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"Sexy Suki, little geisha girl
Given every samurai a twirl"

Mötley Crüe - Hell On High Heels - 2000

He travels the globe from Australia to see the mighty Crüe perform on stage and off. On the day in 1998 that Mötley's 'Greatest Hits' was released, he was there in Canada soaking it up - live. In 1999 he caught a large dose of Maximum Rock in Japan, and now he's back in the land of sushi and the rising sun once more... this time for Mötley Crüe's '2000 Japan Tour'. Now YOU can experience the tour too, through the eyes and ears of Dr. Shinbone Starr, the rock'n'roll patroller, as he presents his entertaining saga - Nippon Patrol.

Chapter 3 - Tokyo Bay NK Hall - 5 November 2000.

It is now Sunday, and tonight will be the first, and largest show of Mötley Crüe's New Tattoo Japan Tour 2000. Not being familiar with tonight's venue, we decide to leave our hotel a little early - all we know is that we're getting off at the same train station used for Tokyo Disneyland. Not too difficult we feel - we hope to spot some Mötley shirts on the way - that should steer us in the right direction!

After a brief subway ride, we arrive at Tokyo Station and walk, for what seems a very long time, to get to platform 4. A train arrives bound for Maihama Station and we wonder if we're going the right way - there's nothing Mötley on the platform that really stands out. However we get on the train and I notice someone reading a copy of Burrn! magazine, which has Nikki and Dave Mustaine on the cover - I now know we're on the right train. I take a further look around and spot a Mötley Crüe t-shirt and someone wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt. I also notice some people looking at me, a foreigner clad in leathers and wearing a Too Fast For Love Shirt, and of course my customary jewellery. 

The Japanese people are very interesting and unique indeed. If you didn't know better, you would never guess that a lot of these people were attending tonight's show. I cast my mind back to last year's experience and remember the different appearances of the fans attending the shows. The audiences can seem very different when compared to Australian or even those attending shows in the USA. Some fans turn up in typical rock n roll gear, sporting Mötley t-shirts, etc. while many look very formal wearing a shirt and tie, and there are those that look like they could be going anywhere, just on a day out. Hey I even saw someone wearing a Victoria Bitter (Australian beer) t-shirt last year at one of the shows at Osaka Zepp. The train doors shut as I think to myself about how good it feels to be amongst those sharing a common passion - this is what music is all about. Ahh yes.....we are all heading the same way for the same reason - Tokyo Bay NK Hall here we come!

Well after 20 minutes on the train we arrive at Maihama Station, and the action certainly looks to be hotting up. As soon as we are through the ticketing gates we see many more Mötley shirts, people wearing Outlaw clothing and general rock n roll gear. As we walk down the stairs I count at least 4 people trying to sell tickets to tonight's performance - I even have a ticket thrust in my face as we follow other fans, hoping they are heading towards the buses that are to drop people at the venue, saving them the 30 minute walk. It's time to find someone that speaks English to let us know exactly what is going on here! We approach a fan standing by himself and my friend Bono motions to him, "Mötley Crüe?". He points in one direction and says to us "130 yen". Great! We get our coinage together, and head down the small set of stairs to board the bus along with all the other anxious fans. Within about 6 minutes we are at the venue, and things are looking busy - there are people everywhere! There are huge lines of people spilling onto the street! The bus parks and we get off and become part of the mass of Mötley fans milling around the concrete stairs.

It's just after 4pm and the doors have opened - the show is supposed to be starting at 5pm, which seems rather early! There is someone shouting instructions through a megaphone, and not knowing where we are to go, we just become part of the queue of people presenting their tickets at the door. However, I must admit that we did jump a fairly substantial portion of the queue, and were therefore noticed by the megaphone man. He comes over towards us and we ask him where we go to obtain our guest list tickets/passes. He motions us towards a door on the other side of the huge line up - I'm glad we don't have to wait in line! We bustle through about 5 lines of people and end up in front if a doorway with a small wooden desk behind it. I also spot Ai (refer Chapter 1) waving at me and my friend - she too has obtained a ticket via the guest list. We decide to get through al the formalities first and talk to her inside. 

Dr. Shinbone Starr's VIP PassThere is a printed list situated on the desk, containing a column of names down it's left side, and few more columns to it's right containing numbers corresponding with each name. I greet the guy behind the desk and point to my name on the paper - the number 2 appears in two different columns next to my name. He produces an envelope with my name on it which contains two seating tickets for the show. He also proceeds to open one of the desk drawers and then hands over 2 VIP Passes for us to hang around our necks. My eyes light up (and I'm sure Bono could not believe his) and I can't help but produce a smile - our key to the backstage area and hopefully the band is now hanging from our necks, to be used tonight and at each show that we should happen to attend. Bono and I are just too happy, and we high-five each other as we walk pass the desk into the venue, knowing that tonight is only going to get better. Special thanks must go to Randy Castillo and Jeff Varner from The Left Bank Organization for organising our tickets and passes for this tour.

Once inside the venue, we spot the merchandise stands almost straight ahead of us. There are already a lot of people lining up to make a purchase, and yet again there is someone on a megaphone directing the flow of people - enter at one end, exit through the other. Items on sale include Outlaw and Bad Bones clothing, 58's "Diet For A New America", a white Mötley Records t-shirt, sticker sheets, key rings, and a couple of New Tattoo shirts, one of which had long sleeves. There was no tour program on sale at any of these shows. There was the usual Tower Records display with the new tour edition of "New Tattoo" on sale, as well as "Entertainment Or Death" and the band's other releases. There is also another table full of CDs for a Japanese band Siam Shade - I now learn that the show is starting early because this band will be playing for 30 minutes before Mötley Crüe tonight. Tonight will be unique because it is not common to have a support band in Japan, and this is the only show of the tour where a support band will perform.

After having a look around, and at this stage I couldn't see any tour posters to bring home to my Aussie friends, we head through one of the inner doors to find our seats. The first thing I noticed was that this venue held a lot more people than any of the venues I saw the Crüe perform in on last year's Japanese tour. I'd say that the venue's capacity would be probably around 8,000-9,000 people. For tonight's show I'd say there were about 6,000-7,000 people in attendance by the time Mötley Crüe hit the stage. 

Dr. Shinbone Starr's Seated TicketWe look for out seats, and after having trouble with the Japanese on the ticket, we ask another fan to help us locate our seats. After finding where we're supposed to be seated, I begin to look for a spot to situate the video camera we have brought with us to film tonight's show. Our section seems to be where people with passes will be sitting tonight. It is comprised of about 5 rows with 20 seats in each row. I decide to go up another 2 rows and film from the back/top of our section, to allow people to be able to move from their seats without me moving my camera, and also making sure that I'm not blocking anyone else's view of the stage. There are a few signs posted around the venue warning that cameras and recorders are prohibited. An usher sees me setting up my gear - I flash him my VIP pass and no problems - the Tokyo show is coming back home with me to share with my Australian friends, who are now not getting to experience the show for themselves.

The video camera is all ready to go so I decide to take a walk around the venue and check out the merchandise once again. I'm curious to find out who the American guy is with the pass hanging from his neck, standing by, watching over the merchandise sales. He starts a conversation with me, hands me a business card and begins to introduce himself. He is Sean Lacy, a sales rep for Winterland, who look after Mötley's merchandise in Japan. He briefly explains to me what his role at tonight's show is and we talk about the fact that there is no tour book - he admitted that this was unusual but couldn't explain why the band hadn't issued one for the 2000 Japan Tour. I mention Randy and he points to a sign which has Japanese writing on it. Sean tells me the sign says something about Randy not being able to tour Japan with the band because he's just had an operation on both wrists - however I do not let on that I know it's a whole different story. We talk for a few minutes longer before I'm off to check out the rest of the venue. I enter the lower level floor area and the support band has started, much to the delight of the fans - these guys must be very popular in Japan, judging by the audience's positive reaction. The band plays for 30 minutes and at the end of their set the countdown begins to tonight's main attraction. The sounds of AC/DC blaring out of the speakers only helps me further absorb the amazing atmosphere inside this place tonight.

30 minutes later and the tape for Frank Zappa's "Crew Sluts" is rolling - the show is beginning and my camera's on record. After the song concludes, we are treated to a display of colourful lights with various sound effects including helicopters, sirens and gunshots. After what seems like a couple minutes, the unmistakeable huge sound of Mick Mars' guitar can be heard, dive-bombing to imitate the sound of an engine changing gears, and hence announcing the show's opening tune 'Kickstart My Heart.' Samantha Maloney is perched on the drum kit wearing a hat, thumping away on the drums in time to Mick's riffing. Nikki enters the stage followed by Vince, who enters from the top where the Crüe Sluts are situated. The song is into the main riff with band pumping and all of a sudden Mick's guitar dies. Nikki and Sam keep playing until they realise the problem won't be fixed straight away. Talk about having the wind taken out of their sails - the opening show of the tour, and in front of their biggest audience for Japan 2000! Mick is already off stage checking out the problem with his tech - something to do with the different voltage system being used to power the equipment has caused something to overload and of course, Mick's guitar to cut out. Nikki leaves the stage in disbelief, while Vince paces around as Sam steps down from the drum kit. The audience is still cheering despite the mishap and when Vince says into the microphone "No guitar", the audience lets out a big cheer! Mötley Crüe is back in Japan and the audience aren't going to let this technical matter calm their excitement.

A few minutes later the problem appears to have been rectified and Mick begins his introduction to the song once again. "Tokyo, Japan - Take # 2", and the band is into the song once again, however they seem a little loose at first - one can understand it being hard to adjust back into the groove with the opening problems being fresh in your mind. They complete the song and the lights go blue as Kevin Briers runs onto the stage with a guitar for Vince. With guitar strapped on he yells into the microphone, "Tokyo!" - the audience roars and the band kicks into 'Same Ol' Situation.' After the song finishes the Crüe Sluts leave the stage with Mick and Vince following, allowing Nikki and Sam to groove with the opening to the next song 'Primal Scream.' The crowd sings along loudly with the chorus, and Nikki paces the stage during the song, giving his attention to the audience from all angles. It's time for something new, and Vince informs the crowd about the new album 'New Tattoo', before Mick begins the opening riff for 'Punched In The Teeth By Love.' The band are to perform only 2 songs from the new album on this tour - the other song being the first single from the album, 'Hell On High Heels.'

Live in Tokyo - Pic by Dr. Shinbone StarrAs seen on last year's tour, an acoustic guitar (I'm later told by Mick's tech that it is a thin-bodied Gibson Chet Atkins model - only 12 were made, and Mick has 2 of them) is brought on stage for Mick. He does a short acoustic solo before beginning to strum the opening chords of 'Home Sweet Home.' The band keeps things slow for the next number as Vince straps on a guitar to launch into 'Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)', which the crowd seems to enjoy singing along to. The girls come back out and the band charge into a powerful rendition of 'Wild Side' - Nikki looks pumped as he bounces around the stage, lapping up the feedback he is receiving from the audience. The girls remain on stage as Vince reminds the audience about the new album the band has released and introduces the next song 'Hell On High Heels.' This seems to be a favourite with the audience as they sing along with Vince and the girls in the chorus. During the solo, Nikki stands behind Sam as she alternates between hitting the drums and Nikki's strings. The band leaves the stage after the song and Mick returns to play his solo before slowly, but cleverly, leading into the next song 'Looks That Kill.' Mick leaves the stage as Vince asks to hear some bass and drums, before introducing Sam to tonight's audience. Mick returns to the stage for an impromptu jam before heading straight into 'Piece of Your Action', which I was surprised but glad to hear - classic Crüe almost 20 years later! Mick and Nikki leave the stage after the song and the Crüe Sluts return to the stage. La La and Pearl are introduced by Vince, before the band begins 'Girls, Girls, Girls', the final number before the band retreats backstage for a quick break and change of clothes.

When the band returns to the stage, Mick's guitar churns out the opening riff to 'Live Wire' and all of a sudden it's drums and lights going crazy! Nikki is now wearing grey overalls and a hat. The audience seem to be enjoying themselves and are again singing loudly and thrashing about with fists in the air. As soon as the song's over, Mick wastes no time in starting the final song of the night, 'Shout At The Devil.' I am surprised to hear this song straight away, as earlier I had seen a copy of the set list which listed 'Helter Skelter' between these 2 songs - disappointing, because I was really looking forward to hearing that! The song comes to an end, and the band walks to the front of the stage for the customary bow to the fans, to close tonight's performance. 

Tokyo Bay NK Hall - November 5, 2000
Kickstart My Heart
Same Ol' Situation
Primal Scream
Punched In The Teeth By Love
Dr. Feelgood
Too Young To Fall In Love
Home Sweet Home
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Wild Side
Hell on High Heels
Looks That Kill
Piece of Your Action 
Girls, Girls, Girls
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Live Wire
Shout At The Devil

The lights of the venue are turned back on and the crowd begins to move outside. We head down to the sound desk to say "Hi" to Davey Kirkwood before heading to the backstage area. Not knowing exactly where to go with our passes, we walk to an area where I had earlier seen an "unauthorised access, except with passes" sign. We turn the corner and attempt to ask some Japanese guys where we go with our pass, however they do not understand what we are saying and continue to pack up the gear at the side of the stage. 

As we walk towards the other side of the stage to try the door there, another fan approaches us. He explains that he is from Argentina and he pulls out some pictures of himself with Nikki and another with Mick. He tells us he wants to meet Nikki and give him a present for him and his wife, for their daughter due to be born in December. He explains that he is going to 5 shows in Japan and tells us that he had tickets for the Australian shows. Well we are looking for the same person, so we don't mind if he comes with us, although he doesn't have a pass on him, however that doesn't prove to be a problem. We walk through a door and we are motioned to go around the corner - the guy from Argentina wasn't even asked about having a pass - no problems. We enter a room, part of which is blocked off with a black fabric to cover the doorways of what I assume is the band's dressing room. Upon entry, another familiar face turns around and greets me - her eyes light up as she realises who I am. A year later and it's good to see Spike once again - she is a Japanese interpreter that travels with the band and the promoter, and helps out with any language barriers that may arise. I introduce her to Bono and explain that I've come back to experience the Mötley madness all over again!

Various voices can be heard coming from the room and in a few minutes Vince comes out. I call his name and he turns around and greets me, shaking my hand - remembering me as Randy's friend from last year's Japanese tour. I introduce him to my friend Bono and hand him a packet of Australian chocolate coated macadamia nuts. Since the band weren't coming to Australia I thought they might appreciate a gift like this. Vince thanks me and says he'll be right back. There are only about 5 other people in the room - 2 of the guys appear to be friends with one of the girls, La La, as they disappear to another room with her when she comes out. Mötley's new security man, Kerwin, is moving in and out of the rooms and looks like he is trying to get things ready so the band can prepare to leave the venue. I hear him mention that Vince and the girls will be leaving in the first van, and therefore Vince does not come back into the room to chat some more. 

In a few minutes Nikki comes out wearing a long black leather coat. I am standing nearest to him as he turns around and greets me. It's been just over a year since we last met and it feels good to be able to talk with him once again. We shake hands and I hand him the same gift I gave Vince. I mention the cancelled Australian tour and explain my gift, and tell him that I had a feeling that I should come to Japan. He is surprised, as I tell him that there was virtually no promotion in Australia. I also brought something else for Nikki. Knowing he likes to read, I bought him a copy of the book "Chopper - From The Inside". The book is based on the confessions of the Australian underworld's most feared head-hunter, Mark Brandon Read, also known as "Chopper". I thought Nikki may find this character interesting, as Chopper often seems quite witty and I thought Nikki may enjoy the poetry written by Chopper about his victims. Here's a little insight into what the book is about:

...He became a crime commando who terrorised drug dealers, pimps, thieves and armed robbers on the streets and in jail - but boasts he never hurt an innocent member of the public. From streetfighter to standover man, gunman to underworld executioner, he has been earmarked for death a dozen times but has lived to tell the tale........

I say to Nikki, "I know you like to read, but I wasn't sure if you were into this kind of stuff. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's about an Australian hit man that kills drug dealers and pimps and writes funny poems about his victims." Nikki quickly checks out the back of the book and says to me, "I love this kinda shit!" He thanks me and I decide to sit back so someone else can have a chat with him. 

The Argentinean fan is next - he pulls out a picture of himself with Nikki and explains to him where it was taken. Nikki all of a sudden says, "Hey I remember you!". Of course this has blown Alex's mind and he tells Nikki he has a present for Donna for the new baby. Nikki then states, "Yes, we will be having a daughter in December. I'll take it home for Donna". After producing the gift, it is clear to all that he wants Nikki to open it and see what it is: "OK, you want me to open this?" Nikki opens the wrapping and it is a pair of little baby booties. Nikki is very surprised and thanks Alex, who is now smiling from ear to ear. Realising I could be capturing these moments, I move to a corner of the room and get my video camera out as the next fan presents Nikki with a gift, a book of tattooed women, which he asks to be signed by the giver of the gift. Nikki explains that he thinks he might be getting the flu, and he spends a few more minutes before deciding he really needs to leave as he also would like to go and get some dinner. I thank him for tonight's show and tell him we'll see him at the next show - he shakes my hand once again and says to me, "Catch you there bro!" before waving goodbye to the others and exiting the hallway to where the van is waiting. It all seems like it happened so fast, yet it was time well spent with the animal who is hungry on stage, but calm and down to earth when the show is over.

Well... we are now outside the venue and it appears that we have spent too much time backstage, as the bus service back to the train station has now ceased. We walk out to the street and ask for directions on how to get back to the train station. Some local Mötley fans help us out and point us in the right direction, it should take about 30 minutes to walk there. The 2 guys tell us they are still deciding on whether to catch a taxi or walk to the train station. After trying to thumb a lift with some of the local fans, with no success, we hit the road and begin walking. We have been walking for nearly 10 minutes when a taxi pulls up straight ahead of us, carrying the 2 fans we spoke with earlier, who are now waving their arms outside the windows, ushering us to jump in the taxi and ride with them back to the station. Not being sure of the cost of this option, we politely decline and continue walking. I can hear them talking to each other and one of them yells out, "No money? OK!". This sounds great, so we decide to jump in the taxi with our new Mötley mates! They speak a little English and on the way I spin them out by making some silly conversation, asking them if they know if the driver is a Mötley Crüe fan or not, and other silly questions. They laugh about this and joke to themselves until we eventually arrive at the station. As they are getting on a different platform to us, we introduce ourselves and then bid them goodbye as we pass through the ticketing gates. The Mötley spirit is alive - it was great to receive some help from the local fans - we'd probably still be walking otherwise. Bono and I decide we'll stop at the band's hotel again before calling it a night. The train ride back also proves to be fun, as we talk to some other fans that can speak a little English, and we meet a girl that will be attending the same shows as us. The whole carriage seems to be listening to the foreigners talk, and everyone laughs when her mobile phone rings and I greet the caller in Japanese. I am on a high after the show and my meeting with Sixx, and I just can't help myself!

Ai & Dr. Shinbone Starr at the concertWe get back to the hotel and there are a few fans sitting in the lounges. I notice Ai sitting there by herself so we sit down and join her. She tells us that Vince has already arrived back at the hotel with Mötley's security man Kerwin. We then talk about her experience with Nikki last night - she went to dinner with him and had a few drinks afterwards, and now she is hoping to see him again tonight. As we are sitting down, I notice Mick's guitar tech, John Gabrielli, walk into the lounge area and start talking to some of the female fans - it's obvious what he's looking for tonight, and I actually found his pick-up techniques quite laughable! (Sorry John!) 

It's not long after this that Davey Kirkwood appears and sits down with us, and we end up talking about many things including AC/DC, Trainspotting, and a few other things including Australia. I get the impression that he and John will be going out somewhere soon, as another new face appears. Having noticed her backstage at the show earlier tonight, I ask Davey about who she is and what her role on the tour is. She is Jessica Ericsson, Mötley's wardrobe girl who also looks after Samantha and the Crüe Sluts. She begins talking to us and tells us that she loves our accents. After about 20 minutes she decides she is too tired to go out and says she would like to speak some more later. It's a date - we agree to meet again at the next show. 

Pretty soon Mr. Sixx walks in the door with the Crüe Sluts and a few other people. He sees us sitting there and says "Hi!" as he walks towards the elevator. Ai runs after him and returns in about 30 seconds looking pretty disappointed and in need of a cigarette - I don't think she got the reaction from Nikki that she was hoping for. La La also greets us and asks, "How are you doin' guys?" Of course we are doin' just fine and it is after this that I Ieave the lounge to go make a phone call to the Chronological Crue webmaster himself, Paul Miles, to give him a brief rundown on tonight's events. It doesn't look like anything further will happen tonight, and we are getting tired, so we decide to say goodbye to Ai and leave for our hotel up the road. One show down......and the madness is only going to get better...

Catchya soon,

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Next: Chapter 4

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