KERRANG! issue 10 MARCH 1982
Motley Crue – Too Fast For Love – Leather Records LR123
SELF-PROCLAIMED Mr Wonderful David Lee Roth thinks this lot are good and, at the risk of enlarging an already swollen ego, you have to admit he’s right. Roth, complete with semi-clad female at a recent West Coast gig and, by all accounts, the LA-based Glam-Rockers are wowing receptive crowds at a number of local niteries, the Whisky A-Go-Go included.
It’s not hard to see why. ‘Too Fast For Love’, their debut LP, is chock full of hedonistic charm and contemporary commercial appeal.
‘Starry Eyes’, sweet and innocent and the melodic ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ are both prime single choices, while ‘Live Wire’ and ‘Piece of Your Action’ the Crue, and guitarist Mick Mars in particular, show the rougher, raunchier side of their nature.
At times, Vince Neil’s vocals sound a little strained but, overall their roustabout, Roth-approved allure wins through.
Irresponsible posers, Motley Crue are barrel-load of fun and ‘Too Fast For Love’ is a back-combed delight.
KERRANG! ISSUE 29 – DEC 1982
MOTLEY CRUE ‘Too Fast For Love’ (Elektra ELK K 52425)
SOME BRIGHT spark over at Elektra Records obviously decided that, given the extraordinary amount of publicity this band has generated simply by existing, it was about time they dumped some vinyl on an ever-eager thrill seeking public. The original tapes of this debut planer were apparently re-mixed (or re-something) by Roy Thomas Baker who has succeeded in doing justice to the image.
Sex would appear to be Motley Crue’s raison d’ettre and the subject crops up continually throughout the tracks. Only the last number, ‘On With The Show’, veers from the norm and, lyrically, is by far the most interesting; a morbid tale of death and overdose.
The songs are simple in structure, bassist Nikki Sixx, who nebs most of the credits, proving himself an able pop composer. They are fast, catchy numbers that, were Paul McCartney writing HM, he might easily come up within his sleep. Best of the bunch is ‘Merry-Go-Round’ on side one, an Infectious, bouncy track as forgettable as it is engaging. Vince Neil’s voice tugs with a casual suggestiveness reminiscent of early David Sylvain, making this an excellent choice for a single. The musicianship too, is flashy and instantly dismissible,
In fact, what you’re likely remember most about this album is the cover; Vince Neil In ‘cock-rock’ pose. Good, eh?
Motley Crue are not to be taken seriously but what they offer here is tacky and decidedly pleasing to the ear, Interesting without being, fascinating.
KERRANG! ISSUE 30 – DECEMBER 1982
DECEMBER 1982 – INTERVIEW WITH XAVIER RUSSELL
‘I wanna rock’n’roll all night and party every day.
THE REASON your humble scribe has launched this here piece with these famous lines from the once mighty Kiss, is simply because it perfectly describes, LA Glamhem merchants, Motley Crüe’s daily routine.
Walking around the backstage area of the Concord Pavilion, California, half an hour before the baaad (which in yank tongue means good) Crue were due to go on stage for their ‘Halloween Special’ gig, was like being in the middle of Soho in the rush hour. Simply, I’ve never seen so many foxy-looking dolly birds, everyone of ‘em dressed to the nines in spandex, and all obviously to grab ‘a piece of the action’; no wonder the Motley’s are featured in this month’s edition of the girlie mag, ‘Oui’.
Micky Mars was the first band member I met, as he staggered out of the dressing room clutching an empty bottle of tequila, which he informed me had been mixed with brandy or something equally as potent. How the Crue ever make it onto the stage amazes even me!
Luckily Nikki Sixx (great name), was still fairly sober, and was the obvious man to interview. He’s definitely a weirdo, but seems to be very aware of what’s going on around him – he even slammed the door in Tommy the drummer’s face, so we could be left in peace.
Being a gentleman Nikki automatically offered me a selection from the ice-bucket but I wasn’t going to risk any of these dodgy cocktails the band kept passing round, and settled instead on three bottles of Michelob. Pints at the ready, we began…
How did Motley Crüe come together?
“I was in a group called London before this one.”
You gotta be kidding?
“Nope, and we were really getting popular in Los Angeles, but I was feeling rather stifled because I wanted to write more heavy, hard rock music”.
Was London a Top 40 copy band – they normally are in LA?
“No, it was an original band more along the lines of Mott The Hoople, early David Bowie and stuff. Our old singer was Nigel Benjamin, who was in Mott, which was really Mott The Hoople’s after-thoughts. Anyway, I left the band and had about half this album written (the Motley Crue LP). I then gotta hold of Tommy (skinsman) thru a mutual friend, and I showed him all my material and he really liked it. We then picked up a local paper called The Recycler, and there was an ad in it that just said ‘loud, rude, aggressive guitarist-Mick Mars’. So I called, he came over and we hit it off instantly.
“The next night we went to a club called The Starwood (which sadly no longer exists, and what with The Whiskey recently closing down as well, only leaves The Roxy on Sunset Strip) and saw Vince Neal (vocalist) in a band called Rock Candy. So within a week and a half Motley Crue was put together.”
How did you come up with the name? Was it through the Mott connection? And why the umIauts above the name, surely that’s a bit old hat these days, with both Blue Oyster Cult and Motorhead having used them?
“Motley Crue was Mick’s idea actually. I’ve always wanted a name along the lines of AC/DC or Cheap Trick, and he said well what about Motley Crue, and I said that’s it, perfect. We misspell the name the way Slade used to mis-spell everything so it’s kinda tongue in cheek. As for the umlauts well we’re into like, militant type stuff, everything very organized. The Germans in the early days of the war were very militant and that’s where I came up with the idea, because we were going for a heavy, aggressive, German Heavy Metal sound.” (you coulda fooled me!)
Have you heard about your east coast rivals Twisted Sister?
“Yeaah, I’ve heard of ‘em, but I never heard we were rivals. I recently heard a cut of theirs, it kinda sounded punk to us.”
Are you pleased with the re-mix on the Elektra version of the album, and why was ‘Stick To Your Guns’ omitted?
We had to remove a song from the album to give it more clarity as the less grooves you have on the vinyl, the louder and clearer it becomes. So it was either ‘Stick To Your Guns’ or ‘On With The Show’, one of them had to go, and we chose the former. As for the re-mix, I don’t think it has enough nuts, but we recorded it, we produced it, we mixed it, we did everything. That album is basically a demo tape on vinyl.
“The new album will be much more aggressive (that word again), with a lot of political statements, sexual statements and street statements, and the lyrics will be more intellectual but still on a crotch level. We’re not planning on growing up.
“I’d like either Eddie Kramer or Roy Thomas Baker to produce our next LP. I wanna heavy, powerful sound, but we’re not just a headbanger HM band, we’ve got a little more to offer than that, so I think we’re gonna last a long time. We have about five new songs written already; ‘Knock ‘em Dead Kid’, ‘Looks That Kill’, ‘Red Hot’, ‘Shout At The Devil’, and ‘God Bless The Children And the Beast’.”
It all sounds quite evil to me, are you into the Satan trip, like Maiden and co?
I’ve always flirted with the devil, and so has everybody else. If you look at the front of the album cover, you’ll see that Vince is making a Satanic symbol with his fingers, and nobody ever picked that up. The whole thing of ‘Too Fast For Love’, is that none of us plan to live past 40; (that doesn’t give Micky Mars much time-Ed) it’s just fast lane rock ‘n’ roll.”
How do you feet about Kiss these days?
“I think Kiss have wimped out but they were great in their early days. A friend of mine Eddie Kramer, who produced them, told me their new album’s really heavy, but I don’t like bands who can’t make up their minds what they wanna do. If you wanna be a punk and it’s 1994 and punk is outdated, I think you should still be a punk. I’m always gonna be me, and l.don’t care if everybody hates Motley CrUe, I’m still gonna be in the band, I’ll never jump on any bandwagon. Everybody’s jumping on the Motley Crue bandwagon, and becoming glitter and glam and attacking us. We’re just us, we’ll always be us.”
I understand your Canadian tour was a bit of a shambles,
“What happened in Canada was that we were booked with a promotion company before we signed to Elektra, and they had no idea what we were about. We were booked into discos and gay bars, and all other kind of ridiculous things. We’d come on stage with all this fire and bombs, Heavy Metal and crashing steel, and it just looked silly. And these cowboys with tattoos of anchors on their arms that said ‘mom’, just didn’t know how to relate to it.”
Tell the folks over in Britain more about your stage show.
“Our stage show, eh, well anything goes with Motley CrUe, we play blood ‘n’ guts rock ‘n’ roll. We bleed for the audience, and I think we’ve put on the best theatrical show of 1982. (I’ll second that). We’re always trying to upgrade our show, we have skulls, pentagrams and all kinds of Satanic symbolism onstage, but that’s basically just to make a stand, to show that we’re bad boys.
“I mean we’re all from the street, and every member of this band has been in and out of jail many times, yet everybody thinks we’re a bunch of pussies. But back to our show for a moment, we do have this one thing at the end, which is really great.
“Vince comes out with a flaming sword, Tommy lights his drum sticks on fire, and I have these boots that come way up to my thighs, and Vince just sets them on fire, it’s like the grand finale.
“We also have 32 red smoke bombs, but because of our outrageous stage show, we get into all kinds of trouble. Every city we go to, they say, we can’t do it, we can’t do it. Tonight they (they being Y&T) say we can’t do it, but we’re gonna do it anyway, (and they did God bless ‘em). We’re always getting fined, but we don’t care because we’re out there for the kids.”
Which raises the question, when are you coming to good old England?
“We wanna go there so bad, but we really can afford it. We were offered the Saxon tour, and shoulda taken it, but we were just new with Elektra at the time, and financially it just wasn’t on. But we’ll be there!”
HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: Y&T, MOTLEY CRUE, RANDY HANSEN.
Concord Pavillion, California
Being an avid fan of Motley Crue and glam rock in general, I was naturally looking forward to the MC’s set, and you guessed it they were totally OTT, and delivered perhaps the greatest glam rock show of all time, and that includes KISS. As far as I was concerned Motley Crue completely blew Y&T off stage, no wonder they wanted to ban the Crue’s special effects (they failed).
The Motleys opened up with the very catchy ‘Take Me To The Top’, and straight away I could see class. Tommy Lee has got to be one of the flashest drummers around, spinning the sticks continuously in his hand, never dropping them, and during ‘Looks That Kill’, one of the many new numbers they played, Lee hit the snare drum so hard the stick went thirty feet up, and he dumb-founded everyone by catching it in the middle of a drum roll.
As for the rest of the band, well Nikki Sixx stalks around the stage just like Gene Simmons, Mick Mars meanwhile is the quiet one of the band and simply relies on just playing killer lead guitar. Vince Neil takes over where Dave Lee Roth left off, and had little trouble in getting the 9000 present to chant, “LIVE WIRE”. The Crue’s new material is a lot stronger than anything on their debut LP, ‘Shout At The Devil’, ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Running Wild’ and ‘Hotter Than Hell’ (not to be confused with the Kiss toon of the same name) were all out’n’out headbangers. Can’t wait for the new album.
But the highlight of the show came during the encore, half way thru ‘Knock ‘em Dead Kid’, which was dedicated to the old bill. Vince Neal lighted a torched from one of the candelabras on stage and set Nikki Sixx on fire, a great stunt. I’m still trying to work out how it was done. A great way to end their set.
Feature from Blast! Magazine May 1987
When you hear Vince Neil sing “Home Sweet Home,” don’t take the title too seriously, The place he prefers to call “home” is the road, and that’s what the song is really all about. In June, his home base will take Motley on another mammoth world tour, something Vince and his vast following of fans are desperately waiting for.
I never officially met Vince Neil before. Although our paths crossed one another’s on many occasions, circumstances didn’t allow a proper introduction. A request to meet the blond bombshell in person was thus well in order and granted.
Our rendezvous was scheduled at his manager’s office in Hollywood, where Vince was already waiting for me… unfashionably early in this town While he finished up a phone conversation, I took advantage of the situation and quietly checked him out. He looks good, wearing jeans, a T-shirt and sunglasses… the all Californian look!
‘I’m all yours,” he offers, while shaking my hand… wow! “Look what was delivered for me today,” he says with a big grin on his face, pointing at a life-size female doll on the couch, sent to him by an unnamed fan, whose note read, ccShe never complains. Love.” My guess is, the doll doesn’t turn him on, despite the skimpy lingerie she’s dressed up in. But the idea behind it appeals to him…
Vince is all game when it comes down to having a good time, and I mean that in a very positive way–no need to get too serious. After all, isn’t that way all healthy teenagers want to be rock stars?
Front Ratt Stephen Pearcy, who, like Vince, enjoys having a good time, became his “partner” when in town during Motley’s one-year hiatus, and the now-legendary duo–known as tcThe Bordello Brothers”– fulfilled their mission: to conquer as many female hearts and bodies as possible on their prowls!
Vince’s run-in with the law gave anti-rock critics a field day, but he survived the ordeal with flying flying colors – his joie de vivre intact! Give credit where credit is due–he paid his dues in full, and now it’s time to turn the page…
At presstime, Motley’s album is about to hit the stands, and although Vince obviously has had his input on the album, he says he’s not at all a studio buff. He trusts the other Crues in the band enough to know they’ll call him in when his opinion and presence are needed.
His main contribution is coming up with the melody lines. As he explains, “Nikki will come up with some riffs, and I will just sing to it like na na na… ‘ and figure out what way the vocal line is gonna go. I’ll tell Nikki how many
syllables are gonna be in each line of the verse and how many in each line of the chorus, and he takes it home and writes the lyrics to it.”
Sounds simple enough, if you can do it…
As far as story ideas, for the songs go, again he credits Nikki.
“It happens sometimes that Nikki writes too much for one song, and then I can change things. But usually when Nikki delivers the lyrics, the changes are very, very minimal.” The end result is what counts, and this album, Girls, Girls, Girls, is it! “It’s my favorite album,” Vince says, “It reminds me of our first album, but with big melodies and chunkier. It’s really cool. We didn’t have that on the last album.”
Since recording sessions are not Vince’s forte, I decided to find out more about what Vince Neil likes and dislikes, just to get to know him a bit better. A man with a permanent smile on his face like he has must have something up his sleeve!
Motley’s one-year break left Vince with more than wanted time on his hands. “I’ve done everything, you know,” he says “I ran out of things to dot I’ve been hanging out with other bands on the road! When Bon Jovi was opening for .38 Special, I went Out with them for four days and sang with them once in a while. I go to clubs everywhere from Orange County to Palm Springs (California). I just like being on stage, and I’ll sing with anybody!”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants everybody to jump on stage when Motley’s tour starts. “Sometimes it can be cool,” he explains, “like when we played the last night of our world tour in Paris at the Zenith Hall, Phil Cohen of Def Leppard and Warren DeMartini of Ratt joined us for the encore part of the show. That was really great.”
After all, what better publicity for an unknown band than to have Vince Neil join you on stage? But let’s face it – the other way around is far less interesting. You don’t have to be a snob to understand the logic of that.
As of June, when the tour starts, the spotlights will be on all four members of the band 24 hours a day. Nothing will go unnoticed. Goodbye, privacy! To me, that would be an annoying, even a scary thought, but not so to Vince. The rebel- on-the-road has nothing to hide and loves every minute of it. “I dig that!” he laughs. “I’m used to it. That’s what I like to do. Being on the road isn’t hard for me. As a matter of fact, if I could sing every single day, THAT would really keep my voice happening! When I take a couple of days off, then I have problems. It’s weird, you know. It’s like when you work out in a gym every day, you have to keep doing it, otherwise, your muscles soften. The same with my voice. People think that you have to rest your voice, but for me, that doesn’t work. I’ve got to keep screaming…
How does one pack properly for a year’s tour? Personally, I’m not the type who travels light, but Vince has no such problems. “I just pack my bags, and I’m out of here! I can leave tomorrow. I’m that ready!”
Not that fast, Vince!
Motley will most certainly shoot and deliver at least one hot video before their departure to coincide with the single release, and that is something Vince is looking forward to doing. While most rock stars hate to sit around sets, the “hurry-up-and-wait” syndrome is nonexistent to him. “I LOVE making videos” he states, “and I would love to direct videos in the future. I’m always bugging the director when we shoot videos, saying, ‘Why don’t we set it up this way?’ And he usually goes, ‘Get out of here!” The laughter that follows gives away his rebellious spirit. It complements Nikki’s!
From videos to movies is a small jump, especially when you’re as attractive as Vince is and have an impressive track record as a ladies’ man. Dino De Laurentiis, the film company whose previous experiences with rock stars in movies include Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne, contracted Vince to play “Prince Charming” in a movie called Cinderella, a project which should have been in the making right now. Unfortunately, the script is still unfinished, and Vince’s acting plans are temporarily shelved.
His favorite “vice’’ is g-i-r-l-s! Is he engaged or in love? His answer is quite simple “I have LOTS of girlfriends!” he boasts. I bet he has, and he will undoubtedly add several names to the already extensive list once the tour starts! Now that’s something to look forward to!