Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil performs on July 2 in Grand Rapids, Mich. | AP Photo/Grand Rapids Press, Joel Bissell
With Alice Cooper
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: First Midwest Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland, Tinley Park
Updated: September 8, 2014 7:19AM
Dr. Feelgood’s prognosis for Motley Crue? Terminal. The notoriously hedonistic glam-metal pioneers are calling it quits with a Final Tour that comes to the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park on Friday. The 72-date North American tour runs through November, ahead of a global itinerary expected to extend through 2015.
After that, the foursome that has sold 80 million albums worldwide on the strength of such rock anthems as “Dr. Feelgood,” “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” “Kickstart My Heart” and “Girls, Girls Girls,” will bow out.
“By the time we’re done, it will have been 35 years,” says guitarist Mick Mars, 63. “Motley had a great run. It’s time to open the door for younger bands.”
Agreeing to disband “was easy,” says bassist Nikki Sixx, 55. “It’s dignified and gang-oriented. We’re a band of brothers. A lot of people are going: ‘What about all the money? Don’t you have 10 more years in you?’ Well, maybe. But we’re peaking now. Let’s check out at the top. “I look at my favorite boxers and wonder why they didn’t stop two fights earlier. We’re taking our championship belt and going home.”
Singer Vince Neil, 53, says the band unanimously decided to split while in fighting shape to cap their resume with a knockout.
“It’s a cool way to be remembered,” he says. “We’re leaving on our terms, not because of a lack of fans or inner fighting. Everything we have done is for the fans.”
That includes the formal “cessation of touring agreement,” a legal document the band signed in January binding them to never tour again after 2015.
“People are wary of farewell tours,” Neil says. “They think bands do it just to ramp up ticket sales. A few years later, a band does a reunion tour, then another farewell tour.”
To renege would mean “lying to our fans and shaming ourselves,” Sixx says. “We will never come back. We do not want to come back. We want people to take this seriously. We see so many farewell tours and comebacks where it’s not the same band anymore. You see it sliding down a hole. We want to guarantee that will never happen.”
Well, he does see the possibility of reunion performances if the band is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or gets a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
“Then we’d brush off the dust and show people what we’re made of,” Sixx says.
While adamant about their exit, their emotions are less cut and dried.
“It’s weird,” says drummer Tommy Lee, 51. “A part of you is extremely happy and proud that you’re leaving a good thing alone. Another part is extremely sad. But it excites me that nobody will be able to say, ‘Look at those old guys playing the county fair. They should have tapped out years ago.’”
An album due Aug. 19, “Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue,” blends hair-metal and twang as country stars such as Florida Georgia Line and LeAnn Rimes tackle Motley hits. “Everyone was a little hesitant,” says Neil, who added vocals to Justin Moore’s “Home Sweet Home.: “Some of them made these songs better than the originals.”
The tribute moved Motley, but not enough to stop them from moving on.
For Lee, that means “going in 400 different directions.” Billy Corgan enlisted him for the upcoming Smashing Pumpkins record. “Side projects have been enjoyable but frustrating,” Lee says. “You can’t give it 100 percent when the mother ship keeps pulling you back.”
Sixx is plotting a new solo album and a Broadway production of his gritty 2007 autobiography “The Heroin Diaries.” “I’m looking forward to jumping off the 13th floor with my eyes shut.”
Neil has a full plate of business interests, including a minority stake in the Jacksonville Sharks arena football team. He’s looking at starting up a Quickie Burger joint and a Lamborghini dealership.
Guitarist Mick Mars has been writing songs for a solo project and mulling ideas for his memoirs. Suffering from the chronic inflammatory disease ankylosing spondylitis, he’ll miss performing but not the rigors of touring. “I’m not a youngster anymore.”