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 clich√© 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!!

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