Farmingdale Multiplex to screen concert film on June 14
Mötley Crüe? Oh yes, Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson and their infamous tape. The jail stints for drummer Lee and lead singer Vince Neil. Bassist Nikki Sixx’s near-fatal heroin overdose, in which he was pronounced legally dead.
A ton of negative things have been said and written about the self-billed “world’s most notorious rock and roll band.” But you can’t deny that, in a perverse and admirable way, the quartet has fashioned a unique persona. After all, amidst the multitude of metal/hard rock bands all pumping out similar high-octane music, you need to find a way to stand out.
They’ve probably been on the gossip pages more than on the music pages. One suspects that this is a band which operates on the principle that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Crüe called it quits with a Dec. 31, 2015, concert at the Staples Arena in Los Angeles, a few miles from where the band launched its “infamous and decadent career” (that’s their PR people talking) on the Sunset Strip in 1981. The band commissioned a movie and Mötley Crüe: The End, is the result. It will be playing for one night only at the Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m.
It follows the convention of most concert films: fluid, kinetic, multiple-angle footage of the musical performances, of course. Band members holding forth. The crew erecting the elaborate set. Rabid fans showing off their clothing and makeup and giving strong—and naturally, expletive-laced—expressions of love for their heroes.
So, besides Mötley Crüe fans who missed out on the final tour, will anyone else want to fork over $16 to watch this 2-hour, 20-minute chronicle?
There is lots to recommend the film. You might not like the music. You’ll definitely be impressed by the spectacle and awed by the excess. And might even be engaged by the blunt, strong, sometimes insightful opinions and the peeks behind the scenes.
Though nothing compares to “being there,” watching this on the big screen, listening in surround-sound and ensconsed in—if you nab them—the theatre’s plush and wide leather seats with lots of leg room, might be the next best thing. And the film shows much that concertgoers never got to see and experience.
But don’t take the kids. There’s plenty of profanity, and at least one fan exposing herself.
Band members admit that they are not friends and don’t hang out when not touring. Many bands have proclaimed permanent breakups, only to re-form for any number of reasons. After watching this movie and hearing what Crüe members have to say, a reunion seems unlikely.
Therefore Mötley Crüe: The End will be the last chance to see a “mental institution” in the only way that does justice to its elaborate shows.
The film ends with Frank Sinatra singing “My Way,” an inspired bit of contrast to the bombast that came before. As Neil put it during one of the quiet moments in between riotous chaos, “We’ve never been a critic’s band…we’ve always been a fan’s band. We’ve always filled the areas and given people their money’s worth. We did it our way—we didn’t listen to the critics…we listened to the fans.”
For ticket information visit www.showcasecinemas.com and search for the Farmingdale location.
Mötley Crüe: The End: Quotables
Lee: “On a creative level, we’ve done it all. Truthfully, playing these songs over and over—I can’t tell you how many thousands of time they’ve been played. Me personally? I can’t do it anymore. As an artist, you’re always wanting to do something new and stay creative. At this point, the creativity is done.”
Sixx: “We feel we did something maybe a lot of people weren’t willing to do. We said things that other people weren’t willing to say, lyrically…and the way we lived our lives. To judge Motley Crue is easy, but I’m positive anyone would change places and live this life.”
Mick Mars, guitarist: “I could care less about winning a Grammy or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…I don’t need a gold star—like the one you got in kindergarten when you took a nap—to tell me I’m good. Because out there tells me that…with the crowds.”
The first gig might have been an harbinger of things to come. Tommy Lee described the venue as “a – – -hole” where “we drank more than they paid us—so we owed them money.”
After the crew talked of the pyrotechnics, flame-throwing bass and the elaborate roller coaster—surely one of the most spectacular sets every erected at an indoor music concert— Neil observed, “I can’t really see where we go from here, even for us. We’ve always been able to top ourselves. We’ve taken it as far as we can take it.”
Lee: “We put so much money and effort and time into our shows, it means the world to us for people to walk out and say, ‘- – -, that was insane!’ ”