20 Of The Most Notorious Rock And Roll Stories Of Mötley Crüe
Rock band Mötley Crüe formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981. Today, they are one of history’s most notorious rock and roll bands and fans still can’t get enough. We’re diving into the band’s outrageous antics (including the guitarist’s brush with death), the singer’s horrifying car accident, and their out-of-control behavior while on the road. Even though the band is no longer touring, they still manage to entertain. These are the most outlandish and rare facts about the group.
You might have heard some of these stories, but not all of them.
The Gross ‘Spaghetti Incident’ Inspired Guns N’ Roses
The tales of Mötley Crüe’s groupie encounters are legendary and oftentimes outrageous. Once, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx made a bet to see who could last the longest without showering and still hook up with a groupie. Their bet ended a staggering two months later with a combination of vomit and spaghetti.
A young fan was making out with Sixx when she got sick and threw up on the rocker. She had recently eaten pasta, and the result was definitely memorable. The incident wound up the title of the Guns N’ Roses album The Spaghetti Incident.
They Had A Female Member For A Few Years
At one point, Tommy Lee took a break from the band to launch a solo career. The drummer quit in the late ’90s, and the band needed a drummer to replace him. They picked Randy Castillo, who played on their 2000 album New Tattoo. But he got sick, and the band needed another drummer.
They wound up selecting Samantha Maloney, who would perform during their New Tattoo tour and on their live DVD. Maloney was a member of the band until 2004 when Lee returned. She has also played in the bands Shift, Hole, Eagles of Death Metal, and in The Herms.
Nikki Sixx Hates Hair Metal & Doesn’t Think Motley Crue Is Part Of The Genre
Guitarist Nikki Sixx helms a radio show called Sixx Sense where he discusses music, interviews people in the industry, and plays his favorite songs. He refuses to have Jon Bon Jovi or Poison singer Bret Michaels as guests because he believes they aren’t on the same level as he is.
Sixx believes the aforementioned rockers are part of the “hair metal” genre, which he cannot stand. The irony is that many people think Mötley Crüe is a hair metal band. Sixx disagrees, labeling Mötley Crüe a rock band. Nothing like the pot calling the kettle black.
This member also left the band for a short time.
Vince Neil Pursued A Solo Career & The Band Made An Album Without Him
In 1992, frontman Vince Neil left the band and launched a solo album. The album was released the following year and hit number 13 on the Billboard 200 chart. He named the album Exposed because he felt like he was in the spotlight after leaving Mötley Crüe.
The band replaced Neil with singer John Corabi, formerly of The Scream. The new lineup dropped one self-titled album in 1994. It had one minor hit song, “Hooligan’s Holiday,” but critics hated it. Neil returned in 1997, and the band released Generation Swine.
The Name Of The Band Was Partially Inspired By Beer
Have you ever wondered what the dots above the “O” and the “U” in Mötley Crüe mean? They are umlauts. While choosing their name, Mick Mars noted a former band he was in was referred to as a motley-looking crew. They changed “crew” to “crue” and added umlauts.
This part of the name was in tribute to the Löwenbräu beer they were drinking when coming up with a band name. The umlaut is used in German for pronouncing vowels. Some metal bands liked the symbolism for strength and power.
Tommy Lee Has Had Four Wives, Including An Actress & Playboy Playmate
Tommy Lee, 57, has been involved in a lot of relationships (and four marriages). He married actress Heather Locklear in 1986 after splitting with his first wife, Elaine Starchuk. The rocker and celeb called it quits in 1993. Lee then dated model Bobbie Brown before marrying Playboy Playmate Pamela Anderson just four days after meeting her in 1995.
He and Anderson nearly split several times before officially divorcing in 2008. Lee moved on to singer Sofia Toufa, whom he was engaged to from 2014 until 2017. He is currently married to social media star Brittany Furlan.
A Hit Song Was Inspired By Nikki Sixx’s Overdose
On Dec. 23, 1987, Nikki Sixx overdosed on heroin and was declared dead. Fortunately, paramedics didn’t give up on him and shot him with adrenaline, saving his life. Sixx later recalled the incident as an out-of-body experience. The band wound up writing the hit song “Kickstart Your Heart” in response to the near-death incident.
The song was featured on Mötley Crüe’s biggest album of their career, Dr. Feelgood, in 1989. Many critics consider the album as the best in their career. It topped the Billboard 200 chart and also featured songs “Dr. Feelgood” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”.
The band lived in squalor when they first started out in the business.
Their Apartment On Sunset Strip Was Disgusting & Covered In Cockroaches
During the early days, Mötley Crüe lived together in an apartment on Sunset Strip. The place had a serious problem with cockroaches. Since they couldn’t afford pesticide, the band would kill the bugs with lighters and hairspray or cook them in the oven. They also didn’t have much money and often went without basic supplies such as toilet paper. Reportedly, they used socks, leftover magazines, and other paper instead.
Their apartment was so contaminated, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services ordered them to remove the garbage that piled up on the back porch.
They Caused Havoc In Europe, Destroying Hotels & Causing Personal Harm
While on tour with Van Halen and AC/DC, Nikki Sixx attacked Eddie Van Halen and bit his stomach. Neil bit the rocker’s hand. During a European tour, Tommy Lee and Sixx would ward off boredom by swallowing light bulbs and breaking bottles over each other’s heads.
The band got rowdy one time in Germany and threw two beds out of their hotel’s window onto some cars below them. The mayhem continued in Switzerland when they set a hotel bed on fire and destroyed the glass windows in the elevators.
Nikki Sixx Was Expelled From School For Selling Drugs
Nikki Sixx was raised by his mother and grandparents after his father left his family. He moved around a lot as a kid and went to seven different schools within 11 years. At one point he lived with his grandparents in Idaho and was expelled for selling drugs.
He then moved to Seattle, Washington, to live with his mother. He developed an interest in music and acquired a stolen guitar before switching to the bass. When he was just 17 years old, he moved to Los Angeles to launch a music career.
The guitarist has been battling a serious health problem for decades.
Mick Mars Suffers From A Chronic Health Condition That Made Him Shrink
Mick Mars was born in Indiana and moved to California when he was nine years old. He has openly struggled with an inflammatory type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, which affects his spine and pelvis. He was diagnosed as a teenager.
The disease affects his movement and can be painful. He had a hip replacement in 2004. The condition has seized up his lower spine and has physically made him shorter. He’s three inches shorter than he was in high school.
Nikki Sixx’s Number-One Priority In Life Is Spirituality
During a 2011 interview, Nikki Sixx was asked what his focus in life was at that moment. “Naturally the way the list works is spirituality, so if I’m centered and really in tune with more than myself — a higher power so to speak,” he noted. “Then my sobriety: I can’t stay sober if I don’t have some kind of spirituality.”
He continued, “Then after that comes relationships, etc. But really those top three are the most important,” he continued. As for the order of importance? He noted that number one was spirituality, number two was sobriety and number three was being a father.
The singer experienced the worst tragedy of his life in the mid-90s.
Vince Neil’s Daughter Died At Age Four
Vince Neil married model and mud wrestler Sharise Ruddell in 1987. The pair divorced in 1993 but had a daughter, Skylar Neil, in 1991. Skylar sadly died on Aug. 15, 1995, at the age of four from cancer. Neil founded the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund to pay tribute to his daughter.
The foundation raises awareness and collects funding for several childhood illnesses. It has also donated millions of dollars to The T.J. Martell Foundation. In 2011 Neil launched multiple events called “Rockin’ The Red Carpet” that benefited MUSIC for RELIEF while on tour with Mötley Crüe, Poison, and the New York Dolls.
Vince Neil Accidentally Killed Someone
In 1984, Vince Neil was hanging out and partying with the members of Finnish hard rock band Hanoi Rocks at his home in Redondo Beach, California. He and drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley took a trip to the liquor store. Neil drove drunk and crashed into another vehicle. Razzle died, and the occupants of the other car sustained serious head injuries.
Neil was sentenced to 30 days in jail, five years of probation, a $2.6 million fine, and 200 hours of community service. He was released from jail after 15 days due to good behavior. The band dedicated their third studio album, Theatre of Pain, to Razzle.
Neil Continued To Drink & Drive Following The Accident
Despite being responsible for another person’s death, Vince Neil continued to drive while impaired. In 2007, he was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas. The singer was driving his Ferrari erratically when he was pulled over. Neil made a deal with prosecutors. They dropped the DUI charge, and he was convicted of reckless driving instead.
In 2010, he was arrested in Las Vegas again on suspicion of drunk driving. He was released on $2,000 bond and pleaded guilty to drunk driving. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 15 days of house arrest.
When They Ran Out Out Of Drugs, They Got Really Creative With Alcohol
It’s a well-known fact that Mötley Crüe partied hard and had serious problems with drugs and alcohol, particularly in the ’80s. At one point, the band was so desperate that they took their drug addiction to a whole new level. When they ran out of heroin, they turned to alcohol in a disturbing way.
There was a time when the crew injected Jack Daniel’s whiskey directly into their veins as a substitute for drugs. You can’t help but wonder if they knew they had a problem and that they needed help for their addictions.
The Rockers They Toured With Either Joined Their Antics Or Fired Them
At one point, Mötley Crüe was set to be the opener for KISS. However, they were so out of control that frontman Gene Simmons fired them. While touring with Ozzy Osbourne, the Black Sabbath singer dared Nikki Sixx to pee on the floor and then lick it up. Sixx did what he was asked, but Ozzy was the one who ended up drinking his urine.
While touring in Memphis, Tennessee, Osbourne and Vince Neil stole a car. They rode around Beale St., and then destroyed the vehicle’s windows and upholstery.
Lee Is An Animal Rights Activist & PETA Supporter
Tommy Lee supports PETA and is an advocate for animal rights. He was particularly troubled in 2010 regarding the treatment of Tilikum the killer whale at SeaWorld. He wanted the whale to be set free and argued that the theme park refused to do so because the animal was used for breeding purposes.
In 2013, Lee sent a letter to Alberta premier Alison Redford and asked her to shut down the Calgary Stampede’s chuckwagon races. He was angry that 50 horses been injured so badly since 1986 that they had to be euthanized.
The Band Retired From Touring But Just Announced They’re Recording New Music
In 2014, Mötley Crüe signed a “cessation of touring agreement”, which stopped them from touring under their band name beyond 2015. They spent 2015 touring the world, ending with a concert at the Staples Center. On Sept. 13, 2018, Vince Neil announced on Twitter that they were recording four new songs.
Nikki Sixx revealed the music was going to be used in the film adaptation of the band’s biography, The Dirt – Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. They released their first new song, “The Dirt (Est. 1981),” on Feb. 22, 2019.
A Child Drowned At One Of The Member’s Homes
In 2001, Tommy Lee held a birthday party for his 5-year-old son, Brandon. A guest, four-year-old Daniel Karven-Veres drowned in the swimming pool at the party. Lee later admitted the child had been briefly left unsupervised when the incident occurred. Adult guests attempted to resuscitate the child while waiting for an ambulance.
A jury cleared the rocker of all responsibility in the drowning. The parents had sought $10 million in damages but were not rewarded a financial settlement. The boys’ parents later said their son didn’t know how to swim. The jury’s verdict was unanimous.