Before Motley, These Were The Average Club Goers
From the time the band formed in January of 81, and they actually became somebody in Hollywood (which occurred after their first shows in April) Nikki, Vince, and Tommy actually roamed the clubs in their heels and/or feminine attire along with a little makeup and hairspray. As Nikki has said, they were so broke they wore their stage clothes even in the streets.
Fellow musicians gave them respect because they knew of their talents from their previous bands. However, the people in the audience had no clue who they were. They go to Hollywood once a week to see some band then go back to the suburbs. They had never seen Motley perform before and had no clue they were musicians because that was not the way musicians dressed at the time.
At the time, Sunset Blvd had the female prostitutes. Santa Monica Blvd, where the Troubadour is located, was known for it’s male prostitutes.
Here comes some guys walking down the street dressed in drag on Santa Monica Blvd, the people lined up to get in the club would whistle thinking they were prostitutes.
In this photo, taken in late 1980 whilst Tommy performed in the band Dealer (the band he was in before Motley Crue – Tommy mentioned it briefly on page 51 of The Dirt) notice how the people in the audience dressed back then.
You can find Bullwinkle on left. One guy in a blue tux! This is the way it was in Hollywood before Motley. Within 6 months of this photo, everyone in the audience would be wearing spandex (ladies) and leathur (men) with hair sticking straight up and makeup.
After the Crue’s April performances at the Starwood, people knew they were a band and the audience loved them. By mid 81, everyone on the strip was dressing like the Crue.
The Crue’s looks also rubbed off on me. I knew if I wanted the rocker life I had to fit in. Tommy taught me how to dress (he advised I grab my sister’s shirt and wear that along with some tight jeans). Nikki taught me how to tease my hair and get it to stand up. You can see my transformation in the inset. Everyone was doing it. Because of the Crue’s cult following Tom Zutaut was compelled to get them signed to Elektra.
On a side note, I’m willing to bet, that to this day, everyone you see there in that audience, have no clue that they just witnessed the great Tommy Lee perform. Not many knew Dealer nor even heard of Tommy. To them, he was just another drummer in a band.