I wanted a band that would be like David Bowie and the Sex Pistols thrown in a blender with Black Sabbath.—Nikki Sixx
Let’s go all the way back to “In the Beginning”!
In early 1981 bassist Nikki Sixx decided to leave the band London. He then started rehearsing with vocalist Greg Leon and drummer Tommy Lee who had both previously been in Suite 19. Greg Leon went another direction leaving Nikki and Tommy to seek band members. The guys answered a person ad that read: “Loud, rude and aggressive guitar player available.” Guitarist Mick Mars was auditioned and hired into the band. As for a vocalist, there was another frontman auditioned but in the end they guys went with Rock Candy vocalist Vince Neil who had attended high school with Tommy Lee and had been in previous bands with the charismatic drummer. Vince refused to leave Rock Candy at first but as the members of Rock Candy began moving toward other projects Neil was ready when Tommy asked once more. As of April 1981 the band was complete, but lacked a name.
After the guys shot down Nikki’s idea of calling the band Christmas Mick recalled that when he was with a band called White Horse one of the members called them “a motley looking crew”. It caught his attention and he’d written it down as "Mottley Cru". The guys did a bit of modifying and eventually settled on Motley Crue with metal umlauts over the o and u.
Since 1981 this quartet has made history, headlines and amazing music together. Other than between 1992 to 1997 and 1999 to 2004 the lineup has always been…. Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars.
We’ll discuss those two periods of different lineups later.
For now let's check out the first Motley Crue album Too Fast for Love!
This album has a very well known cover with a leather clad crotch. Not only is it eye-catching the music contained is absolutely a shot to the groin. Rough, gritty, and different from anything we were listening to in those days the Crue began to make a name for themselves even before the Shout at the Devil album. Too Fast for Love was released on both Leathur Records and Elektra records. The Elektra version has become the accepted first album with only 900 Leathur Records albums released. There was a bit of remixing and track list changes on the Elektra version.
I'll be back with the next chapter of Motley history later this week! Until then...
Born Aldo Caporucio in November of 1956, this Canadian born musician has many titles under his belt. He’s a guitarist, singer, vocalist, songwriter and producer! He is probably best known for his self-titled album from 1982, ‘Aldo Nova’ which featured the song “Fantasy”.
In addition to his own music, he has worked with many great artists. He wrote the main guitar riff in Jon Bon Jovi’s hit, ‘Blaze of Glory’. JBJ returned the favor by working on Nova’s release of his album, ‘Blood on the Bricks’. That album produced 3 singles, ‘Blood on the Bricks’, ‘Someday’ & ‘Medicine Man’.
Nova has also worked extensively with Celine Dion. He has written for her and played instruments on many of her albums as well. In 1996, he received a Grammy Award for producing Dion’s album, “Falling into You”, as Album of the Year. He has also co-written songs for people such as Blue Oyster Cult, Clay Aiken & the Chilean rock group, La Ley.
On October 19th of this year, Nova returns with a new album after more than 30 years! The album name is ‘2.0 (Megaforce)’. This record revisits his smash hit, ‘Fantasy’. He reinvented the song to appeal to the younger crowd, yet it still is very recognizable to all of us who jammed to it back in the 80’s. During the creation of this album, Nova’s wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away shortly after it’s completion on Christmas Day 2017.
Aldo said: “During the time that I was working on 2.0, my wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” he explained. “I managed to finish the album right before she passed away on Christmas Day. I still was able to take care of every doctor’s appointment, every chemo treatment. I was cooking and cleaning and at night I worked on my album.”
One of the more obscure bands from the early 1990’s, was Trouble Tribe. Another one of those glam metal bands that would have done so much better if they had come out 2 or 3 years before like so many other bands that were affected by grunge.
The band featured Jimmy Driscoll as lead singer, Adam Wacht on lead guitar, Eric Klaastad on bass & Stephen Durrell on drums.
Two of their songs had MTV play, ‘Tattoo’ & ‘Here Comes Trouble’. Both songs were off of their self titled album, ‘Trouble Tribe’. This record also contained an awesome power ballad, ‘In the End’ (which gets you in the feels!) & we can’t forget their Beatles’ cover of ‘Dear Prudence’, which is pretty good too.
The band broke up and went their separate ways. Adam Wacht went on to play in the bands, Left for Dead & Opinion while Jimmy Driscoll started the band In the Wild.
Despite having an amazing group of musicians and support from rockers such as Bruce Kulick of Kiss and Jon Bon Jovi the Electric Angels didn’t reach the pinnacle of success that many other bands from the same time frame found. As we’ve learned with many great hair bands from the time, the introduction of grunge music was just too much for most bands to battle. Electric Angels featuring Shane, Ryan Roxie, John Schubert and Jonathan Daniel were an L.A. based band that moved to New York. Within a few months of their arrival they were signed to Atlantic Records and began playing shows with groups including Dogs D’Amour and Mother Love Bone.
In 1989 producer Tony Visconti and the guys recorded their self titled debut album in London. While there were several great tracks on the album the time frame of the release was at the end of the hair metal era and did not get the recognition it deserved.
The super catchy “Rattlesnake Kisses” song was played pretty heavily on MTV with the sexy Christina Applegate featured in the video.
Our Vintage Spotlight bands this week are two that most fans of hair metal, and music in general probably know of have heard of. Hurricane and Autograph.
We'll have a blog post about each of the bands throughout the week but for now, if you havent' heard of them, or of their music, or if you're a fan and just want to hear a favorite song again, here are two of their most popular videos.