Mötley Crüe is a hard rock outfit from Los Angeles, California that epitomized the "hair band" sound and image that was popular in the 1980s. All throughout the decade, the flamboyant quartet had their spandex-laden fans banging their heads to great songs like "Shout at the Devil" (1983), "Smokin' in the Boys Room," (1985), "Girls, Girls, Girls," (1987), and "Kickstart My Heart" (1989). The eighties ended and so did the public's fascination with teased haired, platform boots, and Mötley Crüe. However, the band made a comeback in 2005 with a very successful reunion and Mötley Crüe tour. The glam rockers released their ninth album, the ironically titled Saints of Los Angeles, in 2008. That was followed by several more tours and festival appearances. In 2011, Crüe toured Japan as part of their 30th Anniversary.
Motley Crüe was formed in 1981 by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee. After jamming for a while in L.A., the duo decided to look for other members. They hired guitarist Mick Mars immediately after a brief audition. The band offered the role of lead vocalist to Vince Neil—he and Lee had known one another since high school—but he turned them down. Undeterred, Lee asked again and this time Neil said yes. His tenure with the band officially began on April 1, 1981.
While looking for a name, Mars remember being called a "motley looking crew" while he was playing in another outfit. To make the name stand out, the fellows altered its spelling. It was Neil who suggested the umlauts over the letters "o" and "u." He got the idea from the band's beer of choice at the time, Löwenbräu.
Mötley Crüe is famous for both their hard rocking sound and their decedent antics. In fact, they might be known more for their drinking, drug abuse, and womanizing than their music. In 1984, a drunken Neil crashed his car. His passenger, Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley, drummer for Hanoi Rocks, was killed while the passengers in the other vehicle were seriously injured. In 1987, Sixx nearly died from a heroin overdose, but a talented paramedic, who just happened to be a huge Crüe fan, brought him back to life.
Although occurring nearly a decade later, Lee made headlines when a sex tape of him and model Pamela Anderson was released on the internet. Lee has also arrested for attacking a photographer (1996) and inciting a riot (1997). The drummer served prison time after kicking Anderson while she was holding their son. In 2001, a four-year old boy drowned in a swimming pool at Lee's home. Not to be left out, Neil has been arrested numerous times including for punching a record producer, assaulting a sex worker, knocking a soundman unconscious, and striking his girlfriend.
The members of Crüe have been romantically linked to numerous well-known bombshells. Besides Anderson, Lee was married to actress Heather Locklear and dated model Bobbie Brown and singer Mayte Garcia (Prince's ex-wife). Sixx dated rocker Lita Ford and pop star Vanity and married Playboy Playmates Brandi Brandt and Donna D'Errico. Neil was married to Playboy Playmate Heidi Mark.