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As announced back in January, Mötley Crüe will perform their very last show on New Year’s Eve, bringing to an end thirty-four years of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll debauchery. ‘We’ve been talking about where we’re at for a few years,’ founder and bassist Nikki Sixx declared at the time. ‘When’s the time to not stay too long as a rock band?”
The band’s final tour commenced on 1 July 2014 at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan to an audience of almost ten thousand screaming fans. Six months early all four members signed a contract that stipulated that they would never reform as Mötley Crüe, thus proving this to literally be the Final Tour. ‘We have musical peers that we’ve watched fade out by playing in clubs and county fairs. There was no way we were going to let this band hobble around on three legs,’ claimed drummer Tommy Lee earlier this year regarding their decision to put an end to Mötley Crüe once and for all. ‘We chose the route that every professional actor, athlete and musician should do — leave the legend intact and bow out at the top. It’s such a respectful way to do it.’
Unlike many of the other so-called hair metal groups that emerged from the Los Angeles club scene in the 1980s, Mötley Crüe‘s willingness to adapt to the constant changes in music and fashion, even capitalising on the grunge scene with their eponymous 1994 album, has allowed them to survive and remain relevant in the industry.
It all began in a small Hollywood venue known as the Starwood Club on 24 April 1981 when, barely three weeks after recruiting vocalist Vince Neil from local act Rockandi, Mötley Crüe made their live debut. Influenced by L.A. legends Van Halen, punk and Hanoi Rocks, the band’s energy, no-holds-barred attitude and ear for melody soon brought them a loyal following and by the end of the year they had released their first album, Too Fast for Love, on their own label, Leathür Records.
After signing with Elektra, the former home of The Doors, Mötley Crüe began to court controversy for their excessive lifestyle, even putting the hedonistic shennanigans of Ozzy Osbourne to shame. As he recalled in his autobiography I Am Ozzy; ‘They were fucking crazy. Which obviously I took as a challenge. Just as I had with John Bonham, I felt like I had to out-crazy them, otherwise I wasn’t doing my job properly.’
Many of their outrageous adventures were documented in all their naked detail in the band’s joint memoir The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, the ultimate tell-all in rock ‘n’ roll excess. In November 2013 it was revealed that the book would be adapted for the big screen by Jeff Tremaine, the director of both Jackss, the cult TV show famed for its vulgarity and unflinching accounts of scatology and self-harm, and the hidden camera movie Bad Grandpa.‘The Dirt has just such a point of view, such a distinct voice. We want to make sure we are making The Dirt, not just a rock movie,’ Tremaine told Loudwire in 2014. The Dirt is separate from all the other rock books that I’ve ever read that’s just thinking they really nailed each guy’s voice. You really felt like they were telling a first hand account of what happened.’
Tremaine has now signed onto another Mötley Crüe, documenting the band during their current tour and culminating with their final show at Staples Center on 31 December. The result will be a portion of an upcoming feature-length movie that will celebrate the end of the band, while filmmaker Christian Lamb will shoot the concert. The concert film, will be released theatrically around the world by Live Alliance, promises to be the ultimate tribute to one of the most notorious and iconic groups in rock ‘n’ roll history.