Vince Neil is arrested at the Troubadour after punching out a female
patron, who takes offence at the official US Marines uniform he is wearing.
An international distribution deal is signed with Greenworld Records
Ltd, which helps spread the Crüe’s debut album throughout the United
States and to the UK, where it receives rave reviews. This six-page
contract grants Greenworld the right to license, manufacture, advertise,
distribute and sell the Too Fast For Love album. Twenty thousand copies
of a third pressing of Too Fast For Love are manufactured and distributed,
this time with red lettering on the cover and a black label on the vinyl.
Greenworld later goes bankrupt in 1986 but spawns Enigma Records.
As Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil leave the Rainbow with girlfriends Lita
Ford and Beth Lynn, some bikers start pushing their girlfriends around
after making advances on them. Displeased with the treatment handed
out to his girlfriend, Nikki removes a chain from his waist and wields
it around in the air during the fight that begins. Two undercover police
officers arrive, one of them grabbing Nikki’s hand as he reaches for
his chain, and biting it to the bone. Not realising it is a cop, Nikki
retaliates by hitting him across the face with his chain until the cop
pulls his gun on him to arrest him. They hit Nikki in the face with
their clubs seven times, breaking a cheekbone and giving him a black
eye in the process. Vince runs off as Nikki is driven to the West Hollywood
Police Station, but the cops stop in an alley on the way and repeatedly
kick him in the stomach and face. Charged with assaulting a police officer
with a deadly weapon, the police tell Nikki they will send him to state
prison for five years, with no parole or probation. He spends the night
in jail before Lita hocks her Firebird TransAm for one thousand dollars
and gives the money to the cops, who drop the charges. They walk the
three miles back from the police lock-up to The Mötley House in time
for their show at the Whisky. Nikki only has to wear black eye makeup
on one eye for a while. The incident is dubbed the sequel to Riot on
Mötley continues to sell out shows at the Troubadour, the Whisky and
the Country Club. Crüe gloves are now available through mail-order in
the U.S. as record stores continue to sell out of their debut album.
One store even has a painting of Vince on the wall outside. Mötley invites
lots of record companies to shows, but are shown no interest, even though
they have sold thousands of albums within four months.
British rock magazine Kerrang! publishes the first
magazine photo of a Mötley Crüe member: a full-page, full-colour picture
of Vince. The Crüe is rumoured to tour the U.K. late in March and early
April as the support act for Wishbone Ash but it never eventuates. Another
rumour in the press says the Crüe will perform a co-headlining tour
with Anvil in August, including playing the Reading Festival but it
also does not eventuate.
The Los Angeles Department of Health Services issues an official notice
of violation to Nikki Sixx for the non-removal of rubbish from The Mötley
At The Mötley House, Nikki writes lyrics for a song called Knock ‘Em
Dead Kid about his recent run-in with the Los Angeles Police outside
the Rainbow. The following morning, an eviction notice is served by
a lawyer, bringing The Mötley House days to an end after nine months
of complete mayhem. Nikki moves into Lita Ford’s residence at Apartment
6, 4859 Coldwater Canyon, Sherman Oaks in North Hollywood, while Vince
moves into Beth’s apartment. Mick is still living with his girlfriend
Linda in Redondo Beach.
Tommy Lee moves into a small house with a pool in
the backyard with his new Canadian stripper girlfriend and Penthouse
Pet named Candice Starrek, having recently dumped Lisa for her. They
met when Tommy was helping a stripper friend of Nikki’s to move into
Candice’s house. Candice was seeing Greg Guiffria from the band Angel
at the time, who also lived at the house. Tommy asked Candice to come
and see him play with Mötley at the Whisky A Go-Go about three weeks
ago and they have been seeing each other since.
Tommy and Vince give new band Metallica a major break, as they help
them land a support performance with Saxon at the Whisky for their third
gig. They introduce Metallica’s bass player Ron McGovney to the Whisky’s
booking agent, who locks in their performance after hearing a demo tape.
Mötley plays a sold-out show at the three-and-a-half-thousand-seat
capacity Santa Monica Civic, which is produced by racing car
promoter Steve Quercio, who has seen them play the Whisky and wanted
to help get them to the next level. The evening is compared by
Elvira and Mötley shares the stage with a couple of Funny Cars owned
by John Force. As they play, they set fire to various instruments
and debut their new song Knock ‘Em Dead Kid. The performance and
number of ticket sales for a local Hollywood club band finally
attracts the attention of record labels and the event becomes a
turning point for the Crüe.
Tom Zutaut, a sales assistant at Elektra Records, heads out for a bite
to eat at a coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard one night, when he sees
a huge crowd of kids trying to get into the Whisky a Go-Go, underneath
a marquee that says “Mötley Crüe Sold Out.” He then notices a Mötley
display in the shop window of record store Licorice Pizza on the corner.
Telling the doorman he is an A&R representative for Elektra, he makes
his way in and is impressed by the show in front of five hundred punters.
He talks with Allan Coffman afterwards about having the band come into
Elektra for a meeting, who refers him onto their distributor, Greenworld.
Visiting their booth at a local trade show, Greenworld’s Alan Niven
puts Zutaut back in touch with Allan Coffman. After first rejecting
Zutaut’s request to sign the band, Elektra chairman, Joe Smith agrees
to allow him to sign the band, so he wines and dines the band on his
company expense account until they are about to sign.
Virgin Records staff sees a great show at Glendale Civic Centre and
offers to sign the band. The band receives a performance fee of four
thousand dollars for the night’s show. Virgin then brings a briefcase
filled with ten thousand dollars as a cash advance on a one hundred
thousand dollar deal to a meeting with the band, and tells them all
about how their label operates out of England.
Wearing a Crüe construction hat, Vince now starts
to cuts the head off mannequins on stage with a chainsaw during Piece
Of Your Action, which is the first track Mick plays slide guitar on.
Mick gets his first tattoo: a small scorpion design on his right hand
inked by Robert Benedetti at Sunset Strip Tattoo. It is later detailed
further by Sunset Strip’s Greg James. As Mick now starts to become well
known in the Crüe, Michelle Meyers, the last vocalist in his former
band Whitehorse who used the stage name Micki Marz, tries to sue him
for stealing her ‘thunder’, as she is receiving favourable reviews for
her performances around Los Angeles in a Janis Joplin tribute band.
The meteoric rise of the Crüe overwhelms her complaint and she bitterly
leaves the music industry.
Tom Zutaut puts a comparable offer on the table to
that of Virgin Records. The band says they will accept the deal from
the local Los Angeles base of Elektra, over the Virgin offer of about
twenty five thousand dollars more. A celebration at Mexican Restaurant
Casa Cugats follows, where band manager Allan Coffman gets drunk and
starts thinking he’s back in Vietnam. After ripping a payphone off the
wall, Tom Zutaut drives him back to his hotel room, but not before he
rolls out of the car in the middle of an intersection, crawling on his
belly like a soldier with a rifle. Zutaut calls Mick the Purple People
Eater as he says he has a purple aura.
Mötley Crüe signs their record deal with Elektra Records; a 41-page
agreement between Elektra Records and the four band members that details
the terms and condition related to their new seven-year engagement.
A further four-page Royalty and Advance Agreement between Elektra and
the band members is also signed as an agreement to the splits, royalties
and advances for the re-release of Too Fast For Love, as well as the
next five albums to which the band contractually obligates itself. An
advance cheque for $28,500 is received as part of the execution payment
for the agreement. This follows the signing of an eleven-page agreement
between Greenworld and Elektra Records to transfer the Too Fast For
Love license from Greenworld to Elektra Records.
They celebrate with a dinner at Benihana on La Cienega
Boulevard. After drinking the heaviest throughout the night, Vince keeps
biting and cracking his margarita glass as he hassles the waitress.
The manager kicks them out while the waitress calls the police.
Annoyed that Zutaut had gone over his head to sign the band, Elektra’s
head of A&R, Kenny Buttice, convinces the label that the Too Fast For
Love album needs to be remixed before they release it, so it is up to
radio standards. Roy Thomas Baker is chosen to perform the work; he
has previously produced classic albums with Journey, Foreigner, the
Cars and Queen. Vince re-records his vocals and the whole album is re-mixed
at RTB’s house in the hills on Sunset Drive. Roy throws huge parties
full of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, which Mötley takes a liking to.
With his limited experience in the music industry,
Crüe manager Allan Coffman feels he needs further assistance to take
the band to the next level. Elektra Records also places pressure on
him, as they now want to hand the band over to a major management company.
He decides he needs someone with experience in radio and touring, and
subsequently hooks up with Bill Larson, a young Michigan concert promoter
with a background in radio promotions. Coffman’s house is mortgaged
to cover the band’s expenses, and he sees an opportunity to sell some
of his fifteen percent ownership in Mötley Crüe Inc.
As the remixing of Too Fast For Love nears completion, Allan Coffman
and his assistant of four months, Eric Greif (who also manages Greg
Leon), decide a Crüesing Through Canada tour will provide Mötley
with valuable road experience, and possibly keep them out of trouble
on the Los Angeles streets for a while. The tour is designed to have
maximum controversial impact to gain important media attention from
outside L.A. Coffman plans to meet up with Bill Larson after the
tour and bring the band to Detroit for a welcome back to the U.S.A.
show. The Crüe flies north, as their luggage travels by truck with
the roadies. Vince forgets to include his luggage on the truck, so
he has to take it on the plane. Nikki instructs the band members to
wear their stage gear on the plane and when they land at Edmonton
International Airport, Canada's federal police and Immigration
officials interrogate them for over three hours. They confiscate
around two thousand dollars worth of stage gear, including whips,
chains, studded belts and spiked wristbands, deeming them to be
'dangerous weapons.' Vince's small bag of Playboy and Hustler
magazines is also confiscated. The road entourage is delayed for
around seven hours as Canadian border guards search for contraband.
The small Calgary booking agency, Performing Artists Consultants,
had told them to be expecting to play 800-1700 seat halls depending
on whom they were supporting, but on arrival they find no such
venues booked. Coffman knew the venues were small but never let on
to the band.
Booked at Scandals Disco in the Edmonton Sheraton Caravan Hotel, the
Crüe plays four sets. Rudy Sarzo and Don Airey from Ozzy Osbourne’s
band watch the show. Nikki has a beer bottle thrown at him, which cuts
open his right hand. He keeps playing while throwing blood onto the
small crowd. A guy goes to take a swing at Tommy backstage between sets,
but ends up having his teeth knocked out by Allan Coffman’s knee. Coffman
breaks a finger in the fight. Nikki tells an interviewer backstage,
“We’re going to be huge because we’re entertainment. Our next album
will be called TV & Violence. We’re the television. Our audience
is the violence. Together, we’ll take over the world!”
Mötley Crüe is rushed by police to evacuate their show after a call
is made threatening to “waste the band on stage.” Six policemen arrive
and search the complex, and once satisfied, allow them to continue to
play. The Crüe members refuse to play unless the police are present,
so two policemen stand vigil by each side of the stage as they finish
their set. Decades later, it is revealed that the death threat call was actually
made by Allan Coffman's assistant Eric Greif to the Edmonton Sun
newspaper as a successful publicity
stunt for nationwide press and great stories to tell back in the States.
The manager of the Sheraton and two bodyguards waiting at the
Riviera Rock Room where the Crüe is about to play, demand two
hundred and sixty dollars for damage caused to a trashed eighth
floor of their hotel. The bill is cheap considering a bored Tommy
threw a small television out the window of his room onto the
After playing their last two nights in Edmonton,
Coffman ends the tour because he had run out of money to keep it
going. The remaining shows in British Columbia are cancelled and the
Crüe returns home to L.A. amid national press coverage on the
horrific exploits of the American band. The booking agent considers
suing the Crüe for a million dollars. Eric Greif wears the financial
brunt of the cancellation since he took personal responsibility for
the gigs through his company Kondor Recording and Production. By the
time the band's confiscated stage clothes are approved for return,
the items have already been destroyed.
Elektra Records proposes a two-page addendum to the band’s record contract
detailing their intention to decrease royalties just six weeks after
the contract’s signing, but the band doesn’t sign it.
A Scandinavian tour for the first two weeks of August is negotiated
with a Finland agency but the tour doesn’t eventuate.
Vince is the last Mötley member to get a tattoo. His first inking is
of a snake with a musical note on his upper left arm.
Tom Zutaut calls Doug Thaler at Contemporary Communications
Corp. in Manhattan to try and get Mötley on the bill for the forthcoming
Aerosmith tour, but Doug has just added an old agency client of his
to the tour in Pat Travers.
Live Wire is the first release on Elektra for the band. The 7” single
is backed with Take Me To The Top and Merry-Go-Round, as the Crüe is
back playing to big crowds in Los Angeles again.
Nikki meets Alice Cooper for the first time, who is
working on his new album Zipper Catches Skin in a neighbouring studio
at Cherokee in Hollywood. Alice is holding scissors when they meet,
which are later heard as an effect in the song Tag, You’re It from the
The Too Fast For Love album is re-released on Elektra and enters the
Billboard chart at #157. A few changes to the album cover are made with
the front photo and logo being enlarged and the rear album photo getting
reduced. A new band picture is included on the lyric sheet inside. The
song Stick To Your Guns is omitted from this new version. In Canada
only, Elektra releases the original Leathür version of the songs with
a re-vamped Too Fast For Love cover.
Elektra’s promotional priority is Australian band
Cold Chisel, and after a lack of support for Mötley is shown, the label’s
head of promotions is fired. Tom Werman is brought in to Elektra as
head of A&R around this same time and he instantly clicks with Nikki.
Mötley starts to demo songs for their next album, including Looks That
Kill, Hotter Than Hell, Knock ‘Em Dead Kid, Red Hot and Running Wild.
Under the Power of Attorney in his management contract, Allan Coffman
sells five percent of his fifteen percent stake in Mötley Crüe to Bill
Larson for twenty five thousand dollars, which he acquires from the
life savings of his parents; his father being a retired school professor
and his Swedish mother, a housewife. Twenty-one-year-old Larson drives
from Davison, Michigan and stays with Coffman for a couple of days,
before they head into Los Angeles where they meet with industry executives.
Larson meets the band at SIR Rehearsal Studios, but Coffman does not
tell them what the arrangement is.
Mötley does a photo shoot and interview for porn magazine Oui. Afterwards,
Tommy disappears for three days with one of the female models. The article
and pictures are published in the November 1982 issue of the magazine
with Cheryl Rixon on the cover.
The Crüe plays an awesome Halloween show at the Concord Pavilion in
San Francisco with Y&T and Jimi Hendrix impersonator Randy Hansen and
the Machine Guns in support. Three new songs are performed for the first
time: Looks That Kill, Shout At The Devil (written at Lita Ford’s mother’s
dining table in Long Beach as she cooked dinner) and Red Hot. During
the encore song Red Hot, Nikki walks over to a candelabra on stage and
touches his shoulder to the candle’s flame, instantly igniting his leather
jumpsuit while he continues to play. Within seconds, the Concord Fire
Department gets on stage putting Nikki out and subsequently fines the
band one thousand dollars for starting the fire on stage.
Wishing to clarify his position with Mötley Crüe, Bill Larson makes
copies of his legal agreements he had entered into with Allan Coffman,
and gives them to Mötley’s merchandise guy. He in turn gives them to
Nikki and Mick who don’t realise that Larson’s percentage was provided
out of Coffman’s share, and they think that Coffman is ripping them
off. Miscommunication and misunderstanding aside, the trust is broken
and Coffman makes an attempt to provide a workable solution where he
removes himself from the band as a shareholder but remains involved
as a personal manager for the next three years. In exchange for this
transaction, Coffman seeks financial compensation for his investments
of the past eighteen months, all to no avail as the Personal Management
Agreement dated this day is never reached.
A video clip is made for Mötley’s single Live Wire. An unreleased video
of Take Me To The Top is also filmed and edited very similarly to Live
Wire, also displaying the Crüe’s live stage show at the time.
Mötley begins recording their second album at The
Annex in Northridge with Jeffers Dodge engineering, which Nikki wants
to call Shout With The Devil, as he and Lita fool around with satanic
black magic. They record songs that include the unreleased Run For Your
Life, Running Wild In The Night and I Will Survive. One night Nikki,
Tommy and his drum tech, Clyde ‘the Spide’ Duncan, get hassled by a
couple of policemen as they have a few drinks in a bar around the corner
from a North Hollywood recording studio, so as they leave, they urinate
through the open window into their patrol car before running off. Tommy
throws a brick through the control room window upon returning to the
studio, causing Jeffers to be banned from the facility even though it
is managed by his girlfriend. The following morning they work on the
track I Will Survive at The Annex. It is Nikki and Vince’s idea to do
some backward masking, so they lay on their backs chanting into microphones
above, while Jeffers suspends a gong on a rope above them, making a
shimmering sound effect as it spins in circles. When the half-track
is played backwards they hear “Jesus is Satan.” Jeffers’ second engineer
disappears, found hours later praying in the back forty of the ranch
studio, believing they are all possessed by Satan. The motor in Tommy’s
car blows up as he drives home from this recording session, while Mick
pulls over because his car alarm comes on and his lights keep flicking
on and off. One of Nikki’s picks flies off the table in the studio and
sticks in the ceiling. Tom Zutaut witnesses a knife and fork rise off
Nikki and Lita’s table and stick into the ceiling.
A week prior to Christmas, Allan Coffman is advised by an attorney on
the telephone to cease and desist as their manager. Coffman has been
trying to get them to stop taking drugs while record company executives
encourage it. He is also against them progressing towards a more satanic
image. The Crüe feels he is not able to manage their success growth
and they can’t understand where all the money from sell-out shows and
the record company advance is going. It also seems that he is contributing
substantial amounts of band money to the political campaign of George
Deukmajian, the arch conservative Republican who runs for Governor.
The news devastates Coffman, who has mortgaged his home three times
to pay for the Crüe’s stage show theatrics and other expenses, personally
contributing around three hundred thousand dollars over the time of
his management. Coffman files for Bankruptcy. Bill Larson’s association
with the band also ends, as his contract is tied in with Coffman’s.
Allan Coffman takes his termination very hard. His wife Barbara comes
home to find her husband pacing their back yard with a gun in his hand,
contemplating suicide. He later gets divorced from her and marries another
lady named Barbara and becomes a born-again Christian. Bill Larson’s
father passes away six months later, after suffering a heart attack
from worrying about the fate of his son and their lost life savings.
Bill suffers clinical depression for a couple of years following the
incident and eventually files a lawsuit to try and get his twenty five
thousand dollars back, but it is thrown out of court as no-one is able
to find Coffman to serve the subpoena. Bill Larson continues to work
in the music industry and goes on to become a co-founder of HardRadio.
Mick’s friend and band production guy John ‘Stick’ Crouch is also ousted
from the Crüe camp, due to his relationship with Coffman.
The Crüe plays a show in front of three thousand people called New Year’s
Evil at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, said to be one of the greatest
glam shows ever! Mötley invites as many managers as possible to see
the show, realising this show is a do-or-die event in their careers.
Big Crüe fan, Ronnie James Dio, tips off his booking agent friend Doug
Thaler about the Crüe. Doug played in Ronnie Dio and The Prophets back
in the late-sixties before almost losing his leg when their tour van
was involved in a head-on collision in Massachusetts. Pat Travers’ manager
Doc McGhee is keen for Doug to join his company, so they both attend
the Mötley showcase from Florida and love it. They ride home in an empty
merchandise truck after the entire product is sold. Santa Monica authorities
ban the proposed Miss Nude Heavy Metal prelude, citing laws prohibiting
“depravity of minors”, as a band called The Wigglers open the show,
featuring Vince’s former Rockandi guitarist James Alverson. The Crüe
is fined one thousand dollars by the local fire marshals as they come
off stage for the use of fire in their show, which included twenty-foot
high mortars. Backstage, Nikki takes a black makeup pencil and walks
over to a wasted Joe Perry from Aerosmith before smearing the pencil
under his eyes, inspired by the Road Warrior characters in the film
Mad Max. Joe thinks it looks cool on Nikki. Meanwhile Vince is in tears
as his phone has been cut off, due to the band’s desperate financial
Choose the year:
pre81 / 81 / 82 / 83 / 84 / 85 / 86 / 87 / 88 / 89 > The Eighties
90 / 91 / 92 / 93 / 94 / 95 / 96 / 97 / 98 / 99 > The Nineties
00 / 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 /
08 / 09 > The Naughties
10 / 11 / 12 /
©2013-1995 Paul Miles. All
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