The tour that wasn’t.
The Crue had no press in Australia at the time. It’s like they didn’t even exist. Acts like Limp Bizkit, Matchbox 20, Blink 182 and Pearl Jam ruled. The only 80s act that could still draw big crowds was Bon Jovi and “Its My Life” was a massive comeback song and it proved to be a stayer on the charts.
So it was a bizarre feeling when I saw this advertisement on September 7, 2000 for Motley Crue shows in two months time.
Small time windows like this; from when tickets go on sale, to when the shows are meant to be on, just don’t happen in Australia. There is at least, as a minimum 6 months to a year notice.
And Australia wasn’t getting a lot of live acts at this point in time, especially hard rock acts who weren’t selling a lot because our AUD dollar was low compared to the USD, so to bring the acts out and pay them their US fee, meant the prices here would be extraordinarily high.
Plus it was a risk for the promoter, because an acts draw was always based on record sales. And hard rock acts just weren’t selling like they used to.
Anyway who was I to argue.
The mighty Crue we’re coming to town.
Yeah it’s not the Crue that I knew growing up as Tommy Lee was missing and his replacement Randy Castillo was undergoing cancer treatment, so Samantha Maloney was behind the kit.
But it was still the Crue.
The bad boys (now mid 30s men) we’re coming to town and playing the same arenas like it was 1989.
But “New Tattoo” didn’t set any charts alight when it came out in Australia. It was no “Dr Feelgood”, so this tour would need to rely more on the hardcore audience to buy tickets for nostalgic purposes rather than any new fans because of the “Generation Swine” and “New Tattoo” albums.
So I purchased tickets for myself, my wife and a few friends, as the gig on November 23 fell on my birthday. I thought man, it they make it and they don’t kill each other before hand, as the airport incident between Tommy and Vince was still fresh in my mind, then it would be a great birthday present.
Then on October 27, almost a month after tickets went on sale, the Crue cancelled their Australian tour which for a band as big as Crue was, it was only going to be their second ever tour of Australia. There first one being the “Dr Feelgood” tour.
The press release said it was because of “personal circumstances beyond the bands control” but Sixx filled in the blanks later when he said it was due to low ticket sales.
But I didn’t think they would cancel because of low tickets. Like come on, it was still the Crue. Surely they still had enough fans to sell out. I guess in 2000 they didn’t care enough.
Redemption came in December, 2005 when they came to town and sold out a bigger arena than they had scheduled to play in 2000.
5 years. Things change a lot.
It goes to show what a game changer Napster, file sharing and “The Dirt” book were for Motley Crue.
Having their music easily available around the world because of file sharing, increased their fan base exponentially, which led to ticket sales and “The Dirt” book sealed the deal.
It gave them a golden run of another 12 plus years and if COVID-19 doesn’t kill it, they have their comeback tour planned on the backs of “The Dirt” movie. Funny how “The Dirt” was pivotal in two comebacks.