Mötley Crüe: The Final Tour "All Bad Things Must Come To An End"

Mötley Crüe

Be warned! The story of the world's most infamous rock band isn't a pretty one. With the possible exception of Ozzy Osbourne, no band consumed as many drugs and downed as much booze without dying as the L.A. quartet Mötley Crüe. And now, the band you never thought you'd see live again is back. All the way back... The story of their career, which the band elected to tell in graphic detail and with complete honesty in their NY Times best-selling 2001 autobiography, The Dirt (soon to be a major motion picture) is one of dirty needles, damaged minds, music industry battles and sex - lots of sex. And the miraculous thing about the Crüe is not that they lived to tell the tale (although that is, in a way, a kind of unholy miracle), it's that all of their wildly uncontrollable habits are clearly audible in their music. Just listen to these albums, more than 40 million of which have sold worldwide. If you concentrate hard enough, you can hear the sound of the coke coming off the tables, the squeak of the bed springs, and the sheer sleazy grind of California rock over the last two decades. In 1981 bassist Nikki Sixx left his glam-rock band London and met up with drummer Tommy Lee. Both were strung-out adolescents in search of good times and a record deal (in that order) and had a knack for creating fists-in-the-air anthems that parlayed their ability to play loud. Responding to an add in LA's Recycler for a "loud, rude and aggressive guitarist seeking a band" placed by Mick Mars (who reminded Sixx of Cousin Itt from "The Addams Family") and singer Vince Neil (who Mars referred to, perhaps unwisely, as a "blonde bitch" at their first meeting), the band named themselves Mötley Crüe (the umlauts were intended to make them look tough. Of course, as Vince Neil tells it, the idea came from a bottle of Löwenbräu) and recorded an album, Too Fast for Love, which was released in November 1981 on their own Leathür Records label. An insanely catchy, riff-driven record, TFFL turned rock fans' expectations upside-down and ultimately led to the formation of an entire glam-metal movement based in Los Angeles. Without Too Fast for Love, there would have been no Bon Jovi and no Guns n' Roses. Picked up by Elektra, the Crüe released a string of classic albums in the '80s, beginning with Shout at the Devil (1983), controversial for its satanic reference, and Theatre Of Pain (1985), a slightly darker, more introverted record (perhaps stemming from Vince Neil's car crash with Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle, who was killed in the incident). However, Girls, Girls, Girls (1987) was as rock 'n roll as anything they'd done before and, together with 1989's enormous Dr. Feelgood (which also marked the Crüe's wake-up call into rehab, after Sixx "died" from a heroin overdose and was revived with adrenaline), catapulted the band into the mainstream. By the 1990s Mötley Crüe was a full-blown stadium act, with all the freedom (big production budgets, a string of models and porn stars) and hindrances (censorship issues, management and intra-band strife) that this entails. Neil left the band in 1992 and it was Scream singer John Corabi that provided vocals for the 1994 album Mötley Crüe, which attempted to match up to the angst and power of newer metal bands. However, by 1997's Generation Swine, Vince was back and the Crüe's fortunes revived, leading them to issue Greatest Hits (1998), Live: Entertainment Or Death (1999) and a rarities collection, Supersonic and Demonic Relics (also 1999). All offered a unique perspective into the life and work of the Crüe, with remixes, live and demo recordings, and unissued tracks all part of the package. By 2000's New Tattoo, the band was working at full steam again, despite the departure of Tommy Lee, by then a tabloid star, thanks to his infamous home video high-jinx with his then-wife, Pamela Anderson. Mötley Crüe is also one of the only bands in history to successfully acquire ownership of all their master recordings. In 2003 their wholly owned label, Motley Records, licensed their catalog to Universal Music and saw reissues of all of their albums as well as the first installment in their box set, Music To Crash Your Car To - Vol. 1, a four-CD set that is the first of three volumes chronicling the band's storied career. Volumes 2 and 3 came out in the spring and fall of 2004, respectively. The first-ever greatest hits DVD on the band was also released in 2003, entitled Mötley Crüe: Greatest Video Hits. As the band prepares to mount their first reunion tour in six years - VH1 & VH1 Classic Present "Mötley Crüe: Red, White & Crüe Tour 2005...Better Live Than Dead" - the milestone comes at a time of personal growth for all its members: Vince Neil has actively cultivated a solo musical career since the breakup of Mötley Crüe with tours each year, primarily in North America and Japan, from huge arenas to more intimate clubs. Along with a new solo single ("Promise Me") to be released this January, Neil has also entered the arena of television. He appeared on several network sitcoms including CBS' "Still Standing" and the WB's "Greetings from Tucson," and most recently brought rock star clout to the WB reality show "The Surreal Life." In his own private life, Neil plans to marry his longtime fiancée Leah in the coming months. Nikki Sixx has been seen worldwide with his band Brides of Destruction, from European metal fests to headline gigs in Japan, also releasing an album, Here Come the Brides. Appearing with Brides on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball," he supplied several songs to The Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Rock 'n Roll Musical and recently co-wrote hit songs for Meatloaf, Saliva, and several new artists. In January, VH1 will publish The Heroin Diaries, compiled by Sixx from 1986-87 during the height of his addiction. The father of five, Sixx is happily married for eight years to actress/model Donna D'Errico. Tommy Lee, having toured with his band Methods of Mayhem and DJ'd at clubs across Southern California, Tommy has leapt into an author's spotlight with the October release of his biography Tommyland. Recently landing on the New York Times best-seller list, the candid and often shocking memoir of his life tells much of the tale that's never been told. Working on a solo album to debut next year, he is also the subject of an NBC reality show to premiere in early 2005, which finds him attending the University of Nebraska. Mick Mars is currently recovering from hip replacement surgery, a result of his lifelong struggle with ankylosing spondylitis, a severely degenerative rheumatoid disease. Since its onset in his teen years, Mars has fought the debilitating effects of the rare disease, a form of arthritis that inflames the body's ligaments and tendons, cutting off the blood supply to the bones and causing stiffness and chronic pain. Although anticipating additional surgery in his shoulder and other hip, Mars hasn't let the illness sap his creative spirit: during his downtime, he has been actively writing a diverse body of music for use in film, television and recordings. All four members of Mötley Crüe came together recently to record three new songs, which are featured on the new anthology album, Red White & Crüe, released by Universal Music Group on February 1, 2005 The band's autobiography The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, New York Times best-seller, is also being made into a major film, to be released next year by MTV Films/Paramount. Preparing to shoot the first-ever Mötley Crüe concert DVD with all four original members, the band will put most of its energy into its 2005 world tour, which begins in February in 30 U.S. arenas. Segueing to Latin America and festivals and arenas in Europe, they return to North America in August for an ambitious 43-city amphitheater tour before wrapping up the year in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. How important is Mötley Crüe? Let's just say that they made rock 'n roll what it is today. Without the Crüe, stadium rock in the 1990s might have been all about Journey, Foreigner, Kansas and REO Speedwagon. Think about that for a second, will you?

Alice Cooper

For more than 40 years, Alice Cooper has shocked audiences around the world with his live performances and wild stage antics. This unconventional style has made Cooper a staple amongst the list of "must see live" artists.

In 1975, Alice Cooper joined forces with longtime collaborator and producer Bob Ezrin to record his first solo album Welcome to My Nightmare, a theatrical concept album about the nightmares of a young boy named Steven. Now, Cooper has followed Steven into adulthood and presents Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011), a new but familiar concept album about the fear, anxiety and disgust that haunt Cooper's dreams in an era of Facebook, Lady Gaga, Sketchers and Angry Birds.

A wild, surreal odyssey, Welcome 2 My Nightmare provided Cooper and Ezrin the opportunity to work with numerous musicians and experiment with various musical styles. The three surviving members of the original band, guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith, co-wrote three songs and they all played on "When Hell Comes Home," a gritty '70s-style rock track about the nightmare of domestic abuse. The collaborations with his fellow original band members stemmed from their 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for which they reunited to play four songs

The first single from Welcome 2 My Nightmare, "I'll Bite Your Face Off," is about a gorgeous but deadly female who takes Alice by the hand and guides him through the various scenes of his nightmare. The song was co-written by Neal Smith and features a swaggering '60s British rock rhythm, brash, bluesy guitars and sneering, seductive vocals. On "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever," Cooper combines a tongue-in-cheek disco beat and rhythm with near-rap vocals and lyrics about taking a machine gun to zombie disco dancers who refuse to die. Then there's the zany surf rock of "Ghoul's Gone Wild," the derelict down-on-his-luck slur of "The Last Man on Earth," and the Beatles meet Gary Glitter show tune "The Congregation," which stars Rob Zombie as a narrator describing such modern-day nightmares as telemarketers, lawyers, pimps, mariachi bands and mimes.

One of the highlights for Cooper is the throbbing, modern rocker "What Baby Wants," which stars Ke$ha as the devil. Like The original Welcome To My Nightmare, which was highlighted by "Only Women Bleed," Welcome 2 My Nightmare also features a lovelorn ballad, "Something to Remember Me By," which was written with Dick Wagner back when they released "I Never Cry" in 1976.

Welcome To My Nightmare, which was released in 1975, was a landmark album for Cooper. It was his first solo release, following a historic string of anthems written and recorded by the original band between 1971 and 1974, including "School's Out," "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "Elected," and "I'm Eighteen." A multimedia smash long before the dawn of music television, Welcome To My Nightmare proved that Cooper could remain popular musically and could take theatricality to an entirely new level of dream by exposing audiences to the crippling fears of a seven-year-old child with an active imagination.

$18.95 - US $142.28


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