By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The Scorpions and Noise Therapy open
Dig out your ripped jeans, tease your hair like Adam Curry, and apply that peroxide: Mötley Crüe is celebrating the fact that, for the 18th straight year, they've had no band-member deaths with a show at Starplex Amphitheatre on August 20. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bear witness to a cadaverous display not seen since the Steel Wheels tour. It'll be like watching the "Touch of Gray" video without the noticeable guide wires. Honestly, how are these guys still alive? Guitarist Bob "Mick Mars" Deal was, like, 50 when their first single, "Too Fast For Love," hit in 1981, and Nikki Sixx has always looked like a living petri dish. Yet somehow, the Crüe has endured -- even garnering a now-ya-see-it-now-ya-don't Top 10 album, Generation Swine, just two years ago. The Crüe has long since been dropped from longtime label Elektra Records, but let's face it -- this band doesn't need another hit. As long as there are titty bars, so shall there be Mötley Crüe (Revelation 12:46).
Fact is, the only relevant work they've produced since 1989's Dr. Feelgood is Tommy and Pamela Lee's cinema verité presentation of what it means to love in the tattooed '90s. Keep your Dealey Plaza and your Challenger explosion -- I'll never forget the first time I saw Tommy attempting to impregnate Pam's pancreas with his mutated DNA while grunting the words, "Baby, I fucking love you so much." Genius. I also admit it was pure romance when I watched sweat run down the Gothic font on his back and snake into the crack of his ass. Sigh...I finally knew love. And what about when he pulled out ol' Nessie and honked the boat horn to signal to the other boaters that their porn yacht was on a crash course with marital bliss? Gosh, didn't we all grow a little?
Unfortunately, Tommy Lee is no longer with the band -- he's patching up his marriage with punching-bag Pam and has been replaced by ex-Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo on this current tour. Now, presumably, the only time he beats the skins is during the pull-out. So we're forced to make do with just the three original Crüe-sters. But we'll always have The Hits, and, oh, there are so many, among them "Wild Side," a moving sonata detailing the job of one who lives on the, well, wild side (as in, "murder, rape...a day's pay on the wild side"). I only wish someone would uncover the lost verse that spoke of other wild-side occupational benefits, such as a 401k that featured "shooting up between your toes" and "felching."
Then there was "Home Sweet Home," which was the genesis of the glam-hair-metal power ballad. (See: Poison's No. 1 single "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and Skid Row's "18 and Life.") Vince Neil proved his poetic mettle and mastery of equivocation with the now-classic line, "I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low." I was so inspired I bought a house and some pot the very night I heard this. ($90,000 + $10 = pure rock-and-roll rebellion.) And who could forget "Girls, Girls, Girls," the choice of pole-humping "Brookhaven psychology majors" everywhere. Walk in any breast tavern across America, and chances are you'll see some softbody executing the intricate prone-leg "V" maneuver on the hardwoods. I don't know about you, but "Girls, Girls, Girls" is the song I want to hear while I'm getting crabs from a barstool and staring at bikini stubble. Speaking of intimate openings: The Scorpions take the stage before the Crüe on this wonderful night. Check it out. On second thought, stay home and kill yourself. Good luck.