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Motley Crue's not going away mad, just going away
Don't look for Kleenex boxes or weepy sentiment from Motley Crue on its current farewell tour.
Instead the four hard rock veterans are decidedly dry-eyed about their decision to call it a career after 33 years, sales of more than 80 million records and incalculable amounts of spandex and mascara.
"It's just that time," says frontman Vince Neil, 53. "We're going out on top. We don't want to be some band that people are like, 'Oh, they're playing a club now,' that kind of band. We still sell out arenas, have stadium stuff and things like that, so let's go out when it's still a big deal."
Drummer Tommy Lee says the Crue started talking about a farewell tour a couple of years ago, when the group last visited Japan. "We started talking about how we wanted to wrap this thing up," Lee (nee Bass), 51, recalls. "It was like, 'How do we envision this ending?' We definitely had some clear thoughts on how we wanted to go out, and we always wanted to go out on top, especially after seeing a bunch of our personal favorites and other inspirations and heroes...You see some of these bands are doing the everlong farewell tours and just lying to their fans, and then you see some of our other peers that only have one or two original members and three hired guns and it's not really the band anymore.
"We don't want a part of any of that (stuff). That's just such a bad look, just not cool. That's not what we wanted to do."
The Crue -- whose debaucherous image is as responsible for the group's appeal as are hits such as "Dr. Feelgood," "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Wild Side" and the ballad "Home Sweet Home" -- kicked off The Farewell Tour during early July with a problem-plagued show in Grand Rapids but has gotten its bearings since. The plan is to rock around the globe well into 2015, with no regrets -- "We've pretty much done everything we wanted to do," Lee says -- and a desire to celebrate the Crue's career rather than mourn its demise.
"It's geared towards a happy funeral -- a celebration, but a celebration of something also being over," Lee explains. "It's like they do it in New Orleans; when someone dies, they celebrate it. It's not, like a bummer. So we're making this kind of happy funeral." And, the drummer acknowledges, there might be some tears when the last show comes around.
"I'll be able to tell you in a year and a half, once it's over," Lee says. "My thoughts are this is a good time to end it, but if you were to ask me that question the last week of the tour, I'm sure I'll have a very different answer for you."
The Crue isn't leaving fans high and dry, however. The group has released on a new song, "All Bad Things Must Come to An End," to accompany the tour, and it's also making significant progress on the long-awaited film adaptation of its explicit 2001 band biography "The Dirt;" a script read-through in Los Angeles left Lee wondering, "How the hell are we gonna rate this thing -- Triple R? This movie is insane!" And once the cast members are announced, the band plans to bring them on the road for a kind of Motley Crue "boot camp" to help them prepare for production, which is expected to begin before the end of the year.
The band members plan to stay active outside of the Crue as well. Bassist Nikki Sixx has announced an Oct. 7 release for "Modern Vintage," the third album by his band SIXX: AM with Michigan native James Michael, while Lee played drums for Smashing Pumpkins' next album, "Monuments to an Elegy," which is expected out before the end of the year. Neil tours and records as a solo act as well and has several business interests in Las Vegas, where he resides -- including a hoped-for Arena Football League team.
And while this is The Farewell Tour, the Crue members aren't ruling out the possibility of working together again. Lee notes that "making music together is still an open conversation," while Neil (nee Wharton) predicts that, "I'm sure in five, 10 years from now we'll probably do something again together, if other people's careers don't get in the way.
"But," he adds, "it's not gonna be like a Kiss farewell to the farewell to the farewell to the farewell tour. It won't be like that. We're not going to say farewell and then try to get people to come back again in a little while."
Motley Crue, Alice Cooper and the Raskins
7 p.m. Aug. 9
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township
Tickets are sold out
Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com
Note: The tour returns to the metro area Nov. 8 at Joe Louis Arena. Tickets are $20-$75
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