Front and center on the homepage of Mötley Crüe’s website is a tombstone. “R.I.P. 1981-2015” it reads. The band couldn’t make it clearer. After this year, they are toast.
In fact, they’ve gone as far as to sign paperwork stating that their “All Bad Things Must Come To An End” tour, which comes to the Tacoma Dome on Friday (July 24), will be the end.
In 2014 the band members signed a cessation of touring agreement. That year’s tour, call it the beginning of the end, grossed $45 million in ticket sales.
After 34 years Mötley Crüe’s fans are legion. Whether you’re old school Crüe or a newbie, here some facts to prep you.
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The Los Angeles-based quartet are Vince Neil (vocals), Mick Mars (guitars), Nikki Sixx (bass) and Tommy Lee (drums).
80 million albums sold (seven platinum or multi-platinum), 22 Top 40 mainstream rock hits and six Top 20 pop singles. And the guys also are authors: four New York Times best-sellers, including the band’s biography “The Dirt.”
Tell all, show all
A life lived in excess has defined much of the band’s history. Sixx’s autobiography, “The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the life of a Shattered Rock Star” is self-explanatory.
Among Lee’s notable achievements were his marriages to Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson — that last union producing a scandalous sex tape back when the public was still scandalized by such things.
Neil took a leave from Crüe to take up racing cars. The frontman has had his share of legal troubles, most notably a 1984 drunken driving crash that killed passenger drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley of band Hanoi Rocks.
Mars, by comparison, is practically a choir boy. Since a teen, he has struggled with a disabling inflammatory disease. But the guitarist told “Classic Rock” that he’ll write a tell-all book after the band’s final show. “It won’t be anything like ‘The Dirt’,” he said. “After 30 years of being suppressed, I’m going to be bringing out a lot of (expletive).”
Tacoma’s favorite Crüe song
The Tacoma Dome held a contest this week for free tickets to the show. Entrants simply had to post their favorite Crüe song to the Dome’s Facebook page. The two top vote getters were “Kickstart My Heart” and “Shout at the Devil.”
Umlauts over Tacöma
Besides imparting a vaguely Germanic feel to a name, we’re not exactly sure what an umlaut — those two dots over vowels — does. But they sure look cool. Mötley Crüe isn’t the only 1970s metal band with umlauts. Blue Öyster Cult and Motörhead used them, as did punk rockers Hüsker Dü and even the fictional band, Spinal Tap. Heck, even Jay-Z briefly flirted with the idea on his “Reasonable Doubts” album. These days it might be mistaken for an emoticon.
No More Mr. Nice Guy himself has been touring with Mötley Crüe since 2014 and he’ll be in Tacoma on Friday. Today, the veteran musician performs his classic 1970s rock. But back in the 1970s, it was all about shocking audiences and making a “bad reputation.” In 2013 he told The News Tribune that, “Every parent in America hated it. But actually the theatrics were not satanic, there was no nudity or profanity. Now, I don’t think you can shock an audience. … But if you can be more shocking than CNN, you’re doing well — these days, reality is far more shocking.”
The Last Show
If you miss the Tacoma show, there’s still time. Mötley Crüe says its final show will be at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Dec. 31.
Or will it?
The Crüe wouldn’t be the first musical artists to announce a farewell tour and then — surprise — start touring again.
Judas Priest called it quits in 2011, only to start touring again in 2013. “We, uh, lied,” Glenn Tipton said by way of explanation.
Cher launched her “Last Farewell Tour” in 2002 and then came out of retirement 10 years later. If you don’t count the Vegas act in between.
Way back in 1977 Elton John said he was giving up touring. Many tours later he explained drugs and hallucinations were the reasons for his temporary retirement.
Other notable singers and bands who couldn’t say farewell: Frank Sinatra, Nine Inch Nails, Ozzy Osbourne, Tina Turner and The Who.
What: The Final Tour “All Bad Things Must Come To An End.”
With: Alice Cooper.
When: 7 p.m. Friday (July 24). Set times: 7 p.m. - The Cringe, 7:45 p.m. - Alice Cooper, 9 p.m. - Mötley Crüe. Doors will open at approximately 5:30-6 p.m.
Where: Tacoma Dome, 2727 East D Street, Tacoma.
Parking: $25 cash only parking in Tacoma Dome lots, opening at 2 p.m.