Motley Crue’s Unusual Market Research
How do you know you have a winning single? Test it on 8th graders.
That’s exactly what Tommy and I would do.
This is a picture of the mall where my photo studio was located. The red square is where my studio was. The studio was halfway between Vince and Tommy’s homes in West Covina and Hollywood where they practiced and performed.
It was here one day when Tommy came running in. “Will, you have to fucking check this out. Our first single”, all excited like he gets. Well I didn’t have a record player in my studio but there was an ice cream parlor next door (the red circle) that did have a jukebox. Tommy and I went next door and I asked the owner if we could put Motley Crue’s first single in it so I could listen to it. The owner puts it into the jukebox for us and we sit and listen to it as Tommy drums on the table.
Afterwards, I turn to Tommy and say, “Why don’t we leave it in there. Tomorrow, around 2pm as the school lets out, the kids come here to enjoy ice cream and play music. Let’s see if anyone plays your single.”.
Tommy loves the idea.
The next day Tommy returns shortly before 2pm and we sit in my photo studio on the other side of the wall. School lets out and the kids come in for ice cream and start playing records in the jukebox.
Soon they try the Motley Crue single. Then they play it again. They must have liked it. Afterwards, Tommy said he would stop by the next day and we’ll do it again.
The next day, the first group from the first day brought more people. They played that single over and over. Tommy and I both knew right then, this was going to be a big hit.
And that’s how Tommy and I did market research for Motley Crue’s first single.
On a side note, there was also an Italian restaurant in the mall and they too had a jukebox. I took Tommy over to put a single in that one too. The owner put it in for us then threw Tommy out of the restaurant because Tommy was barefoot in a food establishment (some health and safety thing).
During the day, I would go talk to the owner of the restaurant and while there, I would hear people playing that single, in an Italian restaurant of all places.
I hope you enjoyed this story from Motley Crue’s past.