Motley Crue has always been a band that astounded me, surprised me, and impressed me. They have managed to do all that but not with their music but with the fact that they have been able to last as long as they have been with the minimal amount of talent, skill, and ability that they have. Motley Crue are without a doubt one of hard rock and metal’s greatest illusionists. For well over 30 years Motley Crue has managed to fool the world with smoke and mirrors (and pyro, and half naked broads, and insane drum solos) into actually believing that this band is any good and worth your time and money.
Motley Crue in the 80’s was larger than fucking life and in my young, teenaged mind they were fucking amazing. The shows were untouchable and I remember thinking that they were the shit. In a sense, Motley Crue was totally borrowing from KISS in staging over the top live shows that were electrifying and awe inspiring. In my eyes, aside from Iron Maiden you just didn’t get any better than Motley Crue. That is until 1990 when I saw Motley Crue on their Dr. Feelgood tour.
Watching Motley Crue on this tour was the moment where it all clicked for me. At this point, Motley Crue had toned down their stage set in order to let the music do the talking. Well this was really unfortunately because it sounded like absolute gibberish. I couldn’t believe this band was the same band I loved so much. They sounded horrible. Vince only sang every other word, Tommy Lee was good, Mick Mars was just Mick Mars, and I was even starting to wonder if Nikki Sixx was actually plugged in. What happened to them? Well, I’ll tell you what happened. Without smoke and mirrors you’re left only with the truth and the truth was that Motley Crue was a shitty fucking band.
Now don’t get me wrong. I can make a pretty rad ass mix of great songs from each of Motley’s albums up until the 1994 album but in reality, with the exception of the MC ’94 album, no Motley Crue album was ever consistently good as an album usually had 3 or 4 good songs and a bunch of filler. When they were great, they were great but when they were bad they were the fucking worst. I have to give Motley some credit though for consistently putting out new music no matter how bad it sucked. These guys weren’t pushing the albums that they were in their hayday but people were still buying their music and filling seats at the shows. I hear something like this and I wonder to myself, “Why are they not hearing what I’m hearing?”
When I ask people why they continue to go see Motley Crue especially knowing what they were getting, they all seemed to compare it to somewhat of a funeral or an open casket wake. They were going to pay their respects to a band that meant a lot to them. They were paying their respects to a band who was the soundtrack of their lives and who held a lot of great memories. My thought is why would you want to go see a band on its last leg, unable to put on a quality “live” performance, and having to have backing tapes just to try and mask the fact that their singer can’t sing, their bassist can’t play, and that their guitar player’s deteriorating health has him unable to truly play on his own? If that is how you’d like to remember your favorite band forever than god bless you. You’re a better fan than I.