Some bands launch “farewell tours” that wind up being anything but. But it seems like Mötley Crüe are dead serious about bowing out when their “The Final Tour” comes to an end on New Year’s Eve this year (with a final bash at the Staples Center in Los Angeles), as all the members—singer Vince Neil, guitarist Mick Mars, bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee—signed a legally binding agreement that states the band will not tour beyond this year. Speaking with Long Island Pulse, Vince Neil explained that the idea to step away was not an off-the-cuff decision.
“We started talking about it…I remember we were in Japan. It had to be at least five years ago. We started setting it up back then, so it’s been a while. It’s not something that we said, ‘Eh…let this be our last tour.’ We did a couple more tours, and then we decided 35 years sounds like a good number to end with.” And the tour—which also features veteran shock rocker Alice Cooper on the bill—has been doing great business, ever since it launched in July 2014. But when asked if the tour’s success will make it hard for the band to stick with their plan, Neil said: “No, because all of our tours have been successful. We put together the biggest tour we’ve ever done for the last tour, and it would be hard for us to go out and top what we’re doing now.”
That said, fans can look forward to possibly new music from the Crüe. “The band’s not breaking up. We’re just not going to tour anymore. We’ll probably come out with some music for different projects and things like that, but we just won’t be together on stage performing the songs.” With a total of nine studio albums to their credit (spanning 1981 through 2008), Neil found it a bit difficult to pick a favorite of the bunch. “That’s a tough one, because they’re like little kids—they all have their different styles and attitudes. I like Girls, Girls, Girls a lot—I think there are some really good, gritty songs. Then I also like Saints of Los Angeles—I think it’s one of my favorites.”
But the singer found it easier to discuss how the band’s heavily made-up image of the early to mid ’80s influenced a legion of subsequent “glam/hair metal” acts. “If you look at the way we looked and our sound, we came out before everybody else, and as soon as everybody started looking like us, we changed. So like, when we did Theatre of Pain, with the kind of drag stuff and the real flamboyant look, people started looking like that, and then we changed to the biker look with Girls, Girls, Girls. Then people started doing that, and we changed again, to Dr. Feelgood. So we always try to keep one step ahead of everybody else.”
And according to numerous accounts over the years, few rock bands have partied as hard as Mötley Crüe did back in the day—many tales of which were chronicled in the group’s now-classic autobiography, The Dirt (with plans for it to become a motion picture). When asked how close the book was to the truth, Neil responded, “It was 100%. There was nothing made up, we didn’t sugarcoat—if you were an asshole, you were an asshole, if you were a good guy, you were a good guy. When we did that book, we all made a pact with each other that we’re all going to tell the exact truth, exactly the way you saw it. And it’s funny, because sometimes, there’s different recollections of the same event. But that’s from just different point of views.”
Despite the quartet originally hailing from L.A., one thing that Neil could always count on was the Crüe’s strong bond with New York audiences. “It’s always been a blast, because we’ll play the Garden, then we’ll play Nassau Coliseum. Jones Beach I always loved, because I love it outside right on the water like that. But Nassau Coliseum was a blast—one of my favorite places, because back then they didn’t have seats [probably in reference to general admission seating on the floor]. You’d just go, run in, and where you stand, that’s where you are. So that was always a plus for us.”
Once the clock strikes 2016 and Mötley Crüe ceases to be a touring act, it sounds like Neil will continue rocking and rolling as a solo artist—amidst non-music endeavors. “When Mötley doesn’t tour, I go out and play with my solo band—so that’s never really stopped. The only thing is now I’ll have time to put out some new music, make a new album with the guys. I have my arena football team here in Las Vegas [Las Vegas Outlaws], a bunch of restaurants. So, I have a lot of stuff to look forward to.”