Nikki Sixx Part 9 - Too Wild To Tame, 1984-1985

Nikki retells the Motley legend/biography to Steve Gett of Hit Parader Magazine during the writing or recording of Theatre Of Pain, so late 1984 or early 1985. Nothing new here but another example of the media going down Motley memory lane early on. There are no Theatre pics to share so we get some Shout era doozys. Nikki shows an early instance of hyperbole for whatever new product he is peddling by saying that Theatre of Pain's songs will be as good OR BETTER! than Shout At the Devil's.

I like the following quote from the intro to the article. I didn't hear many other Rock stars, especially in the Hard rock world, discuss their band or music quite like Nikki did of Motley Crue in the 1980s. Although he would have never suggested that Motley were capital 'A' Artists, it becomes quite clear through reading through the evidence that he had a developed sense of his music & its place in the scheme of things. Motley's many style & musical changes throughout their 35+ career can be seen less as an outcast band chasing success & relevance & more a chaotic group of misfits with a savvy & creative Captain Hook at the helm. I don't overly like a lot of post 1991 Motley music but I'm beginning to appreciate the creativity they've shown all these years.

"I wanted a real honest Rock N Roll band. I didn't want anything fake or pseudo. Whatever it was it was going to be true Art."

Nikki Sixx, 1984

Vince Part 7: Dr. Neil, 1988-1989

Vince was sober, recording Dr. Feelgood in Vancouver, Canada on the weekends, & apparently not getting along with his then wife, Sharise Ruddell. Sometime in perhaps mid 1988, Sharise talked to the folks at Blast! Magazine about her relationship with Vince, the making of Motley's new record & what she was getting herself up to as Mrs. Neil.
In May 1989, in the locker room after a charity baseball game, Coach Vince Neil talks to Gerri Miller of Metal Edge Magazine about the loss to Sam Kinison's team & updates her on the final stages of the recording of Dr. Feelgood.
Gerri Miller of Metal Edge once again gets the scoop on the new Motley record & Vince talks about everything including the new video, tour, acting & much more in this circa August 1989 article, 'Vince Neil On The Line':
Vince talks to Anne M. Raso at Powerline Magazine circa October-November 1989. He speaks at length about Motley's longevity, the scuffle-up at Moscow in August that saw them separating ways with manager Doc McGhee, the then European tour, the security necessary for big rock bands & an anecdote about an imposter who convinced a Las Vegas casino that he was the real Vince Neil & left a bill for 10 grand! The Crue would be jetting to gigs on their new private plane for the first time.

Vince's turn as an actor in some bigger budget movies is mentioned in all these interviews. He gets killed in Andrew 'Dice' Clay's The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane from 1990. He also voices regret that his scene in Police Academy Part 6 got cut from the final feature. Here's the trailer for the 'Dice' movie. Most of Vince's appearance is featured in the first 13 seconds!

Motley contributed 'Rock N' Roll Junkie' to the soundtrack. I actually bought this thing, I was such a Cruehead. I didn't know they were going to release it on Decade Of Decadence in 1991 but I couldn't have waited that long anyway. A fun & funky Motley B-Side!

We actually have about 6 minutes of Vince on the set of Police Academy 6 in late 1988. We see him in 'Hair & Make-up', going over his lines at his trailer & then being interviewed about Motley. Vince says they're taking holidays 1988 off & then pre-production with Bob Rock in January 1989 with recording starting February 1st. We even see the cut scene as the crew films it!

More Vinnie to come at The Sleaze Patrol Files!!

Motley Magazine Miscellany #3

 In this installment of Motley Magazine Miscellany we have more random Crue appearances in print media of the 1980s-90s. Our first images come from a kid's book of celebrities entitled 'Good Guys & Bad Guys'. This was one of those cheapo, thrown-together publications that were sold in those Scholastic book order catalogues we'd get in Canadian grade school (I don't know if this is common to all Western school systems). The Motley member featured is Tommy Lee (whose famous wife was the main reason a mainstream audience even knew who he was) although you might not know that from the pic they used of Tommy for the cover: a pic of Nikki! And from an, even then, old Too Fast For Love era photo:

a different shot but same session
I don't have the rest of the book (I just tore out the Tommy pages!) but it's obvious from the opening paragraph of the Tommy bio that the intent of the book is a moral one, to show famous people who are either good guys or have become one, as is the case with Tommy. Privy to the sleazy rep Motley had even in the early 1990s, the writer says that because of Tommy's 'def' drumming (there's a word you don't hear too much anymore!) he has kept a host of fans who would have otherwise left the decadent rocker. Motley's bad guy reputation is lamented but with the sober lifestyle the band adopted in 1989, fame & artistic success were theirs. You gotta give this little write up a look-see:

 This next little artifact I got out of a sister's Cosmo er something equivalent. This would be from the early to mid 1990s, we see the actors from the TV Show 90210 in the other panels. In this relationship/Music quiz, Motley fares out poorly. The question is, 'Your boyfriend listen to Motley Crue so You listen too?' Ha ha, 95% of the women polled said NO WAY!

The tragic history of one Mr. Vincent Neil Wharton has been the source of much spilt ink & it's one of the details of Motley's history that reached the attention of the popular public. A big pic of Vinnie making a gun shot gesture & details of the accident where he is painted as a stone cold killer come from an article called 'Stars Who Get Away With MURDER' from some sleazy pulp rag (likely The National-Enquirer). I remember ripping this out of a magazine at the dentist's office!

Another Motley tabloid article but this time about the romantic troubles of Tommy Lee. This story is from a 1988 edition of The National-Enquirer (or just 'the Enquirer'). There may be some truth to this tale of adultery, the authors even sign their name to the piece. Enlarge the image to read the lurid details of Motley's basher's Celebrity Marriage Foibles!

Here's an ad for a contest to see Motley, Phil Collins & Madonna at Toronto's then new Skydome (now the Rogers Center & home to the MLB's TO Blue Jays).

More Motley Magazine Miscellany to come at The Sleaze Patrol Files & here are links to PART I & PART II

A WTF Motley Artifact: Crue & Arsenio Hall

Don't go looking for it on YouTube, it didn't happen. I think. Crueheads who may know better are going to have to let me know if this happened but I've never seen or heard anything about it except this notice from the TV Guide of my sleepy little town. 

Arsenio Hall was a very famous Night Talk Show host in the late 1980s to early 1990s & anybody who was anybody appeared on his show [Then President-hopeful Bill Clinton performed saxophone with the show's band (The Posse) & instantly appeared 90% cooler to the public]. I remember there being a mention of Motley & the rap band 2 Live Crew performing on the show together [more on that unlikely collaboration HERE] but the above advertised appearance is odd. We do know that the Motleys & Mr. Hall ran into each other in the years 1989-1990. Here's what Paul Miles' authoritative Chronological Crue has for the year 1989:

Nominees for the MTV Video Awards are announced by Vince and Arsenio Hall during a press conference at the Saxonlee Art Gallery in Los Angeles.

We have a pic of the great meeting, above.

September 1990 Motley performed Don't Go Away Mad at the MTV Video Music Awards, hosted by Mr. Hall. Here he is introducing the boys:

Motley became more famous in the Dr. Feelgood years; Hard Rock had hit the mainstream & with Tommy married to the famous Heather Locklear, the Crue had a certain presence & legitimacy they hadn't had prior. Vince was the most public Motley face & there are many pics of Vinnie hanging with some big stars like Sylvester Stallone.
If any of you Crueheads know anything about this Arsenio Hall appearance, please let me know in the comments section, thanks!

Motley Who?

So exactly WHO are Motley Crue? In 2015 they are bona fide Rock Legends with an impressive staying power and biz savvy. They are also an example of the tired nostalgia culture that has been a leading force in the music industry since the 1990s (& before). The band has never again achieved the artistic success that reached its peak in the early 1990s with 'Primal Scream' & the 1994 John Corabi album, nor did it ever duplicate the sheer power & honesty of their first two records. 

Motley have had several lives. Even within the first decade there are so many details; tragedies and songs about them, changes in appearance & style of music. A LOT happened from 1981-1991 in Crue land. Then there's the short-lived Corabi period. After that the middling years: Motley, completely irrelevant artistically, releasing clumsy new music & keeping their heads down, doing their work while the world moved on. 

The reason they are here today, to my mind, is because of the success of the 2001 Neil Strauss-penned bio, 'The Dirt'. It hit at just the right time, finding an audience rabid for 1980s raunch & hedonism sprinkled with enough pathos to turn the head of a Greek dramatist [cough, we'll work on that one later! .ed]. Known to us old-school Crueheads since the mid '80s, Motley's story is one of epic proportions that may or may not contain moments of exaggeration & hyperbole. Nonetheless, the book proved that, alongside a songbook that has aged better than many of their contemporaries', the Motley myth was more rich, more honest & more compelling than your average Classic Rock band.

 Although the music they made after 1994 is not essential listening it can sometimes be interesting & entertaining. Had the Brunette Three (Mick, Nik & Tom) picked a more 1990s-sounding singer to replace Vince (John Corabi was a Steven Tyler-styled vocalist) OR called the Corabi band anything other than Motley Crue I think we could have had a second band that would have continued until now, even alongside the Motley machine. I for one am a fan of the Motley Crue album from 1994 but I do think a slightly different handling of that whole situation (like not firing Vince at all but taking a break & doing a record with a different singer) could have made a much richer Motley legacy. Alas, it wasn't to be.

A Crue Of Pals, Part 1: Poison & Ratt

 Nikki Sixx & Ratt's Robbin Crosby show us what rock stars looked like in 1984. 

 Motley & Ratt were buds in the glory days of the Sunset Strip in the early '80s & both enjoyed early success. Ratt didn't have the second career Motley did but their tunes like 'Round And Round' continue to be played on classic rock radio & used in movies & commercials.

 Nikki & Tommy appeared as cops in Ratt's video for their tune 'Back For More.' 

  They made another appearance alongside Ozzy Osbourne with brief glimpses of Carmine Appice & Jake E. Lee in Ratt's video for 'You Think You're Tough'. Man, what's with Ratt using actors & musicians who are more famous than they are for their videos?!

In the 21st century, Nikki especially liked to distance Motley from cliche' 1980s Hair Metal music. Although it can be argued Crue started the whole fad in 1985 with the release of their commercial Theatre Of Pain album & extreme glam image, probably no other band can be so perfectly labelled 'Hair Metal' as Poison.

The two bands do not seem to have crossed paths very often & the two photos from my collection date from the year 1987. Although Nikki would bad-mouth Poison in the 2000s & insist that Motley was a different creature they still toured with the band in 2011, using openers The New York Dolls to add legitimacy to the bill.

Here's the Poison boys covering Motley's 'Looks That Kill' from an early show before they became Hair Metal superstars.

                 More Motley and their Rock Star pals to come at The Sleaze Patrol Files!!