All Bad Things Must End
As a new year approaches, we look forward to what lies ahead. At the same time, a chapter in time closes and we reflect back. In 2015, we say goodbye to an important piece of rock and roll history. Motley Crue is about to conclude its extensive final farewell tour culminating in one last sendoff at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve. How fitting that they chose to cross the finish line in the same city where their race first began. And there shouldn’t be a shred of doubt about whether this truly is the end for this fearsome foursome. This is the real deal, folks.
They picked the right moment in time and proceeded the correct way. They didn’t choose to fade into obscurity on the county fair circuit like many of their past contemporaries sadly have. It will be a fond memory to know that the Crue went out playing at the top of their game as an arena act with the original four intact. In today’s world, that is something to be celebrated because it’s rare. In fact, that accomplishment is quite a miracle considering their incredibly tumultuous history. What precedes them, however, is something much more rewarding than longevity.
Motley Crue aren’t just a band, they’re an attitude. They’re a feeling. Their music is more than notes on a page. Those four forged a look and a sound that changed perspective. Their influences can be seen and heard in the product they presented to the world. You can hear the rawness of early Aerosmith. You can see the glam of the New York Dolls. You are shocked by the theatrics of Kiss. Motley’s sound is something identical to a heavier concoction of all three. The music is almost impossible to clearly define. At one point or another, Motley Crue were glam, metal, pop, rock, punk, and street.
They are not just another “hair band”. Their impact transcends any one genre or era of music. You can witness that in the audience they’ve reached. It doesn’t matter whether you were first there on the Sunset Strip in the early 80’s or now viewing a YouTube clip of theirs for the very first time. Countless individuals in more than one generation have been impacted by their music in some fashion. Modern rock and metal musicians have cited Motley Crue as an influence on them. Beyond the musical realm, their personal story is also inspiring.
Many claim to be “rock stars” in a metaphorical sense. Motley Crue met the definition of the rock star experience. They didn’t just play rock and roll. They lived it. They breathed it. They ate it. They drank it. They were it. You often hear the term- “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” That sort of lifestyle brings with it tremendous adversity to overcome. Motley Crue has faced no shortage of obstacles over the years. Their party days are the stuff of legend and would rival anyone else’s. One only needs to read The Dirt or Nikki Sixx’s Heroin Diaries to figure that out. The sheer debauchery and infighting threatened to destroy the band several times. However, they were somehow able to climb over all that stood in their way. They turned their negatives into positives with great songwriting and productivity in their own lives. Motley’s story should be a testament to anyone that you can beat the odds of drug addiction, alcoholism, and personal tragedy.
As individuals, all four members contributed to the band’s success through their own personalities and abilities: Tommy Lee’s showmanship, Nikki Sixx’s impeccable songwriting, Mick Mars’s chaotic playing, and Vince Neil’s shrieking vocals. Everything came together in its own unorganized fashion and has lasted to this very day. Their lyrical content dared to cover the darkest of themes. Nothing was off limits. These songs not only shocked its listeners but made them think. That’s the mark of true art.
Despite these accomplishments, critics will likely never cite Motley Crue as one of the great bands of all time. They will continue to dismiss the group as an overly bombastic passing fad of the 1980’s. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. The people have spoken. The body of work speaks for itself. The success speaks for itself. They were relevant then, they are relevant today. Motley Crue proved everyone wrong. They came, they saw, they kicked its ass.
This December 31st, those closing keystrokes to “Home Sweet Home” will ring out once more before fading into the darkness forever. Wherever you may be at the stroke of midnight, I only ask of one request. Raise your glass of champagne in one final symbiotic toast to the Saints of Los Angeles. Cheers, boys.
Rest in sleaze, Motley Crue..