There comes a time when every band should call it quits, and in many cases, they don’t do it when they should.
A lot of bands don’t age gracefully, this seems to be a problem with a lot of eighties bands, and Motely Crue are certainly no exception. Yet as moronic, insufferably arrogant, self important and stupidly reckless as Motley are known to be, I actually do have some fond memories of them from way back in the day when I was first becoming a card carrying metalhead, and several Crue albums still hold up well for me.
There’s been conflicting reports about what’s next for Motley. Lead singer Vince Neil claimed to the Las Vegas Sun he’s “seriously thinking” about leaving the band, while Motley founder Nikki Sixx blathered on in a rather delusional way to Rolling Stone about how the band should go out while on top, but that still won’t be for some years down the road. He added he didn’t want the band to “hobble into the sunset,” which is pretty much what they’ve ben doing, and even more funny, “I always respected Led Zeppelin, and I’d rather Motley Crue be thought of as that type of band rather than a band that’s just going through the motions.” (Then again, no one ever said the hair bands had a firm grip on reality).
Motley will never be taken as seriously as Nikki takes them, but back in the early days, they were a good band all things considered. Tommy Lee was the best musician of the four, but they worked well with what they had. Nikki was the man with the plan from day one, and although he still can’t play bass to this day, he was a good songwriter, and always knew good tunes could overcome whatever musical deficiencies a band had.
Vince Neil wasn’t a great singer, but was a good frontman, and Mick Mars would have been the first to admit to you he wasn’t the greatest guitar player in the world, but he always got the job done. Altogether, the four guys had a unique chemistry that worked well together in spite of its flaws. (I also saw Motley live twice and when they were on top of their game they were a damn good band in concert).
The first two Motley albums are still good to this day, Too Fast For Love and Shout at the Devil, and the band grew progressively bigger every album when they finally peaked with Dr. Feelgood in 1989. After Vince got fired from the band, and Motley took forever to follow up Feelgood, there was no gradual drop off for the band when they came back with their self-titled 1994 album, they went right in the toilet, although the ’94 album is damn good. It has a lot of fans today, but post-Nirvana, nobody wanted to hear Motley, no matter how good an album they came up with.
Vince was brought back to the band for a ’97 comeback that wasn’t, but the band’s popularity miraculously came back with their autobiography The Dirt, although by this point, the band was just a shadow of themselves, burned out and tired from burning it at both ends for too many years.
Again, the band didn’t age gracefully, much like Van Halen and the nu Guns N Roses, but they were pretty damn good and kicked a lot of ass in their prime.