Mötley Crüe has been the bread and butter of rock broadcast stations and individual playlists for about two decades now. This all-American group started out in 1981 and have definetly made a major name for themselves in the rock & roll world.
The group members, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil are well known for their bad boy capers and hard rock lifestyles. From the very beginning, these guys have either caused trouble or problems found them. On their first tour in 1982, they were actually arrested at the Edmonton International Airport as they had on their spiked stage clothes through customs. Officials at the airport impounded all of what the group carried that they believed indecent or dangerous. No worries for the band though, it was all a publicity prank and it worked beautifully!
During the 80's, Mötley Crüe was involved in a apparently unending cycle of questionable women, substance abuse and run-in's with the police. There was a night in 1984, an allegedly drunk Vince Neil was involved in a awful head-on crash. His passenger, Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley of the group Hanoi Rocks was killed in the accident. Neil was condemned to 30 days, but spent a meager eighteen days imprisoned for the incident. Later, the group turned tragedy into music and published box sets irreverently called "Music To Crash Your Car To".
The alcohol & drugs were sweeping over their lives in a major way. In 1987, Nikki Sixx actually was thought dead from a heroin overdose. His heart stopped and that could have been the end for him. Fortunately for Sixx, the paramedics didn't give up and gave him 2 shots of adrenaline to his heart. Obviously, he lived to tell the story. This little incident gave the band the inspiration for the song 'Kick Start My Heart' from the 'Dr. Feelgood' album.
It was not long after Sixx's near-death experience that the bands managers intervened. It was time for a serious treatment if this band was going to keep going. The managers refused to allow the group to go on a European tour, dreading that more than one would die on the tour. The reality of their conduct and the outcomes must have hit them hard. All the members eventually got themselves to sober up. While the others chose to go into a rehabilitation program, Mars chose to deal with his dependencies on his own.
In spite of their epic struggles with addictions throughout the 80's, they still managed, in some manner, to piece together several best-selling albums. To this very day songs from the albums, 'Shout At The Devil', 'Theatre Of Pain' and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' get lots of airplay. But it was not until 1989, with a clean and sober band that they were finally able to produce a number 1 album, 'Dr. Feelgood'. Everybody, even the band guessed that their sober attempts were far better than anything they had done before.
The 90's brought more trouble for the Crüe. They released their 6th studio album, 'Decade of Decadence' in '91 and it hit the number 2 spot on the charts. And then, in 1992, Neil either left the band or was terminated, depending on who you hear the story from. He was promptly replaced and the group published a self-titled album that achieved number 7 on the music charts. Finally, in 1997, the group reunited and published still another album, 'Generation Swine'. The disk did not do very well commercially, which resulted in them leaving their record label, Elektra.
In 1998, after their contract with Elektra had expired, the band found themselves in a unique position. They are one of the very few bands to have full control both over their catalog of masters and publishing. With this new power, the group re-published all of their previous albums and included many demos and formerly un-published tunes.
In 1999, Tommy Lee departed the band to engage in his own solo calling and to avert encouraging conflict with Neil. He was substituted and the band continued to tour and record, but fell short of genuine success. Sixx also went his own direction and played for the bands "58" and "Brides Of Destruction". It took 5 years, but the band finally did get back together and got busy recording a new compilation release called 'Red White & Crüe'. They as well went on a couple of circuits, including their '05 tour, 'Carnival of Sins' and the 2006 'Route of All Evil' tour that they did with Aerosmith.
Just last month, Mötley Crüe released their latest recording, 'Saints of Los Angeles'. Critics say the recording is some of the best music they've ever produced! It's a severe flashback to the band's earlier style and a welcome one at that. Seems these "bad-boy" rockers are still going after their original mission to rock the world as hard as they can.
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K.L. "Vin" Hayes leads a team of freelance writers and researchers. Over the last 10 years, they have worked together to produce high-quality digital information. You may contact him through his web sites; audioflip.com & biblioflip.com
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