Manager Doc McGhee Talks Early Days With Motley Crue: ‘I Apologized Every Day’
McGhee, whose incredible roster of clients has also included Kiss and Bon Jovi, looked back on his struggles to corral the Crüe during a recent appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast, which you can listen to below. Like any successful manager, he admitted that his choice in acts wasn't always driven by his own personal tastes, and Mötley Crüe are an excellent example.
"I couldn't even understand what they were playing, they were so bad," recalled McGhee of his first time watching the band perform. "They were rolling around, just lighting each other on fire and s---. But I saw 3,000 kids going apes--- and buying every piece of merchandise."
The wild abandon with which the Crüe performed carried over into their backstage conduct, which McGhee soon discovered was going to prove a persistent source of headaches and problems during his tenure with the band.
"Of all the bands I've had, they were probably the most — they were more like a gang than a band. They had their own little things they would do, they would bite people," he explained. "You'd be on the bus, and of course they were chemically induced most of the time, and they'd come and bite you on the shoulder like a dog. They bit Eddie Van Halen at a dinner!"
That dinner, which was also attended by AC/DC, happened to take place during the Monsters of Rock tour in 1984 — and their behavior caused a huge problem for McGhee. "We're in Sweden, and they thought, 'Well, there's Eddie, I'll go bite him.' It turned into a huge fight," he continued. "I [went through] that every day with the Crüe. You apologized every day. We got thrown out of every hotel with them. We got thrown out of Howard Johnson's and motels, and we had to put up $15,000 in cash just to get into a Howard Johnson's."
The night of the Van Halen biting incident, which left the band facing threats of being tossed off the tour, was no different. As McGhee remembers it, Mötley Crüe were actually thrown out of their hotel after being thrown out of the dinner — and they woke up the next day thinking nothing of it.
"I get back to the hotel and they get thrown out of the hotel, so we have to move hotels. ... They moved us to some youth hostel or some s--- in Sweden," said McGhee, who went on to relive the stern sit-down he scheduled for the following day. "I sat 'em down and I go, 'That was really fun last night, wasn't it?' and [drummer Tommy Lee] goes, 'Yeah, dude, that was a f---ing blast!' I said, 'That was a blast?' 'Yeah, man — did you see me chase David Lee Roth up the f---ing stairs? I was gonna kick his ass!'"
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