Mötley Crüe brings its 30th year celebration show to the Taj Mahal May 25.
It’s hard to believe but it’s been 30 years since Mötley Crüe formed in Los Angeles and proceeded to lead the hair-metal charge. The only thing that has exceeded their enviable success, more than 80 million albums sold worldwide, is their unrivaled debauchery. The hard-living glam band has had more ups and downs than an elevator, but the group continues to exist. Somehow Mötley Crüe is intact.
All four original members remain in the band.
“This is a brotherhood,” singer Vince Neil tells Atlantic City Weekly. “You have your ups and downs. But we always make it through. We love making music with each other. It’s pretty simple. Anybody who has been in a band for a while can relate to what I’m talking about. We’ve had our share of rough patches. I was out of the band for a few years and so was Tommy, but we all know that this band works best when it’s the four of us together. We were younger when we went through some things and I think it helps that we’re all older and wiser.”
But many of the bands, which enjoyed considerable success during the 1980s, along with the Crüe, aren’t playing big halls like Neil and company.
“It’s different with us because when we come around it’s like the circus is back in town,” Neil says. “Maybe that’s why we still play big rooms. Fans know what they get with us. It’s a high-powered, fun show.”
Mötley Crüe, which also includes drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and bassist Nikki Sixx, has no problem delivering older hits such as “Kickstart My Heart” and “Dr. Feelgood.”
“It’s fun giving the fans what they want to hear,” Neil says. “We never get tired of that. They supported us by buying those records. Why not play those songs they supported? I don’t get bands that won’t play the hits. When I go to a show, I want to hear the songs that I love. It only makes sense that bands play those songs but I understand that some just don’t do it.”
Neil, who loves to race cars, admits that he is an adrenaline junkie. What’s the difference between racing around a track at 160 mph and playing before 20,000 screaming fans?
“It’s almost the same thing,” Neil reveals. “Being on stage in front of a big crowd is so exciting and the same goes for flying around the track. Once you put your helmet on or hit the stage, you get focused and go out and have fun. You get that adrenaline rush. You can’t believe how great you feel. I recommend it to everyone. I’m so fortunate that I can get to do things that are this much fun.”
Wild rumors have run rampant since the band’s salad days. Neil chuckled when asked about what he considers to be the most ridiculous belief among Crüe fans.
“It’s that we don’t get along,” Neil says. “We laugh about that stuff. People try to figure out our lives. They see that we each have our own tour bus and they think, ‘They don’t get along.’ We travel that way because we can afford to. Think about it. Nikki has his kids and so does Tommy. We all get along great. If that weren’t so, we wouldn’t be doing this.”
Considering the pedal-to-the-metal lifestyle Mötley Crüe has enjoyed since the mid ’80s days when rock reigned at the Rainbow Room in Los Angeles, well, it’s incredible that the guys survived.
“You look at the drugs and the drinking and it’s amazing that we’re all still here,” Neil says. “We survived some dark days. We could have died many times from many different things. We made it through it and now we’re in control and we’re not going to stop living. None of us have that death wish. I think we’re a little smarter at this age.”
Mötley Crüe should exist for as long as it wants since it brings a cartoonish, unpredictable element to rock, which is in short supply these days.
“It’s pretty different from when we were coming up,” Neil says. “You just don’t have that many colorful bands anymore. I think that’s one more reason that we stand out these days. That’s a good thing.”
Mötley Crüe has at least one more big thing on the horizon, the film version of the biography, The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, which will hit screens in the next year or two.
“We’ve certainly lived the life,” Neil says. “It’s obviously been entertaining onstage with us, but it’s been pretty entertaining offstage as well. We’ve packed a lot in over all of these years. I’m just thankful that we accomplished so much and had such a good time. We have a lot to be proud of in this band. I feel like we did it all and it’s fun continuing doing what we do best.” n
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