Shout At The Devil.
The band caught their big break and the
music industry got a big wakeup call on a hot Sunday in the California
desert when over a hundred thousand kids showed up for “Heavy Metal Sunday”
at the now legendary US Festival 83’. This was the first exposure
a lot of these kids had to Mötley Crüe but even their established
fans would be hearing new music for the first time that day. The band nervously
took the stage and within minutes the Crüe had the mass of kids eating
out of their hands and rockin’ out to songs that would become their calling
card for years to come from the “Shout at the Devil” album. There
was no turning back. The Crüe had arrived.
Fueled by satanic icons, over the top theatrics and outfits as well as
heavy yet melodic music, “Shout at the Devil,” caught on with hard rock
fans instantly. MTV put their videos for “Too Young To Fall In Love” and
“Looks That Kill” into heavy rotation. Meanwhile, the band kept trying
to top themselves off stage with a nonstop party of women, drugs and alcohol.
The band hit the road to support “Shout
At The Devil” with the only man on the face of the earth who was wilder
than they were, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy and the Crüe took to each other
like long lost brothers and held nothing back in trying to top each other
in debauchery (that was until Sharon Osbourne came on the tour and put
an end to the fun).
likes to relate the story of when he found out that Ozzy was even crazier
than he and his bandmates were. They were at hotel and Ozzy was wearing
some woman’s dress he had stole (the dress was all he was wearing), when
he turned to Nikki and said, “I need a bump”. They were all out of cocaine
but Ozzy didn’t care, he was going to have his “bump,” Nikki handed over
his straw and Ozzy walked over to a crack in the sidewalk where an army
of ants were marching along. Ozzy bent over and sniffed up a long line
of ants. If that wasn't crazy enough, Ozzy then got up, lifted up
his dress and urinated on the ground in front of a crowd of shocked hotel
patrons. Then he got down on his hands and knees and began licking up his
urine. He turned to Nikki and said, “Sixx, you do that”. Not wanting to
lose face, Nikki whipped it out and made a puddle on the ground but as
he was going down to lick it up, Ozzy swooped in and began lapping up Nikki’s
urine. Nikki threw his hands up in surrender, turned to Ozzy and
said, “You win!”
Curtains For The Crüe? – A Theater
The Mötley star was rising and the group was becoming the ultimate
party band of the decadent 80’s. The band began to enjoy the spoils of
fame with nonstop partying and it began to catch up with them in a big
Vince decided to throw a barbeque to celebrate
the start of the group's third album. But the festivities turned into a
weekend long party. Out of booze, Vince asked anyone if they wanted
to go with him down to the liquor store and Razzle from Hanoi Rocks quickly
volunteered, wanting to check out Vince’s new pride and joy; a 1972 Ford
Pantera. They never made it back to the party. As Vince sped
back to his house tragedy struck in the form of a drunken crash that cost
Vince his prized Pantera, Razzle lost his life and seriously injured the
people in the car Vince hit.
Many were proclaiming that it was the end
of the Crüe. One Metal magazine cover story read "Curtains For the
Crüe?". Indeed, it might have been as Vince was facing a long
prison term for vehicular manslaughter. But when it came to time for sentencing
Vince got off light with community service and a sentence of 30 days in
jail and the band’s liability insurance paid $2.6 million in restitution
to the victims families.
Meanwhile, the band completed and released their third album, “Theater
of Pain.” That album marked a change in direction for the Crue. They went
with a more melodic sound, recorded a power ballad and traded their “Mad
Max” clothing style in for the lace, spandex and lipstick of glam rock.
The album seemed geared towards the masses,
not the hard rock faithful who had put Mötley Crüe on the map.
MTV couldn’t play the video for the power ballad “Home Sweet Home” enough
and the band took their fame to a whole new level.
Girls, Girls, Girls and Drugs.
the time the band began recording their fourth album, their antics had
become legendary but by this point members of the band had graduated to
heavy drugs like heroin and it took their toll. Drugs became more important
than anything and while the band was headlining sold out arenas, their
tribute to strip clubs “Girls, Girls, Girls” became a hit.
Nikki would later reflect on the band’s
third and fourth albums and admit that they were far from the best work
the group had done. But the fans didn’t seem to care and they couldn’t
get enough of the Crue.
The nonstop partying consumed their lives.
Nikki litterly died of an overdose, but was brought back to life. The wildest
band in rock n roll had become too wild and they collectively decided to
clean up their act.
Dr. Feelgood – Don’t Go Away Mad, Just
The group’s fragile sobriety seemed to
inspire them. Nikki’s mind cleared and he began pinning what would be the
most popular songs of his career. When Dr Feelgood hit the stores
in 1989 it was a smash hit, selling over 4.5 million copies and spawning
a string of hit singles. The band was on top of the world and would spend
the next couple of years on the road.
The road took it’s toll on the newly sober band. No longer a nonstop party,
the band were worn out after continuous touring and something had to break.
It was Vince.
Enforced sobriety had put a tremendous
strain on the band. Vince didn’t want to be told what to do and resented
the pressure he was put under to “stay sober”. It all came to head during
the worst rainstorm in recent California history. The band gathered at
a studio to work and Vince was a no show. He had been slacking off for
awhile and the rest of the band resented it. After finally getting
Vince to the studio hours late by sending him a fax, all hell broke loose
and depending on whom you ask- Vince quit or he was fired.
New Blood and a New Direction.
Mötley Crüe wasn’t ready to give
up. The three remaining members found a scruffy singer/guitar player named
John Corabi to take Vince’s place. It was now 1991 and the glam craze Motley
Crüe had help lead was old news. Corabi brough something new to the
band, with two guitarists the music took on more power and Corabi’s gruffy
voice was about as far from Vince’s style as you could get. The band began
working on new material that experimented with alternative and industrial
rock sounds. When the self-titled album hit the stores the fans didn’t
know what to make of it. Not only had the band replaced their frontman,
they had abandoned their core sound.
The group thought they had made the album
of their career and from a critical standpoint they were right. The Motley
Crüe record contained some of the strongest songs of the group’s career
but the masses never caught on. The tour was a disaster and despite a strong
start, the album sold poorly.
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