By Zachary Swickey
It’s hard to believe that hard-partying troupe Mötley Crüe are celebrating thirty years of rock and roll excess this year. (I bet their shocked themselves!) This weekend, the Crüe are going to celebrate the only way they know – heading to their old stomping grounds and closing out this year’s Sunset Strip Music Festival.
Drummer Tommy Lee and his band of brothers are bringing out all the stops. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lee revealed the band’s full stage setup – pyro, bikini dancers, etc. – will be squeezed onto the strip, which is rather impressive considering it also includes Lee’s famous 360-degree vertical drum rig that spins wildly in all directions when performing his aerial drum solos at shows.
“I can’t even tell you what everyone has gone through to make this happen on the streets of the Strip. But we got our full show in there and the band is thrilled,” said Lee.
Today, the fourth-annual Sunset Strip Music Festival kicks off with three days of celebrating music on the historical 1.6-mile length of Sunset Blvd. – home of iconic venues such as the Whisky a Go Go, the Roxy, the Viper Room and the Key Club. First up, the Crüe will be honored, and likely roasted, by some fellow friends and artists, including comedian Dane Cook, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, David Johansen of the New York Dolls and Neil Strauss, who co-wrote the band’s top-selling biography, “The Dirt.” The group will headline the festivities on Saturday night, which will also feature performances from reformed rockers Bush, Public Enemy and She Wants the Revenge.
Motley Crüe will also be honored at the event with the prestigious Elmer Valentine Award, which has notable past recipients Ozzy Osbourne and Slash. Valentine was the co-founded Whisky a Go Go and the Roxy in the mid-1960s. The Crüe later got their start in those and other clubs on the Strip. They even shot the video for “Kickstart My Heart” at Whisky, and all members shared an apartment nearby.
The group helped cement the Strip’s place in music history and Lee is still humble about the 30-year experience, saying, “It’s where we lived together, got our start and raised hell. So to be honored this way means so much to us.”