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Buy Motley Crue's
Saints of Los Angeles album

Motley Crue Down Under
Motley Crue Down Under book
On Tour with The Carnival of Sins

This is Gonna Hurt
This is Gonna Hurt by Sixx: A.M.


Tattoos & Tequila by Vince Neil


Motley Crue's Greatest Hits CD

Motley Crue's Carnival of Sins Live concert DVD
Motley Crue's Carnival of Sins
Live concert DVD

 
Tommy Lee's latest album from
Methods of Mayhem

 Buy Motley Crue Greatest Video Hits with discount
Motley Crue
Greatest Video Hits DVD

Buy Motley Crue - The Dirt with discount, cheap
Motley Crue - The Dirt

Available in the Motley Crue book - Vol. 1 The Eighties


1/81
Nikki Sixx jams with guitarist Greg Leon from a band called Suite 19 after seeing him play at the Starwood one night. Trying to put another band together, Nikki recalls the drummer in Suite 19 also stood out, so Greg gives him the recommendation and phone number of his former drummer Tommy Lee. Greg Leon later plays in Dokken, then DuBrow, who changes their name to Quiet Riot. He also forms the Greg Leon Invasion and hires Joey Vera on bass, at Tommy’s recommendation. He later sells the name Invasion to Vinnie Vincent after his days in Kiss.

2/81
Nikki calls Tommy who can’t believe it is actually him on the phone; the same Nikki as in his London poster on his wall. They arrange to meet at the corner of Burbank Boulevard and Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood at a Denny’s coffee lounge for lunch where Tommy and his friend Joey Vera meet him. They then head to Nikki’s place in North Hollywood where he plays Tommy some demo songs, who starts beating to them on his living room table. Tommy then sets up his kit permanently in the front room of his place after a couple of days, happy to be playing with Greg again. Nikki soon fires the dowdy Greg Leon and they find a guy to replace him named Robin, via an ad in The Recycler.

3/81
With his friend Stick, Mick Mars rents the old Whitehorse truck from former band-mate Harry Clay to get Spiders and Cowboy’s gear to a gig at Bojangles Nightclub in Yuma, Arizona. Bob gets angry when the club owner in Yuma demands he turn down the volume, so he pushes over his stack at the end of their set and quits, thus playing his last Top 40 cover gig.

29/3/81
An overweight guy called O’Dean signs with the band as the vocalist after an audition. Although he is a good singer, in time Nikki takes a dislike to his vocal pitch and they find his white gloves to be an un-cool image but they stick with it for the time being.

4/81
Tommy and Nikki search for a crazy second guitarist to off-set the dowdy Robin when Tommy reads a classified ad that Mick Mars has placed in The Recycler newspaper saying, “Loud, rude and aggressive guitarist available” along with his name and phone number, placed after a brainstorm with his former Vendetta drummer Steve Meade. Wanting to play original music instead of covers with Spiders and Cowboys, Mick gets a call from Tommy inviting him to an audition. He has his best friend John ‘Stick’ Crouch drive him, his guitar and his Marshall amps, which stick out the trunk of his burgundy 1971 Mazda RX-3 coupe, to Nikki’s North Hollywood house. Tommy opens the house door and thinks Mick looks like Cousin Itt from the Adams Family. Mick and Nikki talk; both of them don’t remember having met in the liquor store, then drinking together after Mick’s set at the Stone Pony months earlier. They show Mick the opening riff to a song called Stick To Your Guns that was written by Nikki on piano. They think he does a great job, so they head out to buy a gallon of Schnapps at Mick’s suggestion. Upon return, the three of them jam for an hour on some more songs Nikki had written, including Toast Of The Town and Public Enemy #1. After a couple more rehearsals with their sissy rhythm guitarist Robin, Mick feels he is not the right guy, so Nikki and Tommy say if he wants to be a fully-fledged member, he has to fire him. Mick is given the job after saying to Robin that he is the only guitar player. Robin cries upon being told the news from Mick. Having used the same colour hair dye, Nice & Easy Permanent Blue Black, certainly helped Mick’s chances.

With Mick now in the band, Nikki dyes Tommy’s hair black to look like his and Mick’s. Tommy is convinced by Nikki to get a tattoo, so they go to Sunset Strip Tattoo and he decides upon a design of his favourite cartoon character Mighty Mouse, drawn bursting through a bass drum with sticks in his hands by Kevin Brady.

Nikki, Tommy and Mick go to check out a rhythm guitarist James Alverson in Rockandi, a band playing predominantly Cheap Trick and Sweet covers at the Starwood. With Mick not feeling comfortable about a second guitarist, his attention turns to the singer clothed in white, belting out a version of Cheap Trick’s song He’s A Whore, after Tommy recognises him as Vince Neil from his school days Royal Oak High. They corner Vince in the bathroom after the show. Tommy calls him a “blonde-haired bitch” and then gives him his phone number to ring about auditioning the next weekend. Vince is happy in his band but agrees, so he doesn’t hurt Tommy’s feelings.

The un-named band makes their way into Crystal Sound Studios on Vine St, Hollywood with engineer Laura Livingstone, to record a demo tape of Nikki’s songs: Stick To Your Guns, Toast Of The Town, Public Enemy #1 and cover song Tonight from The Raspberries’ 1973 album titled Side Three. When the allocated two hours of studio time runs out, Tommy makes out with Laura upon Nikki’s suggestion, ensuring more studio time for them to finish the recordings.

Vocalist O’Dean refuses to take off his white gloves to record clapping at the end of the last song being recorded, Toast Of The Town. With a phone call later to Nikki and Tommy from Mick, they decide O’Dean is not going to cut it as their singer, so he’s fired. Mick says he wants the singer from Rockandi to be in the band, due to the way he wooed the females in the audience when they saw him perform.

Tommy then drops off a tape of the songs to Vince at his house and pleads with him to audition, but Vince says he is unsure about changing bands and then fails to show up at the audition. Vince, who frequently binges on cocaine, listens to the tape but feels the nameless band is lame. Several different singers are then auditioned.

The next week, Rockandi is to play a party in Hollywood but the guitarist and bass player don’t show up, leaving Vince in the lurch. Vince calls his guitarist James who says he has cut his hair short and wants the band to become a new wave act, which infuriates Vince, so he quits and kicks himself for not auditioning with Tommy. The next day Tommy calls Vince again, who says he washed his jeans that had his phone number in it, even though he knows where Tommy lives. He organises for Vince to come to SIR Rehearsal Studios to audition one Saturday, where Missing Persons rehearses next door (and are subsequently left padlocked in their studio.)

Vince rolls up as a passenger in a 280Z driven by his blonde girlfriend Leah, who is his boss’s daughter, where he works as an electrician currently building a McDonalds in Balwin Park. A rich drug-addict, Leah bought Vince his first leather pants for five hundred dollars and got him hooked on injecting cocaine. With her appearance and manner she’s instantly nicknamed Lovey by the other guys as she reminds them of Lovey Howell from Gilligan’s Island. Vince sings along best he can to their songs, and everything gels between the members. Nikki starts to re-write one of his songs to suit Vince’s voice more, titled Live Wire.

Requiring a band name, Mick suggests the name Mottley Cru, saying he jotted it down in 1976 when he was rehearsing in the living room where he lived with his band Whitehorse. Other names considered are XMAS, Trouble, Bad Blood, Holiday, and Suicidal Tendencies, as the band tries to come up with a name that is already a commonly known and used word or phrase. Nikki likes Mottley Cru and tidies the spelling to say Motley Crue. Stick suggests they add umlauts over the ‘o’ to give it a militant, aggressive German feel, which is further inspired by the Löwenbräu beer they are drinking at the time. Nikki takes it a step further and adds umlauts over the ‘u’ as well. The band now has its name – Mötley Crüe.

Allan Coffman, the thirty-eight-year-old brother-in-law of Mick’s driver friend Stick, is interested in investing in a band. He flies in from Lake Tahoe to meet the band members and they demolish five bottles of Schnapps together. Allan returns another day with his wife Barbara and their two daughters for Mötley Crüe to perform a little showcase for them. He proposes that he promotes Mötley Crüe, initially on an eight-week basis. The construction company owner, member of the county board of zoning administration, and ex-Vietnam MP officer and policeman, promises a twenty-dollar-per-week allowance to each member and sets up Coffman & Coffman Productions in Grass Valley, California; the name suggested by his wife Barbara, who is a Grass Valley School District board member.

8/4/81
The four Mötley Crüe band members and Coffman & Coffman enter into an Exclusive Management Agreement after Allan Coffman’s attorney, who also represents Supertramp on behalf of their band manager Dave Furano, draws up some contracts to commence the partnership. They sign it on the spot. The ten-page agreement details aspects such as the duration of the agreement, upfront loans, commissions and weekly allowances. Each band member receives an advance of $250 the following day. Mötley Crüe signs a ten-year management deal with Allan Coffman. John ‘Stick’ Crouch works for Allan as his production man and representative on the ground in Hollywood.

24/4/81
Mötley Crüe performs their debut gigs, opening two sold-out shows on the same night for Oakland’s Yesterday & Today (Y&T) at the Starwood on the corner of Crescent Heights and Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Working at the club during the day, Nikki organised the support slot with the owner David Forest, who also managed his previous band London. The band works hard stapling posters on walls and lamp-posts around Hollywood to promote their shows and Nikki’s rule is if a band has one poster, Mötley needs four. The band has never run through a full set in rehearsals before and doesn’t know the set list until Nikki tapes a handwritten sheet of paper to the stage floor at the last minute. Forest books ten to twelve bands a week at the Starwood and this show is the first in years that he actually watches all of the band’s set. The tale is told that a guy in the crowd spits on Vince during the first song Take Me To The Top, so he jumps off stage and puts him in a headlock, while Nikki smashes his bass into the shoulder of another punter keen on giving the Crüe trouble. Tommy joins in and hits him between the eyes with a drumstick, while Vince then hits him with a torch. In years to come, this tale is seen as a publicity tactic. The girlfriend of Randy Piper from W.A.S.P. is hired to film the shows from the club’s balcony. These black and white videos of the Crüe’s first live shows are still available in bootleg circles today.

25/4/81
Mötley plays two more shows this Saturday night opening for Y&T. By the end of their second performance, the Crüe has the crowd screaming for more and Y&T find themselves playing to a half-empty crowd. Mötley’s stage attire includes a black telephone cord that Nikki wraps around his t-shirt.

5/81
The band continues work in the studio, re-recording their demo. Not really knowing the songs very well, Vince sings the lyrics from sheets of paper and you can hear the paper rustling on the recordings. Not knowing how to get their record finished, Mick’s friend Harry hooks them up with the same pressing plant and printing company that produced the two singles they released when they were in Video Nu-R a couple of years ago. Allan Coffman finances one thousand 7” vinyl copies of Mötley Crüe’s first 45rpm single, Stick To Your Guns backed with Toast Of The Town, which are flung out for free at gigs. The third song recorded Nobody Knows What It’s Like To Be Lonely, formerly titled I Got The Power, isn’t used. The cover bears a Nikki Sixx designed Mötley Crüe logo. The photos on the back cover are taken by Don Adkins Jr. as the band’s first photo shoot taken at his Mum’s house in the City of Cerritos. At Nikki’s suggestion, Vince tries to hide his black eye by covering it with his hair.

15/5/81
The Crüe supports Stormer at the two-hundred-capacity Pookie’s sandwiches and beer shop in Pasadena. A roadie drives Tommy’s van away before their stage clothes are unloaded, so they play their first set in their street clothes. An audience of twelve people watches the show while the Crüe consumes $137 worth of beer.

6/6/81
Mötley plays their first show at the Troubadour and set a new attendance record at the club. David Lee Roth from Van Halen takes a real liking to the band and introduces their set to the crowd. He chats with Vince after the show and they meet up the following afternoon, where Dave imparts some of his knowledge of the music business.

16/6/81
The band moves up to Allan Coffman’s hometown of Grass Valley after he feels they should play some gigs there for practice. They call the shows the Anywhere USA tour and they sleep in Coffman’s guest trailer and hitchhike into the town.

19/6/81
Mötley plays at The Tommyknacker, not realising the night is themed as a Hollywood costume night. After getting zero response from the crowd playing Stick To Your Guns and Live Wire, they play Elvis Presley covers Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog, the latter being played five times throughout the evening. After the gig they head to a party, where Vince scores a bag of cocaine from one of the drag queens present. He heads to the bathroom to shoot it up and realises it’s baby powder. A huge brawl follows after the drag queen refuses to refund him his twenty dollars and Vince draws blood with a punch in his face.

20/6/81
The band attends their very first radio interview, sporting black eyes and fat lips from the brawl the previous night.

6/81
Determined to break the dependency of his girlfriend Leah, Vince escapes from her by piling his clothes into Tommy’s van early one morning while she sleeps. The band tells him that if he shoots up one more time he’ll be out of the band, after arriving at a Country Club gig almost an hour late.

The band rehearses about nine songs every day at Visions Recording Studio in Burbank, which Mick’s former Whitehorse band-mate Harry Clay has just bought.

Later in the month, Coffman finances a two-bedroom apartment on Clark Street about fifty steps from the Whisky a Go-Go for Tommy, Nikki and Vince to live in. It is soon affectionately dubbed The Mötley House. They agree to rotate bedrooms every month but Nikki always has one to himself, while Tommy and Vince share the other. Their room has a mirror on the back of its door until one night it falls on David Lee Roth while he’s preparing his drugs (and he doesn’t spill any). Tommy puts a leather couch and a stereo that his parents gave him at Christmas in the front room. The only dishes they own are two drinking glasses and one plate in the cockroach-infested kitchen. Mick lives on N. Gertruda Ave, Redondo Beach with his blonde, guitar-playing girlfriend Linda ‘Windy’ Correia and is still driven to and from rehearsals by his mate Stick. The Crüe’s allowance is spent on rent, clothes and booze, while their food is dependent on the generous girls they pick up and Tommy’s shoplifting skills. The rotting brown front door of the apartment doesn’t shut properly after the police kick it in. The front window is smashed by a fire extinguisher thrown through it by Tommy’s girlfriend Lisa.

20/7/81
Manager Allan Coffman continues to try and grow Mötley’s standards of business professionalism and maintain common goals amongst all band members and management. He instructs the band members in writing to substantially curtail their drinking of alcohol and indicates they are each responsible for keeping themselves in top physical condition. A system of fines is imposed: ten dollars for showing up late to rehearsals and twenty dollars for showing up hung-over, twenty dollars for any non-band member attending rehearsals, ten dollars for faulty equipment and instruments, twenty dollars for ignoring a management memo, and the loss of one week’s advance for any physical or violent actions.

He also writes constructive suggestions to each member, telling Tommy that he is to develop and perform a drum solo beginning with their next gig, and his hair is to be done in a certain way before each performance. Vince is also told to take care of his personal appearance at all times, along with being instructed to take stock of his stage clothes since there is no longer a variety in his live attire. A ten-dollar fine is imposed for every time he misses a future vocal lesson. Coffman encourages Mick to communicate with him more, instead of remaining silent on issues he is unhappy with, while Nikki is instructed that all future communications need to be turned over to management to create management-to-management relationships, rather than artist-to-management ones.

8/81
Mötley’s stage show continues to develop and grow, helped by them renting as much equipment from SIR as their budget allows, to make their stage shows look bigger. Coffman also rents Cadillacs for the band to travel around in; the Crüe damages the vehicles with their recklessness. Vince and Tommy briefly help Richard Crouch make a tiered drum riser with fifteen flashing lights in it, after being inspired by Queen. Years later, they sell it to their friends in Ratt who feature it in their Round and Round video clip. Allan Coffman hires Elvira for five hundred dollars to introduce Mötley Crüe on stage for one show. Nikki starts to light his leather stiletto boots on fire by rubbing pyro gel on them and igniting them, since his friend Blackie Lawless had stopped doing it as he was tired of burning himself. Mick buys a dozen lights from Don Dokken, while an old stained bed sheet of Tommy’s is turned into a Mötley Crüe backdrop.

It’s around this time that the band makes their first video clips, capturing live performances of Take Me To The Top and Public Enemy #1 at International Rehearsal Studios. Bell Piper Production performs the video and camera work on the clips, before they are edited by Tony Corrente at Music Lab.

Covers appearing in the set list include The Beatles’ Paperback Writer and Elvis’ Hound Dog mixed with Jailhouse Rock, and Savoy Brown’s 1976 song My Babe. Another song played is Two Timer from Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell’s 1981 solo album Nip in the Bud. The Mötley song Merry-Go-Round emerges as a favourite amongst crowds. Nikki wrote the song about a guy in his early-twenties that he came across when he lived in Seattle. Nikki watched him sitting on a merry-go-round at some apartments before being taken away in a straight jacket after losing his mind. The songs Why You Killing Yourself and Nobody Knows What It’s Like To Be Lonely are phased out of the band’s set, while On My Radio (formerly titled On My Video) and Straight To Hell never see the light of day.

9/9/81
A drunk Nikki and Vince arrive early for their show at the Whisky a Go-Go. Someone makes a distasteful remark to Nikki, so he smashes the guy’s head into the bar, smashing glass and drawing blood. A bouncer walks the two band members upstairs where a girl at the bar jerks off Nikki. Upon leaving the club, Nikki finds Vince passed out under a car, so he drags him home only to find one of Tommy’s female leftovers handcuffed to his bed. After passing out, Vince soon wakes up and the girl is gone from his bed, so they all head to a party at the Hyatt House. Nikki has sex in a closet with a drunk, huge-breasted girl, before inviting Tommy in on the action without her knowledge. Nikki then gets an unwilling young partygoer to join in the game as well, who loses his virginity in the process.

10/9/81
Not initially recalling the previous night’s drunken events, Nikki is phoned by the girl from the closet last night, who tells him she was raped by a guy in his car after hitching a ride home after the party. Relieved that he didn’t do it, but upon thinking of what he had done to the girl earlier, Nikki realises he perhaps went too far the night before.

3/10/81
Vince’s looks continue to bring comparisons to David Lee Roth from Van Halen, who jams onstage to Jailhouse Rock at the Troubadour with Mötley.

12/10/81
Mötley Crüe members sign music publishing agreements with Kim Fowley’s Rare Magnetism Music for the publishing rights and royalty management of their songs.

31/10/81
Vince gets into a fight on Halloween at the Rainbow Bar and Grill. He gets arrested and locked up on a battery charge.

9/11/81
As preparation for the recording and release of the band’s debut independent album, Mötley Crüe and Coffman & Coffman enter into a Limited Partnership Agreement. The six-page agreement details the formation of the partnership for the purpose of operating a record company Leathür Records, duration of the agreement, splits, and percentages. Allan Coffman uses an eight-page Limited Partner Agreement from July 1969 as the template for this contract. Although both Mötley Crüe and Leathür Records have been in existence for nearly six months, neither the band name nor the record company name were formally registered until Coffman registers them in Nevada County, California. The name is thought up in a local Denny’s coffee shop and changed from the spelling Leather Records, after this preference is already registered.

11/81
After breaking up with girlfriend Laurie Bell, and then a tall, blonde German fashion model called Evelyn, Nikki dates a blonde groupie named Beth, whom he met at the Troubadour one night as she hung out with the guys in Ratt. From a rich family in San Diego, Nikki enjoys doing drugs and having sex at her apartment. After they party hard with Vince at the Rainbow one night, they then head back to The Mötley House on Clark Street, intent on having a threesome. Nikki eventually heads to his room, and Beth Lynn soon becomes Vince’s new girlfriend.

Mötley Crüe records their Too Fast For Love debut album over a drunken four days at Hit City West Studios on the corner of Pico and La Cienega boulevards. The time in the 24/16 track studio costs them sixty dollars per hour as a special after-hours room rate extended to Vince. They quickly fire the studio’s engineer when he wants his own rate above and beyond this room rate. German producer Michael Wagener is brought to the helm of the brand-new Soundcraft 2400 series console board, having previously been in the metal band Accept and recently engineered and mixed their album Breaker; he has also previously worked with Judas Priest in the studio.

12/81
Too Fast For Love costs six thousand dollars to produce, which is advanced by Coffman and later paid back with proceeds from live shows. Since they are still an unsigned act, they release the album on their own Leathür Records label. The first pressing sees two thousand copies produced with white lettering on the front cover and a close up picture of Vince’s crotch, with one hand forming a sign some say means the devil’s horns, while the deaf recognise it as hand language meaning ‘I love you’.

A friend of Coffman’s named Michael Pinter flies in from San Francisco to take the photos for the back cover. Vince is concerned with his hair not showing in the photos, since they are photographed with a white background. So it is touched up to make his innocent tease look like he’s wearing a beehive toupee, which infuriates him as he only finds out once it’s too late to change it. Mick also feels uneasy with the photos used, feeling he looks too much like Joan Jett of The Runaways.

The album is initially available at gigs and some record stores that the band members take them to. Allan Coffman also distributes a lot of copies himself, driving from store to store in his Lincoln rental car. Mike Flaherty, a fifth owner in Leathür Records and Crüe promoter as engaged by Coffman, also assists. Thanks are given inside the album to Skull and Cross Bones for their unselfish dedication - two Mötley roadies named Barry McQueary and Mark Ramirez respectively.

While celebrating the album’s release with a party at The Troubadour, Runaways guitarist Lita Ford introduces herself to Nikki, who initially says his name is Rick. His attitude changes when she says she wants to shares her drugs with him, so she bites a Quaalude and puts a half in Nikki’s mouth; their courtship begins.

Mötley Crüe is first played on the radio by disc jockey Michelle Nuval on KROQ one Sunday night.

The second pressing of Too Fast For Love has red lettering on the cover and a white label on the vinyl, not to mention a fixed-up Vince Neil hairdo. Four thousand copies are pressed and sold. Five thousand copies of the recording are also produced on cassette.
Nikki gets a tattoo of a black rose design, inked on his right upper arm by Kevin Brady at Sunset Strip Tattoo. The design also includes a small spider in a web.

25/12/81
The Crüe steals some turkey potpies from the liquor store cater-corner to the Whisky and hang beer cans, panties, snot and hypodermic needles on a stolen tree for Christmas. They set the tree alight with gasoline before leaving for their show at the Country Club. Vince has a Santa suit made for the show but declines to wear it on stage at the last minute as tensions between he and Nikki increase. This soon leads to Nikki wanting another singer. Stephen Pearcy rehearses with Mötley and is offered the position but he declines, preferring to stay in his band Ratt.

31/12/81
Mötley Crüe plays the Troubadour this New Year’s Eve. David Lee Roth agrees to perform Jailhouse Rock with the band as an encore but disc jockey Michelle Nuval, with whom Crüe manager Allan Coffman is having an affair with, hops on stage and sings it with Vince instead, just as David Lee Roth makes his way to the stage. Nikki currently dates a redhead named Lynn Pierre, while Mike Flaherty dates her sister Tina.

 



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