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Morning Sun
  • Original Mötley Crüe back on tour

  • To Nikki Sixx, there’s a simple reason why Mötley Crüe is still going strong after nearly three decades. “We just refuse to die,” said the Crüe’s bass player during a phone interview last week. “I think bands have cycles. We lived through (bad) cycles. I believe we’re stil...
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  • To Nikki Sixx, there’s a simple reason why Mötley Crüe is still going strong after nearly three decades.
    “We just refuse to die,” said the Crüe’s bass player during a phone interview last week. “I think bands have cycles. We lived through (bad) cycles. I believe we’re still doing good work. That’s what Aerosmith did, that’s what the Rolling Stones did.”
    Mötley Crüe’s 27-year odyssey as one of rock’s most celebrated acts brings its debauchery, mayhem and catalog of hits to the Rockford MetroCentre on Sunday, Feb. 15. Opening for the Crüe are Theory of a Deadman, Hinder and The Last Vegas.
    ‘Like a circus’
    The Crüe’s road show is in support of its latest release, “Saints of Los Angeles,” with all four original members: Sixx, Vince Neil on vocals, Mick Mars on guitar and Tommy Lee on drums — all intact, relatively speaking. No small feat for an aging band that has been known as much for its excessive drug and alcohol use, rabble-rousing and unbridled mischief as it is for its catchy hooks and Neil’s devilish screech.
    Sixx, the most reflective member of the group, disagrees.
    “Mötley Crüe is all about the songs,” he said. “That’s what we focus on: great songs, great lyrics. Guys in Mötley Crüe have such definitive style, whether you listen to Tommy, Vince, Mick or me, you’re going to understand who Mötley Crüe is. It’s the songs that come first.”
    Loyal fans will hear a couple new cuts off “Saints of Los Angeles” at the MetroCentre, but the show will consist mostly of longtime staples such as “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood” and
    “Home Sweet Home.” And when it comes to Mötley Crüe — especially Lee, the most playful one in the bunch — there are sure to be plenty of surprises along the way.
    “It’s kind of like being in a circus,” Sixx said. “You pull into town. You have a tightrope walker, a fire breather, a ring leader … whatever recklessness happens backstage and you leave a trail of something bad. We come, we go. We return in a few years, we try to make amends and probably make it worse.”
    Local boys do good
    The Mötley show also marks the return of Rockford natives Nate and Adam Arling. The brothers are members of The Last Vegas; Nate, a 1996 East High graduate, plays drums and Adam, a 1993 product of Auburn High, plays guitar. These days, The Last Vegas calls Chicago home.
    In November, the band won a national contest sponsored by Guitar Center for the opportunity to open for Mötley Crüe on the “Saints” tour. In addition, The Last Vegas received $25,000, a record deal and $20,000 worth of equipment. The band beat out more than 8,000 acts that entered.
    Page 2 of 2 - Nate Arling fondly recalls the days he and his brother paid good money to see rock bands, including Mötley Crüe, play Rockford. While The Last Vegas has played Wing Ding and area bars in recent years, this is the first time the Arlings will take the stage at the MetroCentre. And opening for their idols, Nate said, is icing on the cake.
    “This is a dream come true,” he said during a recent phone interview. “It’s been a long road, but we have the passion, work ethic … we never stopped. We didn’t know when or where, but we knew our break would happen.”
    Sixx is equally impressed. “I was inspired by how much they believed in what they were doing,” he said. “That’s everything in a rock band. I’ve watched these guys, in a short amount of time, really develop. It makes me proud. I knew they had it; it’s just a matter of pushing them to be better.”
    As for his own band, the 50-year-old Sixx is often asked when Mötley Crüe is going to hang up their instruments — and spandex — for good. Not anytime soon, he says, defiantly.
    “Compared to the Rolling Stones, we’re spring chickens,” he said. “This ride ain’t over. We can keep doing this as long as we want.”
    Rockford Register Star
    If you go
    What: Mötley Crüe: Saints of Los Angeles 2009 Tour
    Where: MetroCentre, 300 Elm St., Rockford
    When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15
    Cost: $93.50, $75, $48, $28
    For tickets or more information: LiveNation.com, metrocentre.com, 815-968-5222 or the MetroCentre box office
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