There is a scene in the “Uncensored” video with Vince Neil cruising down Sunset in a limo with a spa pool and he’s talking about the name of the next album, called “Girls, Girls, Girls”.
On May 15, 1987, “Girls Girls Girls” comes out and the world was treated to two video clips. The censored “Girls” clip and the “Uncensored” one. MTV has a ball with it.
While it looks like the guys are having a ball, attending strip clubs and dropping bills into knickers, Nikki Sixx was in the spiralling grip of a heroin addiction, Mick Mars was blacking out from alcoholism, Tommy Lee was coking it up, screwing anything that moved and somehow he got married, while Vince Neil was still on probation and pretending to be sober. In other words, it’s chaos with a capital MC and they still managed to get together and crack out a decent album.
The best track on the album is the opener, Nikki’s religious sermon to the street life of L.A. “Wild Side” is perfect, from the riffs, the drum groove, the vocal melodies and of course, the lyrics.
Kneel down ya sinners to streetwise religion
Greed has been crowned the new king
Greed has become the new king. Not just in the streets, but in all walks of life. There is so much betrayal and broken dreams in our quest for millions.
Take a ride on the wild side
Only if you dare. You might not come out of it alive. For some it’s the thrill. It’s the metal lifestyle. All aboard. Hahahaha…
I carry my crucifix under my death list
Every single dealer believes in God, wears crucifixes and then breaks God’s rules in killing someone. Every single wronged person, while a good citizen with family values, carries a revenge list of people who wronged them. Humans are born aggressive.
Papa won’t be home tonight
Found dead with his best friends wife
There was a time when crimes of passion dominated. Now, crimes of insanity dominate.
A baby cries, a cop dies
A day’s pay on the wild side
Doing the beat, could mean a gun fight and death. I guess, it is really all in a day’s pay on the wild side.
The sounds of a Harley, a G5 power chord and one of the grooviest riffs ever. That my friends is “Girls, Girls, Girls”. And it’s part of MTV lore with its two video clips.
“Dancing On Glass” has a riff from Mick Mars, which is sleazy and dangerous and Nikki fires out some of the best lines about being an addict. “Valentines in London, found me in the trash” covers his first overdose. “One extra push, last trip to the top” covers the addict need to get high. “Silver Spoon and needle, witchy tombstone smile” covers the process and when you are user, “I’m no puppet, I engrave my veins in style” sums up the toll on the body.
As far as I’m concerned the first three tracks are a triple knockout, but “Wild Side” and “Girls” survive to this day.
“Bad Boy Boogie” is exactly that, a 12 bar blues boogie that compared to some of the other tracks on the album is considered a decent cut, plus it’s got the iconic line, “you better lock up your daughter when the Motley’s hit the road.”
“Five Years Dead” has some wicked riffs and a lyrical theme from a book Nikki picked up in a second hand shop. “All In the Name Of ….” is another song with killer riffs and a lyrical theme about “legal never being their scene”.
“Your All I Need” was more popular for its controversial film clip, but then again, whoever said the six o-clock news was pretty.
“Rodeo” was a bonus track on the re-released edition of the album. I guess they already had the ultimate road song in “Home Sweet Home”. Regardless, “Rodeo” is one hell of a song and you can hear that Mick Mars is all over this one.
Laughing like gypsies, from show to show, living my life like a rolling stone
Travelling man, never at home, can’t find love so I sleep alone, this whisky river has a long way to flow
It sure sums up the excess of the 80’s.
From a commercial perspective, “Girls” was competing against “Slippery When Wet” from Bon Jovi, “The Final Countdown” from Europe and Whitesnake’s 1987 self-titled album for listeners attention. “Look What the Cat Dragged In” from Poison was also rising. But it not only competed, it went toe to toe with all of those releases and Motley came out on top in the live box office. Hell, even Whitesnake was opening up for them.
And who can forget the words from management, that if the band went to Europe to tour, they will come home in body bags. “Girls” would be the end of the Motley band as we knew it. A snapshot of how a band can take alcohol and drugs to the limits.
If you end up alive, there is always a change. “Dr Feelgood” would be the result of the change, and the pinnacle for a briefly sober band. Of course with sobriety, an artist gets clarity and with clarity people start to realise the dysfunction within. And with more years under their belt, their life choices start to become different. And Motley was different.