This page also available in the book: Chronological Crue Vol.1 - The Eighties
Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx decide to form a music production company
called The Terror Twins. They are subsequently bombarded with demo
tapes from aspiring bands. Now sober and clear headed, Nikki also
starts to listen to a broader range of music that opens his mind to
different melodies, runs and hooks. It spawns many new creative ideas.
Mick Mars and Emi Canyn move
into a new Californian house together.
Vince Neil sings at the Party Ninja’s Benefit Concert in Los Angeles.
Cathouse club owner Rikki Rachtman sets Nikki up on a blind date with
the October 1987 Playboy Playmate Brandi Brandt, after she breaks off
with his Cathouse co-owner and Faster Pussycat vocalist Taime Downe
when finding a used condom in his garbage. The first night they sleep
together, her mum calls. Nikki recognises her Mum’s voice, realising
it’s Bree Howard’s daughter he is with, who he had a fling with before
the Girls, Girls, Girls tour as they auditioned the Nasty Habits backup
singers. He spends more time with her though, feeling emotions he
hasn’t felt for so long now that he is sober. A couple of weeks later,
Nikki moves away from her to begin work on the next Mötley Crüe album.
Crüe receives much help from alcohol and drug rehabilitation specialist
Bob Timmons, who became a heroin addict before he was even a teen,
which soon led to him living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles's
Skid Row and serving time in prison for armed robbery, before he turned
his life around. The band moves to Vancouver, Canada to record their
new album at Little Mountain Studios with Bob Rock producing. The
album is scheduled for a 4th July release. Vince arrives a day later
after Fred Coury from Cinderella invites him to stay in Hawaii for
their Honolulu concert, where he jams with them on The Rolling Stones
classic Jumping Jack Flash. Vince recently gave Fred a black 1983
Porsche 911 turbo.
One of the first people
Nikki sees in Vancouver is actress Demi Moore, who is shooting the film
We’re No Angels, and was the first person to tell him about Alcoholics
Anonymous five years ago. They have dinner with Bob Rock at his home
and he later turns down a ride back to her hotel as he has Brandi on
his mind instead.
A song about Nikki’s
near-death overdose called Kickstart My Heart is worked on as the first
song for the new album. Nikki brings it in thinking it doesn’t have a
hope in hell of making the album, but it reminds Tommy of Ballroom
Blitz by the Sweet. Bob Rock is meticulous in his work, often making
Mick spend two weeks just doubling a guitar part until he feels it is
perfect, which frustrates Mick. Vince often only gets one word of a
song on tape after a whole day’s work due to the critical and demanding
nature of Bob Rock’s work ethic that pushes Mötley to the limit of
their abilities for the very first time.
Also under the guidance of
rehab specialist Bob Timmons, Aerosmith works on their Pump album next
door to Mötley, so they often drink water together and go for jogs
after a day in the studio. The Crüe has a personal weight trainer with
them in Vancouver, over-seeing daily work-outs and runs.
Twenty four songs are
demoed, including a two-minute metal rap song Monstrous rumoured
firstly to be on the Ghostbusters II soundtrack and then also to be the
title of the new album. The chorus is inspired by The Wizard of Oz and
gets stuck in Nikki’s head for weeks. Another rumoured album title is
Sex, Sex, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. They write and record a ten-minute song
called Say Yeah about Nikki Sixx impostor Matthew Trippe. A Mick Mars
concerto with cello, viola, flute, guitar and drums is also touted for
inclusion on the album. Other titles of songs written include Stop
Pulling My Chain, Brotherhood, Too Hot to Handle, Rodeo and the bluesy
Get It For Free, which is about a girl supposedly selling Bibles
door-to-door, except she’s selling herself instead.
Nikki phones the guys from
Skid Row and asks what they are doing. When they say they are just
watching reruns of the TV show Leave It To Beaver, Nikki invites them
to come to the studio and sing on the album. They also jam with Cheap
Trick at their local show, and invite them to participate on the album.
A thirty-thousand-strong crowd at Vancouver’s BC Place stadium goes
wild when Vince and Nikki join Skid Row on stage for their encore song
Live Wire. Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler and Joe Perry join headlining act
Bon Jovi for their second encore later in the evening.
Vince tees off with Willie Nelson at the Calabasas Golf and Country
Club in California for the Celebrity Invitation Classic golf
tournament, as part of the TJ Martell Foundation’s Rock ‘n’ Charity
Vince captains the Rockers softball team as they play against Sam
Kinison’s Rollers in the TJ Martell Foundation’s Rock ‘n’ Softball game
at USC’s Dedeaux Field in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,500.
Vince has a cameo role as a rock star in the Police Academy 6 movie but
his scene is cut from the final version as they have too much footage
One Sunday night, Nikki and
Tommy have dinner with Bob Rock in Los Angeles. A glass of wine with
their food turns into the rest of the bottle and before long Nikki
phones a dealer. They go to a club for more drugs, girls and
debauchery, before Bob gets them out of trouble by taking them back to
A&M Studios where they carve swastikas into the walls.
Pretty Boy Floyd releases a
cover of Mötley’s Toast of the Town on their Leather Boyz With Electric
A Los Angeles radio station
falsely announces the Crüe will play at the Roxy. The following
Wednesday, a thousand people cue up around the corner of the venue,
hoping to see the band.
Former Sex Pistols guitarist
Steve Jones releases his new album titled Fire And Gasoline. The second
track called We’re Not Saints is written by Nikki with Steve Jones,
along with his bass player Terry Nails.
The second album from German
metal band Craaft, titled Second Honeymoon and released on RCA Records,
thanks Tommy for his contribution.
Nominees for the MTV Video Awards are announced by Vince and Arsenio
Hall during a press conference at the Saxonlee Art Gallery in Los
Angeles. While back in Los Angeles, Vince undergoes surgery to correct
a diagnosed deviated septum, which had been causing his face to swell
over his years of alcohol and substance abuse.
With an abundance of tracks
recorded in Vancouver, Mötley Crüe considers releasing two separate
albums in quick succession, since they are contractually prohibited
from releasing a double album. Nikki says the likely album title of the
second release would be Mötley Crüe: The Ballads. Its release is
primarily dependent on the success or failure of their next album.
Mötley manager Doc McGhee is in the final stages of putting together a
huge rock concert in Moscow, through his Make A Difference Foundation,
to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. Each band will
play a fifty-minute set, stripped down with no props, pyrotechnics or
special effects, and there will be no headlining act. The running order
is to be Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi to finish
the show. All proceeds from the two-day concert are to benefit
anti-drug and alcohol charities.
Nikki now sports a new full
sleeve of tattoos down his right arm; one
of the first rock stars to do so. The band flew Sunset Strip Tattoo
artist Greg James up to Vancouver for five days while recording the new
album, and he effectively turned his hotel room into a tattoo studio.
Mötley plays a forty-five-minute set at the Moscow Music Peace Festival
for their first-ever sober performance. Prior to the show, the
concert’s Production Manager tells Mötley they have been demoted in the
line up, which makes Tommy livid that Doc’s newer client in Bon Jovi is
getting favoured over them and Scorpions, who are very popular in
Russia. Nikki and Tommy tell Doc they are going home since they are not
going to be an opening act for Bon Jovi’s ninety-five-minute set, but
they end up sorting the issue out and playing ahead of Ozzy. The
concert draws an attendance of more than 100,000 and is watched by a
worldwide television audience of a billion people.
At the start of Bon Jovi’s
set to finish off the night, a huge amount of pyro explodes. Knowing
that permits would have needed to have been organised well beforehand,
Tommy finds Doc backstage and punches him. While he is lying on the
ground, Nikki tells him that he is fired as Mötley’s manager since it’s
the second time he has outright lied to them about details of the
On completion of the second day's performance in Moscow, Mötley flies
back to Los Angeles via France and New York. Having now split with Doc
McGhee as their manager, they encourage his partner Doug Thaler into
also splitting from McGhee Entertainment, Inc. and managing them as his
own company’s first client. Doug agrees and soon forms his business
called Top Rock Development Corporation.
Once back in Los Angeles,
Vince goes on a ten-day white-water rafting trip down Idaho's Snake
River. He calls Sharise on his way home who tells him of an altercation
she just had with Izzy Stradlin' of Guns N' Roses at the Cathouse club.
After trying to advance on Sharise and being turned down, saying she was married to Vince, Stradlin'
pulled her top down in front of many people. Sharise slapped him in the
face but then he kicked her in the stomach.
For the second successive time, the title track to the new Crüe album
is released as the first single. This time it’s Dr. Feelgood with
Sticky Sweet as the B-side track. It’s Mötley’s first Top Ten hit,
climbing as high as number six and charting for sixteen weeks, the
longest of any Mötley single to date. The video for Dr. Feelgood is
shot in a large aeroplane hangar in Pomona, California and has a feel
similar to the movie Scarface. Mick's original riff for Dr. Feelgood
titled Planet 9 from Outer Space. The song comes about from a riff
going around in Mick's head, so he records it on his eight-track
recorder to put down the initial lick and a few chords. About a week
later, Nikki comes over to his house and starts singing the lines to it
before they take it to rehearsals and keep working it up. Sticky Sweet
was the last song
written for the album, with the lyrics being penned in the studio in
supposedly less than a minute.
Mötley Crüe’s fifth album is released, titled Dr. Feelgood. Costing
around $600,000 to produce, it features guest appearances by members of
Skid Row, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, along with Jack Blades and Bryan
Adams, who Tommy first met in a Vancouver strip club while recording
the album. Cover artwork was originally going to have band mascot
Allister Fiend drawn as a mad doctor holding a big syringe. However,
the final design of a dagger and a snake is a piece of tattoo flash,
designed by Sunset Strip Tattoo artist Kevin Brady, who also designs
the new Mötley Crüe logo. The forty-two-second opening track T. n T.
(Terror ‘n Tinseltown) was made by recording ambulance officers talking
into their walkie-talkies, followed by driving their ambulance back and
forth across the recording studio’s car park.
Mötley presents the award for Best Heavy Metal Album at the MTV Music
Video Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City,
California. While the rest of the Crüe waits in limos outside the
event, Vince waits backstage while Guns N’ Roses plays with Tom Petty.
Vince then decks guitarist Izzy Stradlin’ with a punch in the face as
he comes off stage, as payback for recently hitting on then kicking his
wife at the Cathouse. Mötley’s security chief drags Vince away and as
they are about to leave the building, Axl Rose tells Vince he is going
to kill him. When Vince encourages him to bring it on, Axl walks away.
This is the start of a feud
between the two bands. Axl Rose starts to say in the press that Vince
sucker-punched Izzy and he has been insulting Guns N’ Roses for years.
Vince feels betrayed after showing Axl vocal tricks to help him out,
while they supported Mötley on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour. Axl
challenges Vince by sending at least six messages to fight at places
like Tower Records in Los Angeles, or on the boardwalk at Venice Beach,
but Axl never shows up. Meanwhile Izzy calls Vince and apologises for
Still angry at the incident
and the way Axl has handled it via the
press, Vince responds on MTV, telling Axl to name the place and time.
After chatting with his friend and owner of the LA Lakers Jerry Buss,
Vince proposes a Monday night three-round fight at the Great Western
Forum in Los
Angeles. Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar from Van Halen say they'll put
up the money to stage the fight at New York's Madison Square Gardens.
No fight eventuates and Vince's offer still stands to this day.
Dr. Feelgood is released in Australia.
On Tommy’s twenty-seventh birthday he receives a phone call from Ray
DiMano at Elektra telling him that he finally has a number one album on
the charts in Dr. Feelgood.
Mötley plays a 150-minute Dr. Feelgood warm-up show at the Whisky under
their pseudonym The Foreskins, which is also used for the filming of
their next video, Kickstart My Heart. Arriving at the venue in a
vintage ambulance driven by rock comedian Sam Kinison, they play their
first club gig since the early days. The set includes songs from Too
Fast For Love previously never performed live. Photos from the night
are also used in the Dr. Feelgood tour book. Bobby Oberdorsten becomes Mick’s new guitar tech.
The European leg of the Dr. Feelgood tour starts in Essen, Germany,
once again with the Nasty Habits on board and this time with Skid Row
in support. It was decided Europe should be the first region to tour
this album, since they missed out on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour
following its cancellation. Before the Crüe enters the stage, Frank
Zappa’s song Crew Slut from his Joe’s Garage Volume 1 album is played
to the audience.
Vince throws beds out of a hotel window onto a couple of Mercedes cars
parked below. German police search the hotel for the culprit with Uzi
guns and Rottweiler dogs.
In Amsterdam, Nikki sees a she-male beat up a junkie. He is surprised
by everyone smoking hash in coffee shops. People come up to him on the
street with heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy. He buys some animal, dwarf
and scat movies to show the others. The band members go to a live sex
show where a guy, with track marks up and down his arms and a tattoo of
a syringe on his foot, has sex with a chick right in front of them. A
black lady has guys eating a bratwurst out of her vagina.
Vince spends four or five
days filming in Denver, Colorado at Redrocks for a movie The Adventures
of Ford Fairlane. Vince plays a rock star named Bobby Black from a band
called Black Plague. Drummer Randy Castillo also acts as a member of
Black Plague, along with Phil Soussan on bass. After Vince is killed in
the movie’s plot, an investigation starts into his death. The movie
also stars Andrew Dice Clay, Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from
Nightmare on Elm Street), Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy from Married With
Children), Wayne Newton and Priscilla Presley. Mötley Crüe writes and
records the title track called Rock N’ Roll Junkie for the soundtrack.
It was the last song recorded, along with the Tommy Bolin classic
Teaser, before they left Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver.
The first printing of Revolutionary Comics Inc.’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Comic
- Mötley Crüe” is released.
A report surfaces that Matthew Trippe has dropped his lawsuit, which
turns out to be false.
Dr. Feelgood becomes Mötley Crüe’s first single to achieve Gold status,
while the album now achieves double-Platinum status having sold two
million copies in the U.S.
Mötley’s European tour concludes in Scotland. On arrival back in the
U.S. the Crüe rehearses on stage at the San Diego Sports Arena for five
With Mötley’s continued success, their second album from six years ago,
Shout At The Devil, now achieves triple-Platinum status.
The U.S. Dr. Feelgood tour starts in Tucson, Arizona and is set to
continue through until April next year before heading overseas. An
aeroplane for the tour is leased from a charter company in Texas; the
same plane Def Leppard used and called Hystouria #1 on their Hysteria
tour. The plane receives a facelift to emblazon it with Mötley logos.
It’s also decked out with a mini recording studio inside its plush
interior. A huge stereo system is built into the plane’s walls, as are
numerous colour TVs, a laser disc player and a video machine. Thirty
six Marshall stacks and thirty six SVT stacks accompany Mötley on the
tour. An impressive laser light show is also used, similar to the one
used in Neil Diamond’s recent concerts.
The tour also sees an
innovative and breathtaking drum solo from Tommy Lee on a new
contraption, again built by former navy submarine hydraulics specialist
Chris Deiter. As Mick finishes his guitar solo, Tommy holds onto a
bungee rope before being slowly pulled up to the top of the venue by a
chain motor. He then takes his place in a flying drum kit with
electronic pads and huge speakers, which moves along hidden tracking
while he plays along to some of his favourite rock songs. The medley
includes Houses Of The Holy then Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, Rocky
Mountain Way by Joe Walsh, Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo by Rick Derringer,
Back in Black by AC/DC, California Man by Cheap Trick, Ballroom Blitz
by the Sweet and Back In The Saddle by Aerosmith. After bringing the
show closer to the people at the back of the venue, his contraption
turns around and he heads back towards the stage. Tommy triggers a
sampled sound of a long descent as he puts his foot in a strap and
grabs the rope again, before free-falling and stopping a few feet above
the heads of the people nearest the front of the stage. Once back up on
stage, he removes his braces one at a time before quickly downing his
leather g-string and mooning the audience.
Tommy participates in a promotional motorcycle ride-a-thon called Love
Ride 6 from Glendale to Malibu in benefit of the Muscular Dystrophy
Association. He also drums on the song Shocker performed by The Dudes
Of Wrath on the Shocker movie soundtrack. The song also features Paul
Stanley from Kiss and Desmond Child on lead vocals, Whitesnake’s Rudy
Sarzo on bass, and Vivian Campbell on lead guitar with Kiss’ Bruce
Kulick, who is not credited on the album’s liner notes.
Mötley Crüe’s Kickstart My Heart single is released backed with She
Goes Down. Like their previous single, it also spends a total of
sixteen weeks on the U.S. charts, but only reaches number twenty six.
Footage from their warm-up show at the Whisky is used for the video,
mixed in with high-speed motor racing thrills and spills action. The
zipper noise heard at the start of She Goes Down was sampled from a
porno movie by Tommy. Twenty years later Vince says, "There's some sex
being done in the background if you listen real closely. We can't say
who's doing it though, but prostitution is legal in Vancouver." It is
the quickest song ever written by Nikki.
Mötley contributes their Vancouver recorded cover of ex-Deep Purple
member Tommy Bolin’s song Teaser to the Make A Difference Foundation’s
Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell album. They also feature on a cover
of Led Zeppelin’s classic song Rock N Roll with Skid Row, Zakk Wylde
and Jason Bonham, recorded back in August at the Moscow Music Peace
A song called LA Jets
written by Nikki Sixx and Lizzie Grey when they were together in their
band London before the formation of Mötley Crüe is included on the
second album from Lizzie’s new band Ultra Pop, titled Adventures in
In hometown Los Angeles, a
huge billboard reads “Have a Mötley Christmas and a Happy Crüe Year!”
as part of Elektra’s marketing efforts.
The Crüe plays a huge sell-out show at Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey.
The encore includes Jailhouse Rock with Sebastian Bach from Skid Row,
Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, Ace Frehley from Kiss and Ace’s friend
Gordon Gebert on keyboards.
Mötley finishes the decade in a powerful position within the music
industry, having enjoyed success throughout their formative years in
The Eighties: pre-'81 / '81 / '82 / '83 / '84
/ 85 / '86 / '87 / '88 / '89
The Nineties: '90 / '91 / '92 / '93 / '94
/ '95 / '96 / '97 / '98 / '99
The Naughties: '00 / '01 / '02 / '03 / '04
/ '05 / '06 / '07 / '08 / '09
The Onesies: '10 / '11 / '12 / '13 / '14 / '15 /
'16 / '17 / Home
©2019-1995 Paul Miles. All
Chronological Crue is the intellectual property of Paul Miles.
No part of this site may be used or reproduced in any part whatsoever
except in the context of a review with an appropriate credit reference.