LOUDMOUTH: One 2014

Published on February 3rd, 2014

By STEVE MASCORD

THERE is plenty of cynicism about Motley Crue’s announced “retirement”.

The ultimate LA hairband said on January 28 that following a two year world trek, they would cease touring completely. A contract, said to be legally binding, was signed by Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars undertaking not to go back on their word.

The LA Times immediately consulted a lawyer, who said such a contract could be dissolved with the agreement of all four members and no action could be taken by any fan who blew his or her money on the “farewell tour”.

The paper concluded that the whole announcement was “baloney”. The paper chided other media outlets for taking the Crue media conference at face value.

Meanwhile, Vince Neil said the Motley was not breaking up – only stopping touring. If they were ever inducted into the Rock’n’roll Hall Of Fame, he said, they would almost certainly play at the ceremony.

But those suggesting the Crue will reform and tour the world again after a couple of years off, deliberately thumbing their noses at their own fans, are off the mark as far as Loudmouth are concerned.

Motley Crue’s biggest problem in the market place in recent years has been that they are too plentiful, too available.

Touring makes money, but it costs a lot of money too. In recent years, this “seminal” band have found themselves on “co-headlining” tours with Def Leppard and KISS which have seen them actually opening for those bands.

Yet the Crue are going to beat those bands to having a biopic made about them. Their commercial cache lags badly behing their cultural legacy.

Ceasing to tour is a good way to solve the problem. If ‘The Dirt’ movie is a success, they will be in a position to play one-off shows (which they can technically deny is ‘touring’) and charge top dollar for tickets.

In a 2011 interview I did for Classic Rock: AOR with all four members, guitarist Mars said he felt Motley Crue could have written themselves a much stronger legacy if they had been more disciplined and professional.

As an example, he said sometimes the band was too lazy to rehearse before tours.

“We could be the Stones,” he said. “We could be Aerosmith. We could be U2. We could be. But if the decisions aren’t made correctly by us four, no.

“And so far, I haven’t seen the right decisions made.

“Because my band was so young when they made it, they still think that they’re that young and they’re not. They don’t understand that they’re 50-year-old men. They still think they’re 16.”

On first examination, Mars has lost his battle to give Motley Crue some longevity with the “retirement” announcement.

But on closer inspection, this may be the measure that actually achieves that objective. Quitting will help Motley last longer.

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MY time at NAMM really underscored to me how the return of an original member can kick a band in the butt – in a good way.

Ratt’s performance at the House Of Blues – even without ill drummer Bobby Blotzer – was easily the best I have ever seen them play. They were just about note-perfect and bubbling over with energy.

Black Star Riders’ Jimmy DeGrasso, who was filling in on drums, seemed to be stunned at what he’d walked into, grinning like a loon of much of the show.

The secret, I reckon, is Juan Croucier being back on bass. I’d never seen him play life and it was a thrill to witness him “rowing” his instrument as in all those great videos from the eighties.

The same goes for Faster Pussycat, who welcomed back guitarist Greg Steele for much of their show at the Whiskey. There was a hardness and simplicity to his playing that returned the band to its roots.

The newest guitarist in FP, Ace Von Johnson, did not look best pleased.

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LOUDMOUTH was born in On The Street magazine in Sydney, during 1989.

I brought it back in 2011 as a sort of rock news digest, which I would add to as each month wore on.

But the dissemination of rock news is very different today than it was in 1989. Does anyone want to read a rehash of what they’ve already read on Twitter?

So I have brought Loudmouth in line with its sister column, Discord (about rugby league), in that it will feature mostly analysis and opinion – along with a few anecdotes. I’m hoping to soon make it an unholy trilogy with a ‘general’ opinion column too.

I hope you enjoy the new format. Find columns going all the way back to the eighties here:

 

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