BANGOR, Maine — Living up to its name was never a problem for Motley Crue, one of the quintessential “bad boy” rock bands of all time.
The Crue will be back on the road and for the first time in four years is including a Maine location on its international concert schedule. Motley Crue will play the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor on Thursday, May 16, with an opening act that has yet to be announced.
The four-man act from Los Angeles is famous — or infamous, depending on your point of view — for onstage motorcycles, acrobats, contortionists and strippers during shows. They’ve become not only one the most successful and gritty ’80s “hair bands” but also an iconic rock phenomenon that has lasted well beyond the ’80s despite plenty of dissension, disruption, drama and disaster.
“They just keep coming,” said Alex Gray, Waterfront Concerts chief promoter. “They just seem to get back to one thing, playing for a fan core that will do just about anything to go see them play. That passion is reflected from the band to the fans and back.”
Still, fan loyalty — a critical element for national recording acts — only goes so far. While that explains the Crue’s continually strong record and concert ticket sales, it doesn’t account for the band’s persistent presence in the national spotlight.
“It’s because, No. 1, they’ve remained musically relevant all this time and two, because they’ve become such a presence in pop culture in general with TV shows, concerts, and other formats beside their music,” Gray said.
Tickets go on sale at noon Friday, March 1, and can be purchased at Mark’s Music store at 203 Penobscot Square in Brewer, online at www.waterfrontconcerts.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
Ticket prices — not including applicable service or handling fees — are $91.75, $81.75, $71.75 and $51.75 for reserved seats and $41.75 for lawn tickets.
Frank Ferrana, Tommy Lee Bass, Bob Deal, and Vince Neil Wharton — better known as Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil, respectively — started playing together in 1980 and, after a slow start, rocketed to stardom and heavy air play with 1983 album “Shout at the Devil.” The quartet has played through two deaths, life-threatening drug abuse episodes, fatal drunken driving incidents and incalculable brushes with the law, and has nine studio albums and 13 Billboard Hot 100 singles — five of them in the top 20. Their highest-charting single was 1989’s “Dr. Feelgood,” which peaked at No. 6, from the album of the same title.
The last time Motley Crue played a show in Maine was March 3, 2009, at Cumberland County Civic Center. They also played CCCC back in April 2005, at a show that was so loud most of the fans in attendance reportedly couldn’t hear a fire alarm going off and failed to evacuate. Smoke had apparently triggered the alarms, but there was no fire.
“I don’t recall them ever being in Bangor before,” said Gray.
About 10 months ago, Gray addressed the challenges of booking megabands such as Def Leppard and Motley Crue and their inherent high cost.
The cost was mitigated somewhat for this May booking due to location and timing.
“They’re coming off a European tour and were flying back in this region anyway, so it made things more affordable than usual,” he explained. “And last year, they were touring with KISS, which made for an expensive booking, which would have translated to more expensive ticket prices, and we try to get value for our consumers.”