So, those who have a foot in the rock/metal music world will no doubt have heard by now that world famous glam metal band Motley Crue have announced that they are reuniting and coming out of retirement for a pending world tour with bands Poison and Def Leppard.
The Crue announced their retirement in 2014. They embarked on a final world tour titled, “The Final Tour” and even signed a “cessation of touring” contract. The contract stated that they could no longer tour under the name Motley Crue following the end of their tour.
The band stuck to their word for four years, but announced Monday, November 18, that they were coming out of retirement for a new world tour in 2020.
Their reason for the sudden reunion was that because of the success of the Netflix film adaptation of “The Dirt” released on March 18, and increased streams of their music on internet platforms, a new generation of fans were demanding that they reform.
I saw the Crue twice on their “final tour”, and even though I am a huge fan and the shows were great, the band definitely was showing their age. I know I am preaching to a whole choir of people who agree with me, but Vince Neil is really lacking vocally at this point in his career. On their last tour, it was evident that he was struggling. He would miss several words in a row and sounded completely out of breath on the words he did sing. Most notes were slightly above or below the range he should have been at for the songs. He also seems (and I’m not psychologist) kind of depressed or apathetic to the Crue. I saw a photo of him recently on his solo tour and he just doesn’t look happy, or even like he cares.
On a new Crue tour, a disconnected Vince Neil is not going to help those shows be good. And, I’m sorry Vince, but you need to hit the gym man. Right now, I would not classify you as being tour ready. If Vince would put in some serious time with a trainer in the gym, quit any smoking or drinking he’s doing, and maybe get some time in with a therapist, he might be able to get himself into some kind of tour ready shape. Additionally, maybe some refresher vocal training could be good for him to get his voice back to the range everyone knows he has.
Then there’s the matter of Mick Mars. Mick is undeniably one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and a badass to boot, but the guy is 68 and with his spinal disease always causing him pain I can imagine touring the world and standing on stage for 2 hours a night isn’t very easy. And I’m sure he probably has a physical trainer of some kind and his various methods for treating his condition, but I remember both Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee saying that Mick not wanting to tour too much longer was one of the major considerations in the decision to retire. Nobody wants to see Mick have to play from a wheelchair or fall and hurt himself badly on stage. I do not know if he’s made any statements on the new tour yet, but I really wonder how he feels physically.
The other disappointing thing about this whole situation is how big of a deal the band made their retirement. Nikki and Tommy especially, were very vocal about not wanting to go out with a whimper. There are bands from their generation who insist on touring themselves either into the ground, or into obscurity on the county fair circuit. KISS, who I almost hesitate to mention for fear of being sued, are one of those bands that cannot stop touring. And I know, I know, they are on their “last” tour right now, but it is my firm belief that it will never actually end and that they will continue to add dates and tour until they actually die on stage. Even after that, they’ll still tour because they’ll become a hologram band. Certain members like money way too much to ever quit. We all know which bands settled for the county fair touring circuit so I won’t get into that. Either way, both pathways lead to a pathetic end to dominant careers.
I saw the Crue back in 2012 on “The Tour” with KISS at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, and let me be the first to say that Motley destroyed KISS. Their set was fire and I would have absolutely satisfied had KISS never even played that night. Now, I should also mention (at the risk of this becoming a Motley Crue v. KISS post) that I saw KISS for the first time back on their “Alive 35” tour in 2008-09, and they were great. But, if I’m being honest, their MTV ‘Unplugged’ session from 1996 was the best they ever were musically, and the strength of their performances have tracked steadily downwards since then.
All I’m saying is I don’t want to see Motley Crue suffer the same fate as some other bands. As much as I love them, I wish they would have stuck to their guns and held to their commitment to retirement. If the members want to do stuff individually, that’s fine, but Motley Crue should be done.
Disagree if you must, but there’s my take. Please don’t sue me.