REVIËW: The Dirt

Sex, drugs, rock and roll. The three cornerstones of music, right? Well, I’m going to take a look at one band in particular for whom “dabbled” is a massive understatement. From conquering the Sunset Strip, to conquering America and leaving a trail of damaged hotels, strip clubs and a number of other things that set a standard.

“Fuck you Mötley Crüe,” sings Frank Turner on Good and Gone, from 2014’s Tape Deck Heart, “for charming us with access and with excess, for telling tales that leave out the dark sides...”

And he isn’t wrong. Yes, Nikki Sixx’s Heroin Diaries is not a happy read about how much fun he had while under the influence of horrendous, debilitating addiction, but The Dirt (Mötley Crüe’s Netflix original film based on the book of the same name) doesn’t deal enough with the dark parts or the aftermath of the adrenaline-fuels cocaine (“no, that’s smack”) binges of the hedonic heyday.

Anyway. From many accounts, the Crüe didn’t just find their way to the top in the easy manner the film shows us. It appears that they got a bit of the Bohemian Rhapsody treatment (fact check the film that fact checks itself). That’s probably wise, actually.

My point, before I lose it. Look at how bands no longer do the stupid shit that Crüe did back in the 80s. Nobody throws TVs out of windows, throws massive drug filled parties with prostitutes and mass orgies with groupies. Or if they do, it’s kept quiet. It seems that most people have learned the lessons Crüe unwittingly taught. Drugs are still an active economy in a time where the artist doesn’t make as much as they may once have done. Sex is not so much. Many artists now, they’ll have a few bevvies after a show, but are usually in bed at a sensible time.

Saying that, there’s a lack of fun in music lately. Across the board, music is screaming out for someone to come out and be the risk. Someone who breaks into the mainstream and challenges the normal banal moody pop songs. Someone who did what Crüe did for the 80s. But you know, maybe with a little less drug abuse, and a few of the other problematic behaviours that were commonplace in the heyday of Mötley Crüe.

Saying that though, they released music that has stood the test of time and cemented them as legends, for reasons other than above.

Go watch The Dirt. Just take it with a pinch of salt.

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