Those Bad Boys Of Rock And Roll Are On A Mission

By: Vin DeWolfe

The group members, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil are well known for their bad-boy capers and hard rocking lifestyles. From the very start, these guys have either made trouble or problems found them. On their first circuit in 1982, they were actually apprehended at the Edmonton International Airport as they had on their spiked stage clothes through customs. Officials at the airport impounded everything the group carried that they believed indecent or unsafe. No worries for the group though, it was all a publicity stunt and it worked like a charm!

Throughout the 1980's, Mötley Crüe was involved in a seemingly unending bouts of loose females, substance abuse and run-in's with the law. One night in 1984, an allegedly drunk Vince Neil was involved in a horrid head-on crash. His passenger, Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley of the group Hanoi Rocks was killed in the accident. Neil was sentenced to thirty, but spent a meager 18 days imprisoned for the incident. Later, the group turned tragedy into music and released box sets irreverently named "Music To Crash Your Car To".

The alcohol & drugs were overtaking their lives in a major way. In 1987, Nikki Sixx actually was thought dead from an over-dose. His heart stopped and that could have been the end for him. Fortunately for Sixx, the paramedics did not give up and gave him 2 shots of adrenaline to his heart. Obviously, he lived to tell the story. This small incident gave the group the stirring for the song 'Kick Start My Heart' from the 'Dr. Feelgood' release.

It wasn't long after Nikki's near-death experience that the bands managers stepped in. It was time for a serious intervention if this band was going to keep moving forward. The managers denied the group to go on a European tour, dreading that more than one would die on the tour. The reality of their conduct and the effects must have hit them where it hurts. All the members eventually got themselves sober. While the others preferred to go into a rehabilitation program, Mars chose to deal with his habituations on his own.

Despite their epic battles with addictions throughout the 1980's, they still managed, in some way, to piece together a few best-selling releases. To this day songs from the releases, 'Shout At The Devil', 'Theatre Of Pain' and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' get alot of airplay. But it was not until '89, with a clean and sober band that they were at long last able to produce a number one album, 'Dr. Feelgood'. Everybody, even the band guessed that their sober attempts were much improved over anything they had done before.

The 90's bestowed more trouble for the band. They published their 6th studio album, 'Decade of Decadence' in '91 and it reached the number 2 spot on the charts. Then, in 1992, Neil either left the group or was fired, depending on who you listen to. He was promptly replaced and the band published a self-titled album that achieved #7 on the charts. Finally, in '97, the group reunited and released yet another recording, 'Generation Swine'. The disk didn't do very well commercially, which led to them departing their record label, Elektra.

In '98, since their contract with Elektra had expired, the band found themselves in a unique place. They are one of the very few groups to have full control both over their catalogue of masters and publication. With this new power, the band re-released all of their albums and included many demos and previously unreleased material.

In 1999, Tommy Lee departed the band to engage in his own solo calling and to avert further battle with Neil. He was substituted and the group continued to tour and hit the studio, but fell short of genuine success. Sixx also went his own direction and played for the bands "58" and "Brides Of Destruction". It took five years, but the band finally did reunite and got busy recording a fresh compilation release called 'Red White & Crüe'. They also went on a couple of tours, including their '05 tour, 'Carnival of Sins' and the 2006 'Route of All Evil' tour that they co-headlined with the group Aerosmith.

Just last month, Mötley Crüe published their latest album, 'Saints of Los Angeles'. Critics say the recording is some of the best stuff they've ever produced! It's a severe flash-back to the band's earlier style and a welcome one at that. It appears these "bad-boy" rockers are still going after their original mission to shake the world as hard as they can.