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Monday, Sep 22, 2014
Arts & Music

Motley Crue offers last chance to shout at the devil in Tampa


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After three decades of making headlines for a variety of reasons, Motley Crue, the glam-metal prototype, is finally hanging it up. Motley Crue, which will perform Sunday at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre, is on its swan-song tour. Alice Cooper will open.

Such albums as “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Shout at the Devil” and “Theatre of Pain” chronicled the band's hedonistic lifestyle. A compilation dubbed “Decade of Decadence” summed up the Crue's existence during the '80s.

Their freewheeling guitar-driven songs, such as “Kickstart My Heart,” “Ten Seconds to Love” and “Wild Side,” are tunes of freedom. It seemed that anything was possible for Motley Crue, which sold more than 80 million albums, during its heyday.

“We certainly lived the life and it was all there on the albums,” vocalist Vince Neil said. “This is a brotherhood that has had its up and downs. There's no doubt about that. But I think there were many more good times in this band than bad.”

But Motley Crue, which also includes drummer Tommy Lee, bassist Nikki Sixx and guitarist Mick Mars, is drawing the curtains on arguably the most consistent and entertaining band to come out of Los Angeles' hair-metal era.

Few groups have ever put on a show like Motley Crue, which has routinely delivered aural and visual spectacles. “With us it's like the circus is back in town,” Neil said. “They (the fans) know what they get with us. It's a high-powered fun show.”

Their hair-raising tales of debauchery have never been that exaggerated. Sixx nearly sucummbed to a heroin overdose. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter. Lee, who was married to Pam Anderson, has led the life of 10 rock stars. Just check out his memoir, “Tommyland.”

“You look at the drugs and drinking and it's amazing we're still here,” Neil said. “We survived some dark days. We could have died many times from many different things. But we made it through it.”

All the members of the band are in their 50s except for Mars, who is 63, and after a long, successful run will retire after their tour ends in 2015.

Neil will miss the rush of playing before 20,000 fans, but there's always auto racing for the good-time boy. What's the difference singing before a packed house and driving at a ridiculously high speed on a track?

“It's almost the same thing,” Neil explained. “Being on stage in front of a big crowd is so exciting, and the same thing goes for flying around the track. Once you put your helmet on or hit the stage, you get focused and go out and have fun. You get that adrenaline rush. You can't believe how great you feel. I recommend it for everyone.”

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