Four names come to mind when you think of Motley Crue: Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars. But the group underwent several lineup changes at various stages of her more than 40-year career.
Granted, half of the band’s lineups consisted of the twice-reunited famous original foursome, with Sixx and Mars always remaining aboard. But the stories of how first singer Neil and then drummer Lee left and returned to the group – and what happened while they were away – serve as good examples of the level of chaos that surrounded the band for much of her career.
After a quick march to the top and a decade-long reign as hard rock’s most infamous bad boys, Motley Crue learned how fickle mainstream music fans could be when they fired Neil and experimented with heavier and more serious music in the 1994s. Motley Crue. Brings Neil back, but continues to experiment with new sounds in the 1997s Generation pig did not work much better.
So the band got back to basics in the 2000s New tattoo. Well, three of them at least. Lee decided he was tired of playing the same kind of music over and over again, so he parted ways. Five years later, they all realized once and for all that they were happier together.
It’s the short version. You can read the full story of Motley Crue’s lineup changes – including the four drummers who filled in shortly after various Lee injuries – below.
Motley Crue Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
The complete story of Motley Crue’s five lineup changes.
Variegated Crue Lineup changes: Related reading
The Night Motley Crue played their first show
Why Motley Crue fired Vince Neil
How Motley Crue struggled to get ahead with a new singer
Vince Neil gets ‘Exposed’ on debut solo album
Revisits Vince Neil’s ambitious ‘Carved in Stone’
When Motley Crue brought Vince Neil back to the confused ‘Generation Swine’
How Motley Crue got a new drummer and brought the riffs back for ‘New Tattoo’
Reunion with Motley Crue’s reunion with Tommy Lee