Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Picture of Motley Crue and The Dirt book autographed by Vince Neil (1988, 2001)

I remember when my older brother showed me his Motley Crue Shout at the Devil LP. I couldn’t believe the picture of the band inside, but was blown away when I heard the first two tracks - In the Beginning and Shout at the Devil. The music was heavier and meaner than Van Halen, and I liked it a lot. I remember being one of only a few students in my 5th grade class who knew about Vince Neil’s car crash in December of 1984. This was before we had cable/MTV, so I think we all thought that The Crue was over. Through the magic of being a rock star and money, Vince only went to jail for 30 days and the band continued. In my 10-year-old mind, I figured what he didn’t must not have been that bad if he only had to be in jail for a month – and I was happy they didn’t break up. The next summer, my brother got Theatre of Pain and brought it up to PEI. We listened to it just about every day, and “Home Sweet Home” quickly became the favorite with my siblings and me. When Girls, Girls, Girls came out a couple of years later, I made sure I had a copy the day it was released. I don’t know how many other 7th graders with straight A’s walked around playing the new Crue album at school on the last day (they let us do this as long as we were outside), but I was one of them.

That summer, my older brother did something that would change me forever: Motley Crue was touring, and he took me to my first concert at the Centrum in Worcester. Not only did it quickly make The Crue my favorite band; it made going to concerts one of my favorite things to do. Like I wrote on my blog about meeting Nikki Sixx, I remember hearing about Nikki’s overdose. It was the winter after that first show, and (again because of the time and slow news travel) the rumor was that Nikki had died. Of course he had died for a couple of minutes, but the news of his “kickstart” didn’t reach me until later that day. I remember being relieved and pissed at the same time. I thought “Dancing on Glass” meant not doing drugs anymore, and was upset that Nikki would put his life on the line like that. But, I was happy to find out he was okay, and hoped the close call would make him stop.

And in the summer of 1988, I hung up this picture by my bed in Prince Edward Island. My brothers, sisters, and I often bought “metal mags” to keep up with our rock heroes. I don’t know if this came out of Metal Edge, Circus, Hit Parader, or Rip, but I’m sure it was one of them. We didn’t have the internet, we had magazines.

My older sister got me this autographed copy of The Dirt, and I just finished reading it again yesterday. Say what you will about Motley’s music, this book makes it clear to me that these 4 people were meant to be in a band together. They all have demons that differ in size and shape, and the way they dealt with them was through rock, chemicals, and sex. It’s really a miracle they survived through it all, and pretty amazing that after all the drama, breakups, and headlines, they still put out a kick-ass album a few years ago (Saints of Los Angeles). If you are (or were) a fan of this band, The Dirt is a must read. And if you don’t like the song Home Sweet Home, shame on you…

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