Why You Won’t See Mötley Crüe In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Anytime Soon

Mötley Crüe is arguably the most influential and successful group to come out of the era of the hair band in the 1980s, yet it’s not clear if they’ll ever be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They may have rock-starred their way out of the opportunity. 

At least that’s what Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx told Kerrang! in 2019. “We were told by the Hall of Fame that we would never get in, because of how we’ve acted, so that’s kind of it,” he said.

If you aren’t familiar with the band, they were the poster children for the hedonistic lifestyle that became somewhat of a stereotype for rock stars — sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. 

“Well, yeah, I mean there is some behavioral stuff in there that is just dumb,” Sixx told Kerrang! “We were stubborn and determined and wild as f***.” 

Sixx said that some of the Mötley Crüe’s behaviors ultimately overshadowed their music in part because they were so open about it.

“One thing that we all agreed on early on was that we would be very honest about our lives,” Sixx explained. “So we’d do an interview and be asked what we did the night before, and we’d answer, ​’Oh, we did some cocaine, got into a fight and [had sex with] a prostitute.'”

Sixx said other bands lived similar lifestyles, but they didn’t advertise it quite like the Crüe.

There are no specific rules keeping Mötley Crüe out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

While Nikki Sixx was told Mötley Crüe would never get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame due to antics during their heyday, there are no specific rules against nominees being drug addicts, sleeping with many partners, or destroying property. The only real rule is that nominees need to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years ago, according to NPR

With the release of their debut album, “Too Fast for Love,” in 1981, Mötley Crüe more than meets that criteria. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame calls being inducted “rock’s highest honor,” and perhaps the word “honor” isn’t often associated with Crüe members Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, and Mick Mars. Yet, the real question is, do they meet the musical criteria? 

According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website, the criteria for nomination includes a band’s or musician’s influence on “other performers or genres; length of career and catalog; stylistic innovations; or superior technique and skill.” 

The board looks at whether they’ve dedicated their lives “to creating influential, important music infused with originality, and have achieve a level of timeless distinction.” 

There are likely lots of opinions on whether Mötley Crüe passes the muster, but most rock fans would probably agree, when they hear a Mötley Crüe song they know exactly who it is, and there is no question — it’s rock ‘n’ roll, baby. 

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