Girls, Girls, Girls Part 4 - The Politically Incorrect Crue


 Going through Crue videos on YouTube from their Girls, Girls, Girls tour in 1987, interviews & news pieces, it’s fascinating how controversial the band actually was. The late ‘80s were the beginning of the political correctness wave that is now a prevailing trend in our culture. Motley were pretty much regarded as THE sexist rock band with the release of the Girls album & video. They were of course a prime target of the PMRC & the religious right & seemed to offend a large part of the population. This is often true of most Rock n’ Roll bands but the Crue were, of course, working on an entirely different level than most. Damn it if they weren’t a committed bunch. 


 Here’s a congressional PMRC meeting in 1985 & their evidence of Motley’s (& other acts’) perversion & threat to the moral climate of American culture. It’s great hearing those lyrics recited in a room full of politicians & their wives. [vid ends with Shout interview].  

Motley PMRC 1985 + Nikki & Vince Shout Interview

This is a great vid of Crue fans & the Crue in 1987 during the tour. They respond to the question as to whether their music is sexist with a kind of goofy, tired affirmation. They got asked this kind of stuff from the Canadian reporters their whole October tour & one thing I’ve noticed is that the Crue really don’t ever seem to have considered it being anything more than something they were supposed to do as Motley. This is a pretty honest lot, in their own fashion.


That interview is from the August Philadelphia show & I happen to have an interview from that night from a ‘Best of Rock Scene’ issue. Vince & Mick talk a little bit about everything including strip clubs, a day in the life of a rock star, the music they dig &, most interesting perhaps, their opinion of the Aids epidemic . . . well, they make the usual Motley type comment.  

(click to enlarge & READ)

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The following article, ‘X-Rated',’ is from an issue of Time Magazine & has a section dedicated entirely to Crue. Author Richard Corliss is obviously out of his element here, referring to the Crue’s ‘Satanism’ in this 1990 piece, a dated notion about the band by then (a Shout era photo is used as well as if they had no idea that the Crue were currently on tour & had an album out that was the most successful of their career). The author explains that there is some poetic merit to Nikki’s lyrics but that it’s basically theatre & a joke that the PMRC’s Tipper Gore obviously does not get.
 
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Nikki picks up immediately where the following reporter is trying to steer the interview: more explanation & defense of the highly sexualized & violent content of the band. Nikki takes control & ends up giving a pretty strong, articulate interview. ‘We’re a people’s band.’
 

Vince has a chat with Charrie Foglio in Houston, Texas in a strip bar & discusses his time in jail, his acting opportunities, what he does with his money & what nationality his maid is. The piece is titled ‘Strip Bars+Fast Cars=Motley Crue.’ It was the 1980s, people!

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Every single/video from the Girls record had something to offend the general population. ‘Wild Side’ featured a lyric which was called a desecration of the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ the ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ song & video could probably be used as THE example of 1980s sexist Rock N’ Roll & ‘You’re All I Need’ was a song disguised as a lament over a lost loved one but the video & a closer reading of the lyrics revealed a grisly tale of jealousy & murder. The last two videos were generally banned everywhere during those years but I have a distinct memory of staying up one late night as a kid in 1987 & seeing a rare airing of the ‘You’re All I Need’ video on a then-famous program ‘Friday Night Videos’. I was shocked as an 11 year old kid & it still is a pretty gritty video.


We’ll leave with the video for the title song. Actually, I’m embedding both versions: the one the censors wanted & got (& often STILL didn’t air) . . . . 


. . . . & the one Motley & their fans wanted . . . . this one has some nudity so make sure you’re of age :)


Lots more Girls, Girls, Girls & Crue, Crue, Crue for You, You, You to come at the SP Files . . . . .

Shout At The Fucking Devil

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The above & below 3-page of Mick & Nikki from a Faces mag during the Shout At the Devil days is probably my favourite Crue poster. I have two copies. The first was hanging in an older bully’s locker at my junior high school. I would eye it enviously &, somehow, I don’t remember now, I got it from him. I think it was a matter of lunch money. The above copy is the one in better shape, the other I had for years before has food on it & is pretty beat up. Some of these old pin-ups & posters really got around.

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Nikki just looks so cool & punky & Mick is gnarly & freakish . . . I think it was that element of punkiness I liked as a kid. Motley looked & sounded so much more convincing & intense than so many of their contemporaries. Although I do think Shout was an attempt to latch onto the Heavy Metal wave, they ended up doing it a whole new way & invented a style all their own (but often mimicked).

Here they are live in 1984 playing ‘Shout At the Devil’ in Quebec, Canada.

Shout at the Devil Live 1984

Anything from this era was THE coolest & most coveted thing for me to see or have in those days &, unfortunately, I do not have much Shout stuff at all . . . but here’s a little of what I do have.

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That’s pretty cool right there man: an ad for the Shout record from a Hit Parader Magazine. It includes a tour schedule at the bottom. They certainly spent a good amount of money on the image of Shout. Motley were creating a post-modern pop Rock group that was part calculation & part organic garage band & it really gelled . . . I think, mainly, because of the strength of their songs AND their very powerful image. The logos & pentagrams & S&M-type costumes & face-paint conjured cultish & perverse sexual overtones that were alluring to teenage & young adult guys & gals.

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Their music & Nikki Sixx’s perverse, sometimes poetic lyrics were considered pornographic so why not spend their off time with one of the era’s OTHER famous practitioners of Sleaze: adult film star Seka.

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What they were able to do more successfully than most bands was look exactly the same as they sounded . . . & so you could really get into a group like this, everything fed off of everything else. To say they were marketable is to not really get what I’m talking about but it works out the same & the Crue have always lived in the shadow of this monumental album.

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We’ll leave you with some more great Shout era YouTube. This is the infamous Donnington Festival post-set interview during their 1984 European tour. CLASSIC! More Shout At the Devil stuff down the road at the SP Files . . .

Motley in Donnington 1984

Motley Crue Rock Pins

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I didn’t do my Crue pin collection justice with an earlier post . . . I was distracted, still pissy from the news of the Motley/Poison tour, so here is the whole sh-bang as it currently exists.
 
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Too Fast to Shout era pins. Motley displayed so much attitude & sleaze in their photos from this period & made for real eye-catching images, even reduced to rock pin size.
 
(click images to ENLARGE)
 
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I even made my own pins with wrapping tape, magazine clippings & pins from school pep rallies or whatever. They look like shit.
 
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Pins were really important to the fans of heavy bands back in the ‘80s. Asserting your favourite band’s image & presence with shirts & pins & graffiti on school desks & walls & notebooks was (& still is) a big part of the culture.
 
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Here’s the rest of my Crue pins, from Theatre to Dr. Feelgood. Flags & T-Shirts to be featured down the road at the SP Files!!!
 
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