Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rock News Artist Of The Year #7: MOTLEY CRUE

As part of the 2011 hennemusic Rock News Awards – recognizing the biggest rock news stories and artists of the year - hennemusic is counting down the Top 10 rock news artists of the year.

The Top 10 are determined by music fans: numbers are based on the combined total page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

Rock News Artist Of The Year #08 – METALLICA
Rock News Artist Of The Year #09 – JAMES DURBIN
Rock News Artist Of The Year #10 – PEARL JAM

The 2011 hennemusic Rock News Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 20 at

Rock News Artist Of The Year #7 – MOTLEY CRUE

Court time. Jail time. Touring Time. More court time. More touring time.

2011 was just another crazy year in the life of Motley Crue.

Vince Neil’s legal problems dominated the headlines throughout the calendar - from his DUI jail sentence, to an altercation with his ex-girlfriend in front of a roomful of witnesses, to yet another plea bargain deal, Vince could just not keep his act together.

In soft-on-celebrity-crimes Las Vegas, Neil served just 10 of 15 days in February for his 2010 DUI , as the system seemed to ignore his previous 1984 conviction in Los Angeles, where Vince caused the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley while being drunk behind the wheel.

Barely a month out of jail, and only a couple of weeks after completing his house arrest on the DUI, Vince put himself in trouble again.

The Crue singer tracked down former girlfriend Alicia Jacobs at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he rushed her table and began shouting obscenities at Jacobs, Wayne Newton publicist Tricia McCrone and Las Vegas Sun writer John Katsilometes. Vince also allegedly poked Jacobs hard enough with his finger that he bruised her shoulder.

In November, Neil plead guilty to disorderly conduct in the case, paid a small fine and went about his business.

On the music front, the Crue did hit the road for one of the biggest tours of the summer, teaming up with Poison and the New York Dolls for a full North American trip.

For the occasion, the band brought all the theatrics they could muster, including Tommy Lee’s 360 degree vertical drum roller coaster, on which he would take an audience member for ride during each show.

After the summer tour ended, the Crue were honored at the 4th annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, where they were roasted by fellow rockers, and headlined a weekend show.

“Unless they’re giving out an award for the most stumbling done between clubs on Sunset Boulevard – we definitely hold the record for most stumbles – I’m not sure what they’re honoring us for,” drummer Lee told Rolling Stone.

“The very first time we sold out a Friday, Saturday and Sunday – that goes down as pretty landmark, because in my green-ass, naive, 17-year-old way, I literally was calling my parents, calling everybody I knew. I had no clue – I thought we'd made it,” said Tommy. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, we sold out a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Dude, I’m done.’ Little did I know, what an idiot (laughs). I don’t think we ever paid for anything while we lived on the Sunset Strip. It was always free drinks, free food, free everything, everywhere we went. So you gotta mark that up as a highlight. We never paid for anything, ever. Maybe the club owners and such saw something there, who knows (laughs)? Either that, or we were just really nice guys.”

In September, the Crue were back on the road for more dates, playing Australia with Bret Michaels before doing a Japanese tour. Motley rounded out 2011’s live schedule in December on a UK tour with Def Leppard and Steel Panther.

The group’s plans for 2012 were leaked in November by Vince’s pal Robin Leach, who broke the news that the band were going to become the first hard rock group to sign on for a short-term residency in Las Vegas in February.

A staged announcement about the Vegas deal on Piers Morgan’s CNN program – weeks after Leach reported the news - lost all its oomph, but the group did sound pumped about the project.

"We're the first hard rock band ever to have a residency [in Las Vegas],” said Neil. “There's been bands like Santana and Elton John and these kinds of acts, but for us… Motley Crue, we're all about theater and about over-the-top stage show, so it's a perfect fit for us. So we're really, really excited."

Mötley Crüe Mötley Crüe

Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart (2011 version)