With their drugs, their hair, their genitalia and their litigation, Mötley Crüe was a joke, we all assumed. But now that they're gone, who's laughing?
Nobody. Because the end of Mötley Crüe introduced the end of the civilization we had only occasionally enjoyed. To wit, I'm currently eating a rat, which presumably once had a family it loved. I'm washing it down with the tears of uncool anarchy. I miss you, Mötley Crüe.
For decades, we didn't consider that Mötley Crüe supported the world's fragile legal ecosystem, in much the same way as the honeybee once supported life on this very planet. (The bees are dead, too, by the way.) We thought British Petroleum and the people represented by several separate yet equally important groups supplied all the money behind our legal system, and that Mötley Crüe were just the world's second greatest purveyors of fellatio metaphors.
For most of us, Mötley Crüe's final tour in the summer of 2015 represented nothing more than unironic heterosexual glam's last ugly gasp. Sure, we knew their management and members had a tendency to sue each other, but we had no idea how deep it went. But now it's 2020, and the world is ending.
When Mötley Crüe disbanded, the members scattered without animosity in their hearts but with money in their pockets. For once, they were satisfied, so several thousand lawyers had no one to sue and immediately lost their jobs. Since the band's inception in 1981, they'd been secretly funding almost the entire profession. Through Vince Neil's legal trouble, Tommy Lee's marital trouble, Nikki Sixx's drug arrests, Mick Mars' something or other, the interband contractual disputes, label mishaps and the approximately 15,000 ex-managers, all corpulent and hirsute, strewn across the Crüe's history, the band paid annual legal fees equivalent to Iceland's gross national product, pre-bust. When the band took their final bow, the last dick-shaped firework sounded. Tommy Lee's drum riser settled for a final time upon Earth's surface. And then several thousand lawyers looked into their uncertain futures and penned legally impenetrable suicide notes.
With the loss of Mötley Crüe and their reality show contracts to scrutinize, a maw of financial uncertainty swallowed up the seven continents. Lawyer cannibalized lawyer, literally bloodletting just to write the remaining Live Nation Versus Anyone With A Soul contracts. It was a hellscape unimagined outside the American Psycho cutting-room floor—no method, only mayhem. The waters rose a few inches with lawyer blood. There were no fish, no Shark Week even.
My father, the late Vernon Reidstein Esq. (of the late law firm Reidstein, Funkleface & Spyz), attended the final Mötley Crüe gig and took part in the "'Too Fast' ULTIMATE Meet-and-Greet VIP Package ($4,500 USD)." The deal included a hang with the band, an autographed guitar and—very attractively when refrigerated food was still a concept that didn't induce soul-rending bitter nostalgia—a Mötley Crüe Marshall refrigerator.
My father never worked with Mötley Crüe. In fact, he never worked in the legal fields remotely involved with their quarter-century of squabbling. Still, within months of the band's dissolution, the trickle-down effect of litigator unemployment hit him, too. My father donned his "Girls, Girls, Girls" bandanna one final time. He hurled himself from the rooftop of his dockside offices. Too fast for love perhaps, but not too fast for the sea. My mother, more of a Kix fan but still a lawyer, soon joined him. We surviving children were forced to sling Crüe lithos for groceries.
There were signs of hope, at least. Ever the amiable careerist, Tommy Lee tried to calm the shaken markets with a three-day marathon of savage dick pics on Tosh 2.0. It only reminded the world what it would be missing with him no longer traversing the globe in his magical drum kit, making a mockery of both law and gravity. Vince Neil's infamous "Keep Calm & Kick Ass Tour" of 2016 was even more detrimental. Without the band, people just found him grating. There were riots. Harvard Law burned to the ground, and the rest of Boston was razed in the confused marauding that followed whenever anything—good or bad—happened in Boston, at least when it was still a city.
In fact, the entire rule of law fell to the wayside. What was the point, anyway? I never saw The Purge, back before Ethan Hawke was impaled by a rioting Crüe crew member, but I imagine it was something like that. The Magna Carta immolated in its case in—cruel, full circle of life—London. Without studded acrimonious cock rock, the universe finally realized the futility of jurisprudence. Murder and all sorts of depravity became legal, because there were no prosecutors. The world was like a Tommy Lee PETA ad, made flesh. It was pretty much like every PETA ad.
After the initial shock of the wholesale destruction of society wore off, people were bummed at Mötley Crüe. John Corabi, the only former member not living within an electric-walled community before electricity vanished, did not come to a happy end. (Corabi, as you probably have forgotten, once replaced Vince Neil in Mötley Crüe. He regretted it always, but especially at the moment he died.) Unsure what he looked like, savages murdered a lot of other John Corabis first. I pity the ones cornered by workers in the defunct male thong industry; those union guys can be rough.
We tried to carry on, but we could not. There was no government. There was no Crüe. There was only carnage and the torture of calling blowjobs "blowjobs" because to engage in euphemism was just too painful a reminder of how things once were. I won't even wear a crop-top anymore, both because of the reminder of the good times and the skin-devouring locusts that became rampant. We, as a people, are going away. I'd make an ironic devil horn right now, if it weren't for my already-eaten fingers.
So we stumble through this crumbled continent as best we can. We don't shout at the devil or god or anything, as that would imply some sort of faith. Without Mötley Crüe, those unlikely underpinnings of literally everything, and without the system they provided that also provided for us, we believe in nothing but the fickle nature of life and death.
I favor the release of the latter.
In the interim, we are all cult members, praying for the return of Mathew Trippe (Nikki Sixx's doppelgänger) or perhaps the Crüe's truest self. We prostrate on bloodied knees, hoping Crüe's return will mean the return of the kick-ass times, the end of scarcity and lawlessness.
We know in our hearts that only Tommy Lee can judge us, and he's found us wanting. The world will end—not with a bang, but with a cymbal catch.
Zachary Lipez microblogs his thoughts on Twitter: @ZacharyLipez.