Motley Crue’s Mick Mars recently gave an exclusive interview to Ultimate Classic Rock about the looming break-up of his band and explained, “I’m not comparing us with the Beatles, but…”
Slow down, Mick dude. That’s a big “but” right there. When an aging guitarist in a band, who some would argue hit their peak in 1983 with their second album, Shout at the Devil, starts throwing casual disclaimers into a conversation about not comparing Motley Crue with The Beatles, you sort of know that’s exactly what they are doing. And that would be wrong.
The Beatles may be cosmically overrated, but John, Paul, George, and Ringo definitely had an edge over Vince, Nikki, Tommy, and Mick, in an almost intergalactic sense.
Let’s look at the facts. In under a decade, The Beatles helped change the course of popular culture, and along the way, wrote 12 albums of decent tunes, renditions of which are murdered on a daily basis by enthusiastic songbirds all over the world. The Beatles hit the ground running and didn’t stop until they scored touchdown after touchdown, and when they finally felt their legs going, and knees giving way, they gallantly passed the ball to a younger opponent and bowed out on top of their game.
Motley Crue, on the other hand, lit a high-octane spark with their first album Too Fast for Love, carried the flame, albeit somewhat clumsily, through the recording of Shout at the Devil, but by the time Theatre of Pain came around, they had fumbled the ball spectacularly, and whatever had ignited them in the first place fizzled out in a most peculiar fashion as the gas in their tank all but leaked out.
By the time Girl, Girls, Girls pulled up on a Harley Davidson, with a handful of grease in its hair and a switchblade knife, it was painful to watch. The Crue had become a rock n’ roll circus, and the best thing they’ve done since has been their autobiography The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, which reads like a sort of triumphant tale of a band who chose addiction over talent, decadence over dreams, and vice over victory.
Yet in all this muck spreading, we digress, how does the big “but” in Mick’s ‘Beatles’ statement that got the ball rolling actually end? Well it was in a response to a question about the demise of Motley Crue and what will happen next, and it goes a little something like this.
“I’m not comparing us with the Beatles, but when the Beatles broke up, they came out with some really cool music. You never know. Nikki and I could throw out a song (or something like that), but there are no plans to do that. If it happens, cool. If it don’t, that’s okay too.”
Motley Crue’s last ever gig will be on December 31, 2015, at the Staples Center in their hometown of Los Angeles, after which the Crue members will go their separate ways after 35 years of making music together, compared with The Beatles’ 10.
It remains to be seen if any of the Crue guys have got a solo album comparable with Lennon’s Imagine, Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, McCartney’s Band on the Run, or even Ringo’s Sentimental Journey in them, but, and it’s a big but, you just never know.