that we have Vince's clear & cutting high vocal, really, a very effective Pop voice. People who think they don't like Motley Crue are likely to enjoy this tune!

Above is the April 24th, 1981 performance of Guns at the Starwood. The April 25th performance was filmed as well but is not presently on Youtube. This second night is barely visible but I'll try to find it & add it later.
More Classic Motley Tune Spotlights ahead at The Sleaze Patrol Files!!!


Here's what Paul Miles has for the year 1982:

The Too Fast For Love album is re-released on Elektra and enters the Billboard chart at #157. A few changes to the album cover are made with the front photo and logo being enlarged and the rear album photo getting reduced. A new band picture is included on the lyric sheet inside. The song Stick To Your Guns is omitted from this new version, due to copyright issues since Nikki sold the song amongst others to former nightclub manager and now KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer prior to its recording. In Canada only, Elektra releases the original Leathür version of the songs with a re-vamped Too Fast For Love cover.

Meanwhile . . . in the Year 2014 . . .

When I started this blog about four years ago, I intended to, every so often, comment on the current state of Motley. That hasn't really happened but the band has kept touring & keeping their name in the public. Earlier this year [2014] they announced a Final Tour: All Bad Things Must Come To An End. They even cobbled together a song with the same title that got played a couple times but was quickly ditched. I've heard worse music.

The gimmick this go around is the band signed a cease & desist contract at a press conference to never tour again! It's about time! The band were so lucky to have the successful reunion in 2005 after the success of the 'The Dirt' autobiography earlier in the decade but since about 2007 they've been coming up with gimmicks & any old excuse to keep touring. And with the SAME setlist every year. And with Vince's voice becoming increasingly worse. And with more backing tapes & pyro to hide the band's actual abilities. Nikki just kinda talks now & doesn't care if it's true or if anyone has a memory or is even listening! It's been obvious for a while that the band doesn't like each other anymore & it's just a business agreement & they're cashing in while they can. There has been ZERO attempts to satisfy us life-long Crueheads in terms of B-sides being performed at shows (strictly Greatest Hits or the same B-sides for 10 years now) or any attention to their musical legacy (Shout At The Devil, a seminal album in the band's career, has a 30 year anniversary & NOTHING was done to celebrate it at all). Motley is not really a band anymore. All those generic Rock fans that sprung up in the early 1990s have carried through til now & populate the majority of the concert seats & supply the most set of ears to classic Rock Radio stations. These are the people Motley care about now. Us older, Crue-educated fans? We just know too much embarrassing stuff about their early days & we expect too much. Check out how amazing Metallica have handled their legacy & their relationship with their die-hard fans & then compare that to what Motley have done & it's very sad. Tommy has taken to not signing autographs, skipping the Meet and Greets & generally saying nothing onstage BUT has kept up the tradition of the drum solo spectacle by doing a stunt I remember him mentioning way back in the day: called the 'Cruecifly', Tommy & drum set travel over the crowd on an elaborate roller coaster track!

It's surreal to me to see this new, current footage of the Motleys still doing huge tours & stage shows in their 50 & 60s, in the years 2014-15. Walking the halls of The Sleaze Patrol Files, seeing these young wild men in their teens & 20s, ruling in the 1980s & creating such a legend, even back then, decades ago . . . & they're STILL performing?! The Final Tour is done for 2014 but the band promises to travel the globe in 2015 before calling it a touring day.

Girls, Girls, Girls Part 8: Crue Confessions, 1987-'88


Here are a couple Metal Edge Magazine items from the years 1987-1988. 'Crue Confessions' is a collection of quotations & 'Crue Confidential' sets the record straight about a bunch of Motley rumours in early 1988. We learn about Matthew Trippe, Vince's divorce from wife Sharise Ruddell & the demise of Motley's popular S.I.N. fan club.
[To view these pages closer & read, right click & open in a new window.]


Classic Rock Magazine Polls #3: 1989-1990

Motley's two & a half year hiatus from releasing new music meant that a whole lotta upstarts jumped into the limelight. By 1989, bands like Warrant & Skid Row & Poison came to define what has become popularly known as 'Hair Metal'. Motley were always a Glam band in the mold of 1970s pioneers like Alice Cooper, New York Dolls & Kiss, but with the emergence of 1980s Hard Rock, Glam got a new look and a new cast of characters. In those two & a half years, a highly successful breed of bands would emerge & threaten to topple the Crue from atop the Hard Rock heap.

 In 1989 Hard Rock was still big business & Motley released Dr. Feelgood unto a world which had already heard Guns N' Roses, Cinderella, Poison, Skid Row, Warrant &, in a different vein, Metallica (as can be seen by their placing in many of the poll categories). And although songs like 'Dr. Feelgood' & 'Kickstart My Heart' are powerful examples of 1980s Hard Rock at its finest, the Crue were not offering anything overly revolutionary or new. In a way, it was the first time in their career they could be said to have been overt followers of trends in Hard Rock. 

Despite this tough competition, Motley fares out well in this Circus Magazine poll for the year 1989 (published in the February 1990 edition), winning the coveted top spots: 'Band Of The Year' & 'Album Of The Year' for Dr. Feelgood. Vince hadn't won the 'Lead Vocalist Of The Year' for two polls running but was happy to comment on Motley's other wins in the article above. He talks about the band's success despite not much radio or video play & remarks how the band's audience has expanded to include younger & more general Rock fans (a trend that two years later would make Metallica the world's biggest Rock band). Vince congratulates Skid Row on their success & once again remarks on the different nature of Motley & Bon Jovi.

Sharon Liveten catches up with Nikki while the Crue are rollin' on the Feelgood tour in 1989-90. The Sixxster is in high spirits & discusses the bass guitar (he won 'Best Bassist') & laughs that the band also won 'Comeback Of The Year', insisting the Crue were assured of their success with Dr. Feelgood all along. Tommy also won 'Best Drummer' (again) but we do not get a feature on the Motley basher.

Circus printed a chart of all the Reader's Poll winners from 1984 to 1989 & Motley's dominance & popularity in those years is surprising. They certainly were not as successful or as popular as bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard or AC/DC, so why were they the darlings of so many of these teeny-bopper Metal & Hard Rock magazines? Was there something more personal & intense about the Motleys?


Tommy & Nikki sound politely impressed when Metal Edge Magazine Editor Gerri Miller presents them with plaques for their wins in the 1990 Reader's Choice Awards. The duo often won in their respective categories, a testament to their talent (Tommy) & their popularity. MORE Magazine Poll Awards to come at the Sleaze Patrol Files!!

Crue Cards & the Motley Universe in Early 1991

At Paul Miles' Chronological Crue we see this entry for January of 1991:

Dr. Feelgood becomes Mötley’s highest selling album, now reaching quadruple-Platinum status. Brokum release a series of trading cards called RockCards, featuring Mötley Crüe and other popular hard rock bands.

The Motleys had wrapped up their successful Dr. Feelgood tour in the Fall of 1990. In early 1991 Nikki had his first son, Gunner, with his then wife Brandi Brandt. [At the time of this writing (Sept 2014), Brandi Brandt has been convicted of charges of smuggling cocaine & has been sentenced to  prison time.] Motley also won an American Music Award in January 1991:

Tommy played drums on pop singer Richard Marx's tune 'Streets Of Pain' after the two met at an L. A. Kings game in February:

The boys were nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance at the Grammys in February but lost to then Rock Critic darlings, Living Colour [go to 5:40]: