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Mötley Crüe in 2004 (from the left: Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee)

Mötley Crüe (Pronounced Mott-Lee Crew) is an American rock band whose members include Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil.



Mötley Crüe formed in January, 1981 (see 1981 in music) in Los Angeles, after bassist Nikki Sixx left the band London, (a band he and Lizzie Grey started in 1979 when he was fired from Blackie Lawless' band Sister). The band London would also be the first band for the later Guns N' Roses guitarists Izzy Stradlin and Slash and for Cinderella drummer Fred Coury.

Sixx inquired with his London bandmate Greg Leon as to whether he knew of any musicians who could join the new band he was intent on forming. Leon recommended the drummer of one his previous bands, Suite 19; its drummer... Tommy Lee.

According to Mick Mars, it was he who thought up the band's name. While in his former band, White Horse, one of the band members walked in and called the group "a motley looking crew". Mars copied the name down on paper, with the original spelling Mottley Cru. The name was later applied to the band he was to join in 1981 with Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee.

They'd met guitarist Mick Mars through an L.A. music newspaper classified ads section. Nikki's first reaction? "I can't believe it! Here's another one like us!" Mars' equipment was quickly set up and, shortly after he was played the opening riff to "Stick To Your Guns", Mars proceeded to, according to Tommy Lee, "play the shit out of his guitar." After getting drunk and jamming for an hour, Mars fired the band's former guitarist, a musician only known as Robin.

Tommy Lee and Vince Neil orignally knew each other through high school. They had performed in different bands in the garage band circuit. Before hiring Neil, the band hired a singer by the name of O'Dean. O'Dean did not stay in the band long. After complaining how O'Dean was not right for the band, Mars suggested that the band hire Vince Neil; he had previously seen Neil perform in the band Rock Candy.

Neil at first rebuffed the band when they asked him to audition. Then, as fate would have it, Rock Candy dissolved, and Neil broke down and agreed to audition for Motley Crue after Tommy called him once more.

Now the four original members were together. They played in Los Angeles and Hollywood for a while, catching fire wherever they went. They soon met their first manager, Allan Coffman, who was a former Vietnam vet. The band's first release was the single "Stick To Your Guns/Toast of the Town", which was released on their own label, Leathür Records. In November, 1981, their debut album Too Fast For Love was self-produced and released on Leathür Records. Their success in the Los Angeles club scene earned them a recording contract with Elektra Records in early 1982. The debut album was then remastered by producer Roy Thomas Baker and re-released on August 20, 1982.

In 1982, the band changed management, from Allan Coffman to Doug Thaler and Doc McGhee. McGhee is best known for managing KISS, starting with their reunion tour in 1996.

After playing the US Festival, the band took the United States by storm, known as much for their hedonistic lifestyle and seemingly endless abuse of alcohol and drugs as for their music. Their mixture of metal and glam rock stylings produced several massive selling albums during the 1980s, including Shout At The Devil, Theatre Of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls.

The band has also had their share of scrapes with the law and life, first with Vince Neil's auto accident in 1984 (which had a fatality; Razzle Dingley, drummer of Hanoi Rocks), then later when Nikki Sixx died and came back to life after a heroin overdose in 1987. The band's decadent lifestyle almost shattered the band, until Doug Thaler and Doc McGhee pulled an intervention. Shortly after, all the band members entered rehab, except for Mars, who cleaned up on his own.

After finding sobriety, the band reached its peak popularity in 1989, with the release of their fifth album, Dr. Feelgood, released on September 23, 1989. On October 14 of that year, it became their only No. 1 album, and stayed on the charts for 109 weeks after its release.

Doc McGhee was fired in 1989 after breaking several promises to the band that were in relation to the Moscow Music Peace Festival.

Changing trends in music and the temporary departure of Neil from the band in February 1991 caused a decline in Mötley Crüe's commercial success, although a self-titled 1994 release with new frontman John Corabi made the top ten. Doug Thaler would manage the band alone until 1994, after the band did a mass-firing when their album, Motley Crue, failed to meet expectations commercially.

The band reunited in 1997, after their current manager, Allen Kovac and Vince Neil's manager, Bert Stein, set up a meeting between Neil, Lee and Sixx. Agreeing to "leave their egos at the door" the band recorded Generation Swine. Although the album reached the top ten, and despite a performance at the American Music Awards, the album was a commercial failure. This was due to their label, Elektra Records, lack of support. The band soon left Elektra and created their own label, Motley Records.

In the 1990s, Mötley Crüe was perhaps better known for the women married by three of its members. Both Lee and Sixx married former Playboy Playmates and stars on the TV show Baywatch, Lee to Pamela Anderson and Sixx to Donna D'Errico. Not to be outdone, Neil married former Playboy centerfold Heidi Mark. However, only Sixx's marriage has endured the test of time.

More tragedy would hit the band in the 1990s. In 1994, Neil suffered perhaps his most crushing blow; losing his daughter, Skylar Neil to cancer. Neil (along with former wife, stripper and mud wrestler Sharise Ruddell) would later sue the company Rocketdyne for dumping cancer causing chemicals near his former Simi Valley home. Soon after, Lee would go to prison for six months, after being accused of abusing then-wife Pamela Anderson.

In 1999, Lee left to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by Randy Castillo, the drummer on several Ozzy Osbourne albums. Castillo died of cancer on March 26, 2002. No replacement had been named and the band went on hiatus following a 2001 tour in support of their most recent studio release, New Tattoo. New Tattoo charted at #41 and sold less than 150,000 copies. Drummer Samantha Maloney filled in on drums during their tour in support of this album. Maloney is perhaps best known for her work with Courtney Love. Maloney replaced original Hole drummer Patty Schemel in 1998, and then later toured with Love in support of Love's solo album America's Sweetheart, in 2004.

Within the following six years, Sixx played in the bands 58 and Brides of Destruction, Lee in Methods of Mayhem and as a solo artist, and Neil touring on an annual basis as a solo artist, singing mostly Mötley Crüe songs. Mars, who suffers from a degenerative back condition called ankylosing spondylitis, went into seclusion in 2001.

A 2001 autobiography entitled The Dirt told their full story. The book made the top ten on the New York Times best seller list, and it also introduced the band to a whole new generation of fans.

It would be a promoter in England that would start the ball rolling for their reunion, when said promoter started a promotion that basically revealed that fans wanted the band to reunite. After meeting with management several times, in September 2004, Sixx announced that he and Neil had returned to the studio and had begun recording new material. In 2004, the four original members announced a reunion tour which began February 14, 2005 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The bands latest album, released in February 2005, is Red, White, & Crüe. The album features three new songs, "If I Die Tomorrow", "Sick Love Song", and a cover of the Rolling Stones' classic, "Street Fighting Man", along with the band members' favorite original songs. The tour would become one of the biggest in 2005, taking many in the media by suprise.



  • 1981 "Stick To Your Guns/Toast of the Town"
  • 1981 "Live Wire"
  • 1983 "Too Young To Fall In Love"
  • 1983 "Looks That Kill"
  • 1985 "Smokin' in the Boys' Room"
  • 1985 "Home, Sweet Home"
  • 1987 "Girls, Girls, Girls"
  • 1987 "Wild Side"
  • 1989 "You're All I Need"
  • 1989 "Dr. Feelgood"
  • 1989 "Kickstart My Heart"
  • 1990 "Without You"
  • 1990 "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
  • 1991 "Primal Scream"
  • 1991 "Anarchy In The UK"
  • 1992 "Home Sweet Home"
  • 1994 "Hooligan's Holiday"
  • 1994 "Misunderstood"
  • 1994 "Smoke The Sky"
  • 1997 "Afraid"
  • 2001 "Hell on High Heels"
  • 2005 "If I Die Tomorrow"
  • 2005 "Sick Love Song"

See also

External Links

es:Mötley Crüe ja:モトリー・クルー nl:Mötley Crüe pl:Mötley Crüe sv:Mötley Crüe


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