The end of an Era. When the term is spoken, it is usually in regards to a long-time trend, a legendary actor, or artistry. In this situation, it was the thirty-four year history of the Bad Boys of Rock-n-Roll, Mötley Crüe, comprised of Bassist Nikki Sixx,Vocalist Vince Neil, Drummer Tommy Lee, and Guitarist Mick Mars. Releasing a total of eighteen albums, nine studio, two live, seven compilations of greatest hits, and two box sets, numerous sold-out shows/tours, millions of fans worldwide, line-up changes, star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, near deaths experiences, one member actually dying for a couple minutes, car crashes, lawsuits, impersonations, the many gorgeous women that have graced their arms; this band has done it all, and then some. Put that all aside, looking at the music itself, and The Crüe touched many people. Growing up listening to Mötley Crüe, many made the trip out to Los Angeles, CA to witness the final show ever dramatically on December 31st, 2015, New Year’s Eve! Naturally selling out the nineteen-thousand concert seat Staples Center, it was only a New Year’s party for all in attendance, but this was truly the end of something that did not a leave dry eye in the house. In fact, not even the biggest tough guy would be able to hold back their emotions by the end of the night, and now everyone reflects on the last three plus decades of chaos with Mötley Crüe.
Formed in early 1981, January 17th, the date to be exact, they came out with something to prove. Their style of Glam Rock, with the high-heeled platform boots, skin-tight spandex pants, full-on face make-up and teased hair did not exist yet on Sunset, it was after Disco and the New Wave era of music began. Quickly looking to make a mark, they released Too Fast for Love, firstly on their own Leathür Records, in November 1981, which featured an extra track with “Stick to Your Guns.” Elektra Records later saw The Crüe buzz in Hollywood, and signed the guys and re-released Too Fast for Love majorly in August of 1982. Making their first impression on the entire Rock world with the video for “Live Wire,” it was a very independently made music video, no flashy, expensive videos like it is done nowadays, just candles, a small stage, and the four “scary, ugly” guys in make-up performing the music.
Later that same year, Elektra released Shout at the Devil, Mötley Crüe’s next major label release. A lot of fans would argue the record to be Mötley Crüe’s best release of their career in the ’80s, with Too Fast for Love being a close second. Shout at the Devil saw a band coming of age with hits like “Looks that Kill,” “Too Young to Fall in Love,” and a cover of The Beatles classic “Helter Skelter.” Then, of course, their was the title track, the one that always had fans in the audience at live shows raising their devil horns and chant, ‘Shout! Shout! Shout!’ Making a major push forward to Rock-n-Roll superstardom, Mötley Crüe embarked on one of their biggest tours of their career with the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, in 1983, which all parties entitled it, the “Gross Out” tour, leaving that to people’s imaginations.
Moving forward to 1985, with much success under their belts, assembly of a legion of fans and groupies, the Crüe brand was established, and as a result, the members began to live in excess. Neil was coming off vehicular manslaughter charge with the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer, Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, in December 1984, an accident that paralyzed two other victims in another vehicle. Tough on everyone involved, the band entered the studio just a month later in January of 1986 to begin recording Theatre of Pain, an album that some may say is not their best. Even one of their own calling the album “rubbish,” and mentioned that their extreme drug use at that time really affected their writing of this album. Besides the two singles released from it, “Home Sweet Home,” that saw the softer side of Mötley Crüe, with their power ballad, and then Brownville Station cover of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” the very song that started the fandom of many, the band has skipped this album throughout their live set every tour they have been on until two years ago when they brought “Louder than Hell” into the setlist.
After revisiting this magical and defiant journey, many would like to say, thank you Mötley Crüe for the last thirty-four years of music, chaos, and all the friendships developed with fellow show attendees and those met through social media. There will never be another Mötley Crüe, they have pulled many out through tough and good times, and they will still continue to do so for years to come.
Nikki Sixx, one of founding members of Mötley Crüe–one of the most influential rock bands in history, has been playing a variety of Ovation guitars and basses throughout his musical career. When Nikki approached Ovation about building a custom bass, they took on the project with a vengeance and built an acoustic/electric bass that would best reflect Sixx’s notorious monster sound. The result, a collaboration between Sixx and Ovation, launches the first Limited Edition acoustic/electric bass that Ovation has ever produced.