Motley Crue’s ‘The Dirt’ Trailer: A Scene-by-Scene Breakdown
Motley Crue's first trailer for The Dirt touches on more than their history of over-the-top debauchery. Here's an in-depth look at career milestones featured in the promo clip to tide you over until the movie version of their memoir premieres March 22 on Netflix.
1. Their Formation
Tommy Lee formed the band with Nikki Sixx and singer-guitarist Greg Leon. After Leon left, they found guitarist Mick Mars via an ad and then singer Vince Neil, whom Lee knew from high school. The four members are described in the trailer as "a runaway," a "cute drummer," an "old man" and a "cover band singer."
2. The Runaway
Born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna Jr., Nikki Sixx was raised by his grandparents after his mother abandoned him. As a teenager, he often got into trouble for stealing and was kicked out of school for dealing drugs. When he was 17, he moved to Los Angeles and played in a few bands before connecting with Lee.
3. The Cute Drummer
The trailer suggests that Tommy Lee was destined for rock stardom. You see him practicing his devil-hands poses in the mirror and borrowing his sister's skin-tight animal-print pants. "But they look so much better on me," he persists.
4. The Old Man
5. The Cover Band Singer
Lee knew Vince Neil from high school, where they had been in different groups. Neil then moved on to another outfit called Rock Candy and when that band began to fall apart, he accepted Motley Crue's offer to join.
6. The First Gig
The trailer shows Sixx swinging his bass at an audience member. This took place at their first-ever concert on April 24, 1981. They opening up two sets for Y&T at the Starwood Hotel in West Hollywood. Neil says someone in the crowd spit on him during the first song so Neil jumped off the stage, "put him in a headlock and started pummeling him." Then Sixx "had his white Thunderbird bass over his head, He swung it forward like a circus strength-game mallet and cracked it over some guy's shoulder blade. If there was a bell on the guys' head, it would have gone through the roof." Still, they quickly won over the crowd. "They told their friends, and even more people came to see us the next night," Neil said. "When Y&T came out for their second set on Saturday, half the room had emptied."
7. Tom Zutaut Signs Them
Played by Pete Davidson, Tom Zutaut was responsible for bringing Motley Crue to Elektra Records. A few years later, he was working for Geffen when he signed another band from the Los Angeles metal scene, Guns N' Roses.
8. The 'Shout at the Devil' Tour
Motley Crue's second album, Shout at the Devil, arrived in September 1983. The nascent band had picked up steam earlier that year thanks to an appearance at the US Festival, then caught the attention of Ozzy Osbourne, who picked them to be his opening act in support of Bark at the Moon. This tour became a lesson for Motley Crue about rock n' roll decadence from a master of the form. One famous story recalled in The Dirt found Osbourne in a dress snorting ants because there was no more cocaine. “Then he hiked up the sundress, grabbed his dick and pissed on the pavement," Sixx remembered. "Without even looking at his growing audience ... he knelt down and, getting the dress soggy in the puddle, lapped it up. ... Then he stood up and, eyes blazing and mouth wet with urine, looked straight at me. ‘Do that, Sixx!’”
9. Doc McGhee
Motley Crue signed a 1983 management deal with Doc McGhee, who later admitted that he wasn't a fan of the band but saw their commercial potential: "I couldn't even understand what they were playing, they were so bad," he said in 2015. "But I saw 3,000 kids going apeshit and buying every piece of merchandise." The next six years were a wild ride for McGhee before they fired him after Bon Jovi, another of his clients, wound up headlining the Moscow Music Peace Festival. (The 1989 festival was part of McGhee's community service stemming from his plea bargain for smuggling 20 tons of marijuana into the U.S.) In the trailer, McGhee (David Costabile) says, "I had managed the Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Kiss. But I've never been through what Motley Crue put me through."
10. The Car Crash
Motley Crue were celebrating their first U.S. tour with Hanoi Rocks on Dec. 8, 1984, when Neil and drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley decided to buy some more liquor. Neil lost control of the vehicle and crashed with an oncoming car. Razzle was killed and a person in the other car suffered brain damage. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail (though he was released early for good behavior), five years probation and 200 hours of community service; Neil also paid $2.6 million in restitution.
11. Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear
Lee and Heather Locklear couldn't have seemed more different coming into their May 10, 1986 nuptials. She was the squeaky clean actress who portrayed Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker and Tommy Lee was ... well, you know. This didn't seem like a union that would last, though – for a time, anyway – it did. The couple, who reportedly met backstage at an REO Speedwagon concert, actually boasted an eight-year union. After their 1994 divorce, Locklear married Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and Lee eventually moved on to Pamela Anderson, marrying her just 96 hours after they met.
12. Mick Mars' Health
Lee and Neil individually confirmed that Mick Mars' battle with ankylosing spondylitis – a kind of arthritis that impacts the lower spine – was a contributing factor in Motley Crue's retirement from the road. "It's one of those things that's treatable, but not curable," Lee said in 2013. "So, it's just progressively getting really worse and it's painful for him, so he doesn't want to tour much longer. I can't say I blame him." Mars later pushed back on Twitter, saying "any rumors regarding a farewell tour due to 'my poor health' are BS. I am doing fine, my AS has never kept me from touring and never will."
13. Nikki Sixx Overdoses
Sixx died on Dec. 23, 1987, overdosing on heroin during a drug-fueled night of partying with Slash, Steven Adler and Ratt’s Robbin Crosby. Paramedics were called as he turned blue. They administered an adrenaline shot to revive him, but not before Sixx had an out-of-body experience, which he later recounted in The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. Sixx awoke a few hours later in the hospital, then promptly left in nothing more than his leather pants. Outside in the parking lot, Sixx met a pair of groupies who were holding a vigil in his memory.
14. Vince Neil's Tragedy
Neil's daughter Skylar died of cancer at age 4 in 1995. That led the singer to found the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund, which has raised millions of dollars for children's cancer research. "This ordeal is something no parent should have to go through," Neil later told People magazine. "More than that, I wish no child ever had to go through it." Neil's 1995 solo album Carved in Stone includes a tribute called "Skylar's Song." He was married to Skylar's mother Sharie Ruddell from 1987-93.
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