Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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MÖTLEY CRÜE

US heavy metal band formed in 1981 by Nikki Sixx, bass, and Tommy Lee, drums; recruiting guitarist Mick Mars and vocalist Vince Neil (b Vincent Neil Wharton). Their image owed a lot to the New York Dolls, but with Wasp and Ratt they flew in the face of prevailing fashion by offering HM with all the trimmings, their genre dubbed 'hair metal'. Album of demos Too Fast For Love '82 released on own Leathur [sic] label, sold 20,000 in four months in L.A. alone; when they opened for Kiss '83 they began to find a country-wide following, returned to sell out three nights at the Santa Monica Civic. Shout At The Devil '83 made USA top 50 albums; Theatre Of Pain '85 made top ten, including a single cover of Brownsville Station's 'Smokin' In The Boys' Room'. Neil was convicted of manslaughter '85 after the death of passenger Nicholas 'Razzle' Dingley (drummer with Hanoi Rocks) in a car crash December 1984; repentant, he was allowed to finish a tour before doing time; Crue exhorted audiences not to drink and drive, the sleeve of the album carrying a warning. They kept going; further albums were Girls, Girls, Girls '97, Dr. Feelgood '89 (no. 1), compilation Decade Of Decadence '91. Sixx married a Playboy playmate, Neil married a mud wrestler, Lee married actress Heather Locklear, then Baywatch's Pamela Anderson '95; Neil left the band '92 replaced by John Corabi (ex-Scream). Album Mötley Crüe '94 still made the top ten, followed by Generation Swine '97, a live album '99 and New Tattoo 2000.