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]: