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...