the first time i saw motley crue was at the aragon ballroom in downtown chicago on 5/11/84, i remember because it was my buddy keef’s birthday and he was the one who got me into the crue.
shout at the devil had been out for a few months and it was instantly one of my favorite albums. maybe it was the ominious black cover with raised devil star promising some sort of occultish mystery, maybe it was the hot babes in the video, maybe it was the newfangled semi-kiss makeup and teased hair.
but it was probably the heavy guitar mixing some of the best of malcom young, judas priest, and the parade of hair metal bands that were popping up on the sunset strip like so many palm trees.
alot has changed with the crue since their debut Too Fast For Love in ’83. theyve gone from being just another poison + warrant + tesla + cinderella + ratt peer to being legit rock stars who have lived the life harder faster and livelier than pretty much any group.
teetering between laughably forgetably and atypical to downright catchy and lasting, motley crue has somehow kept it hard for all these years which is certainly saying something considering the long strange trip that theyve been on.
and so when i got the email asking if i wanted to go to the show That Night and cover it for my favorite local weekly i thought about it for a total of one second and quickly looked at my gmail to see when the email had been sent. ah four minutes! i hope they hadnt already found someone. so i wrote back with a hell yes and got a quick reply telling me that my tickets would be waiting for me at the forum club. i had made the big time. fucking a.
back in the day the forum was it, and the forum club was the little bar that only the v of the v.i.p.s would party in before and after laker games, concerts, boxing matches, etc.
all the great acts have played at the forum. hendrix, zep, nirvana, ac/dc, prince… everyone. the former home of the lakers and gretzkey’s kings is now owned by a church but every once in a while they lease it out for a rock show and that night it was the return to LA by one of their own, Motely Crue who somehow had sold out the 20,000 seat arena despite ticket prices hovering around (and above) triple digits.
we arrived, paid our $20 for parking and got into the show after some confusion and security people pointing us in the right way. strangely it was the swedish virgin who found out how we were supposed to get into the forum club as me in my iron maiden longsleeve looking like a venezualian thug wasnt getting us the right answers, but fortunately her sweet disposition and ability to overhear other journalists got us where we needed to be
and soon we were eight rows up and to the side of the stage. pretty much a perfect view of what was happening which was rock had returned to the fabulous forum. the micro miniskirts had also returned, the devil horns had returned, the leather pants and long hair and chicks in lingerie. everything had come back with a vengence and there were all those classic tunes again and everyone was smiling. the band just as much as the fans. it was a lite metal love fest. it was great.
and when we drove home the swedish girl said thanks for taking me to my first rock show, what will you write? and i said kiss me and i’ll tell you. she said i cant im driving.
and when we stopped at a red light she said why are you smiling and i said cuz im about to kiss you. watch out. here it comes. she said but the lights about to change. i said shhhh. kissed her, and this is what i told her.