Motley Crue is breaking up after the band’s “final” tour ends in 2015 or 2016. The band made the announcement at a press conference at the Roosevelt Hotel’s Beachers Madhouse in Los Angeles on Jan. 28, 2014. At the press conference, the four original members of Motley Crue — lead singer Vince Neil, bass player Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Mick Mars — also signed a contract promising that this will really be the last Motley Crue tour and that there won’t be another incarnation of Motley Crue that will tour with less than the four original members. We’ll have to wait and see if this promise will really hold true, since so many artists have announced a “final tour” only to tour again a number of years later.
Alice Cooper is the opening act on the “final” Motley Crue tour, which so far has announced concerts in the U.S. and Canada, beginning on July 2, 2014. Cooper (who was also at the press conference) is one of the originators of rock musicians wearing horror makeup and having stage fire and explosions for shock value, so it’s ironic that he is opening for a band that was heavily influenced by him. (Motley Crue stopped wearing makeup by 1987, but the band’s image in the early-to-mid-1980s consisted of them wearing heavy makeup.)
The “final” Motley Crue tour isn’t the only Motley Crue-project in the works. There is going to be a Motley Crue tribute album (on Big Machine Records) recorded by country artists. The album’s artists and release date are to be announced. Also in development is a feature film based on Motley Crue’s 2001 memoir “The Dirt.” “Bad Grandpa” director Jeff Tremaine has been tapped to direct the movie, whose cast and release date are to be announced. Tremaine said at the press conference that the movie’s screenplay is still being written, but “if all things go right, we’ll start shooting this summer.” Here is what Cooper and Motley Crue said at the press conference.
Alice Cooper Q&A
Alice, what did you think when you saw the first Motley Crue record?
Cooper: I just said, “Another set of disobedient children.” Kiss and everybody like that all ended being friends of mine. It’s a compliment to me that we started that genre of theatrics in rock. What other music is more theatrical than rock and roll? So why not be the villain of rock and roll? We had a million Peter Pans but no Captain Hook. So I said, “I’ll gladly be Captain Hook.” But Motley Crue is one of those bands, that there are so few rock and roll bands anymore. By the way, if your band has a banjo or accordion, it’s not rock. When you get Motley Crue and Alice Cooper on a tour, that’s going to be rock and roll at its most extreme.
Why did you decide to tour with Motley Crue?
Cooper: That’s actually one of the reasons why we’re doing this: because we haven’t toured together before, and the fact that I’m their spiritual adviser. That’s very important because they need a lot. And they’re old friends.
We’ve got two shows that are entirely different. Our show is extremely theatrical and hard rock. It’s pure hard rock. Orianthi is playing guitar in our band now. You can’t find a tighter band than this band I’ve got right now.
And we tour 100 cities a year. We either have Marilyn [Manson] with us or Rob Zombie — everybody except Motley Crue. This is going to be the first time that we’re going to be together. That’s quite a compliment. They said, “We’re going to go on this tour.” And we said, “Sure, we’ll go out with you.”
What will people miss about a band like Motley Crue?
Cooper: I can’t imagine why rock and roll has become so anemic. It’s just amazing to me that the younger bands don’t want to be Motley Crue or don’t want to be Alice Cooper. They all kind of want to look the same and be very introspective, which I don’t get at all. What’s more fun than what happened in the mid-‘80s? Every band was fun. I think that era is actually going to come back. Don’t put away your spandex yet. It was too much fun of an era to go away.
But you take a band like Motley Crue, they were a band that had all the flair, had all the songs, did all the theatrics and did well, and they got it. They understood what it was all about: Do a show for the audience. Knock ‘em out! You’ve got two bands going up there to kill the audience. And I think that’s going to be pretty exhausting for the audience, not us.
Motley Crue Q&A
When did you decide to disband Motley Crue and go on a final tour?
Neil: We started talking about it a few years ago. We don’t want to be one of those bands that maybe have one [original] guy left in it or somebody’s brother or something like that. We wanted to go out with the four founding members of Motley Crue and go out on top and leave a legacy of a band called Motley Crue.
Sixx: For us, we’re really proud of this band. We started this band when no one believed in us. No record company would sign us. None of us graduated from high school, but we figured out how to form a record company, which is kind of funny. We figured out how to distribute that record. And none of the record companies believed in us in Los Angeles. And we sold 40,000 copies of that first record, “Too Fast for Love,” and that launched our career.
Since then, I’ve always been very pro-active about everything we do, including the end of our career. Like Vince said, we started talking about, “How do we want to go out? We don’t want to hobble off into the sunset.” Tommy [Lee] said it best when he said that a farewell tour is when a band does a farewell tour, and gets back together and does another farewell tour, and then breaks up and gets back together, until there’s no milk in the tittie. It’s a ripoff to the fans. And so we decided to call it “The Final Tour” and sign a contract telling you that this is real, because we’re proud of Motley Crue. We want our fans to be proud of Motley Crue for decades to come.
Tommy, how important has it been for Motley Crue to keep prices low on this final tour?
Lee: It’s always been important to us. We take a lot of pride in everything, from production to involving fans in the show. I think it’s always been something that we’ve always taken a lot of pride in.
Mick, did you ever think that when Motley Crue started that you would accomplish all that you have accomplished?
Mars: I would say, for myself, that we had every intention of doing everything that we did. We did it. We’re now announcing our final tour. We’ve been there, we’ve done that. We love each other like brothers. Let’s go out on top instead of waiting. It’s time to throw the towel in, so to speak.
Nikki, why is Motley Crue breaking up now? You guys are still fairly young, you look great, and you could still keep going for many years.
Sixx: It’s a good question. It’s something that we talked about amongst ourselves for the last few years. It’s because we are on top. It’s because we are holding it together and sounding better. We want to leave a legacy. We want to have some dignity. There’s a lot of bands out there that don’t have dignity.
We started this band because of something we believed in: rock and roll. And we want to call it a day and, like I said, be proud. It’s pretty embarrassing what’s happening in the state of music with bands out there. I don’t want to name names, because I don’t think it’s really my place, but you know that there are so many bands out there that are ripping you off. We’re not going to do that.
What do you plan to do after this last Motley Crue tour?
Neil: I’ve been in the restaurant business for a long time, so [I’m] continuing that, and the music will never stop. Singing on stage. I’m going to carry that Motley banner at all the concerts that I perform at. I’m not ready to stop. I have to have music in me, so I’ll be continuing that.
Sixx: I have a side project called Sixx A.M. that I’m very passionate about. I have a radio show that I do. I’m working on a Broadway play and will make music. I think all four of us are extremely creative guys. It’s exciting for me. I support my brothers in what they do outside of Motley Crue, so it’s going to be cool to watch everybody do their own thing as well.
Lee: I’ve got some big surprises that I can’t talk about at the moment, but just know that there’s things.
Mars: I just recently moved to Nashville, so I’ve got lots and lots of musicians to work with. I plan on seriously pursuing my solo album now. I’m coming out with a book about myself, but I might write it backwards, from death to when I was born. I’ve got lots and lots and lots of people in Nashville besides country people: blues people, jazz people, lots of stuff. I should have a very diverse album. It’ll be a lot of fun.
“Final tour” sounds like the possibility of some one-off shows or a Vegas residency. Is that possible for Motley Crue?
Neil: Definitely not looking at it in that way. We’re going to finish off this tour, which could last two years, maybe longer, before we finish out the whole world. And then we’re going to do our own stuff.
Like in the contract, it would take all of us to agree to do something. I don’t see us going back on our word and going, “Forget it. We were just kidding.” No, we won’t be doing any more concerts.
Will there be any new Motley Crue music released before the breakup?
Sixx: You’ll just have to see.
What do you think your emotions will be in the last concert of this final tour?
Sixx: I thought about that, and I actually don’t know. I imagine it’s going to be emotional. I’ve known these guys, and they’ve known me longer than anybody except for our parents. We’ve been through everything together, so there’s going to be a lot of emotions going on.
This is a celebration; it’s not a bad thing. We’re poking fun at it with the hearse and the funeral procession and the headstones to make a point. But to be honest with you, it’s a huge celebration for us. We’re proud of what we’re doing. We’re not taking this very lightly. It’s going to be a really fantastic, amazing tour.
What are your thoughts on country artists doing a Motley Crue tribute album?
Neil: I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be fun. I think it’s going to be pretty cool to bring Motley Crue into some lives of some country people who maybe heard the name but had no idea what we’re about. If they have some of their favorite country stars playing our songs, it’s good for everybody. It’s a win/win.
Mars: It’s also interesting that country artists can twist a rock and roll song around and it’s totally different-sounding. It’s like, “Whoa!” I think it’s going to be really cool.
Will the final Motley Crue tour go to Australia?
Sixx: We’re just working on the production ideas right now. It’s in the beginning stages. We always try to take as much of our show everywhere we can. Sometimes it doesn’t fit in certain ways, but I hear what you’re saying. In Australia, you don’t feel like you get the A-plus show. We try our best to try and do that globally throughout our career.
What do you want the legacy of Motley Crue to be?
Neil: I always thought it was, “They did it their way.” It’s a cliché, but we did. We did everything against the grain. We were never a critics’ band. We never won any big awards, but we’ve always been a “fan band.” That’s the thing that people are going to remember about us: that we did it right because we did it the way we wanted to.
This tour is sponsored by Dodge. What cars do you drive?
Sixx: We’re looking forward to driving some new Challengers. My neighbors aren’t going to be happy about that.
Which actors would you like to see play you in the Motley Crue movie based on “The Dirt”?
Neil: Some young newcomer that nobody’s ever heard of.
Sixx: Hopefully, somebody good-looking. I don’t really care if they can act.
Lee: I have no idea. I don’t know, man
What about Johnny Knoxville?
Lee: He’d be fine. Sure.
Mars: If you really want to know the truth: my favorite actor, Gary Oldman, but I can’t afford him.
Do you really think you’ll never perform as Motley Crue again after this final tour? Even Led Zeppelin reunited for some performances.
Sixx: You guys are the press. You keep looking for that loophole. Just keep looking for the loophole. We’re going to stick to our word.
Your “Shout at the Devil” album is now 30 years old. What are your memories of making that album?
Neil: That album is a blur.
Sixx: I was hoping some of the band would tell me, because I don’t really remember being there.
Lee: Mick and I were talking about it yesterday: “Do you remember laying on the ground on our backs, recording some backwards messages?” I remember that.
Sixx: Oh yeah.
Lee: I kind of remember that.
Neil: I remember that. It was in that house. It was a crazy house.
Mars: I think it was Michael Nesmith’s house. Remember [him] from the Monkees? It was at Michael Nesmith’s house. That’s how much I remember.
For more info: Motley Crue website