Critics' Picks

Mötley Crüe

In late May, Los Angeles' Wyndham Bel-Age Hotel (well, room 211 of it, at least) was transformed into a headbanger's ballroom and tattoo parlor as Mötley Crüe took over the lavish suite to preview their upcoming album, New Tattoo (released July 11 on Motley/Beyond Records), which we're still having a hard time believing includes a cover of the classic Tubes anthem, "White Punks on Dope." After convincing the band's management that we were indeed there to cover the event and not just to "crash the party," we were invited inside. My habit of arriving earlier than everybody else allowed us to spend some private time with the--quoting from the press release--"elegant dancers," (a.k.a. strippers), who were there to "entertain" and apply temporary Mötley Crüe tattoos to the guests. (One of these naughty little hotties later confirmed her status as a bona fide rock-and-roll bimbo by uttering this brilliant line: "Who's Joan Jett?")

While a pair of tracks from the then-unfinished New Tattoo repeatedly blasted throughout the hotel suite and onto the elegant outside terrace, the herd of invited radio insiders munched on chicken wings, abused the open bar, and chased the dancers around the room as the majestic Los Angeles skyline loomed in the background. Crüe members Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, and new drummer Randy Castillo (who replaced original drummer Tommy Lee just in the nick of time before Lee's oversized ego killed his bandmates) were all on hand to answer the usual barrage of predictable questions from the gossip-starved media. Noticeably absent, however, was handsome Crüe guitarist Mick Mars, who, humorously enough, was serving a type of rock-and-roll detention by being detained at the recording studio by producer Mike Clink to finish up guitar parts for the album.

Sixx later stopped by our V.I.P. table, where we apparently convinced the tattooed beat messiah to produce the forthcoming debut album by our own Southern-fried side project: a barbecue 'n' booze-fueled trailer-trash boogie thang called Hawgtied. After telling Sixx that we planned on putting two dots (referred to by the punctuationally correct as "umlauts") over the "a" in our band's name a la Mötley Crüe, he gave a sinister wink and suggested "Nah, you don't wanna do that. That's so over." Sure thing, buddy.

Jim Freek

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jim Freek