After 30-plus years of unparallelled rock-and-roll decadence and a career that spanned the globe and made tabloid headlines (and one heck of a best-selling autobiography), Mötley Crüe is at its end. In T-minus two weeks, the iconic Hollywood hair metal band will play the final show of its final tour.
Then Mötley Crüe will be no more.
“They did it so long and so well and now they are going out the way they want to,” says Jon Ballard, program director for rock station 105.1 The Blaze, in advance of the band’s stop Thursday, Dec. 17, at the Save Mart Center.
It’s been a long time coming.
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The band’s original members – bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and vocalist Vince Neil – announced the Crüe’s demise with a formal news conference in 2014. They were joined by their respective attorneys and signed legal paperwork to head off any speculation of future reunions.
It was a nice bit of publicity and oddly professional for a band that was notorious for its debauchery (see Lee’s sex tape, Sixx’s multiple drug overdoses and Neil’s arrest for DUI and vehicular manslaughter). I said as much in a column at the time.
“We always had a vision of going out with a big (expletive) bang and not playing county fairs and clubs with one or two original band members. Our job here is done,” Tommy Lee said during the conference.
Farewell tours have become a joke in the industry. Kiss has an annual last tour, it seems like.
Jon Ballard, program director, 105.1 The Blaze
The final tour kicked off in July 2014 and sold an impressive 1,000,000 tickets in the first 72 cities alone. Reaction to the tour was so overwhelming that the band added additional tour stops (including Fresno) in August. The cities were chosen in part by the fans themselves.
“We want to say goodbye to as many fans as possible, so we added these shows around the holidays. No better way to spend them than with the people who have supported us over all these years,” Sixx said in a release.
The band could have easily played 15 shows in the top 15 markets and called it a day, Ballard says. The fact the band extended the tour into secondary markets like Fresno (and Paso Robles, where they played the Mid-State Fair) is a testament to the Crüe’s respect for its fans, Ballard says.
As is the tour’s ticket prices. Tickets to the Fresno show start at $20 and top out at $126.50, although they are selling for hundreds more on the secondary market.
With the Crüe, you get your money’s worth, Ballard says.
The band is known for producing the kind of full-on arena rock shows that fans don’t get much anymore.
Nikki Sixx hosts a syndicated rock show. Hear it weeknights from 7 p.m.-midnight on 105.1 The Blaze.
After the 1990s, rock shows became almost like a recital, Ballard says, and by that he means boring. With Mötley Crüe, there are flames and fireworks, a light show and a roller coaster drum kit that runs out onto the arena floor.
The show also has shock-rock legend Alice Cooper as an opening act.
The tour ends with a three-day run at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, which ends on New Year’s Eve. While this is the end for Sixx, Lee, Mars and Neil as a band, it won’t be the last you hear from Crüe members, Ballard says. Sixx already has a massive year planned for his solo project, Sixx:A.M. That includes a new album and world tour. He will also continue to host his syndicated rock radio show, “Sixx Sense.” The show airs on The Blaze from 7 p.m. to midnight weeknights.
Lee has also hinted at solo projects, Ballard says.
And legal wrangling aside, Ballard can’t imagine Mötley Crüe has given up on opportunities outside of touring. He’s sure fans will continue to see plenty of band merchandise and doesn’t discount the chance of hearing a new Mötley Crüe record in the future, either.
“The Mötley Crüe machine won’t stop,” he says.
- 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17
- Save Mart Center
- Tickets: $20-$129.50
- 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com