The 35th anniversary of Motley Crue's "Theater Of Pain" album is being celebrated with this week's episode of the syndicated radio show In The Studio With Redbeard: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands.
The show's host Redbeard had this to say, "Okay, it's 'fess up time for me regarding Motley Crue and their June 1985 third album, Theatre Of Pain. I absolutely loved 'Looks That Kill' (and still do, can't get enough ), but after hearing their record company's choices for singles, first Motley Crue's cover of a Brownsville Station mid-chart early Seventies pop song, 'Smokin' In The Boys Room' followed by a slow piano arrangement crooning 'Home Sweet Home', I decided that my Dallas-based regional powerhouse rock radio station would go easy on the airplay. Meanwhile, relatively new national influencer MTV went all in with saturation exposure for Theatre Of Pain, particularly Motley Crue's 'Home Sweet Home' video. Turns out I was wrong, about four million times over!
"In an alternate universe where being boring and predictable is the Original Sin, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue would be sanctified saints, because they have been waging jihad against the tyranny of the mainstream for a full three and a half decades. After appearing earlier that afternoon on my Dallas radio show, Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil was running from side to side at the front lip of their huge stage during a 1989 stop on their Dr.Feelgood tour in front of 18,000 fans, everyone on their feet. Motley Crue ripped through a pile-driving version of 'Looks That Kill' (which still makes me reach for the volume knob exactly the same way it first did in September 1983), and from my vantage point on the floor sidestage, Vince ran straight at me out onto a wing which extended almost to the first loge of seats just above my head, occupied by row after row of dancing, innocent-looking young women. Suddenly, as Neil reaches the edge of the stage closest to these wide-eyed young female fans, the girls simultaneously all lift their tops to expose matched pairs of bare breasts. In that instant, Vince Neil dropped the wireless microphone from his face to his side and, looking down at me in breathless bewilderment and amazement, rolled his eyes as if to say, 'Can you believe this is my life?' It wasn't Spinal Tap, it was pure Groucho Marx.
"Motley Crue as model citizens? Hardly. Harmless except to themselves? Certainly not to the friends and family of Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas Razzle Dingby, who paid with his life for riding with Vince Neil in 1985 just before Theatre Of Pain was recorded; or to Tommy Lee ex-wife Pamela Anderson, who was kicked by Lee while she held their infant son (Lee did four months in jail for assault); nor harmless to the family of 4 year-old Daniel Karven-Veres, who drowned in Lee's pool during a June 2001 birthday party.
"Essential to the evolution of rock music? Probably. It's arguable that without Motley Crue and Guns N' Roses, grunge bands including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden would not have had a reason to exist, or at least not in the same rock binge-and-purge role.
"Likable funny guys? You bet, in that same lovable way that while you scratch a puppy's ear it pees on your shoe. You'll see when you listen to Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil in this classic rock interview with me In The Studio." Stream the episode here.