As an exercise in flaming douchebaggery, it’s appalling even by Mötley Crüe’s famously low standards.
Remember how, in 2014, after surviving overdoses, breakups, various addictions, and Nirvana, the pioneering hair-metal quartet called a press conference to make a major announcement? In case you don’t, it was at Beacher’s Madhouse Theater in Hollywood, and the reason was to announce that the group was calling it a day.
We know what you’re thinking: namely, that the Who and the Rolling Stones have been touring steadily ever since their first farewell tours back in the early '80s. And that as sure as hell occasionally freezes over, death is the only thing that’s going to officially retire famous retirees like Jay Z, the Eagles, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Tina Turner, Garth Brooks, and Justin Bieber.
Mötley Crüe’s big mistake was the lengths that the band’s members—Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, and Mick Mars—went to show that they weren’t kidding. Forget a simple “We’re done”—the four made a major production out of signing an elaborate and binding “Cessation of Touring Agreement”, noting that breaking the contract would open them up to a lawsuit.
Who exactly would be suing Mötley Crüe was never clear. It wouldn’t have been the manufacturers of Miss Clairol hairspray, Revlon lipstick, or stakeholders in the pink Spandex market, but the details were supposedly for the lawyers to work out.
The big reason for any act retiring? That’s easy. Getting fans off the sofa and out to Rogers Arena to sing along to “Kickstart My Heart” becomes an often impossible task once they're in their 40s and 50s and living in White Rock. It becomes even harder when a band's aligned with a long-gone time, namely the heyday of Steel Panther-brand hair metal. A sure way to rally the formerly mulleted troops is to announce that folks have only one last chance to revisit the days when they looked like extras in "Heavy Metal Parking Lot".
Because of their supposed finality, retirement tours are big business—money makers in which on-the-wane acts reduced to playing soft-seaters are suddenly back headlining 12,000-capacity hockey rinks.
Questioned at the time about the Cessation of Touring Agreement, Sixx responded with “You guys in the press, you keep looking for the loophole. We’re gonna stick to our word.”
Neil added, “But I don’t see us going back on our word and saying, ‘Aw, forget it, forget it you guys—we were just kidding.’ You know? No, we won’t be doing any more concerts.”
All of which brings us to this week. Four years after performing live for the “final” time, on New Year’s Eve at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Mötley Crüe is getting ready to go back on the road.
Along with the classic lineups of Poison and Def Leppard, all four original members of the Crüe showed up at SiriusFM in Los Angeles yesterday to reveal they're locked and loaded for a 22-date package tour imaginatively titled the Stadium Tour. It makes official the November news that the group was coming out of retirement.
Rolling Stone quoted Sixx justifying the formation: “Honestly, I don’t think any of us thought, when we were on the final tour, we would ever get back together. We weren’t really getting along at that point. We had been together 35 years and it’s been a lot of years on the road. I don’t think we took a lot of time for ourselves off. We were just constantly touring for all that time. And when we came to the end, we broke the band up and everybody went their own ways. I think we really needed that break.”
Sixx went on to argue that working on the Netflix adaption of the Crüe bio The Dirt gave everyone the inclination to get back together.
“We started working on the script, we started being on the set and we started hanging out again together,” the bassist said. “And I think we sort of realized how much, without even talking about the music, how much we missed each other… We missed each other to be honest with you. We missed being in a band together.”
The good news is that, if you’re a fan, you’re going to get the chance to see Mötley Crüe like they never left.
The bad news, then, is that, if you ponied up hard-earned money to see the band on the Final Tour, Neil, Mars, Sixx, and Lee have just served notice that you’re a complete sucker, rube, stooge, patsy, moron, and flaming idiot.
Contemplate that while you play air guitar to the band’s astoundingly appalling cover of “Smoking in the Boy’s Room”. Sometimes you get what you deserve.