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The Dirt

I watched the Motley Crue whateveritscalled late last night. With weirdly placed voice-overs and actors speaking directly to the camera…..it’s sort of a movie/documentary/immorality tale that begins with a scene showing the drummer going down on a girl in the middle of a crowded party, with her eventually…er…squirting across the room. This sets the overall tone quite nicely….so that later when we see the lead singer repeatedly banging groupies in assorted (always unlocked…strange?) bathrooms, or the bass player shooting heroin into his neck and between his toes, it feels almost quaint in comparison.

The 80s were a strange time. If you were a rock star you could kill your friend and seriously injure 2 others in a drunken car crash and spend less than a month in jail. When you returned from court appointed rehab what do you do? Why, snort heroin of course.

You were also celebrated for snorting ants up your nose and lapping up urine with your tongue. As long as you looked good in spandex and had good hair. Of course there was some music involved, but I think the movie spends more time on the nameless girl who sits under the band’s bar table offering unsuspecting blowjobs than to the appeal of the songs.

The debauchery is only interrupted to deal with the tragic death of the lead singer’s young daughter to cancer (dealt with with all the aplomb of a bad Lifetime movie), and then picks back up with the death and resurrection of the bass player, who was revived from his latest heroin OD via not 1 but 2 shots of adrenaline straight into his heart.

Hardly any of the nearly always scantily clad women in the movie are even given names, although one of them gets enough screen time to be punched in the face by the drummer, who later marries his first Hollywood starlet (his second one is, for whatever reason, not addressed in the film at all). He calls his wife on a payphone after a show while he’s getting a blow job, but feels sorta guilty about it afterwards….especially when his wife discovers such things and files for divorce. This is not exactly the film the #MeToo movement has been waiting for….but you do get the feeling that these guys had a small hand in creating the movement anyway.

Rock and roll road hijinks are a-plenty….with plenty of bar brawls and trashed hotel rooms and TVs tossed out of windows. There’s enough cocaine to make the medellin cartel blush. In a nice touch, we learn that the band’s manager resorts to handcuffing the band’s rhythm section to their respective beds, so they can’t get up to any more mayhem. This was my favorite bit, actually. One wondered why he didn’t cuff them the second they walked off the stage….

Then of course….the Behind the Music-like redemption. The band elects to enter rehab collectively….or so we’re told. We watch them struggling to stay relevant in the 90s, flailing away inside a studio decorated on the outside with a huge poster of Pearl Jam. So it’s not like the filmmakers didn’t have a sense of humor.

The band splits up…..not sure how many times….they get a new singer….not sure how many times….they reform and tour again, not sure how many times. I’m alerted at the end that the band is still together, which was news to me. They’re portrayed as survivors, a band of brothers, a group of boys will be boys scamps….with a twinkle in their collective eye, and all sorts of war stories for the grand kids.

And not as….you know……complete assholes lucky to be both alive, and out of jail.

I never gave a shit about Motley Crue. Their direct appeal to the lowest common neanderthal never resonated with me…..but that didn’t stop me from buying a Ted Nugent live record, so who knows? Teenage boys are demented by design. I do think I’m a better human being for having a Pete Townshend poster on my teenage wall than one of Nikki Sixx, however.

I also don’t think any of the Crue would have lasted a week with Keith Moon. So there.

In a bit..

–tf

 

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