Continuing on from Gerri Miller’s Metal Edge interview with Nikki Sixx. The below excerpts in italics are taken from Metal Edge circa 1994. The lyrics and comments are added by me.
A rocker with a punky vibe, this song was originally called “Hangin’ by a Thread.” Nikki wrote it last year in “Hawaii on vacation, when Bob [Rock’s band Rockhead] was out with Bon Jovi. I recorded the riff on a ghetto blaster and played it for the band, and they said this is really cool. It got thrown into the Motley stew and turned into a bastardized version of the original. But nothing about it kicked ass.” Meanwhile Nikki was working on a possibility for his solo song with the title of ‘Poison Apples.
Subject wise “The first part is my story what that time of my life was about. The second part is more about the band, and takes aim at the “tabloid sleaze” press preoccupation with Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear’s now-defunct marriage. Lines like “Sex smack rock roll mainline overdose/Man we lived it night and day” refer to past excesses, and homage is paid to one of Nikki’s favorite bands, Mott the Hoople. “Ian Hunter’s one of my favorite lyricists and Overend Watts is the reason I play,” he says. “Tommy Lee played honky-tonk piano on it.”
Don’t you love that knowledge. How the song starts of as one thing and it ends up going through a metamorphosis into something else.
Tabloid sleaze just maggots on their knees
Diggin’ in the dirt for slag
Moonshine, strychnine, speedball, shootin’ lines
Anything to push their rags
Nothing has changed these days. If you want to be misquoted or if you want to have words taken out of context, do an interview for the mainstream. If you want your fans to know what you mean, connect with them. Let them be the interviewers.
Pretty little poison apples, see the scars tattooed on our face.
It’s your disgrace.
Pretty pretty poison apples, mama said,
“Now don’t you walk this way, just find some faith.”
The lyrics on Motley Crue are world-class. I like how Nikki refers to the band as pretty little poison apples. He is merging the Garden of Eden with LA and the dreams of a young kid trying to make it.
Cool, heavy, with grooves galore, this song is “about a sleazy piece of shit person in anyone’s life.” Some might infer that it’s about Vince Neil but when asked about it, Nikki insists that it isn’t. I don’t know where I was coming from when I wrote it. It’s a song about a dirt bag. We all know plenty of them. Written very quickly at rehearsal, its characterized by Nikki as having a Deep Purple vibe.
To be honest, when i first heard this song, I took it as a dig to Vince Neil. According to Nikki, Vince quit because he wasn’t into music anymore and he wanted to devote his time to car racing. According to Vince, he got fired, because he didn’t like the direction the new music was heading/ Apparently it was all keyboard driven.
Regardless of what story you believe, one thing is clear, Vince Neil delivered a superior hard rock album with Exposed, which came out 1993, a whole year before Motley Crue. In my mind, this made Nikki’s words mean shit.
Act like Jesus crucified again
These four walls are closing in
Who and what do you think you are
A rich mother fucker in a fancy car?
Concrete jackal suckin’ on the past
Goldcard junkie kissing money’s ass
You can tell that Nikki is directing the words to a person who is suing him. Vince Neil sued Motley Crue in 1992 after his firing, for 25% of the Crue’s future profits and $5 million in damages for being fired. In addition, Exposed was selling close to the million mark. As we know once, Motley Crue came out with their 1994 album, they only moved 500,000 units.
Hey, Mr. big time Hollywood,
Tell your story walkin’ if you think you could
Your money’s runnin’ low from your cocaine whores
Nothin’ but a rat scratchin’ at my door
Hey, now I’ve said all I’m gonna say
Time will judge, see who fades away
There was an incident where Vince and port star Savannah went to Hawaii. After 4 days of partying on pills and cocaine, Savannah overdosed. As much as Nikki denies it, this song is having a dig at Vince. Time did judge, and it was Nikki that needed to get Vince back into the fold.
TILL DEATH DO US PART
This soulful heavy rocker is “about pride and standing up for what you believe in, standing up for yourself till you die. It reminds me of ‘Danger’ off the second album,” says Nikki. “It’s mid tempo but not really a ballad. It’s very emotional.”
Autobiographical lines include “I’ve walked my walk, talked my talk, lived and died in my songs. Temptation cuts so deep/Its fires still burn so strong/You know I’ve lived a few mistakes and I stand by them … Sometimes my words may cut too deep and I step on a toe or two/Half dead and barely half alive but I live by the truth.”
Nikki notes, “A lot of people tend to look at us from the outside in,” drawing wrong conclusions because of what they read. But “I don’t really care, to be honest with you. The only thing that’s important is family and friends.”
Till Death Do Us Part is the best song written by Motley Crue. They should have re-recorded this as a B side or a bonus track with Vince. Of course Vince wouldn’t sing it, he has made that clear in previous interviews. The album was meant to be called Till Death Do Us Part. The guys even tattoed the name on their bodies.
Poison Apples – YouTube
Hammered – YouTube
Till Death Do Us Part – YouTube