Motley Crue, an American heavy metal band that rose to fame in the 1980s, formed in Los Angeles in 1981. Lead singer Vince Neil, drummer Tommy Lee, bassist Nikki Sixx and lead guitarist Mick Mars took the music scene by storm, with number one hit albums such as “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The band was almost as famous for the hard partying lifestyles of the members as it was for the music, making for some interesting facts.
The First Singer
The first singer of Motley Crue was a man known as O`Dean. Nikki, Mick and Tommy, while the band was still nameless, decided they didn`t care for his vocal pitch or his refusal to work well with the other band members. When they fired him, Mick recommended the lead singer of Rockandi, Vince Neil.
Mick`s first band name suggestion was “Mottley Cru,” something he`d seen and jotted down. Nikki Sixx liked the name but not the spelling, changing it to “Motley Crue.”
June 6, 1981
The sixth of June in 1981 was the band`s first official gig together, at the Troubadour. They set a record for attendance and Vince Neil learned a few things from David Lee Roth of Van Halen, who liked the band and took the time to offer some industry insight.
Determined to make the band a professional hit, manager Allan Coffman imposed a fine system in July of 1981. Any unprofessional behavior merited a fine, such as $20 if a member showed up to a rehearsal with a hangover.
Stephen Pearcy, singer of another popular 1980s band, Ratt, was offered the job as lead singer by Nikki Sixx in late 1981. Sixx was frustrated with Vince Neil, especially after Neil refused to wear a Santa suit he had made for a Christmas show at the Country Club.
While many people associated the Crue members with tattoos, singer Vince Neil didn`t get one until 1982. His first of many designs is a snake with a music note.
By 1983, Motley Crue had new management. Doug Thaler, part of the new team, visited the members weeks prior to their tour as an opening act for Kiss. Thaler recommended they lose about 20 pounds each to be in better shape for the tour. Each member lost at least 10 pounds when Thaler returned a couple of weeks later.
Motley Crue only opened for Kiss for five shows before they were kicked off the tour by Gene Simmons of Kiss. Reportedly, Simmons was unhappy with the band`s behavior, but Doug Thaler believed it was because the band was outshining Kiss.
In 1984, Motley Crue toured with legend, Ozzy Osbourne, who took an instant liking to the band and was often seen partying with them.
Shout at the Devil
Motley Crue was also known for their wild looks, which often involved mixing biker style clothes, such as Hurley Clothes and more glam rock elements. As the music scene changed, the glam elements, such as makeup, were dropped.
Bonus: Motley Crue – Live at Glen Helen Regional Park, USA 1983 [Full Concert]