In 1988 McGhee was convicted for smuggling 40,000 pounds of marijuana, and as punishment he had to organize an anti-drug campaign. In addition, another controversy that hit the band in 1988 was a lawsuit by Matthew Trippe. Trippe claimed that Nikki Sixx was hospitalised in 1983 after a car crash involving drugs and that he had been hired as Nikki's doppelgänger. The suit was regarding the loss of royalties from his time in Mötley Crüe and the case was not closed until 1993 when Trippe dropped his charges and disappeared from public view.
Their decadent lifestyles almost shattered the band until managers Thaler and McGhee pulled an intervention and refused to allow the band to tour in Europe, fearing that "some [of them] would come back in bodybags". Shortly after, all the band members except for Mars underwent drug rehabilitation; Mars cleaned up on his own.
After finding sobriety in 1989, Mötley Crüe reached its peak popularity with the release of their fifth album, the Bob Rock produced Dr. Feelgood, on September 1, 1989. On October 14 of that year, it became a No. 1 album and stayed on the charts for 109 weeks after its release. The band members each stated in interviews that, due in no small part to their collective push for sobriety, Dr. Feelgood was their most solid album musically to that point, and indeed, it was their best selling album to date. The title track and "Kickstart My Heart" were both nominated for Grammys in the Best Hard Rock Category. The band did find some success at the American Music Awards, as Dr. Feelgood was nominated twice for Favorite Hard Rock/Metal Award, losing once to Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction, but winning the following year, beating out Aerosmith's Pump and Poison's Flesh & Blood. Mötley Crüe was also nominated twice for Favorite Hard Rock/Metal Artist.
In 1989, McGhee was fired after the band alleged he had broken several promises that he made in relation to the Moscow Music Peace Festival, including giving his other band, Bon Jovi, advantages in terms of slot placement. Doug Thaler then assumed the role of sole band manager.
On October 1, 1991, the band's first compilation album, Decade of Decadence, was released. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It was reportedly designed as "just something for the fans" while the band worked on the next "all new" album.
Years of turmoil (1992–2003)
After Decade of Decadence was released, Neil left the band in February 1992, at a time when other bands in the 1980s glam metal scene (Ratt, Stryper, White Lion, Winger, Europe, and Britny Fox) also broke up because of the rise in popularity of grunge. A controversy exists to this day over whether Neil was fired or quit. Nikki Sixx has long maintained that Neil quit the band. However, Neil disputes this and insists that he was fired. Neil was replaced by John Corabi (formerly of Angora and The Scream). Mötley Crüe's commercial success waned throughout the 1990s, although their self-titled March 1994 release made the Billboard top ten (#7). Thaler would manage the band alone until 1994, at which time the band conducted a mass firing when their album, Mötley Crüe, failed to meet commercial expectations. John Corabi suggested that the band work with Neil again as he believed he would always be seen as the voice of the band, which eventually resulted in his own firing in 1996.
The band reunited with Neil in 1997, after their current manager, Allen Kovac, and Neil's manager, Bert Stein, set up a meeting between Neil, Lee, and Sixx. Agreeing to "leave their egos at the door," the band released Generation Swine. Although it debuted at No. 4, and in spite of a live performance at the American Music Awards, the album was a commercial failure, due in part to the band's label's lack of support. The band soon left Elektra and created their own label, Mötley Records.
In 1998, Mötley Crüe's contractual ties with Elektra Records had expired, putting the band in total control of their future. This included the ownership of the masters of all of their albums. In announcing the end of their relationship with Elektra Records, the band became one of the few groups in history to own and control their publishing and catalogue of recorded masters. They are only one of a handful of artist's in history to own the masters to their material and reportedly did so by being the biggest pain they could be to their record label until Elektra got fed up and handed over the rights in order to get the band off their label. In 1999, the band re-released all their albums, dubbed as "Crücial Crüe". The limited-edition digital re-masters included demos, live, instrumental, and previously unreleased tracks. Mötley Crüe released their compilation album Greatest Hits in late 1998, which had two new songs Bitter Pill and Enslaved and served as an updated version of their first compilation, Decade of Decadence.
In 1999, Lee quit the band to pursue a solo career due to increasing tensions with frontman Neil. Lee was replaced by former Ozzy Osbourne drummer and longtime friend of the band Randy Castillo. The band released New Tattoo in July 2000, followed by a tour to support the album. Before the tour could commence, Randy became ill with what was later to be found as cancer and was unable to tour. The band brought in former Hole drummer Samantha Maloney, to fill in for Randy as he concentrated on his health. Randy lost his fight with cancer on March 26, 2002. Soon after, the band went on hiatus.
While the band was on hiatus, Nikki Sixx played in side projects, 58 and Brides of Destruction. Vince Neil was featured on the first season of VH1's reality show The Surreal Life, and had his own special titled "Remaking Vince Neil" which focused on his solo career. Mick Mars, who suffers from a rare hereditary form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, went into seclusion in 2001 dealing with health issues. Tommy Lee went on to form Methods of Mayhem and also performed as a solo artist during this time.
Reunion and renewed success (2004–2007)
A promoter in England, Mags Revell, began clamoring for a Mötley Crüe reunion, ostensibly presenting himself as the voice of anxious fans waiting for more from the band. After meeting with management several times, in September 2004, Nikki Sixx announced that he and Neil had returned to the studio and had begun recording new material. In December 2004, the four original members announced a reunion/final tour which began February 14, 2005, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The resulting compilation album, Red, White & Crüe, was released in February 2005. It features the band members' favorite original songs plus three new tracks, "If I Die Tomorrow", "Sick Love Song" (co-written by Sixx and James Michael), and a cover of The Rolling Stones' classic "Street Fighting Man". A small controversy was caused when it was suggested that neither Lee nor Mars played on the new tracks (duties were supposedly handled by Vandals drummer Josh Freese). However, a VH1 documentary of the band's reunion later showed that Lee did indeed play on some of the tracks. The Japanese release of Red, White & Crüe includes an extra new track titled "I'm a Liar (and That's the Truth)". Red, White & Crüe charted at No. 6 and has since gone platinum.
In 2005, Mötley Crüe was involved in an animation-comedy spoof Disaster!, which was written by Paul Benson and Matt Sullivan and which was used as the introduction film to concerts on their Carnival of Sins tour.
In 2006, Mötley Crüe went on the Route of All Evil Tour, co-headlining with Aerosmith and taking performers from Lucent Dossier Experience on the road with them. This was another well-attended tour following the Carnival of Sins tour of 2005. In June 2007, Mötley Crüe set out on a small European tour. A lawsuit was filed by Neil, Mars and Sixx against Carl Stubner, Lee's manager. The three sued him for contracting for Lee to appear on two unsuccessful reality shows the band claim hurt its image. It was later reported on Motley.com that the lawsuit had been settled.
Saints of Los Angeles (2008–2010)
On June 11, 2008, the band and manager Burt Stein filed suit against each other. Stein was Vince Neil's personal manager and also, according to the band and rival manager Allen Kovac, served as the band's manager at one time. The band and Kovac sued in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming Stein was not entitled to a cut of Mötley Crüe's earnings. Stein sued the same day in Nashville's federal court, saying he was entitled to 1.875 percent of what the band makes. Other litigation between the parties also ensued in Nevada. In July 2009, lawyers for both sides announced that the disputes had been "amicably resolved" through a "global settlement".
Mötley Crüe's ninth studio album, titled Saints of Los Angeles, was released in Japan on June 17, 2008 and in America on June 24, 2008. The album was originally titled The Dirt, as it was loosely based on the band's autobiography of the same name, but the title was later changed. In the US, the album was released by Eleven Seven Music. Eleven Seven also took over US distribution of their back catalog.
In the summer of 2008, Mötley Crüe headlined the popular 'Crüe Fest' music festival, which included opening acts Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt, and Nikki Sixx's successful side project, Sixx:A.M.
Mötley Crüe had announced that the movie The Dirt, based on the book written by Mötley Crüe and Neil Strauss, could be released in 2009. However, as of September 2009, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) lists 2011 as the probable release date. This is still subject to change, particularly because the "status" of the movie was listed as "unknown" in April 2009 (the date of IMDb's last update to "The Dirt"). It was reported on November 1, 2013 that director Jeff Tremaine will be directing the movie.
iTunes picked "Saints of Los Angeles" in their "Best of 2008" in the Rock category as the number one song; the song was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Hard Rock Performance" category. The song was released in the music game series Rock Band as downloadable content the day the single was released. Additionally, the entire Dr. Feelgood album was released as downloadable content in Rock Band, excluding "T.n.T. (Terror 'n Tinseltown)".
The band played at the Download Festival in Donington Park (June 12–14, 2009), playing on the second stage on Friday night.
Mötley Crüe headlined Crüe Fest 2 festival, which ran from July to September 2009. Supporting them were Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool, and Charm City Devils. Mötley Crüe performing a set featuring material from Saints of Los Angeles, the band also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Dr. Feelgood by performing the album in its entirety on each night of the tour and re-releasing the album as a special 20th anniversary deluxe edition.
Recent events, The Final Tour and retirement (2011–present)
In March 2012, Mötley Crüe announced a tour co-headlining with Kiss. The tour kicked off July 20 in Bristow, Virginia and ran through September 23.
In February 2013, Mötley Crüe announced their biggest ever Canadian tour, with more US dates expected to be announced soon after The Tour with Kiss ran through Australia in March.
In March 2013, Nikki Sixx announced that the band plans to break up for good after their next album and a subsequent final tour. Sixx has often expressed a desire for the band to end while they are still at what he feels is a high point in their career. Vince Neil speculated that the band would release new music in 2014 and that the final tour would commence in either 2014 or 2015, saying that "Tours last about two years. So to finish the world, you’ve got to do the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia...it takes some time." Neil has also discussed the possibility of the band reuniting in the future, although Sixx has insisted that the band will never return following the tour. Both Neil and Tommy Lee have speculated that the band's final tour is in part due to Mick Mars' health issues stemming from his ankylosing spondylitis, although Mars has since denied those claims, which have since also been refuted by Neil.
On January 28, 2014 at the conference inside Beacher's Madhouse Theater in Hollywood, Mötley Crüe announced the full details of their retirement tour spanning 70 dates with Alice Cooper playing as a special guest. The tour is set to commence in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 2, 2014. The band members have signed a "cessation of touring agreement" which will prevent them from touring under the Mötley Crüe name beyond the end of 2015. The tour will also serve to promote an upcoming country-music album paying tribute to the band, due for release in summer 2014, and their movie "The Dirt", due for release in 2015.
In a later interview, Nikki Sixx talked about the possibility of releasing new music, saying that "We have music written, [but] it's not put together yet". He also speculated that the band would release it in a song-by-song format as opposed to a full-length album format, elaborating with "It's hard, to be honest with you, to spend six [or] nine months to write eleven songs — all those lyrics… everything… the vocals, the guitars, the bass, the sonics, the mixing, the mastering, the artwork… You put it out and nothing [happens], because now people cherry-pick songs. So we go, 'Why don't we write songs and find vehicles to get one, two or four songs to ten million people rather than eleven songs to a hundred thousand people."
On July 2, the band started their final tour at the Van Andel Arena, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The tour started off with a drum solo by Producer Joe. During the tour, they are playing a new song "All Bad Things Must End" over the speakers throughout the venue before they take the stage. On November 22, 2014, in Spokane, Washington, at the Spokane Arena, the band played the final concert of the North American leg of The Final Tour. International dates are scheduled for 2015.
Legacy and influence
Mötley Crüe has been featured on a number of VH1 countdown shows, "Dr. Feelgood" was ranked the No. 7 Greatest Air Guitar Song, "Live Wire" was ranked the No. 17 Greatest Metal Song Of All Time, and "Home Sweet Home" was ranked the No. 12 Greatest Power Ballad Of All Time. Mötley Crüe was featured several times on VH1's 100 Most Metal Moments, the highest spot being No. 3. VH1 included the Tommy Lee sex tapes, The Dirt, and Ozzy Osbourne's and Nikki Sixx's pee incident. Mötley Crüe has been one of the bands featured on VH1's Behind the Music. The band was ranked No. 29 on VH1's list of the greatest hard rock bands.
Mötley Crüe was ranked tenth on MTV's list "Top 10 Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time" and ninth on "VH1's All Time Top Ten Metal Bands". Mötley Crüe has influenced many bands and artists such as Poison, Skid Row, Marilyn Manson, Guns N' Roses and Cinderella among others.
The video game Crüe Ball features some of Mötley Crüe's songs including their biggest hit "Dr. Feelgood".
- Studio albums
- Too Fast for Love (1981)
- Shout at the Devil (1983)
- Theatre of Pain (1985)
- Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
- Dr. Feelgood (1989)
- Mötley Crüe (1994)
- Generation Swine (1997)
- New Tattoo (2000)
- Saints of Los Angeles (2008)
Awards and nominations
- "Mötley Crüe: Related". Allmusic. All Media Network. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Handelman, David (13 August 1987). "All In the Name of Rock and Roll: On the Road with Mötley Crüe". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- Leahey, Andrew. "Mötley Crüe Biography".
- D. Kennedy, Gerrick (January 28, 2014). "Motley Crue calls it quits, announces 'final' tour".
- "Mötley Crüe’s Final Tour". Motley.com. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Nikki Sixx Officially Announces The End Of Motley Crue". Ultimate Guitar.
- "Chronological Crüe". Members.ozemail.com.au. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Greg Leon interview". Sleaze Roxx. March 25, 2007. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Mötley Crüe; Strauss, Neil (2007). ]The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band [The Dirt: Confessions du groupe de Rock le plus sulfureux au monde (in French). Translated by Yves Balandret. Camion Blanc. pp. 84–85.
- Rizzi, Cesare (2000). Enciclopedia della musica rock. 3. 1981–1989, Volume 3 (in Italian). Giunti Editore Firenze Italy. p. 380.
- Phil Sutcliffe, Peter Hince, Reinhold Mack. "Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock". p.27. Voyageur Press, 2009
- "Chronological Crue". Members.ozemail.com.au. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- , Chronological Crue1982 . Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- "Edmonton Journal Library". Canada.com. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Eric Greif Interview". Sleaze Roxx. April 28, 2007. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Matthew Trippe - May 1988 - Klassic Kerrang Interviews". Klassickerranginterviews.weebly.com. December 10, 1993. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- "Grammy Awards: Best Hard Rock Performance". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "American Music Awards: Favorite Heavy Metal / Hard Rock Artist". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- Konow, David (2009). Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 346.
- Weinberg, Scott (March 9, 2005). "Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- The Dirt at the Internet Movie Database
- Bad Grandpa' director takes on story of Motley Crue next"'". Fox News. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "news.news". Motley.com. March 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "Mötley Crüe and Poison to Co-Headline Tour". 2011.
- "Announcing Mötley UK Tour with Def Leppard and Steel Panther". August 30, 2011.
- "Kiss And Mötley Crüe Announce The Tour".
- Quellette, Mary (February 26, 2012). "Motley Crue Working On New Song". Loudwire.net.
- "Mötley Crüe website". Motley.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Nikki Sixx: Motley Crue Will Call It Quits After New Album, Film, Soundtrack + final Tour".
- "Rolling Stone Mobile - News - Music: Nikki Sixx: Vegas Residency Is Start of Biggest Years Of Crue's Career". M.rollingstone.com. December 21, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- "Nikki Sixx Talks Motley Crue's Eventual Farewell: We Want to Go Out on Top".
- "Vince Neil: ‘It’s Time’ for Motley Crue to Say Goodbye".
- "Vince Neil Clarifies Motley Crue's Reason For Retiring". antimusic. 2013-11-16. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- Mötley Crüe Announce Retirement, Final Tour with Alice Cooper Rockcellarmagazine.com (2014-01-28). Retrieved on 2014-04-11.
- Michaels, Sean (29 January 2014). "Motley Crüe sign pact which assures no more reunions". The Guardian.
- "NIKKI SIXX Says MÖTLEY CRÜE Will Release New Music 'One, Two Or Four Songs' At A Time". Blabbermouth.net.
- "Motley Crue Kicking Off The Final Tour on July 2 in Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena!". wgrd.com.
- "Vh1's The Greatest: 25 greatest power ballads". Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "MTVNews.com: The Greatest Metal Bands Of All Time". Mtv.com. March 9, 2006. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "3-Wind with Nikki Sixx, 10/8/01". Metal Sludge. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "3-Wind with Nikki Sixx, 10/8/01". Metal Sludge. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Mötley Crüe With Sevendust's Morgan Rose: First Video Footage Posted Online".
- "Mötley Crüe Recruits Street Drum Corps' Frank Zummo For Next Three Shows".
- Official website
- Vince Neil's official website
- Mick Mars' official website
- Nikki Sixx's official website
- Tommy Lee's official website
- Mötley Crüe Videos
- Mötley Crüe Tour Page
- Motley Crue live photo gallery