Nikki Sixx Part 7: Mid-Life Decadence, 1991



Nikki Sixx was a changed man in 1991. He had experienced 10 years of steadily increasing fame and success marked by brushes with death and drug addiction. Rock N’ Roll was experiencing a revolution as well. Motley’s ten year retrospective, Decade Of Decadence, was released at the first of October, 1991, a week after Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind debuted. As early as 1988 Nikki was voicing a desire to take the Motley sound into new & more creative territories. Dr. Feelgood was mostly comprised of high-geared, hook-laden, Power Rock in a traditional & even cliché mode. After it’s unprecedented success Nikki’s reaction seems to have been to turn the Motley formula on its ear & match the breed of new ‘Alternative Rock’ & Metal bands in their creativity & intensity. He could sniff the stale formula of the Hair Metal bands that Motley epitomized in 1989 & wanted to take it to another place.



Nikki discusses the videos for ‘Primal Scream’ & ‘Anarchy In the U.K.’ ‘Primal’ is Motley at their anthemic best, a powerhouse groovy tune with a great video. The ‘Anarchy’ video is comprised of live clips from Motley’s sets at the 1991 Monsters Of Rock festival shows in Europe. The song is a misstep, in my opinion, an obvious & misguided attempt by the Crue to appear Punky & Hardcore. They play it fine, but who the fuck did they think they were covering the Pistols?!



Pamela Shaw of Hit Parader chats with Nikki a few weeks after the release of DOD & has him talking about the new music he’s writing with Mick Mars & the influence of bands like AC/DC, Pantera, Chili Peppers & Metallica. Aggressive, uncompromising, radio-unfriendly, Nikki continues to promise the Crue fans a new phase in the Motley sound. Some of this music found its way onto the 1994 Motley Crue record with vocalist John Corabi & in 1997 when Vince returned with Generation Swine. Nikki’s domestic life with newborn Gunner & wife Brandi Brandt is broached & we find out that Nikki had probably never changed his son’s diapers.

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Another Hit Parader article from this period has the Sixxster sharing some interesting anecdotes. In the post’s first article Nikki discussed writing & recording with Alice Cooper for his Hey Stoopid record. In ‘A Look To The Future’ Nikki reveals that he & Mick were reluctant to work with Alice because of the involvement of pop-Hard Rock songwriter Jim Vallance whom Nikki regarded as a hack. There’s a sense that Nikki was trying to distance himself from the ‘Hair Metal’ scene. He compares some of the riffs he & Mick are writing to Slayer! [Motley Crue signed a $35 Million deal, NOT a $335 Million one as stated in the piece] .



Nikki is on a rant in the above Rip Magazine article written by Judy Weider. He explains the current writing process:

‘We’re not completing songs. We’re not completing lyrical ideas. What we’re doing is taking a bunch of riffs & figuring out how to hodgepodge them together & somehow make a vocal work. We want to be a lot more aggressive.’

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Guitar Magazine gets a nice interview from Nikki who discusses his songwriting methods (he was using a Mac program in 1991) & his lyric writing process. Nikki also explains he & the Crue parted ways with producer Tom Werman after failing to record ‘Powerful Stuff’ for the Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail. [The tune was then picked up by The Fabulous Thunderbirds & they released it to some success]. I wonder where the Motley version is?!

More Sikki Nixx to come at The Sleaze Patrol Files!!

Super Teen Special-Motley & Other Metal Masters (1985)- Part 2 (With Video & Links!)



Mick stands guard & warns, ‘Ye who wish to enter here! Woe to he who does not avail himself of the former chapter of our duple-act playlet through the following hyperlink.’



Above are a couple shots from the LOOKS THAT KILL video set.



So Motley didn’t do a single thing to mark the 30 year anniversary of Shout At The Devil, too bad. An updated anniversary edition audio release & some cool archival video footage would have been nice. There is a surprising lack of live video footage from the era with the amateur, single shot June 5th, 1984 Quebec City concert the only known existing full show from the Shout era excepting the 1983 US Festival set. Pretty disappointing. A few clips from the European Monsters Of Rock sets & that’s pretty much all there is.