Even though Motley Crue signed a legal document confirming that their lucrative 2014-15 “Final Tour” would be their last, the group is plotting a trek in 2020, sources tell Variety. Rolling Stone reported today that Def Leppard and Poison will be joining the group for the tour, which it says will include stadiums; reps for the three acts did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.
While multiple reports of a Motley Crue reunion tour have popped up in the wake of “The Dirt,” the hit Netflix biopic about the band released earlier this year, band manager Allen Kovac denied the rumors to Variety last month, saying that there was “no tour and no band.”
Singer Vince Neil also denied the rumors in a tweet on Nov. 5. “People these rumors are false,” he wrote. “I haven’t spoken to any band member’s since movie premiere. I had to cancel shows due to back problems which I am getting treatment now. There is no tension between me and [drummer Tommy Lee]. Don’t believe anything from These so-called gossip sites. Keep Rocking.”
However, a source tells Variety, “They want to keep the momentum up after such an amazing response to ‘The Dirt.’ They have a whole new generation of fans now who have discovered their music and were super stoked that the film blew past expectations.”
Crue bassist and main songwriter Nikki Sixx himself stoked rumors on Sunday, tweeting in response to a fan who’d posted some early tour dates, “Those early days were all about NEW music, laser focused work ethic and pushing buttons. Glad we did it together. Hey in #2021 we will be 40 years old. Maybe a good thing to celebrate??? Let’s throw a massive party.”
Considering the bandmembers’ long history of substance abuse, sources also spoke of a tour promoter requiring certain rehab guarantees involving Neil and Lee, although this was not confirmed. Radar Online published a similar report last month, saying that the tour promoter was Live Nation, and required that Neil lose weight and meet certain rehab requirements; the report then claimed that Neil said Lee was the one who needed rehab requirements, which is presumably the “tension” Neil denied in his tweet.
On that farewell tour, the group played 158 concerts around the world, bidding 1,358,423 fans farewell on their self-proclaimed “Final Tour.” While such tours have come to be taken with a grain of salt — artists from Ozzy Osbourne and the Scorpions to Cher have “retired,” only to return to the road sooner than later — the Crue put their intentions in writing: in a showy press conference in Hollywood on January 28, 2014, the quartet signed a legal document known as a “cessation of touring” contract, preventing them from touring beyond the year 2015 under the name Motley Crue. However, that document has never been made publicly available.
In 2013, bassist and cofounder Nikki Sixx told Rolling Stone, “The most important thing about a farewell tour is that the band doesn’t lie to the fans and then come back years later.”
But in 2013, Sixx and his bandmates didn’t realize the potential riches the future could hold. The buzz surrounding “The Dirt” spurred interest in the band, its story and its era, and viewers waxed nostalgic for its rose-colored take on the politically incorrect rock shenanigans of the 1980s. The perhaps-unexpected success of the film and its soundtrack, which was Motley’s first top-10 album in 11 years, spurred journalists and fans to question why the band would end it all. And after the “Final Tour” reportedly grossed more than $86 million, the group did, too.
During the press campaign for “The Dirt,” Sixx said, “I was doing an interview a while ago with Tommy [Lee, drummer]. The interviewer said, ‘So you guys think you’re gonna go tour now?’ And before I could say no, Tommy went, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ And I went, ‘What?’ And he goes, ‘Well, you know. If we got in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,’ which we’ve been told we’d never be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because we didn’t play fair, and we sued our record company and took our masters, so we’re not the darlings of the record industry.’
“And Tommy said, ‘Yeah, maybe if we got in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we’ll dust off a couple of these old, dirty rock ’n’ roll songs.’ And I go, ‘Uh, okay.’ And I think I was talking to Vince the other day, and I told him that, and he goes, ‘That would be fun.’”
In a separate June 2019 interview for “The Dirt” audiobook, Sixx said, “Me and Tommy went to lunch the other day and I asked, ‘Did we retire too early?’ And we both started laughing.”
Since forming in 1981, Motley Crue — the classic lineup of which also included guitarist Mick Mars and vocalist Vince Neil — have put out 10 studio albums containing a series of singles reflecting their hard-partying, bad-boy lifestyle, including “Girls Girls Girls,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Kickstart My Heart” and “Dr. Feelgood.”
While the Final Tour was long and arduous, the energetic and charismatic Sixx, now 60, and Lee, 57, captivated crowds. However, many reports from the Final Tour said that Neil, never the strongest of singers, often struggled, and Mars’ chronic back condition — called ankylosing spondylitis — rendered him nearly immobile.