heavy rock band was formed in 1980 by Nikki Sixx (b. Frank Ferranno,
11 December 1958, San Jose, California, USA; bass) and consisted
of former members of several other Los Angeles-based outfits.
Tommy Lee (b. Thomas Bass, 3 October 1962, Athens, Greece; drums)
was recruited from Suite 19; Vince Neil (b. Vince Neil Wharton,
8 February 1961, Hollywood, California, USA; vocals) from Rocky
Candy; while Sixx himself had recently left London. Mick Mars
(b. Bob Deal, 3 April 1956, Terra Haute, Indiana, USA; guitar)
was added to the line-up after Sixx and Lee answered an advertisement
announcing "Loud, rude, aggressive guitarist available".
Their first single, "Stick To Your Guns"/"Toast
Of The Town", was issued in 1981 on their own Leathr
label, followed by their self-produced debut, Too Fast For Love.
The band signed to Elektra Records in 1982, and the album was
remixed and reissued that August. The following year they recorded
a new set, Shout At The Devil, with producer Tom Werman. He stayed
at the helm for the two albums that broke them to a much wider
audience in the USA, Theatre Of Pain (which sold more than two
million copies) and Girls, Girls, Girls, which achieved the highest
entry (number 2) for a heavy metal album on Billboard's album
chart since The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin in 1976.
albums refined the raw sound of earlier releases, without hiding
the influence that Kiss and Aerosmith exerted on their work. This
change in style, which saw Mtley Cre experimenting
with organs, pianos and harmonicas in addition to their traditional
instruments, was described as a move from "club-level metal
glam" to "stadium-size rock 'n' roll". The band
were not without their setbacks, however. In December 1984, Vince
Neil was involved in a major car crash in which Hanoi Rocks drummer
Razzle was killed. The subsequent Theatre Of Pain was dedicated
to his memory, and this grim incident helped to inform the mood
of the recording. Three years later, Nikki Sixx came close to
death after a heroin overdose following touring with Guns N'Roses.
Feuds with that same band, particularly between Neil and Axl Rose,
later provided the band with many of their column inches in an
increasingly disinterested press.
survived to appear at the Moscow Peace Festival in 1989 before
more than 200,000 people, and then issue Dr. Feelgood, which gave
them their first US number 1 chart placing. The album also yielded
two US Top 10 singles with the title track and "Without You".
Vince Neil was unexpectedly ejected from the band's line-up in
1992, establishing the Vince Neil Band shortly thereafter. His
replacement for 1994's self-titled album was John Corabi (ex-
Scream ), although the band's problems continued with a record
label/management split and a disastrous North American tour. Neil
was working with the band again in autumn 1996. Lee became the
focus of much press attention as a result of his explosive marriage
to actress Pamela Anderson. Corabi was sacked in 1996 and the
following year instigated litigation against the band members
for damages arising from non-payment of monies owed to him. This
action was taken as Generation Swine was released. Lee eventually
left the band in 1999 to concentrate on his new outfit Methods
Of Mayhem. He was replaced by Randy Castillo, who debuted on the
following year's New Tattoo.
Courtesy of sonicnet