Motley Crue is looking forward after 30 years

If you go

Who: Mötley Crüe, Poison and The New York Dolls

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Covelli Centre, 229 E. Front St., Youngstown

Tickets: $46, $66, $76, $96 at the box office

Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil will hold an after-party at Club Gossip in Austintown after Friday’s concert. Admission will be $10 at the door for the all-ages event. Neil will sign autographs and take photos with fans until 2 a.m.

The Covelli Centre concert has been declared a sell-out, said arena marketing manager Kelsey Rupert, although a few single seats remain available. Go to the Covelli box office, or call 1-800-745-3000.

Before the concert, an outdoor party patio near the arena’s VIP entrance will open two hours before the 7 p.m. show starts. A limited area for motorcycle parking will be available near the party patio and outdoor smoking sections.

By John Benson

Taking a walk on the “Wild Side” all summer long is what Motley Crue has planned for its 30th anniversary tour, which rolls into Northeast Ohio – and not Cleveland, thank you – for a Youngstown show Friday at Covelli Centre. Also on the bill are Poison and special guest The New York Dolls.

After three decades together, the Sunset Boulevard rockers — Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars — are still going strong despite a debauched history that reads like at a cautionary tale of addiction and excess. The Vindicator talked to a testy Neil (who last year was busted for suspicion of drunken driving) about M ∂tley Cr ºe’s tour, legacy (which he feels is somewhat inaccurate) and its future.

Q. First of all, how did this anniversary tour come about?

A. We left it up to the fans, including the set list. We put it out there and said, “Who would you like us to tour with?” And Poison came up the most through our fan base. It’s their 25th anniversary tour. And The Dolls had a new record out. We’re heavily influenced by these guys, so we thought it would be fun to take them out.

Q. While Poison as an opener makes sense, on the surface it would seem as though The New York Dolls, the underground glam-punk act from the ’70s, would be under the radar of the typical ’80s rocker.

A. Yeah, it’s tough to open up these shows because people are just walking in but their fans are there, and I think they’re getting new fans all the time. But this is not an ’80s reunion thing or anything like that. It’s like we’ve been here for 30 years. Would you call the Beatles a ’60s band or the Stones a ’60s band? It doesn’t make sense.

Q. As for the upcoming set list, it appears as though fans will be getting all of the hits. Any surprises?

A. You only have so much time to play, and you can’t play everything. That’s why we left it up to the fans to vote. And the songs that were the top 15 songs are the ones we play. There are a couple of surprises in there, like “Too Young to Fall in Love,” which I love doing. And “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” “Ten Seconds to Love” and “Too Fast for Love” are surprises.

Q. At a recent show in Los Angeles you told the audience “30 years and we still haven’t killed each other yet.” Just how much truth is there to that statement?

A. We’ve been together for 30 years, it’s a lifetime. Not too many people still hang out with the people they went to high school with. We’ve been together through a lot of ups and downs, and yes we’ve been through some fights but most people who have been together for 30 years have some fights. I think the press likes to blow it up out of proportion and it’s a joke. It’s just called being human and it’s just life. Aerosmith went through it.

Q. They’re still going through it.

A. Yeah, exactly. We don’t really concern ourselves with that. We’re out here having fun, it’s a great tour and we keep moving on.

Q. Looking back over the past decades, what the biggest misconception about Motley Crue?

A. That we’re a so-called hair band. If you look at our albums, yeah, two of those [looked like hair metal], but in 1985 when everybody started doing it we changed completely and put out the “Girls, Girls, Girls” album and kind of got away from that. But people still want to hear all about the hair metal and it doesn’t really apply to us, I don’t think. People still want to pigeonhole you with all of these other bands that were pretty much one-hit wonders and are all gone now.

Q. The truth is every band that has longevity is tied to the era when it first emerged. Ultimately that’s a good thing. Motley Crue is still around, right?

A. Yeah, but we’re not stuck. People just want to keep us in that timeframe. This is 30 years later, and we’re still selling out arenas and amphitheaters.

Q. Finally, how long can Motley Crue last?

A. We still have over a year left on the road. Everybody is having a great time. What’s not to like playing your songs to sold-out audiences?

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