MöTLEY CRüE was an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles
California on January 17, 1981. The group was founded by bass
Nikki Sixx and drummer
Tommy Lee , lead singer Vince Neil
and lead guitarist
Mick Mars .
Mötley Crüe has sold more than 100
million records worldwide, including 25 million albums in the United
States, making it one of the best-selling bands of all time.
The members of the band have often been noted for their hedonistic
lifestyles and the persona they maintained. Following its hard rock
and heavy metal origins, with the third album
Theatre of Pain (1985)
the band joined the first wave of glam metal . Its final studio
album, Saints of
Los Angeles , was released on June 24, 2008. Its
final show took place on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2015, and was
filmed for a theatrical and Blu-ray release in 2016.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early history and
Too Fast for Love (1981–1983)
* 1.2 International fame (1983–1991)
* 1.3 Years of turmoil (1992–2003)
* 1.4 Reunion and renewed success (2004–2007)
* 1.5 Saints of
Los Angeles (2008–2010)
* 1.6 The Final Tour and retirement (2011–2015)
* 2 Legacy and influence
* 3 Band members
* 3.1 Original/Final line-up
* 3.2 Other members
* 3.3 Touring members
* 3.4 Timeline
* 4 Awards and nominations
* 5 Discography
* 5.1 Studio albums
* 6 Tours
* 7 References
* 8 External links
EARLY HISTORY AND TOO FAST FOR LOVE (1981–1983)
Mötley Crüe was formed on January 17, 1981, when bassist Nikki Sixx
left the band London and began rehearsing with drummer
Tommy Lee and
Greg Leon . Lee had worked previously with Leon in
a band called Suite 19 and the trio practiced together for some time;
Leon eventually decided not to continue with them.
Sixx and Lee then
began a search for new members and soon met guitarist Bob Deal, better
known as Mick Mars, after answering an advertisement that he placed in
The Recycler that read: "Loud, rude and aggressive guitar player
available". Mars auditioned for
Sixx and Lee, and was subsequently
hired. Although a lead vocalist named O'Dean was auditioned, Lee had
Vince Neil from their high school days at Charter Oak High
School in Covina,
California and the two had performed in different
bands on the garage band circuit. Upon seeing Neil perform with the
band Rock Candy at the Starwood in West Hollywood , Mars suggested
they have him join the band by stating, "I don't care if he can sing.
I don't care if he can do anything. The way he had that crowd
going...THAT'S the guy we need." At first Neil refused the offer, but
as the other members of Rock Candy became involved in outside
projects, Neil grew anxious to try something else. When Lee made one
final appeal to audition, Neil accepted and was hired on April 1,
1981. "I wanted a band that would be like
David Bowie and the Sex
Pistols thrown in a blender with
Black Sabbath " —
The newly formed band did not yet have a name.
Sixx has said that he
told his bandmates that he was "thinking about calling the band
Christmas". The other members were not very receptive to that idea.
Then, while trying to find a suitable name, Mars remembered an
incident that occurred when he was playing with a band called White
Horse, when one of the other band members called the group "a motley
looking crew". He had remembered the phrase and later copied it down
as 'Mottley Cru'. After modifying the spelling slightly, "Mötley
Crüe" was eventually selected as the band's name, with the stylistic
decision suggested by Neil to add the two sets of metal umlauts ,
supposedly inspired by the German beer
Löwenbräu which the members
were drinking at the time. Other than the periods of February 1992 to
1997 and 1999 to September 2004, the line-up of Neil, Sixx, Lee, and
Mars remained the same.
The band soon met its first manager, Allan Coffman, the
thirty-eight-year-old brother-in-law of a friend of Mars's driver.
The band's first release was the single "Stick to Your Guns/Toast of
the Town", which was released on its own record label, Leathür
Records , which had a pressing and distribution deal with Greenworld
Distribution in Torrance,
California . In November 1981, its debut
Too Fast for Love was self-produced and released on Leathür,
selling 20,000 copies. Coffman's assistant
Eric Greif set up a tour of
Canada, while Coffman and Greif used Mötley Crüe's success in the
Los Angeles club scene to negotiate with several record labels,
eventually signing a recording contract with
Elektra Records in early
1982. The debut album was then re-mixed by producer Roy Thomas Baker
and re-released on August 20, 1982—two months after its Canadian
Warner Music Group release using the original Leathür mixes—to
coincide with the tour. "Listening to Queen inspired Mötley Crüe
to work with
Roy Thomas Baker on
Too Fast for Love . He would come in,
'Hello Darlings ..' and listen for maybe thirty minutes or so and
leave. And we're like, 'What?! Where's he going?'. But he produced
Queen, so, man, we had to have him produce us, too" —
During the "Crüesing Through Canada Tour '82", there were several
widely publicized incidents. First, the band was arrested and then
Edmonton International Airport for wearing their spiked
stage wardrobe (considered "dangerous weapons") through customs, and
for Neil arriving with a small carry-on filled with porn magazines
(considered "indecent material"); both were staged PR stunts. Customs
eventually had the confiscated items destroyed. Second, while playing
Scandals Disco in
Edmonton , a spurious "bomb threat" against the band
made the front page of the
Edmonton Journal on June 9, 1982; Lee and
assistant band manager Greif were interviewed by police as a result.
This too ended up being a staged PR stunt perpetrated by Greif.
Lastly, Lee threw a television set from an upper story window of the
Sheraton Caravan Hotel. Canadian rock magazine Music Express noted
that the band was "banned for life" from the city. Despite the tour
ending prematurely in financial disaster, it was the basis for the
band's first international press. In 1983, the band changed
management from Coffman to Doug Thaler and
Doc McGhee . McGhee is best
known for managing
Bon Jovi and later KISS , starting with their
reunion tour in 1996. Greif subsequently sued all parties in a Los
Angeles Superior Court action that dragged on for several years, and
coincidentally later re-surfaced as manager of Sixx's former band,
London . Coffman himself was sued by several investors to whom he had
sold "stock in the band", including
Michigan -based Bill Larson.
Coffman eventually declared bankruptcy, as he had mortgaged his home
at least three times to cover band expenses.
INTERNATIONAL FAME (1983–1991)
The band became rapidly successful in the United States after playing
US Festival , and also with the aid of the new medium of MTV.
They then gained the attention of heavy metal star
Ozzy Osbourne and
found themselves as the opening act for Osbourne on his 1984 world
tour. The band members were well known for their backstage antics,
outrageous clothing, extreme high-heeled boots, heavily applied
make-up, and seemingly endless abuse of alcohol and drugs as well. As
for their recordings, their mixture of heavy metal and hard rock
stylings with influences by
Aerosmith and guitar picking
Judas Priest produced several best-selling albums during the
Shout at the Devil (1983),
Theatre of Pain (1985),
and Girls, Girls, Girls (1987), which showcased their love of
motorcycles, whiskey and strip clubs , and which told tales of
substance abuse , sexual escapades, and general decadence.
The band members have also had their share of scrapes with the law
and life. In 1984, Neil was driving home from a liquor store in his De
Tomaso Pantera when he was in a head-on collision; his passenger,
Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley , was killed. Neil,
charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter , was sentenced to 30
days in jail (though he only served 18 days) and received a $2,000,000
fine. The short jail term was pleaded for by his lawyers enabling Neil
to be able to tour and pay the fine. The album
Theatre of Pain (1985)
was dedicated in Dingley's honor, and it started a new glam metal
phase in the band's style. The band would also later release two box
sets titled "Music to Crash Your Car To ".
On December 23, 1987,
Sixx suffered a heroin overdose. He was
declared legally dead on the way to the hospital, but the paramedic,
who was a Crüe fan, revived
Sixx with two shots of Adrenaline. His
two minutes in death were the inspiration for the song "Kickstart My
Heart ", which peaked at No. 16 on the Mainstream U.S. chart, and
which was featured on the 1989 U.S. number one (their first) album Dr.
Feelgood . From 1986 to 1987,
Sixx kept a daily diary of his heroin
addiction and eventually entered rehab in January 1988. In 2006, Sixx
published his diaries as a best selling novel: The Heroin Diaries: A
Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star , and in 2007 Sixx's side
project band Sixx:A.M. released
The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack as a
musical parallel to the novel.
A controversy that hit the band in 1988 was a lawsuit by Matthew
Trippe. Trippe claimed that
Nikki Sixx was hospitalized in 1983 after
a car crash involving drugs and that he had been hired as Nikki's
doppelgänger . The suit was regarding the loss of royalties from his
Mötley Crüe and the case was not closed until 1993 when
Trippe dropped his charges and disappeared from public view.
Their decadent lifestyles almost shattered the band until managers
Thaler and McGhee pulled an intervention and refused to allow the band
to tour in Europe, fearing that "some would come back in bodybags".
Shortly after, all the band members except for Mars underwent drug
rehabilitation; Mars cleaned up on his own.
After finding sobriety in 1989,
Mötley Crüe reached its peak
popularity with the release of their fifth album, the Bob Rock
produced Dr. Feelgood , on September 1, 1989. On October 14 of that
year, it became a No. 1 album and stayed on the charts for 114 weeks
after its release. The band members each stated in interviews that,
due in no small part to their collective push for sobriety, Dr.
Feelgood was their most solid album musically to that point, and
indeed, it was their best selling album to date. The title track and
"Kickstart My Heart" were both nominated for Grammys in the Best Hard
Rock Category. The band did find some success at the American Music
Awards , as Dr. Feelgood was nominated twice for Favorite Hard
Rock/Metal Award, losing once to Guns N\' Roses ' Appetite for
Destruction , but winning the following year, beating out
Pump and Poison 's Flesh ">
The band reunited with Neil in 1997, after their current manager,
Allen Kovac, and Neil's manager, Bert Stein, set up a meeting between
Neil, Lee, and Sixx. Agreeing to "leave their egos at the door," the
Generation Swine . Although it debuted at No. 4, and in
spite of a live performance at the American Music Awards, the album
was a commercial failure, due in part to lack of support from their
record label. The band soon left Elektra and created their own label,
Mötley Records .
In 1998, Mötley Crüe's contractual ties with
Elektra Records had
expired, putting the band in total control of their future, which
included the ownership of the masters of all of their albums. In
announcing the end of their relationship with Elektra Records, the
band became one of the few groups in history to own and control their
publishing and music catalog. They are only one of a handful of
artists in history to own the masters to their material and reportedly
did so by being the biggest pain they could be to their record label
until Elektra got fed up and handed over the rights in order to get
the band off their label. In 1999, the band re-released all their
albums, dubbed as "Crücial Crüe". The limited-edition digital
re-masters included demos, live, instrumental, and previously
Mötley Crüe released their compilation album
Greatest Hits in late 1998, which had two new songs "Bitter Pill" and
"Enslaved" and served as an updated version of their first
compilation, Decade of Decadence.
In 1999, Lee quit the band to pursue a solo career due to increasing
tensions with frontman Neil. Lee was replaced by former Ozzy Osbourne
drummer and longtime friend of the band
Randy Castillo . The band
New Tattoo in July 2000, followed by a tour to support the
album. Before the tour could commence, Castillo became ill with what
was later to be found as cancer and was unable to tour. The band
brought in former Hole drummer
Samantha Maloney to fill in for
Castillo as he concentrated on his health. Castillo lost his fight
with cancer on March 26, 2002. Soon after, the band went on hiatus.
While the band was on hiatus,
Nikki Sixx played in side projects, 58
Brides of Destruction .
Vince Neil was featured on the first
season of VH1's reality show
The Surreal Life , and had his own
special titled "Remaking Vince Neil" which focused on his solo career.
Mick Mars, who suffers from a rare hereditary form of arthritis called
ankylosing spondylitis , went into seclusion in 2001 dealing with
Tommy Lee went on to form
Methods of Mayhem and also
performed as a solo artist during this time.
A 2001 autobiography entitled
The Dirt packaged the band as "the
world's most notorious rock band." The book made the top ten on The
New York Times Best Seller list and spent ten weeks there.
REUNION AND RENEWED SUCCESS (2004–2007)
Nikki Sixx and
Mick Mars performing onstage with Mötley Crüe,
on June 14, 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland
A promoter in England, Mags Revell, began clamoring for a Mötley
Crüe reunion, ostensibly presenting himself as the voice of anxious
fans waiting for more from the band. After meeting with management
several times, in September 2004,
Nikki Sixx announced that he and
Neil had returned to the studio and had begun recording new material.
In December 2004, the four original members announced a reunion/final
tour which began February 14, 2005, in
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico . The
resulting compilation album,
Red, White & Crüe
Red, White & Crüe , was released in
February 2005. It features the band members' favorite original songs
plus three new tracks, "
If I Die Tomorrow
If I Die Tomorrow ", "
Sick Love Song "
James Michael ), and a cover of The Rolling
Stones ' classic "
Street Fighting Man
Street Fighting Man ". A small controversy was
caused when it was suggested that neither Lee nor Mars played on the
new tracks (duties were supposedly handled by Vandals drummer Josh
Freese ). However, a
VH1 documentary of the band's reunion later
showed that Lee did indeed play on some of the tracks. The Japanese
Red, White & Crüe
Red, White & Crüe includes an extra new track titled "I'm
a Liar (and That's the Truth)". Red, White "> It was later reported on
Motley.com that the lawsuit had been settled.
SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES (2008–2010)
On June 11, 2008, the band and manager Burt Stein filed suit against
each other. Stein was Vince Neil's personal manager and also,
according to the band and rival manager Allen Kovac, served as the
band's manager at one time. The band and Kovac sued in Los Angeles
County Superior Court, claiming Stein was not entitled to a cut of
Mötley Crüe's earnings. Stein sued the same day in Nashville's
federal court, saying he was entitled to 1.875 percent of what the
band makes. Other litigation between the parties also ensued in
Nevada. In July 2009, lawyers for both sides announced that the
disputes had been "amicably resolved" through a "global settlement".
Mötley Crüe's ninth studio album, titled Saints of
Los Angeles ,
was released in Japan on June 17, 2008 and in America on June 24,
2008. The album was originally titled The Dirt, as it was loosely
based on the band's autobiography of the same name, but the title was
later changed. In the US, the album was released by Eleven Seven Music
. Eleven Seven also took over US distribution of their back catalog.
Mötley Crüe headlined the popular 'Crüe Fest' music
festival, which included opening acts Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt,
and Nikki Sixx's successful side project, Sixx:A.M.
Mötley Crüe had announced that the movie The Dirt, based on the
book written by
Mötley Crüe and
Neil Strauss , could be released in
2009. However, as of September 2009, the Internet Movie Database
(IMDb) lists 2011 as the probable release date. This is still subject
to change, particularly because the "status" of the movie was listed
as "unknown" in April 2009 (the date of IMDb's last update to "The
Dirt"). It was reported on November 1, 2013 that director Jeff
Tremaine will be directing the movie. It was announced in March 2017
Netflix had acquired the rights to the long-in-development
Mötley Crüe performs in
Erie, Pennsylvania on March 7,
iTunes picked "Saints of
Los Angeles " in their "Best of 2008" in the
Rock category as the number one song; the song was also nominated for
a Grammy Award in the "Best Hard Rock Performance" category. The song
was released in the music game series Rock Band as downloadable
content the day the single was released. Additionally, the entire Dr.
Feelgood album was released as downloadable content in Rock Band,
excluding "T.n.T. (Terror 'n Tinseltown)".
The band played at the
Download Festival at
Donington Park (June
12–14, 2009), playing on the second stage on Friday night.
The band made a guest appearance in the season finale of "Bones " on
May 14, 2009 entitled "The End in the Beginning", performing the
classic song "Dr. Feelgood ".
Mötley Crüe headlined
Crüe Fest 2 festival, which ran from July to
September 2009. Supporting them were
Theory of a Deadman ,
Drowning Pool , and
Charm City Devils .
Mötley Crüe performing a set
featuring material from Saints of
Los Angeles , the band also
celebrated the 20th anniversary of Dr. Feelgood by performing the
album in its entirety on each night of the tour and re-releasing the
album as a special 20th anniversary deluxe edition.
Mötley Crüe headlined
Ozzfest in 2010, along with
Ozzy Osbourne and
Rob Halford .
THE FINAL TOUR AND RETIREMENT (2011–2015)
Mötley Crüe co-headlined a mid-year tour with Poison and special
New York Dolls
New York Dolls in 2011 for the band's 30th Anniversary and
Poison's 25th anniversary. On August 30, 2011, Mötley Crüe, along
Def Leppard and special guests
Steel Panther ,
announced a UK Tour commencing in December 2011. In March 2012,
Mötley Crüe announced a tour co-headlining with KISS . The tour
kicked off July 20 in Bristow, Virginia and ran through September 23.
In early 2012, the band announced they were recording a new song that
would be called "Sex." This track was officially released July 16,
2012, on their website.
In February 2013,
Mötley Crüe announced their biggest ever Canadian
tour, with more US dates expected to be announced soon after The Tour
with KISS ran through
Australia in March 2013. During the Australian
leg of The Tour with KISS, a rumor was made that the members of
Mötley Crüe had discussed the band's retirement and had also agreed
upon when it would be, supposedly being sooner than most had
On January 28, 2014 at the conference inside Beacher's Madhouse
Theater in Hollywood,
Mötley Crüe announced the full details of
their retirement, including a tour initially spanning 70 North
American dates with
Alice Cooper playing as a special guest. The tour
commenced in Grand Rapids,
Michigan on July 2, 2014. The band members
had signed a "cessation of touring agreement" which prevented them
from touring under the
Mötley Crüe name beyond the end of 2015. The
tour also served to promote the country-music album Nashville Outlaws:
A Tribute to
Mötley Crüe , which was released in mid-2014, and their
movie The Dirt, based on the book
The Dirt , due for release in 2015
Focus Features and directed by
Jeff Tremaine .
In a later interview,
Nikki Sixx talked about the possibility of
releasing new music, saying that "We have music written, it's not put
together yet". He also speculated that the band would release it in a
song-by-song format as opposed to a full-length album format,
elaborating with "It's hard, to be honest with you, to spend six nine
months to write eleven songs—all those lyrics... everything... the
vocals, the guitars, the bass, the sonics, the mixing, the mastering,
the artwork. ... You put it out and nothing , because now people
cherry-pick songs. So we go, 'Why don't we write songs and find
vehicles to get one, two or four songs to ten million people rather
than eleven songs to a hundred thousand people."
During the tour, they played a new song "All Bad Things" over the
speakers throughout the venue before they took the stage. On November
22, 2014 in
Spokane, Washington , at the
Spokane Arena , the band
played the final concert of the first North American leg of The Final
On January 15, 2015, it was announced that the band's career would
end with international concerts in Japan, Australia, Brazil and Europe
before heading out for a second leg of North American concerts
throughout 2015, ending with a concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas on December 27, followed by three concerts at Staples
Center on December 28, 30 and 31, 2015. In May 2015, The Crue and
Alice Cooper himself announced a set of 12 concert dates for Europe at
a conference in London.
On September 19, 2015, the band played the Rock in Rio festival on
the main stage.
The band performed for the last time at
Staples Center in Los Angeles
on December 31, 2015. The band reported that their New Year's Eve show
was going to be released in 2016. The movie was titled Motley Crue:
LEGACY AND INFLUENCE
Mötley Crüe was ranked tenth on MTV's list "Top 10 Heavy Metal
Bands of All-Time" and ninth on "VH1's All Time Top Ten Metal Bands".
Mötley Crüe has influenced many bands and artists such as Poison ,
Skid Row and Cinderella among others.
Nikki Sixx – bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1981–2015)
Mick Mars – lead guitar, sitar, mandolin, talkbox, backing
Vince Neil – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica (1981–1992,
Tommy Lee – drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals
John Corabi – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards
Randy Castillo – drums, percussion (1999–2002; his death)
Samantha Maloney – drums, percussion (2002-2004)
(session/touring member 2000-2002)
Sofia Toufa – backing vocals, dancer (2012–2015)
* Allison Kyler – backing vocals, dancer (2011–2015)
* Annalisia Simone – backing vocals (2011)
Morgan Rose – drums, percussion (August 2009)
* Jozie DiMaria – dancer (1999, 2005-2006)
Pearl Aday – backing vocals (2000)
* Emi Canyn – backing vocals (1987–1991)
* Donna McDaniel – backing vocals (1987–1991)
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Mötley
Mötley Crüe discography
Too Fast for Love (1981)
Shout at the Devil (1983)
Theatre of Pain (1985)
* Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
* Dr. Feelgood (1989)
Mötley Crüe (1994)
Generation Swine (1997)
New Tattoo (2000)
* Saints of
Los Angeles (2008)
* 1981: Anywhere, USA Tour (Northern California)
* 1981–1982: Boys in Action Tour
* 1982: Crüesing Through Canada Tour
Mötley Crüe Tour (World)
* 1985–1986: Welcome to the
Theatre of Pain Tour
* 1987–1988: Girls, Girls, Girls Tour (World)
Moscow Music Peace Festival Tour (former USSR)
* October 1989 – August 1990: Dr. Feelgood World Tour
* 1991: Monsters of Rock Tour
* 1994: Anywhere There's Electricity Tour (Americas and Japan)
Live Swine Listening Party Tour
Mötley Crüe vs. The Earth Tour
* 1998–1999: Greatest Hits Tour
* June–September 1999: Maximum Rock Tour
* 1999: Welcome to the Freekshow Tour
* 2000: Maximum Rock 2000 Tour
New Tattoo Tour (Japan)
* 2005: Red, White -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
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