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This page also available in the book: Chronological Crue Vol.1 - The Eighties

early 89
Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx decide to form a music production company called The Terror Twins. They are subsequently bombarded with demo tapes from aspiring bands. Now sober and clear headed, Nikki also starts to listen to a broader range of music that opens his mind to different melodies, runs and hooks. It spawns many new creative ideas.

Mick Mars and Emi Canyn move into a new Californian house together. Dubbed Mars Mountain, the $1.4M home at 14959 Yerba Buena Rd, Malibu sits on top of a 2,000-feet mountain peak providing panoramic views of Lake Sherwood and the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains. The 4-bedroom and 4-bathroom main house, along with a separate 1-bedroom guesthouse, is part of a gated Malibu estate.

Vince Neil sings at the Party Ninja’s Benefit Concert in Los Angeles.

Cathouse club owner Rikki Rachtman sets Nikki up on a blind date with the October 1987 Playboy Playmate Brandi Brandt, after she breaks off with his Cathouse co-owner and Faster Pussycat vocalist Taime Downe when finding a used condom in his garbage. The first night they sleep together, her mum calls. Nikki recognises her Mum’s voice, realising it’s Bree Howard’s daughter he is with, who he had a fling with before the Girls, Girls, Girls tour as they auditioned the Nasty Habits backup singers. He spends more time with her though, feeling emotions he hasn’t felt for so long now that he is sober. A couple of weeks later, Nikki moves away from her to begin work on the next Mötley Crüe album.

The Crüe receives much help from alcohol and drug rehabilitation specialist Bob Timmons, who became a heroin addict before he was even a teen, which soon led to him living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles's Skid Row and serving time in prison for armed robbery, before he turned his life around. The band moves to Vancouver, Canada to record their new album at Little Mountain Studios with Bob Rock producing. The album is scheduled for a 4th July release. Vince arrives a day later after Fred Coury from Cinderella invites him to stay in Hawaii for their Honolulu concert, where he jams with them on The Rolling Stones classic Jumping Jack Flash. Vince recently gave Fred a black 1983 Porsche 911 turbo.

One of the first people Nikki sees in Vancouver is actress Demi Moore, who is shooting the film We’re No Angels, and was the first person to tell him about Alcoholics Anonymous five years ago. They have dinner with Bob Rock at his home and he later turns down a ride back to her hotel as he has Brandi on his mind instead.

A song about Nikki’s near-death overdose called Kickstart My Heart is worked on as the first song for the new album. Nikki brings it in thinking it doesn’t have a hope in hell of making the album, but it reminds Tommy of Ballroom Blitz by the Sweet. Bob Rock is meticulous in his work, often making Mick spend two weeks just doubling a guitar part until he feels it is perfect, which frustrates Mick. Vince often only gets one word of a song on tape after a whole day’s work due to the critical and demanding nature of Bob Rock’s work ethic that pushes Mötley to the limit of their abilities for the very first time.

Also under the guidance of rehab specialist Bob Timmons, Aerosmith works on their Pump album next door to Mötley, so they often drink water together and go for jogs after a day in the studio. The Crüe has a personal weight trainer with them in Vancouver, over-seeing daily work-outs and runs.

Twenty four songs are demoed, including a two-minute metal rap song Monstrous rumoured firstly to be on the Ghostbusters II soundtrack and then also to be the title of the new album. The chorus is inspired by The Wizard of Oz and gets stuck in Nikki’s head for weeks. Another rumoured album title is Sex, Sex, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. They write and record a ten-minute song called Say Yeah about Nikki Sixx impostor Matthew Trippe. A Mick Mars concerto with cello, viola, flute, guitar and drums is also touted for inclusion on the album. Other titles of songs written include Stop Pulling My Chain, Brotherhood, Too Hot to Handle, Rodeo and the bluesy Get It For Free, which is about a girl supposedly selling Bibles door-to-door, except she’s selling herself instead.

Nikki phones the guys from Skid Row and asks what they are doing. When they say they are just watching reruns of the TV show Leave It To Beaver, Nikki invites them to come to the studio and sing on the album. They also jam with Cheap Trick at their local show, and invite them to participate on the album.

A thirty-thousand-strong crowd at Vancouver’s BC Place stadium goes wild when Vince and Nikki join Skid Row on stage for their encore song Live Wire. Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler and Joe Perry join headlining act Bon Jovi for their second encore later in the evening.

Vince tees off with Willie Nelson at the Calabasas Golf and Country Club in California for the Celebrity Invitation Classic golf tournament, as part of the TJ Martell Foundation’s Rock ‘n’ Charity Weekend.

Vince captains the Rockers softball team as they play against Sam Kinison’s Rollers in the TJ Martell Foundation’s Rock ‘n’ Softball game at USC’s Dedeaux Field in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,500.

mid 89
Vince has a cameo role as a rock star in the Police Academy 6 movie but his scene is cut from the final version as they have too much footage overall.

One Sunday night, Nikki and Tommy have dinner with Bob Rock in Los Angeles. A glass of wine with their food turns into the rest of the bottle and before long Nikki phones a dealer. They go to a club for more drugs, girls and debauchery, before Bob gets them out of trouble by taking them back to A&M Studios where they carve swastikas into the walls.

Pretty Boy Floyd releases a cover of Mötley’s Toast of the Town on their Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz album.

A Los Angeles radio station falsely announces the Crüe will play at the Roxy. The following Wednesday, a thousand people cue up around the corner of the venue, hoping to see the band.

Former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones releases his new album titled Fire And Gasoline. The second track called We’re Not Saints is written by Nikki with Steve Jones, along with his bass player Terry Nails.

The second album from German metal band Craaft, titled Second Honeymoon and released on RCA Records, thanks Tommy for his contribution.

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. While back in Los Angeles, Vince undergoes surgery to correct a diagnosed deviated septum, which had been causing his face to swell over his years of alcohol and substance abuse.

With an abundance of tracks recorded in Vancouver, Mötley Crüe considers releasing two separate albums in quick succession, since they are contractually prohibited from releasing a double album. Nikki says the likely album title of the second release would be Mötley Crüe: The Ballads. Its release is primarily dependent on the success or failure of their next album.

Mötley manager Doc McGhee is in the final stages of putting together a huge rock concert in Moscow, through his Make A Difference Foundation, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. Each band will play a fifty-minute set, stripped down with no props, pyrotechnics or special effects, and there will be no headlining act. The running order is to be Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi to finish the show. All proceeds from the two-day concert are to benefit anti-drug and alcohol charities.

Nikki now sports a new full sleeve of tattoos down his right arm; one of the first rock stars to do so. The band flew Sunset Strip Tattoo artist Greg James up to Vancouver for five days while recording the new album, and he effectively turned his hotel room into a tattoo studio.

Mötley plays a forty-five-minute set at the Moscow Music Peace Festival for their first-ever sober performance. Prior to the show, the concert’s Production Manager tells Mötley they have been demoted in the line up, which makes Tommy livid that Doc’s newer client in Bon Jovi is getting favoured over them and Scorpions, who are very popular in Russia. Nikki and Tommy tell Doc they are going home since they are not going to be an opening act for Bon Jovi’s ninety-five-minute set, but they end up sorting the issue out and playing ahead of Ozzy. The concert draws an attendance of more than 100,000 and is watched by a worldwide television audience of a billion people.

At the start of Bon Jovi’s set to finish off the night, a huge amount of pyro explodes. Knowing that permits would have needed to have been organised well beforehand, Tommy finds Doc backstage and punches him. While he is lying on the ground, Nikki tells him that he is fired as Mötley’s manager since it’s the second time he has outright lied to them about details of the concert.

On completion of the second day's performance in Moscow, Mötley flies back to Los Angeles via France and New York. Having now split with Doc McGhee as their manager, they encourage his partner Doug Thaler into also splitting from McGhee Entertainment, Inc. and managing them as his own company’s first client. Doug agrees and soon forms his business called Top Rock Development Corporation.

Once back in Los Angeles, Vince goes on a ten-day white-water rafting trip down Idaho's Snake River. He calls Sharise on his way home who tells him of an altercation she just had with Izzy Stradlin' of Guns N' Roses at the Cathouse club. After trying to advance on Sharise and being turned down, saying she was married to Vince, Stradlin' pulled her top down in front of many people. Sharise slapped him in the face but then he kicked her in the stomach.

For the second successive time, the title track to the new Crüe album is released as the first single. This time it’s Dr. Feelgood with Sticky Sweet as the B-side track. It’s Mötley’s first Top Ten hit, climbing as high as number six and charting for sixteen weeks, the longest of any Mötley single to date. The video for Dr. Feelgood is shot in a large aeroplane hangar in Pomona, California and has a feel similar to the movie Scarface. Mick's original riff for Dr. Feelgood was titled Planet 9 from Outer Space. The song comes about from a riff going around in Mick's head, so he records it on his eight-track recorder to put down the initial lick and a few chords. About a week later, Nikki comes over to his house and starts singing the lines to it before they take it to rehearsals and keep working it up. Sticky Sweet was the last song written for the album, with the lyrics being penned in the studio in supposedly less than a minute.

Mötley Crüe’s fifth album is released, titled Dr. Feelgood. Costing around $600,000 to produce, it features guest appearances by members of Skid Row, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, along with Jack Blades and Bryan Adams, who Tommy first met in a Vancouver strip club while recording the album. Cover artwork was originally going to have band mascot Allister Fiend drawn as a mad doctor holding a big syringe by the character’s longtime artist Mike "Miq" Willmott. However, the final design of a dagger and a snake is a piece of tattoo flash, designed by Sunset Strip Tattoo artist Kevin Brady, who also designs the new Mötley Crüe logo. The forty-two-second opening track T. n T. (Terror ‘n Tinseltown) was made by recording ambulance officers talking into their walkie-talkies, followed by driving their ambulance back and forth across the recording studio’s car park.

Mötley presents the award for Best Heavy Metal Album at the MTV Music Video Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. While the rest of the Crüe waits in limos outside the event, Vince waits backstage while Guns N’ Roses plays with Tom Petty. Vince then decks guitarist Izzy Stradlin’ with a punch in the face as he comes off stage, as payback for recently hitting on then kicking his wife at the Cathouse. Mötley’s security chief drags Vince away and as they are about to leave the building, Axl Rose tells Vince he is going to kill him. When Vince encourages him to bring it on, Axl walks away.

This is the start of a feud between the two bands. Axl Rose starts to say in the press that Vince sucker-punched Izzy and he has been insulting Guns N’ Roses for years. Vince feels betrayed after showing Axl vocal tricks to help him out, while they supported Mötley on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour. Axl challenges Vince by sending at least six messages to fight at places like Tower Records in Los Angeles, or on the boardwalk at Venice Beach, but Axl never shows up. Meanwhile Izzy calls Vince and apologises for his behaviour.

Still angry at the incident and the way Axl has handled it via the press, Vince responds on MTV, telling Axl to name the place and time. After chatting with his friend and owner of the LA Lakers Jerry Buss, Vince proposes a Monday night three-round fight at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles. Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar from Van Halen say they'll put up the money to stage the fight at New York's Madison Square Gardens. No fight eventuates and Vince's offer still stands to this day.

Dr. Feelgood is released in Australia.

On Tommy’s twenty-seventh birthday he receives a phone call from Ray DiMano at Elektra telling him that he finally has a number one album on the charts in Dr. Feelgood.

Mötley plays a 150-minute Dr. Feelgood warm-up show at the Whisky under their pseudonym The Foreskins, which is also used for the filming of their next video, Kickstart My Heart. Arriving at the venue in a vintage ambulance driven by rock comedian Sam Kinison, they play their first club gig since the early days. The set includes songs from Too Fast For Love previously never performed live. Photos from the night are also used in the Dr. Feelgood tour book. Bobby Oberdorsten becomes Mick’s new guitar tech.

The European leg of the Dr. Feelgood tour starts in Essen, Germany, once again with the Nasty Habits on board and this time with Skid Row in support. It was decided Europe should be the first region to tour this album, since they missed out on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour following its cancellation. Before the Crüe enters the stage, Frank Zappa’s song Crew Slut from his Joe’s Garage Volume 1 album is played to the audience.
Vince throws beds out of a hotel window onto a couple of Mercedes cars parked below. German police search the hotel for the culprit with Uzi guns and Rottweiler dogs.

In Amsterdam, Nikki sees a she-male beat up a junkie. He is surprised by everyone smoking hash in coffee shops. People come up to him on the street with heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy. He buys some animal, dwarf and scat movies to show the others. The band members go to a live sex show where a guy, with track marks up and down his arms and a tattoo of a syringe on his foot, has sex with a chick right in front of them. A black lady has guys eating a bratwurst out of her vagina.

Vince spends four or five days filming in Denver, Colorado at Redrocks for a movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Vince plays a rock star named Bobby Black from a band called Black Plague. Drummer Randy Castillo also acts as a member of Black Plague, along with Phil Soussan on bass. After Vince is killed in the movie’s plot, an investigation starts into his death. The movie also stars Andrew Dice Clay, Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street), Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy from Married With Children), Wayne Newton and Priscilla Presley. Mötley Crüe writes and records the track called Rock N’ Roll Junkie for the soundtrack. It was the last song recorded, along with the Tommy Bolin classic Teaser, before they left Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver.

The first printing of Revolutionary Comics Inc.’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Comic - Mötley Crüe” is released.

A report surfaces that Matthew Trippe has dropped his lawsuit, which turns out to be false.

Dr. Feelgood becomes Mötley Crüe’s first single to achieve Gold status, while the album now achieves double-Platinum status having sold two million copies in the U.S.

Mötley’s European tour concludes in Scotland. On arrival back in the U.S. the Crüe rehearses on stage at the San Diego Sports Arena for five days.

With Mötley’s continued success, their second album from six years ago, Shout At The Devil, now achieves triple-Platinum status.

The U.S. Dr. Feelgood tour starts in Tucson, Arizona and is set to continue through until April next year before heading overseas. An aeroplane for the tour is leased from a charter company in Texas owned by Tommy Beal; the same plane Def Leppard used and called Hystouria #1 on their Hysteria tour. The 21-seat G-159 Gulfstream 1 plane built by Grumman in 1960 receives a facelift to emblazon it with the Mötley Crüe logo on the fuselage as part of a black with purple paint job. The turbo-prop plane is also decked out with a mini recording studio inside its plush interior. A huge stereo system is built into the plane’s walls, as are numerous colour TVs, a laser disc player and a video machine. Thirty-six Marshall stacks and thirty six SVT stacks accompany Mötley on the tour. An impressive laser light show is also used, similar to the one used in Neil Diamond’s recent concerts.

The tour also sees an innovative and breathtaking drum solo from Tommy Lee on a new contraption, again built by former navy submarine hydraulics specialist Chris Deiter. As Mick finishes his guitar solo, Tommy holds onto a bungee rope before being slowly pulled up to the top of the venue by a chain motor. He then takes his place in a flying drum kit with electronic pads and huge speakers, which moves along hidden tracking while he plays along to some of his favourite rock songs. The medley includes Houses Of The Holy then Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, Rocky Mountain Way by Joe Walsh, Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo by Rick Derringer, Back in Black by AC/DC, California Man by Cheap Trick, Ballroom Blitz by the Sweet and Back In The Saddle by Aerosmith. After bringing the show closer to the people at the back of the venue, his contraption turns around and he heads back towards the stage. Tommy triggers a sampled sound of a long descent as he puts his foot in a strap and grabs the rope again, before free-falling and stopping a few feet above the heads of the people nearest the front of the stage. Once back up on stage, he removes his braces one at a time before quickly downing his leather g-string and mooning the audience.

Tommy participates in a promotional motorcycle ride-a-thon called Love Ride 6 from Glendale to Malibu in benefit of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He also drums on the song Shocker performed by The Dudes Of Wrath on the Shocker movie soundtrack. The song also features Paul Stanley from Kiss and Desmond Child on lead vocals, Whitesnake’s Rudy Sarzo on bass, and Vivian Campbell on lead guitar with Kiss’ Bruce Kulick, who is not credited on the album’s liner notes.

Mötley Crüe’s Kickstart My Heart single is released backed with She Goes Down. Like their previous single, it also spends a total of sixteen weeks on the U.S. charts, but only reaches number twenty six. Footage from their warm-up show at the Whisky is used for the video, mixed in with high-speed motor racing thrills and spills action. The zipper noise heard at the start of She Goes Down was sampled from a porno movie by Tommy. Twenty years later Vince says, "There's some sex being done in the background if you listen real closely. We can't say who's doing it though, but prostitution is legal in Vancouver." It is the quickest song ever written by Nikki.

Following their performance at Riverfront Coliseum, Tommy is cited by Cincinnati police for disorderly conduct after he dropped his leather g-string and mooned over twelve thousand people in the crowd. The misdemeanour charge comes with a maximum fine of $113 that can be paid without appearing in court.

Mötley contributes their Vancouver recorded cover of ex-Deep Purple member Tommy Bolin’s song Teaser to the Make A Difference Foundation’s Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell album. They also feature on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s classic song Rock N Roll with Skid Row, Zakk Wylde and Jason Bonham, recorded back in August at the Moscow Music Peace Festival.

A song called LA Jets written by Nikki Sixx and Lizzie Grey when they were together in their band London before the formation of Mötley Crüe is included on the second album from Lizzie’s new band Ultra Pop, titled Adventures in Fantasy.

In hometown Los Angeles, a huge billboard reads “Have a Mötley Christmas and a Happy Crüe Year!” as part of Elektra’s marketing efforts.

The Crüe plays a huge sell-out show at Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey. The encore includes Jailhouse Rock with Sebastian Bach from Skid Row, Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, Ace Frehley from Kiss and Ace’s friend Gordon Gebert on keyboards.
Mötley finishes the decade in a powerful position within the music industry, having enjoyed success throughout their formative years in the 1980s.


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