Available in the 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
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 motorbike.
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
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
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 on
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
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 status.
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 Vince.
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 education program.
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 lessons.
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
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.
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 /
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