I have been listening to all sorts of metal for 26 years, but when I think of Motley Crue, I go all gooey. Now before you castigate me, let me explain.
Way back in the blazing summer of ’87, my brother and I were with our family visiting relatives in California when we were introduced to MTV and heavy metal music. I’ll never forget when Motley Crue’s Girls, Girls, Girls video blazed to life on our Aunt’s TV screen, featuring wild women, wailing guitars, and long haired, greasy bastards in leather riding Harley’s and menacing bar patrons with switch blades. Unlike my teenaged brother, I was too young to appreciate the dancing skills of the young ladies, but we were mutually blown away by what we naively considered to be the most heavy music we’d ever encountered. It was like taking someone who had been raised on nothing but a bland, nutrient rich paste and then giving them a McDonald’s cheese burger to try. Not that good to you or I, but to them that burger contained a tantalizing array of dangerous flavors and textures and now they must have more, dammit!
It was the same for us and Motley Crue. We’d come from a home dominated by classical and ’50s rock, so when we were exposed to metal music as tame and watered down as Motley Crue was, in our innocent minds, it was far and away more extreme than what our parents were listening to and we wanted more, precious! By years end we had graduated from hair metal to thrash.
So you see, my feels for Motley Crue is not because I find their music compelling and timeless, but because they helped me on my journey and to realize that the metal was inside me, all along.