A Look At Motley Crue's Odd Side Projects

The Mötley Crüe are arguably glam rock's brightest stars. They've had seven platinum albums, three Grammy nominations, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If that's not successful enough, they're also the self-proclaimed "World's Most Notorious Rock Band," according to their website. They've definitely made a lot of noise and collected a vast number of fans throughout the years.

The core membership of Mötley Crüe has been together since the band formed in 1981, though admittedly they've been "on-again, off-again" for at least a couple of decades now. This could explain why most of the Crüe has gone out of their way to jump on every side-project train they could find. While some members made the group a bit of cash and even upped the fan base, others were less than notable and may have pushed some fans in the opposite direction. Side projects can do that, including each of the band's four members starting solo careers. Hey, at least they didn't open a line of fitness supplements and restaurants. (You know who we're talking about.)

How many of them needed solo albums?

Vince Neil left the band for a time in the early '90s in what wasn't the most pleasant of situations. Out of what might have been pure spite, Neil released his own solo album, Exposed, that sounded suspiciously similar to Mötley Crüe, even releasing the album a year before the Crüe could get their next one in stores, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Tommy Lee, on the other hand, told Yahoo! Music (found via Loaded Radio), "Now that I look back, doing solo projects and other albums has been a waste of f****** time." Which is a weird thing to say when you're talking about the upcoming releases of your two solo albums.

Crüe guitarist Mick Mars has been planning the release of his solo album for some time now, but it keeps getting pushed back. The album, as Mars told Goldmine in 2012, will be "a blues record, per se, but it will be more like how Edgar Winter interprets the blues. It will have a '70s kind of feeling, but I will be writing in a more current style of music." A sound so different from Crüe's, he'll be lucky to draw fans over.

Sixx:A.M., the supergroup started by bassist Nikki Sixx, seems to be the only Crüe solo project that really took off, but even they're on "indefinite hiatus," according to Loudwire.

Was this biopic really necessary?

Since Mötley Crüe seems to try to capitalize on every side project trend in the music scene and biopics have become increasingly popular in the past decade, they decided to release one themselves. It's probably a good thing they did, since their website says it panned out quite well for them, leading to a 350 percent rise in Mötley Crüe music streams.

The biopic The Dirt came out on Netflix in 2019, but not everyone enjoyed it as much as the band hoped they would. Rolling Stone's review of the film opens with the subheading "We finally get a movie based on Mötley Crüe's legendary tale of life as a debauched rock band — and we'd like to return it for a better version, please," if that gives you any idea. The biopic scored a whopping 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, though IMDB gives a 7/10.

The film covers the type of drama you'd expect in the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" lifestyle that Mötley Crüe has been famous for — everything from fistfights to cocaine and drunken riots, according to Time. The film is kind of a meta-side project for the band, having been based on another popular trend in the music scene: autobiographies.

Wait -- how many books?

The Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt was based on the band's autobiography The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, which covers basically the same ground as the film. All four of the members got together to write the band's history, with the help of journalist Neil Strauss, according to Rolling Stone. The book mirrored many of their singles: it hit the top of the charts, but this time, the chart in question was the New York Times Bestseller list. What might seem odd about the book is that it isn't the only volume the band has released. Each member of Crüe has released at least one book themselves. Granted, Mick Mars's book is a collection of guitar tabs, but the other three have cashed in on the autobiography trend.

Nikki Sixx has actually written two different books. The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, another New York Times Bestseller, is a collection of Sixx's journals from a year in his most difficult times battling drug addiction, co-authored with Ian Gittins. Sixx also wrote This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx.

Tommy Lee and Vince Neil likewise wrote autobiographies. So, if you ever want to examine Mötley Crüe's history from every conceivable angle, the information is more than readily available. Some might say "too much so."