10 Years Ago: Motley Crue Deludes Themselves With Final Tour Plan
When Motley Crue announced their plans to embark on a final tour on Jan. 28, 2014, they positioned themselves as veteran road warriors making a unanimous decision to go out while they were still at the top of their game.
In hindsight, they were actually planting the seeds for a comeback tour that would dwarf every other trek of their career.
But boy, they sure did sound convincing during the dramatic press conference where they announced their final road trip, which featured support from Alice Cooper and would end on New Year's Eve 2015 in their hometown of Los Angeles. Arriving to the press conference in a hearse and sitting behind tombstones emblazoned with their names, Motley Crue swore up and down before dozens of reporters that the simply titled Final Tour would actually signal the end of their touring career.
"We started talking about it a few years ago," frontman Vince Neil said. "You know, we didn't want to be one of those bands that maybe have one guy left in it or somebody's brother or something like that. We want to go out with the four founding members of Motley Crue and go out on top, and leave a legacy of a band called Motley Crue."
"We want to have some dignity," bassist Nikki Sixx added. "We feel there's a lot of bands out there that don't have dignity. We started this band 'cause it's something we believed in — rock 'n' roll — and we want to call it a day and be proud. It's pretty embarrassing what's happening with the state of music with bands out there. I don't want to name names because I just don't think it's really my place, but you know there's so many bands out there that just, they're ripping you off. And we're not gonna do that."
READ MORE: The Best Song From Every Motley Crue Album
To illustrate their point, all four band members ended the press conference by signing a "Cessation of Touring Agreement" that would legally prevent them from touring under the name Motley Crue after Dec. 31, 2015. "That's not a phrase that anyone has used before," band attorney Doug Mark said. "There has never been such a thing as far as I know. It's an agreement that binds the four of them to not utilize the trademark for touring in the future."
The only way for Motley Crue to nullify the Cessation of Touring Agreement would be for all four members to agree to return to touring — a conspicuously massive loophole that the band nonetheless insisted would have no effect on their future. "If we did agree [to another tour], the way we've set it up — including this conversation right now — we'd have so much egg on our face," Sixx told Rolling Stone. "We have so much pride that that alone would stop it."
But everybody knows Motley Crue never shied away from making a mess.
Motley Crue Quickly Reneged on Their Cessation of Touring Agreement
A funny thing happened in the years following Motley Crue's alleged retirement from touring: Young rock fans embraced them more than ever. That was due in large part to Netflix's 2019 adaptation of their scandalous 2001 memoir The Dirt. The raunchy band biopic sparked a massive boost in streams and sales of Motley's music, particularly among the 18-to-34-year-old demographic.
How could Motley Crue, a band of the people, deny these new fans the opportunity to see them in the flesh? Deciding that egg on their face for money in the bank was a worthy trade, the rockers announced their official return in November 2019 by blowing up their Cessation of Touring Agreement and plotting a stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett.
Watch Motley Crue Blow Up Their Cessation of Touring Contract
After two years of COVID-related delays, the Stadium Tour finally launched in June 2022. It earned $173.5 million and sold 1.3 million tickets, becoming the most successful trek of any of the bands' careers. Some fans scoffed at Motley Crue's eagerness to go back on their word only a few years after allegedly calling it quits — but hey, at least they still had "all four founding members," right?
This, too, would prove negotiable in October 2022, when guitarist Mick Mars announced his retirement from touring. Motley Crue announced they would soldier on with John 5 in Mars' stead, plotting another world tour with Def Leppard for 2023. Things got uglier that April when Mars filed a lawsuit against his bandmates, claiming they were ripping him off financially and trying to fully oust him from the band, while also accusing them of onstage fakery during the 2022 Stadium Tour.
The lawsuit extended into 2024, as did Motley Crue. The band continued touring with John 5, shirking allegations of onstage fakery, insisting Mars' team was feeding him lies and writing new music with longtime producer Bob Rock. Through it all, they kept shaping their legacy — whether it's the same legacy they envisioned during that fateful 2014 press conference remains to be seen.
Motley Crue Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening