The A to Z of Motley Crue
Here it is! The basic information anyone would ever want or need to know about the rock group Motley Crue. It is listed out for you from “A,” all the way to the letter “Z.” Enjoy.
A: Is for Alcohol. You name it, Motley Crue drank it. Their big love in their heydays was Jack Daniel’s, and they consumed a lot of it. Mick Mars reportedly drank the most, to numb the effect of his (then unreported) arthritis. However any beer, vodka, whiskey, or rum available to the band members was ok too.
B: Is for Brownsville Station. Brownsville Station is the band that first wrote and recorded Motley Crue’s first Top 40 hit, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room.” Brownsville took the song to #16 in 1973. In 1985, Motley rode it to #16.
C: Is for Cocaine. The members of Motley Crue are lucky to be living today, given the details that everyone (including themselves), have given about their cocaine use during the 1980’s and 1990’s. They reportedly had drug dealers that followed them town to town so that they were always with a full supply of whatever they needed. Some stories indicate Charlie Sheen has nothing compared to what these guys ingested in the mid 80’s. The result was numerous trips to rehab and detox centers to get away from the drug. Sadly it kept calling them back. Today, all members are reportedly clean except for some alcohol.
D: Is for Dirt. "The Dirt" is the name of the autobiography of the band written by all members of Motley Crue. It is a no-holds-barred story of how they rose up from the gutters of Los Angeles, became one of the biggest bands in the world, and did almost anything a person could do to derail that success along the way. Each member contributes to the sordid tale, sharing the stories of gigs, cocaine, heroin, porn stars, wrecked hotel rooms, and jail cells. Some have described the book as “shocking” and one of the most sordid autobiographies ever written.
E: Is for Elektra. Elektra is the music label that signed Motley Crue back in 1982 after their self-released album “Too Fast For Love” became a hit in the Los Angeles area. Elektra insisted on remixing the album and reissuing it on the Elektra label. Eventually the label began to dislike the band’s direction and began withholding money, as well as publicity for their projects. Eventually both parties separated in disdain, but not before Nikki Sixx negotiated an agreement that the band get full rights and ownership to the music and lyrics. Details to this negotiation are said to be strictly confidential, as it is rare that an artist has ever negotiated such an agreement with a major record label.
F: is for Families. The members of Motley Crue each have been married, divorced and had several children over the years. Each family relationship has self-destructed due to the band members’ personal character, inner-demons, and the band activities itself. Vince: Married and divorced four times, and has had 2 children. Nikki: Married and divorced twice, 4 children and 1 step-son. Tommy: Married and divorced twice, 2 children with Pamela Lee. Mick: Married and divorced twice, and has 3 kids. They definitely put the “fun” in “dysfunctional.”
G: Is for Girls, Girls, Girls. “Girls, Girls, Girls” is the title of Motley’s 4th album. The record contained the hits “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Wildside.” It was written and recorded while the band was at their peak of addictions to drugs and alcohol, and the material reflects this with dark themes and lyrics. The album was certified 4X Platinum in 1995. The content displays their activities involving motorcycles, strip clubs, and female companionship.
H: is for Heroin. Heroin was Nikki Sixx’s drug of choice during their substance-fueled period in 1986 and 1987. This activity is highlighted in Sixx’s book “The Heroin Diaries,” in which he published excerpts from diaries he kept during this time period. It culminates in 1987 when Sixx overdoses and was declared dead for 2 minutes before being revived by 2 shots of adrenaline to the heart by EMTs.
I: is for “I Banged Everybody.” The Motley band members definitely lived up to the adage: Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. They all had their pick of Playboy Playmates (and married a few of them), Hustler girls, strippers, actresses, and every groupie from here to Tokyo. If they weren’t on stage, it is safe to say they were getting high and/or having sex. True debauchery at its finest. And probably its worst.
J: is for John Corabi. John Corabi was the lead singer and guitarist for Motley Crue from 1992 until 1996. He replaced lead singer Vince Neil in 1992, and then himself was replaced by Vince Neil in 1996. He was the lead singer for a band called “The Scream” before being called in to audition for the Crue’s lead slot. Unfortunately the album Corabi recorded (called “Motley Crue”) did not sell well, and the resulting tour was scrapped part way through due to poor sales.
K: is for Kickstart My Heart. Easily one of Motley’s biggest hits and heaviest songs is “Kickstart My Heart” from the “Dr. Feelgood “ album. This song is phenomenal on the CD, and is beyond belief live in concert. The song’s title stems from Sixx’s O.D. on heroin, where the paramedics used 2 shots of adrenalin straight to his heart to revive him.
L: is for Live at The Hard Rock Casino. On December 1st 2011, Motley Crue announced that they were going to be the first hard rock act to become a resident band at a hotel/casino in Las Vegas. For the month of February 2012, Motley Crue took over The Hard Rock Casino’s venue, “The Joint,” and put on their show of loud music and over-the-top theatrics. They did yet another "residency" in 2013 and continued their show of loud and in-your-face showmanship.
M: Is for Mick Mars. Mick Mars (Robert Alan Deal) is the guitarist for Motley Crue. Mick is the riff-master for the Crue, and takes his job seriously. On stage and in interviews, Mars comes across as a creepy, dark, and brooding character. However this is only reserved for the media. In private he is known to be a tremendously funny person with a wicked sense of humor and penchant for pranks. One nugget of vital information about Mick that came out in the book “The Dirt” was that Mick has ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that is quite painful. The result has been life-long pain, hip replacement and scoliosis. He manages his pain and loves playing with Motley, as well as contributing to other artist’s work.
N: is for Nikki Sixx. Nikki Sixx (Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr) is the bassist, and founding member of Motley Crue. He is also the primary song writer for Motley Crue, and often the spokesperson for the band. Nikki grew up with a troubled childhood. This trouble followed him thru his teens and early adult years. Drugs, alcohol, arrests, overdoses, divorces, and even more drugs are what Nikki has endured over the years. Eventually, he has found peace with his inner demons, and uses them to fuel him creatively with music and photography.
O: is for Ozzy. “Motley’s first big tour was opening for Ozzy Osbourne. They reportedly were in awe of the Ozz-Man’s debauchery and self-destructive behavior. Sixx reported that Ozzy snorted a line of ants up his nose as though they were cocaine, and then followed that by snorting Sixx’s urine. And you thought biting the head off a live bat was crazy.
P: is for Pyro. “Motley Crue’s live shows are notorious for their inclusion of pyrotechnics and various stage effects. The visual assault is one you must see to appreciate.
Q: is for Questions and Quitting. Motley Crue’s behavior never ceases to provide the world with more questions than answers. Why aren’t you dead? Why does Mick stand in one place the whole show? Why doesn’t Vince sing the whole song lyrics anymore? Why does Nikki take such odd photography? Why is Tommy Lee’s manliness so big? How can I get mine like that? What drugs haven’t you taken? They have a gift.
In terms of quitting, on January 28th, 2014, the band announced that they were going to embark on what they called "The Final Tour." They stated that they would tour the world "one more time" before calling it quits. They even went as far to sign a "cessation of touring" legal document that said they would/could no longer tour under the name Motley Crue. The agreement essentially dissolves the band and prevents them from coming back as a "partial" group. The entire band would have to agree to do so in order for it to happen.
R: is for Randy Castillo. Randy Castillo was the drummer for Motley Crue from 1999 until 2002. He replaced Tommy Lee when he departed to embark as a solo artist. Castillo had already made a name for himself before he joined the Crue. He had already recorded with the likes of Lita Ford, and was a long-time drummer for Ozzy Osbourne. When Lee departed, Vince Neil suggested Castillo as a replacement. The rest of the band agreed, and Castillo came on board to record the album “New Tattoo.” Unfortunately when it came time to take off on the supporting tour, Castillo fell ill and was unable to participate. Samantha Maloney was hired to replace Castillo for the tour. Unfortunately Castillo’s health declined and he died of cancer in 2002.
S: Is For Samantha Maloney. Samantha Maloney was a drummer for Motley Crue during the “New Tattoo tour in 2001 and 2002. She was filling in for drummer Randy Castillo who was unable to tour due to health issues. She can be seen on the DVD release “Lewd, Crued, and Tattooed.” Prior to joining up with Motley Crue, she was the drummer for the Courtney Love fronted band “Hole.” It is rumored that Nikki Sixx and Maloney had an affair during this time period, in which Sixx was still married to Donna D’Errico. Maloney was dismissed from her duties as drummer, and Sixx’s marriage was put on the rocks.
T: is for Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee (Thomas Lee Bass) is the drummer for Motley Crue. Tommy is known for his wild and bombastic drum solos during Motley’s live performances. Often times, his personal life gets more publicity than the band. His marriages to actress Heather Locklear, and Pamela Anderson were often tabloid fodder, and culminated with a stolen sex tape featuring Anderson and himself. Tommy also spent time in prison for domestic violence against Anderson. In 1999, he left Motley Crue to focus on a solo project “Methods of Mayhem,” a rap-metal group. Eventually he returned to Motley and has been with them ever since.
U: is for “Until Death Do Us Part”. It can be easily argued that Motley is like a dysfunctional marriage. It will probably go on and on until one of them dies. They have survived member departures and re-joinments, drugs, alcohol, D.W.I’s, vehicular homicide, marriage, divorce, childbirth, touring, recording, record companies, concerts, arrests, riots, tour buses, and the fans. There isn’t much they haven’t done. Obviously the motto holds here.
V: is for Vince Neil. Vince Neil (Vincent Neil Wharton) is the lead singer for the band Motley Crue. He joined the Crue in 1981 at the behest of Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Nikki Sixx. After seeing Vince perform with his band called “Rock Candy,” they decided that Vince was their guy and lured him away. Vince has been an equal partner in trouble with his band mates, with various arrests over the years. The most serious was in 1984 when Vince was driving drunk with friend Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley in the car. They got into a head-on accident that killed Dingley, and seriously injured the passengers in the other vehicle. Vince was sentenced to 30 days in jail for involuntary manslaughter and D.U.I. In 1992 Vince was fired or quit from Motley Crue (depending on who you ask) due to overflowing tensions between him and the band. He returned to the fold in 1994 and has been there ever since. Over the years Vince has been in and out of more than a few rehab facilities for drugs and alcohol, and has been cited for violence and another D.U.I. in 2010. Adding to his turbulent lifestyle, Neil has been married and divorced four times. When he’s not performing with Motley Crue, he can be found touring as a solo act, and playing golf.
W: is for Wild-Ass Drum Solos: Tommy started a monster of expectations on the “Girls, Girls, Girls” tour when it came to his drum solo. During that tour, he had his drum kit rigged to a forklift that could pick it up, and then rotate it in a head over heels rolling fashion while he played. It was something never seen before short of the levitating kit done by Peter Criss in KISS. For the “Dr. Feelgood” tour, he had a set up that picked the kit up and extended it out over the crowd on a track suspended from the rafters. He could go to the back of the arenas and drum in the faces of the back row. In subsequent tours, he used to fly ala-Peter Pan via cable to suspended drum set ups in the rafters, and then fly to another percussion set up amidst pyro and sound. Most recently his drum kit was on a circular rollercoaster that did a full 360 loop on stage. It’s quite a production, but the band does not disappoint.
X: is for X-Rated. One thing is for certain, if you are going to a Motley concert, you need to leave your easily offended friends and family at home. There will be “f-word” exclamations. Then there will be more “f-word” exclamations. And when you think they can’t say it again, there will be more “f-word” exclamations. Then, if Nikki and Tommy are on their game that night (which is every night), you can guarantee there will be lots of women baring their breasts. The camera operators will be sure to show them on the big screen too. It is truly a spectacle.
Y: is for You’re All I Need. “You’re All I Need” was a song off the Motley Crue album “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The video was banned from MTV due to the realistic scenes depicting abuse, violence, and death. Some people have stated that the song is one of Motley’s best ballads, even though the lyrics portray a horrific and gruesome story.
Z: is for Zlozower. Neil Zlozower is a long-time legendary photographer, whose work has been seen for years in a multitude of music related magazines, album covers, and books. The band is a huge fan of Zlozower’s as he has, according to Sixx,”Shot all of their heroes.” One of the more popular photo sessions the Crue did with Zlozower was called “The Blood Sessions.” It involves numerous photos of the band covered it what appears to be blood. He has also published “Motley Crue: A Visual History” that shows a pictorial of the band from their rise to stardom till today.
There you have it. A "Who's Who" to a "What's What" of Motley Crue. Even if you don't like them, you have to admit their story is an interesting one. I advise you to read "The Dirt." It's an awful and amazing story that will keep you turning the page to see what they did next.