#MOTLEY2020 GET MOTLEY CRUE INDUCTED INTO 2020 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME!!!!! #MOTLEY2020
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To Jon Landau and the Nominating Committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
Greetings, Mr. Landau. I hope this letter finds you and yours surrounded by health, happiness and rock and roll.
I am writing you today to ask you to consider Mötley Crüe as an inductee into 2020’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am doing this for many reasons that I will lay out in this letter, so before you dust this off with a “when hell freezes over” response, I hope you will take the time to read my letter and consider them for this prestigious honor.
I have been a Motley Crüe fan for more than 30 years, having bought my first Crüe album while in middle school with my allowance. That album was Girls, Girls, Girls, and it introduced me to the world of rock and roll and changed my taste and perception of music. However, over the years, new music came into play and thus my love for the Crüe waned while other music took over. That is, until the release of The Dirt movie. After watching the movie, my love for the Crüe was reignited. A friend suggested I read The Dirt after watching the movie. I didn’t hesitate and downloaded it on my Kindle that evening. I expected to be entertained, but what I wasn’t expecting was for the book to speak to me the way it did. Of course, I would be lying if I said there were parts of the book that didn’t gross me out, make me angry or break my heart, but what really grabbed me was the one theme that seemed prevalent to me throughout the book and movie: perseverance.
I am sure when people think of Mötley Crüe, perseverance might not be one of the words that come to mind, however their lives were full of obstacles. In the movie, they describe themselves as a runaway, an old man, a teen drummer and a cover-band singer, however I see them as survivors. Survivors of tremendous tragedy, traumatic childhoods, deep-rooted insecurities, heart-breaking addictions and debilitating disease. However, while battling demons, addictions, tragedy, bar patrons, cops, bikers, groupies and health issues, they churned out hit after hit, toured endlessly, and were one of the original pioneers of hair metal, paving the way for many bands to follow. Their careers, reach and influence have spanned almost four decades, and with the release of The Dirt, their legacy will be shared with, and researched by, a new generation.
According to your website, artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record; must have influence and significant contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll; demonstrate musical excellence; have influence on other performers or genres; length and depth of career and catalog; stylistic innovations; or superior technique and skills.” Like it or not, Mötley Crüe embodies most, if not all, of these attributes. As stated above, their career spans almost four decades, for the release of their first album Too Fast for Love was in 1981, making them eligible for induction in 2006; they had tremendous influence on rock music of the 80s and 90s and paved the way for bands such as Guns N Roses, Ratt, Poison, Warrant and many others to follow; they pretty much created the hair metal genre; and their musical and style influence on other bands of that era cannot be denied. They’ve been nominated for and received numerous awards, are N.Y. Times best-selling authors and have sold more than 100 million records, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.
While I think your criteria for induction is warranted and fair, I think you constantly neglect the musical influence over one of the major catalysts of rock and roll, the driving force of the machine and the heart of it all: THE FANS! Musicians not only have influence over other musicians, but they have tremendous influence over their fans as well. Bono once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” From a drum or guitar solo to a lyric or chorus that goes straight through the heart, our world would be much darker without music.
Believe it or not, Mötley Crüe’s music has positively changed many lives of their fans throughout the years. Motley Crüe got me through my first heart break, for while upstairs, with my door shut and while crying in my pillow, I played “Without You” over and over and over and over again, until finally I had no tears left; and also until I completely wore out the tape. However, many fans have gone through issues myself nor others could never fathom: horrendous sadness, despair, addiction, abandonment, abuse and countless other heartbreaking circumstances that my broken teenage heart pales in comparison to. Because of the internet and social media, I’ve had the opportunity to read many comments from Mötley Crüe fans on various websites and platforms, that read, “Because of Mötley Crüe, I sought help from my addictions,” or “Listening to Mötley Crüe put a smile on my face every single day when I had nothing to smile about” or “Motley’s music saved my life.” It’s amazing how complete strangers can be your best friends and get you through times you never thought you would survive. THIS is the power of music.
Also in this day and age, philanthropy and social issues are very important, and while great music does have its influence, it’s what the artists do with their time that, today, make the most impact. Mötley Crüe has used their experience, talent, celebrity and time to support charities supporting causes such as animal rights, addiction support, veterans, music education, chronic illness, childhood cancer and more. Vince Neil founded the Skylar Neil Foundation, a foundation created in memory of his and Sharise Neil’s late daughter, who passed away prematurely from a rare form of cancer; to date, the foundation has raised several million dollars for cancer research. Tommy Lee is an outspoken supporter for PETA, and has supported other charities such as the Gibson Foundation, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, and more; Nikki Sixx is adapting his book “The Heroin Diaries” into a Broadway show with hopes of it doing for heroin addiction what “Rent” did for HIV/AIDS research and is using his time and talents to shed light on the opioid epidemic in our country and to be a beacon of hope to people debilitated by addiction; and Mick Mars, although he prefers to stay out of the limelight, created a charity to shed light on ankylosing spondylitis, a debilitating form of arthritis in which there is no cure, a disease he has suffered from for many years. As a one-time sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, I know what it feels like for your body to betray you, to no longer be able to perform simple tasks such as dress yourself, make a fist or walk. I am lucky I was diagnosed during a time where there are several treatments and because of aggressive early treatment, my arthritis has been in remission since 2013. Unfortunately, Mr. Mars wasn’t as lucky as me, for he was diagnosed during a time when little to nothing was known about autoimmune diseases such as RA and AS, a time when there was little to no treatment. His bones ached, his body burned and the disease was slowly eating away at him, however he still managed to slip on his leather pants, throw that guitar over his shoulder and play thousands of shows not merely for a paycheck but for the love of music and his fans. These are all beautiful parts woven into a tragic, turbulent yet powerful story.
To say they have one hell of a story is an understatement, however we must all agree that it took tremendous courage for them to tell their “warts and all” story to the world, and they did so without fear of judgment or ridicule. It has been said in interviews that Mötley Crüe has been banned from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of their bad behavior. My question to you is this: Since when does a band or musician’s behavior best their musical influence regarding the hall of fame? If being a perfect angel was a criteria for induction, I have a strong feeling your Hall of Fame would be empty.
I am sure this letter will fall on deaf ears, however I felt compelled to write it. If you don’t want to induct Mötley Crüe into the Hall of Fame because of personal issues, don’t do it for them. Do it for the musicians and millions of fans around the world whose lives have been positively affected by Mötley Crüe’s musical influence. Remember this, Mr. Landau: there would be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without rock and roll, and there would be no rock and roll without the fans. Listen to them, and keep them in mind when making your selections.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for you, Mr. Landau, and the nominating committee who chooses artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I trust you will make the decision based on a musician’s merits and influence and not on actions committed more than 30 years ago. Mötley Crüe aren’t role models and they’ve never claimed to be, but they are survivors and musical pioneers and have created a place in the archives of rock and roll history. They deserve to be recognized and celebrated by the Hall of Fame, their peers and their fans. To quote Freeman McNeil from his 2015 piece titled The Case for Mötley Crüe, and to simply sum up this long letter, I have this to say: “Mötley Crüe did it first, and Mötley Crüe did it better.”
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