An early promo shot of Mötley Crüe.
In an effort to not diminish the importance of heavy metal in the year 1982, I feel compelled to make a few opening remarks on the year horny metal band Mötley Crüe first terrorized the eyes of “readers” of a national publication—adult magazine OUI.
In 1982, Venom released their deeply influential second album, Black Metal, the Scorpions burned our faces off with their eighth record, Blackout, Judas Priest delivered Screaming for Vengeance, and Iron Maiden unleashed The Number of the Beast. 1982 was also the same year the Plasmatics socked it to us with Coup d’Etat, which the LA Times called “the best slice of unrelenting heavy metal since the last AC/DC album” (1981’s For Those About To Rock). If referring to the Plasmatics as a “heavy metal” band makes you shake your head, here’s an interesting fact: Wendy O. and the band recorded Coup d’Etat in Germany with Dieter Dierks who had just worked with the Scorpions on Blackout. He helped push the Plasmatics’ punk sound to a heavier, more metal realm. Reviews of Coup d’Etat have even referred to Williams as an “Iron Maiden” for her vocal work on the record. So the next time someone tells you how much music in the 80s sucked, tell ‘em to Stop. Now that we have established 1982 as a pretty damn good year for heavy metal let’s talk about Mötley Crüe’s appearance in Playboy magazine’s pornier sister publication, OUI. (Playboy’s Penthouse, if you will.)
As noted above, this would be the first time Crüe’s mugs (and more) would be seen in a magazine with national distribution. Crüe had not even been called Mötley Crüe for a year when photographer Mark Weiss came to LA to shoot the band in their natural surroundings for one of his monthly contributions to OUI which, according to Weiss, kept him busy taking photos of rock stars and naked ladies. While Weiss was in LA, he took twenty or so shots of Mötley mugging for their lives with a couple of topless blonde models, pentagrams, all of the Aqua Net, human skulls, and a motorcycle, among other heavy metal staples. The photoshoot is accompanied by a long interview with Nikki, Tommy, Mick, and Vince (the magazine mistakenly spelled Vince’s last name as “Neal”), with OUI writers Mikael Kirke and Joe Bivona. It is full of all kinds of salacious statements—as one should expect it to be. And, since OUI was a porn magazine, the 1982 version of Mötley Crüe were probably even more over the top than usual (you can read the entire interview here). Here’s one excerpt not about sex, but an account by Vince about a science experiment Crüe conducted in Canada in order to deduce how long it would take for a Sony television set to fall out of a hotel window:
Oui: Are you guys into tearing up hotels?
Vince Neil: We got thrown out of Canada for that. Don’t bring a Sony TV in front of Mötley Crüe. You won’t have it too long.
Oui: So how long does it take for a television to…
Vince Neil: To drop out of a hotel? We timed it. Everybody in the band had a TV set, and we threw them out one at a time. Mickey’s (guitarist Mick Mars) went down in exactly seven seconds, which is a little over his mark. Nikki’s went down in 6.3 seconds, but he gave it a little push. Tommy’s went down in five seconds flat and hit a hooker on the street. She must have some voice to scream that loud!
First of all, Crüe’s antics during their 1982 tour of Canada are well documented and Lee’s television tossing has been verified as fact. However, if said television did inadvertently hit a hooker on its way to its death, I can’t understand why there isn’t a news item with the title, “Tommy Lee Nails Canadian Hooker With TV,” but that’s just how my brain tries to come to terms with such conundrums. I should probably get that checked out. Lastly, there is one more heavy metal connection in this issue of OUI—the model on the cover is Cheryl Rixon. Rixon, Penthouse magazine’s Pet of the Year in 1979, appeared in a controversial layout in Kerrang! magazine in 1982 with none other than Judas Priest.
More photos of Mötley Crüe behaving exactly like you’d expect Mötley Crüe to behave follow after the jump…