Miles on the Road and Them: Motley Crue gives up fast lane, but not on stage - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Entertainment

Miles on the Road and Them: Motley Crue gives up fast lane, but not on stage - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Entertainment

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Miles on the Road and Them: Motley Crue gives up fast lane, but not on stage

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Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 3:30 pm

These days, Motley Crue's image as one of the more notorious metal hair bands requires a bit of smoke and mirrors.

On-stage, the smoke is very real, as the band still delivers the all-out spectacle you would expect, complete with big '80s-style hair, outlandish costumes, dramatic lighting, an ear-pounding wall of sound, and a quartet of sexed-up female singer-dancers in skimpy outfits.

"There's a great stage set and great songs and girls dancing and doing acrobatics," frontman Vince Neil says. "Every song has something spectacular with it. It's very visual. That's the way Motley Crue has always done it."

Off-stage, Motley Crue is doing things a bit differently now - the now-middle-aged band has had to put its hard-charging days behind it, according to Neil. Each member travels on his own bus, with drummer Tommy Lee and bassist Nikki Sixx even bringing along their kids on tour.

"Dude, you're talking about when you're somebody in their early 20s, being the first time on the road - every band goes out and goes crazy, because it's new and you've got money and you've never seen the world," Neil says about the band's reputation for excess. "We're in our 50s now - you do the math."

Motley Crue, which is wrapping up the U.S. portion of its North American tour in Atlantic City, has gotten a little road weary after touring non-stop the past few years.

"People think it's a (party), but you're working five days a week. It wears on you," Neil says.

Despite the rigors of touring, guitarist Mick Mars, who has suffered from a form of arthritis since he was a teenager, is more than holding his own, according to Neil.

"His health is his health," Neil says. "He deals with his disease, but he does a great job on stage. He gets out there and plays his heart out, and we all have fun.

"He's been doing this with his pain and his disease for a long time - it hasn't gotten any better, but it hasn't gotten any worse."

Even with the band's relative stability, the end is near for their more than four-decade run.

"We're planning on doing one more trip around the world - that will end around 2015 -and then call it a day, at least for Motley Crue," Neil says. "I'll continue touring with my band and performing."

It's been quite a ride for the Los Angeles-based band, which formed in 1981. Motley Crue was one of the most influential bands of its genre, moving some 25 million records in the U.S. and selling out arenas at home and abroad.

The band's top hits include "Shout at the Devil," "Smokin' in the Boys Room," "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Dr. Feelgood" and "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)."

But the music often proved a sideshow to Motley Crue's real-life antics, with members at various times having to deal with serious substance-abuse problems, brushes with the law, multiple marriages and divorces, and major spats with each other- both Neil and Lee exited the band for periods of time, before returning to the fold.

Having been through so much, individually and as a group, Motley Crue is now trying to enjoy whatever time it has left together.

"We've been doing this for 32 years now," Neil says.

"We split up for a short while, but I think bands that have been together for 32 years, a lot of them don't get back together. We're one of the rare ones, really. Things are great. We do what we do. We get out and have some fun and make some music."

Before Motley Crue hangs it up, there likely will be a farewell tour, some new music and possibly one last gift for fans: the much-delayed film version of the band's aptly titled 2001 memoir, "The Dirt."

Of the big-screen adaptation, Neil says, "I won't believe it until I actually see it. The thing has been going on and off for so many years. It should be cool.

"A lot of people are looking forward to seeing it. If it's anything like the book, it should be great."

Motley Crue's 2012 summer was sealed with Kiss

Motley Crue spent last summer on the road with another band with a similar reputation for being wild and crazy on stage and off - KISS.

The experience brought Motley Crue back to its early '80s origins, when it got a major break as the opener for KISS at the height of the latter band's popularity, according to lead singer Vince Neil.

"Our very first tour was opening for KISS in 1981," Neil recalls. "We've been friends with them ever since. It was great to be back hanging out with the guys."

For Motley Crue, which over the years has toured with veteran rock acts like Aerosmith and AC/DC, such packages offer a chance to reconnect with peers whom you otherwise might not cross paths.

"The rock 'n' roll world is very small, so you know everybody," Neil says. "But you don't get to see them because everybody usually is on tour at the same time. It was really cool to see the KISS guys again and hang out."

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