Unknown Facts About Motley Crue's Backstage Life

By | February 2, 2023

Just starting out in 1981, Motley Crue were the epitome of hardcore hair metal rock

Often credited with originating the glam metal genre, an upbeat mix of pop, hard rock and heavy metal, Motley Crue burst onto the LA club scene in 1981. Cultivating a rocker persona of hard drinking, heavy drug use, indiscriminate sex, and generally outrageous behavior, they quickly took America by storm. Their fame was built on their notoriety, and Motley Crue did everything they could to deliberately fuel that notoriety. Within a few short years, they reached the height of their fame as international superstars, the ultimate personification of hardcore hair metal rock. 

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Their self-produced debut album, Too Fast for Love, sold just 20,000 copies, but the accompanying tour would catapult Motley Crue to international notoriety. The group quickly gained a reputation for hard partying and bad behavior, but it wasn't until years later that fans would discover the true story behind that first recording session in 1981. To begin with, the band turned up at the studio drunk and did their best to stay drunk for the entire three-day session. Lee also resorted to bartering sex for studio time with the sound engineer when they ran out of money halfway.

Married in 1995, Lee and Anderson's tumultuous relationship often played out in the public eye

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In 1998, Lee went to jail for six months for assaulting his estranged wife, Pamela Anderson. Motley Crue had to turn down several shows during this period due to Lee's legal situation, including Ozzfest. The band also had to deal with the bad publicity Lee's arrest had generated. When Lee got out, he released Greatest Hits with the band and went on tour with them, but he'd already decided to quit in jail. After each show, he'd go straight to his trailer and work on new material. In 1999, Lee officially quit Motley Crue, shocking fans the world over.