Above photograph by Dustin Jack
Responsible for the melodic timeline of our lives, these rock ‘n’ roll legends—many are local residents—are creating more magic for the history books with new tours putting them center stage again. Here, some of the all-time great music legends into the future.
Mötley Crüe/Nikki Sixx
After almost 40 years together and a promise to never tour again, Mötley Crüe is back. Their stadium tour is coming to 31 arenas this summer. Kicking off in Florida as the quartet of music legends Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil co-headlines with Def Leppard along with Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts performing. Following the uber success of their biopic Netflix film, The Dirt, Mötley Crüe has seen an epic 350-percent increase in music streams. The newest demographic, aged 18 to 44, now makes up 64 percent of their fan base. Many of these Crüe-newbies have never experienced an over-the-top concert that loyal Crüeheads have long coveted. Here, Nikki Sixx shared details about the prep, the plans and what to expect.
Westlake/West Luxury Magazine You had a farewell tour in 2015 and have been busy with other projects since the “end” of Mötley Crüe. How does it feel to be back together?
Nikki Sixx To be honest, none of us expected this to happen. We were all focused on new creative adventures, like I’ve been working on a musical based on my book about recovery called The Heroin Diaries. But we all came together for the making of The Dirt and really reconnected. As friends first, and then as a band by going back into the recording studio to make four new songs for the movie. I think it was then that we started missing being a rock ‘n’ roll band.
WLM And not only are you back together, but to be touring again?
NS We thought, if we’re gonna come back, we better come back “big.” That’s when we started talking to Live Nation and Def Leppard about the stadium tour idea.
WLM Were you surprised by the presale sellout and the need to add multiple more shows?
NS Everybody felt it would do well, but none of us saw selling out stadiums so fast coming. I’m really happy for everybody involved and especially the fans. Gonna be a crazy phenomenal night of hits.
WLM Did you always know you wanted to co-headline with Def Leppard?
NS We’ve known the guys for probably 35 years. And we’ve done quite a few shows with them in the past, including touring the UK together. Both bands compliment each other musically and, to be honest, they are just great guys.
WLM Tell me about that video you made to announce the news that the band was back.
NS We wanted to do it Mötley style—in your face. We worked with Jeff Tremaine who directed The Dirt and a special pyro effects company because it’s all real, no CGI. When the explosions went off there were 130 pyro blasts built into one scene. Mötley Crue blowing stuff up—in this case our contract to not ever tour again—is just natural.
What to Expect
WLM Will you be performing any new songs?
NS We are working on setlists and production as we speak. We know we want to play The Dirt and a lot of our hits that we haven’t played in years.
WLM Ever since The Dirt movie, it seems like you have a whole new legion of fans. Do you think your audience will be a mix of old and new ones?
NS More than 40 million people saw the movie. Our audience is now 18 to 64 years old—how insane is that? A lot of kids who listen to vanilla pop music are about to have their minds blown.
WLM Being on stage is like a workout every night. How are you getting ready for that?
NS I train like crazy for tours. You don’t want to step onstage and not have double the stamina as the length of the show. I do fasted cardio, weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training). I eat 2,250 calories a day. And then of course, there is building stamina around my bass playing. I’ve got to be ready to go fast and hard for 90 to 120 minutes while jumping around like a madman and singing background vocals. You don’t just wing rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a sport.
WLM You guys are known for amazing shows—pyrotechnics, spinning drum cages and smashing instruments. Should audiences be expecting the same?
NS Anything we’ve done in the past is off the table. We are working with companies that have technology that’s never been seen before.
WLM You have your wife and a beautiful new baby at home—is leaving home the hardest part of going on tour?
NS It’s painful. I’m a homebody. I’ve been touring most of my life, so to get me out of the house, I usually need to bring my family as much as possible. Friends are always welcome too. My tour bus is kind of like a sober circus: babies, dogs, nannies, my wife, some of my older children when they are not in school. Once I am on the road, I settle in. But when the car picks me up for the airport to leave, I am always pretty bummed. It’s not the 80s anymore.
WLM What’s your favorite thing about living in the L.A. area?
NS I love L.A. Couldn’t pay me to leave. I came here on Greyhound bus with an idea to form the most dangerous rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. My family is here. My friends and life. Ain’t no going back to Idaho now.
Joey Carman Photography
This Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame band has been entertaining audiences for more than 40 years and are almost as well known for their makeup and wardrobes as they are for their music … almost. KISS is ostensibly a hometown band—with many of the members having deep roots in L.A. and Westlake—never mind their global rep. Just like these music legends do every so often, the band has announced another farewell tour. They swear the End of the Road Tour is their last—maybe that’s why they just added even more North American dates so fans can Rock and Roll All Nite again! kissonline.com
Joey Carman Photography
This music legend known as the Demon of Screamin’ for his vast vocal range and high-pitched screams is the frontman for legendary band Aerosmith. Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry most recently performed at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards show in January—re-creating the rap-rock version of Walk This Way with the surviving members of Run-DMC., Reverend Run and DMC. This year was not their first trip to the Grammys—they’ve been nominated 14 times and won four of the coveted awards. The band is in residence in Las Vegas through June 4, then hitting the road for a European tour this summer. aerosmith.com
This California pop-rock-punk all-girls band from the 80s has still got the beat! Their music is timeless and their story inspiring. Their writing, music, instrumentals was/is all created by them, the only all-girl band to claim that. They’ve released a few new songs over the years, toured a bit and were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lately they’ve had a resurgence. Head Over Heels was a Broadway show in 2018 set to the band’s iconic music. This year at the Sundance Film Festival, the self-titled The Go-Go’s film premiered and now they are set to tour again this summer. gogos.com
Joey Carman Photography
Peter Frampton broke out as a solo artist, reaching international music legend fame with his album Frampton Comes Alive!, which sold nearly 17 million copies in 1976. Many of his singles today are still on constant radio rotation, though Frampton is continuously evolving, growing and getting better, he has said, as is evident with his latest blues album. Frampton announced a diagnosis of Inclusion Body Myositis, and while he’ll keep singing, he has said he doesn’t know how much longer he will be playing guitar. But he’s got lots of friends to help with that. He’ll be touring this spring and summer. frampton.com
Joey Carman Photography
Well before REO Speedwagon’s best-selling High Fidelity album, with Kevin Cronin at the songwriting helm, was released 40 years ago, the music legend band was finding their sound. They eventually did, hitting a balance between dreamy, folksy lyrics and a robust rhythm instrumental, giving fans songs like Take It on the Run and Keep on Loving You, among others. The band is celebrating their breakout album’s 40th anniversary with a tour at intimate locations. The California dates—with opening sets by Sir, Please, a band started by Kevin Cronin’s sons—were a hit last month at L.A. venues, with other dates across the country planned for this spring and summer. reospeedwagon.com