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Motley Crue book - Vol. 1 The Eighties
Following the cancellation of their U.S. tour, Hanoi Rocks plays two
contracted gigs in Helsinki for a television broadcast on
Europe-A-Go-Go, which they dedicate to the memory of their late drummer
Razzle. Tommy Lee offers to play drums for them at the shows but it
doesn’t work out. Former drummer of The Clash, Terry (Tory) Chimes,
plays the shows after rehearsing three or four times. With Vince Neil
to face vehicular manslaughter charges in court in a few days, it is
rumoured that Hanoi Rocks vocalist Michael Monroe will replace Vince in
Mötley if he is jailed for a considerable period of time. Crüe manager
Doug Thaler reports that members of both bands have been commiserating
the loss, while jamming and collaborating on four or five songs;
however Hanoi Rocks members Mike Monroe and Andy McCoy just sit around
the house of Nikki Sixx and Robbin Crosby for days on end, shooting
cocaine and heroin as their way of dealing with the tragedy.
At the Torrance Courthouse in California’s South Bay Judicial District,
Vince Neil is charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving
charges, before being released after pleading not guilty. The trial is
postponed many times throughout the year. Vince was previously found
guilty of another drink-driving charge prior to the accident, meaning
this time he could face up to seven years in jail, which places the
future of Mötley Crüe in the balance. Newspaper headlines around the
world call him a murderer. Returning from the preliminary hearing, Doc
McGhee tells him that the court requires him to check into rehab. Vince
spends thirty days of intense therapy with Bob Timmons in the Palmer
Drug Abuse Program for rehabilitation at a detox hospital on Van Nuys
Boulevard. He successfully completes the program feels his career is
over. Nikki doesn’t call or visit Vince while he’s in rehab. Management
offers Vince a twelve-thousand-dollar diamond and gold Rolex watch if
he can last three months without a drink; an act they later strongly
regret as it doesn’t teach him his lesson.
Drinking more heavily than ever, Mick Mars discovers his BMW 320i has
been taken from his Marina Del Ray apartment by his girlfriend Linda,
as their relationship falls apart. She leaves Mick for a football
player named Nick Frontero.
Mötley starts recording their next album with a working title of
Entertainment or Death at Cherokee with Tom Werman once again producing
and Brad Gilderman as the engineer. Werman’s charcoal-coloured Porsche
sports a license plate of 33 RPM. The title and theme of the new album
is inspired by Nikki’s reading of Commedia dell’arte–a popular form of
comedy employing improvised dialogue and masked characters that
flourished in Italy from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth
century. He also reads Antonin Artaud’s essay titled Theatre Of
Cruelty, which provides further inspiration. Nikki is intrigued by his
learning that court jesters wearing motley-coloured clothing were
beheaded if they failed to entertain the king.
Mötley enters the studio
with only five songs that Nikki has written. Home Sweet Home is one of
the first to be laid down and they want it to be their Dream On or
Stairway to Heaven. After Tommy rehearses the song on a grand piano,
producer Werman convinces him to record it on a small Roland keyboard
in the studio instead. The Crüe gets up to all sorts of antics in the
studio. Nikki tries to write while being high on drugs and trying to
get two women to go down on each other. With his car license suspended,
Vince gets around in chauffeur-driven limos and on his Harley Davidson
At 4:10pm as Nikki and Vince make their way to the recording studio, a
silver 1980 Cadillac Eldorado runs a stop sign as they turn onto
Hollywood Boulevard, hitting Nikki’s one-week-old jeep before taking
off. Nikki and Vince abandon the jeep in the middle of the road and
chase the driver. Nikki flags down a taxi as they run, having the taxi
pull in front of the Cadillac after spotting it about eight cars ahead.
Vince then jumps on top of the car and kicks in the windshield with his
sneaker. The offender gets out and is detained by Vince while Nikki
goes to a nearby gas station to call the police. Upon their arrival,
they advise the Mötley men that they have been responsible for the
capture of a man reputedly wanted by the Los Angeles Police Dept. for a
number of hit-and-run accidents.
A wasted Tommy flips his motorbike seven times on a Los Angeles freeway
with his Armored Saint bassist friend Joey Vera on the back, as he
gives him a ride after seeing him play a show at a club in the
mountains. Tommy escapes with minor injuries, while Joey’s hand is
mangled, taking him two months after surgery at County General Hospital
before he can play again.
Nikki arrives back at the studio from a visit to Elektra’s Mexican
office, where he picks up a Most Popular Band in Mexico award for the
band, as they even out sell Prince.
Mötley continues to record at Pasha and Record Plant West studios with
Duane Baron engineering. The album is mixed at Record Plant West. Tommy
records his drums at Pasha in four days with drums miked in one room
and the amps in another, while Mick’s guitar sounds are largely created
Tommy receives notice that
his marriage to Candice has been annulled, after they separated about a
month ago. He then dates model Tawny Kitaen. Years later, Kitaen says,
“With Tommy, he was constantly doing coke, so he wanted to go out. He
just wore me out. I remember one night, we were lying on top of the bed
and he took out two knives. He was trying to teach me how to throw a
knife. ‘You hold the top of the knife, and... boom!’ By the end of the
evening there must have been about 5,000 knife marks in the wall. That
was his idea of a good time.” Occasionally, Tommy still has sex with
Candice while going out with Tawny.
Vince marries his fiancée Beth Lynn in Los Angeles. The band jams on
Looks That Kill at the wedding reception.
A video for the first single of the new Mötley Crüe album is shot; a
cover version of Smokin’ In The Boys Room by Detroit band Brownsville
Station, which went to number three on the charts for them in 1973.
Mötley used to play the song during sound-checks and jams, and Vince
suggests it be recorded for the album since he also enjoyed playing it
in his previous band Rockandi. Producer Tom Werman loves it and feels
it should be recorded ahead of a cover version of Mountain’s classic
Mississippi Queen. The video is shot in extreme summer heat at Woodland
Hills High School in California’s San Fernando Valley and is completed
two days before the album’'s release. Actor Michael Berryman, who
starred in the movies One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Hills
Have Eyes, acts as the Principal while the storyline centres around a
schoolboy named Jimmy. Mick befriends Michael Berryman, who was born
with the condition Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia that prevents the
formation of hair, fingernails, teeth, and sweat glands.
A single titled Stars is
released from the Hear ‘N Aid project that Vince and Mick contribute
to. Dio bassist Jimmy Bain, who organises the project, phoned Vince to
ask if they wanted to participate. The album, featuring many of today’s
hard rock giants, is recorded to help raise money for starving
Africans. Set to sing a solo part on the song, Vince is unable to due
to a scheduling conflict as Mötley Crüe shoots their new video the same
day that he’s required in the studio.
Tommy and Bobby Blotzer from
Ratt call Lita Ford’s former drummer Randy Castillo from a party
they’re at with Ozzy Osbourne, and tell him that Ozzy needs a new
drummer. Randy has recently broken his right leg in a skiing mishap in
his home state of New Mexico, but catches a plane the next day to
audition–cast, crutches and all. The audition doesn’t go as planned due
to the broken leg but a friendship is cemented.
Mötley Crüe’s third album titled Theatre of Pain is released and debuts
on the charts at number ninety, at a cost of almost $200,000 to
produce. (Manager Doug Thaler got the previous Entertainment or Death
album title tattooed on his arm a week before the band decided to
change the name to Theatre of Pain.) The album cover is illustrated by
Dave Willardson and shows two drama masks, one bearing a pentagram. The
concept was developed by Nikki with Bob Defrin, who also designed the
new Mötley Crüe logo. Included on the album is the song Louder Than
Hell that was demoed for Shout At The Devil when it was called Hotter
Than Hell. It changes as the band feels ‘louder’ is what they are about
more. The track Tonight (We Need A Lover) also seems to have been
created from the unreleased Shout demo track called Black Widow, which
is supposed to end up on a movie soundtrack with Mike Monroe from Hanoi
Rocks on vocals, collaborated with Gene Simmons. Save Our Souls is
penned from some reworked verses of the unreleased Running Wild In the
Night, since there was a lack of fresh material for the album.
Smokin’ In The Boys Room is released in the U.S. as the first single
from Theatre of Pain. It becomes Mötley Crüe’s first Top 40 single,
peaking at number sixteen and spending fifteen weeks on the U.S.
charts. Use It Or Lose It is included on the B-side of the single.
The Theatre of Pain tour kicks off at the Sun Plaza in Tokyo, Japan;
the Crüe’s first show in the land of the rising sun. The tour begins
with five concerts in Tokyo (the first four sell-outs), followed by
Nagoya and Osaka. Vince and Tommy get mobbed by fans in a McDonalds
restaurant and are assisted by Tokyo Police. Nikki remains in his room
where he suffers from having no heroin. He realises that he has become
a junkie, whilst his band-mates are unaware of how much he has been
scoring and shooting up.
The short Japanese tour concludes in Osaka and the Crüe returns to the
United States. They prepare to embark on a headlining U.S. tour in two
weeks, featuring a huge amount of lights and a ninety-degree tilting
drum riser for Tommy’s drum solo.
Tommy soon meets actress
star of Dynasty and TJ Hooker, Heather Locklear, backstage at an REO
Speedwagon show at the L.A. Forum. They are introduced by Mötley’s
accountant Chuck Shapiro who is also REO Speedwagon’s accountant. Tommy
then chases her phone number down the following week from Chuck’s
brother, who is Heather’s dentist. He calls her while watching The Fall
Guy and tells her that he is watching her on TV. She turns on her TV
and tells him that it’s Heather Thomas, before they set up a date for
the following Friday night. Tommy picks her up from her house in the
Tarzana hills where she lives with one of her three older sisters and
they go out for dinner at an Italian Restaurant and the late show at
the Comedy Club. During the night she tells him she has been out with a
lot of rich guys in the past, as well as actor Scott Baio, and Tommy
feels she is a good girl longing for a bad boy, but he plays it
carefully. She also has a Mötley cassette tape in her car. For their
second date, Tommy visits her home during the day and they swim, dance
and drink lots of champagne with Heather’s sister. They start spending
more time together going out to dinner, parties and movies.
Theatre of Pain is released in Australia, while Vince performs Smokin’
In The Boys Room at the Farm Aid II benefit concert with Jon Bon Jovi,
Willy Nelson and others.
Mötley Crüe’s Theatre of Pain U.S. tour begins at the Glens Falls Civic
Center in upstate New York with Y&T in support. The album currently
sits in the Top 20 of the Billboard album chart. They travel from show
to show in a private plane, painted black with a giant penis and
testicles emblazoned on the tail.
Playing the second show of their U.S. tour in New Haven, Connecticut,
the Crüe is joined on stage by former Brownsville Station member Cub
Koda for a jam on guitar and vocals to Smokin’ In The Boys Room, the
song he wrote in 1973. Whenever they play the song live, the harmonica
solo is played backstage by their tour security guy Fred Saunders.
Since Vince can’t play the instrument, he just pretends to play it live
Onstage in Providence, Rhode Island, a fan grabs Vince’s scarf and
pulls him into the audience. When he is pulled back on stage by
security, he realises his pants have been entirely ripped off, causing
him to run backstage wearing just his boots. He returns in Tommy’s
stage underwear to finish the concert.
Tickets for the front row seats of Mötley’s concert at Civic Arena in
Pittsburgh are donated to Abraxas, a local treatment program for drug
and alcohol abuse. These are auctioned off for over $1,000. Vince also
records a series of public service announcements for Abraxas. Meanwhile
the Crüe’s own drug usage gets to the point where they shoot heroin on
stage. They also mainline Jack Daniels and gin at night, shooting it up
rather than drinking it, to come down off their cocaine. They also
drink and do drugs in front of Vince and chew him out if they catch him
having one drink, warning him of his pending trial and the consequences
of being seen drinking. Vince turns to women as his new vice of choice,
going through four or five most nights.
Before the show at New York City’s Madison Square Gardens, the crowd is
so psyched to see Mötley that during the set from Japanese support band
Loudness, fireworks are tossed amongst the crowd. The venue’s announcer
tells the crowd that the fireworks have to stop or the band will not
perform. After the show, Nikki goes to Alphabet City and scores some
heroin before returning to the hotel and hanging out with Eddie Ojeda
from Twisted Sister and a girl.
Theatre of Pain continues to climb the U.S. charts and peaks at number
six, the highest position of any Mötley album to date.
In an interview leading up to Mötley’s concert at Five Seasons Center
in Cedar Rapids Iowa, Nikki says the band is trying to gain Guinness
Book of Records’ recognition as the loudest band in the world. After
reading the comments, city officials issue earplugs and earmuffs to
employees and security officers working at the concert. An employee
Safety Director from the City of Cedar Rapids uses a noise meter to
monitor the sound levels. The average reading during the band’s
ninety-minute set is 108 to 110 decibels, with an average reported
level of 116 decibels for people standing close to the stage in front
of the speaker columns. At one point, thirteen to fifteen pyrotechnic
explosions in the performance push the meter to 127 decibels. People
begin to feel physical pain at about 125 decibels. There’s no doubting
that Mötley certainly is Louder Than Hell.
Proceeds of Mötley Crüe's Los Angeles show are donated to the
Encino-based Palmer Drug Abuse Program, of which two of his recent
crash victims are affiliated with. The band treats Vince as somewhat of
an outsider on tour, due to his upcoming trial.
After handing out flyers for
their band before the concert, Poison's Bret Michaels and CC Deville
are taken backstage by Nikki and invited on stage to perform the encore
medley; it's their first time on a big stage.
An authorised biography written by Dante Bonutto called The Comedy and
the Tragedy is published, as the official Crüe fan club S.I.N. (Safety
in Numbers) continues to grow in membership, making it one of the
largest fan clubs in the U.S.
Vince works hard towards
gaining a black belt in the Tang Soo Do style of karate, while Mick’s
computer is stolen, losing the war game he was programming.
Tommy has a large black rose
tattooed on his left inner forearm, with a banner reading the name of
his new girlfriend Heather. He shows Polaroid photos of her naked to
his band-mates at rehearsals. He watches dirt bike racing with Heather
on TV one day and comments that he’d like to try it; the next day he
finds a new dirt bike outside his house from her. He feels he wants to
be with her for a long, long time.
Guitarist and singer John
Corabi moves to Los Angeles from Philadelphia with his wife Valerie and
her nine-year-old daughter, after loving the place when he visited six
months earlier on an anniversary trip. John got his first tattoo a
couple of years earlier: the words ‘John & Valerie’ on his arm.
After playing in a heap of cover bands on the circuit in the Philly-New
Jersey-Delaware area for a few years, he started doing some originals
but found there wasn’t really a market for it. The rest of his band
called Angora soon follows him to L.A., encouraged by winning recent
awards for Best New Band in their local club scene. Angora soon falls
apart due to drug and social problems. At one point, Gene Simmons from
Kiss looks to sign Angora, but wants to change their name to 8-BALL
because the guys in the band have eight balls (testicles) collectively.
Theatre of Pain and Shout At The Devil both reach double-Platinum
Vince flies back to Los Angeles in between Crüe concerts in Ohio to
meet with the District Attorney and the families of his accident’s
victims in court. His lawyer advises him to plead guilty to his
vehicular manslaughter charge, to avoid the matter going to trial. His
lawyer uses the angle that since most of the members at the party were
from Mötley Crüe and Hanoi Rocks, it can be construed that it was a
business meeting, and therefore the band’s limited liability insurance
could cover the payment of much higher damages to the victims, than if
Vince were to have to pay them himself. The families agree and Vince is
sentenced to thirty days in jail to be served at the end of his Theatre
of Pain world tour in the middle of next year, plus two hundred hours
of community service. He is also ordered to pay $2.6 million
restitution to Razzle’s family. Many believe he has received a lenient
penalty, due to his lawyer’s plea bargaining to buy his way out of
jail. Newspaper headlines now read, “Drunk Killer Vince Neil Sentenced
to Touring World with Rock Band” causing bittersweet feelings inside
Home Sweet Home is released as the second single from Theatre of Pain,
and is backed with Red Hot from the Shout At The Devil album. The
single peaks at number eighty nine and spends only six weeks in the
charts. Nikki wrote some of the lyrics for the song when he was
seventeen years old. Playing the song live on tour night after night,
Tommy feels he wants to make his own home with Heather.
After their San Antonio, Texas show, Mötley Crüe donates $17,500 to
ALL-STAR, a non profit youth peer leadership organisation that Vince
has been working with to educate students in becoming responsible
drivers. Vince gives anti-drink-driving talks at schools. Front row
seats for their upcoming shows in Rochester and Pittsburgh are
auctioned by a radio station, raising $1,000 for an alcohol and drug
Vince tears ligaments in his
knee while water-skiing in Texas, which causes him to wear a brace on
his knee under his stage clothes, and forces him to give up his karate
The video for the band’s latest single Home Sweet Home first airs,
having been made in Texas the previous month. Much of the footage for
the video was filmed in Houston and Amarillo, with the audience and
venue shots being filmed in Dallas. The night before the Dallas shoot,
Nikki freaks out after having an eight-ball of cocaine and four blue
pills. He has visions of his mother and father and starts tearing his
hair out while standing on top of a table, before convulsing with a
foaming mouth. On the set the next day, his bass tech Tim Luzzi sees
Nikki talking with an imaginary friend under the stage before the video
shoot begins. The video becomes MTV’s most requested clip for the next
four months, prompting MTV to change its request line rules and
establish an expiration date for new videos to stop requests
continually coming in. It’s also MTV’s first power ballad aired.
A US Senate committee on pornography in rock music condemns Mötley
Crüe’s lyrics for degrading women and glorifying violence. So in the
middle of the tour, a concept for the next stage show is first brought
up. Sitting around wasted on the tour bus, they come up with the idea
of having a huge backdrop of a spread-legged female, and the band could
enter the stage through the middle of her legs.
The Dead Milkmen scores a
college radio hit with their song Bitchin’ Camaro on their Big Lizard
in My Backyard debut album. The comedy punk rock song includes the
lyric, “Don’t forget to get your Mötley Crüe t-shirt, y’know, all
proceeds go to get their lead singer out of jail.” Other Crüe-related
music released this year includes Tommy’s contribution on Espionage’s
second album titled ESP on Elektra Records and produced by Roy Thomas
Baker, as well as Tommy and Vince making a guest appearance on Night
Ranger’s third album titled 7 Wishes.
Manager Doc McGhee becomes so tired of trying to keep Vince sober while
on probation, he leaves him in his Orlando, Florida hotel room with two
security guys instructed to beat him up.
Mötley’s successful U.S. tour ends in Florida. A pedometer shows Tommy
averages twelve miles each night on the drums. Vince heads to the
Cayman Islands for a few days’ holiday before the European tour
commences early next year. He meets up with Jon Bon Jovi and Pat
Travers there and they jam every night at the local pub. Nikki returns
to Los Angeles after the tour. His yuppie, actress-in-practice
girlfriend and drug-buddy Nicole, who he met through the band’s lawyer
as an attempt to clean Nikki up somewhat, meets him at the airport with
syringes and they party their night away shooting heroin.
Tommy proposes to his actress girlfriend Heather Locklear over
Christmas, while riding in a limousine down the Ventura Freeway with
their heads in the wind outside the open moon-roof. Tommy looks like a
criminal in his new passport photo, after stacking a friend’s Honda
motocross bike in a ditch, wearing no helmet.
Nikki spends Christmas morning with a girl he picked up at a strip club
the night before, before taking her home on his Harley and later having
Christmas dinner by himself in McDonalds.
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> 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
10 / 11 / 12 /
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