The Crüe returns
After nearly 25 years together, Nikki Sixx and the boys actually wax a bit philosophical, but they still rock hard
It's time for the real thing. While some vintage groups tour with a mix-and-match roster of members from different periods of their lengthy careers, and others consist of guys who weren't even around when the original members were ruling the charts, Mötley Crüe is returning to the Blaisdell Arena next week with the original lineup intact.
» Place: Blaisdell Arena
» Time: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14
» Tickets: $62.50 ($69.50 seats sold out)
» Call: 591-2211 or online at ticketmaster.com
What's more, they're actually doing promotional interviews and looking forward to seeing their fans here. Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx didn't let an 18-hour time difference and several scheduling problems keep him from talking to the Star-Bulletin late Monday evening.
"The music is the more important thing that we can do as the four of us together. We all started together, and it's a nice feeling to look over and see the guys and be, like, wow!" Sixx said from somewhere in south Australia.
The Crüe -- Sixx, guitarist Mick Mars, vocalist Vince Neil and celebrity drummer Tommy Lee -- will wrap up the current leg of their "Red, White & Crüe: Better Live Than Dead" tour here Wednesday. They'll pick it up again in February and be on the road at least through mid-April.
Mötley Crüe last sold out the arena in May of 1990 and gave what was arguably one of the best concerts of that year. Floor-level seats for this show are already sold out and, as of press time, there were only a few upper level seats remaining.
Back then, the group was riding the success of "Dr. Feelgood," their all-time top album in terms of sales (over 4 million). The album was top dog on the Billboard 200 Albums chart for two weeks and remained on the chart for over two years.
The album produced five hit singles including "Kickstart My Heart," "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)" and "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)." David Wild, the annotator of the group's current double-disc anthology, "Red, White & Crüe," describes it as "arguably their best album."
Sixx accepts the accolade but with reservations.
"Guys say that, (but) I don't know. It's like, who's to say? My favorite albums by an artist usually are the best-selling ones, so I think it's different for each fan."
Sixx agreed, however, that "Dr. Feelgood" showed the group's wider range as writers, with songs that revealed a softer and more romantic side of the hard-rocking quartet. "Time for a Change" was an inspirational anthem that attacked political hypocrisy. "Without You" was a power ballad about the wonders of true love.
COURTESY UNIVERSAL MUSIC
Nikki Sixx, from left, with Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars.
BUT WHEN Mötley Crüe came out of the SoCal hard rock scene, the quartet was much better known as exponents of rock, riches and raunch, with a body of work that included hard-driving songs about strippers and relationships with underage girls. Their cover of "Smokin' in the Boys Room" was pretty tame stuff for the Crüe when compared with the risky romance of "Too Young to Fall In Love" or the high-impact adventures described in "Kickstart My Heart."
But the guys also wrote eloquently about feminine beauty and sexual encounters as well.
"Some of us get to like that way all the time, and some of us live vicariously," Sixx said of the band's lifestyle.
The Crüe documented their decadent highs and appalling lows in an aptly titled group autobiography, "The Dirt."
Now embarking on a new chapter in their long career, the "Red, White & Crüe" anthology closes with new recordings of two originals and a powerful rearrangement of the Rolling Stones' hit, "Street Fighting Man."
According to Sixx, a new Mötley Crüe album "will probably come out sometime next year."
"We're always moving towards what's next," he said.
"For me, it's a very uncomfortable feeling to live in the past. If you're not growing, I think you're stagnating. If you're stagnating, you're dying. There's always gonna be an edge to the band. That's just who we are, but at the same time, we're progressing as people, and the music comes out of people, so that's what happens. That's why bands change and sometimes fans as like, 'Why are you changing?' It's because we change, and if you don't change, I feel sorry for you."
Looking back over a quarter century of Crüe-dom, Sixx adds that fans change, too.
"Fans grow up, and as some people get older, they're not listening to as much music. Life's not just about being in the bedroom listening to music. They have families or they're married or they have jobs. Some of them go that way, some of them change their taste in music, and at the same time, you get new fans. There's a new generation of Mötley Crüe fans out there (and) a percentage of original fans, and that works for me."