Mötley Crüe is arguably the most decadent, ridiculous band in a decadent, ridiculous genre, whose infamous excesses extended to recording the choruses of their songs on a different drum kit than the verses, just because they were bored.
Part of the fun of 80s glam metal was that people were throwing that much money at high school dropouts so coked up and lazy that they didn’t even bother to euphemize their songs about getting laid. They wanted to get laid so they wrote songs about getting laid and got laid — less because of the quality of their songs than the volume of their hair. It was the perfect symbol of the American dream as applied to the 80s, the entire genre representing the ultimate triumph of production values over content.
Which is why it’s so weird to watch a movie about them that seems above all to be defined by cheapness. The Dirt‘s wigs are bad, the acting is worse, and they didn’t even spring for Tommy Lee’s spinning drum kit. Honestly, they show Tommy Lee drawing the drum kit, but we don’t actually see it until the stock footage at the end. Isn’t this supposed to be a Mötley Crüe biopic? Play the hits!
The Dirt is, of course, based on The Dirt, probably the most entertaining “oral history” biography ever written, whose highlights include stories about Ozzy Osbourne snorting ants, people mainlining alcohol (literally), and the boys in the band pooling their money to buy a burrito to put their penises into to remove the smell of groupie so their girlfriends wouldn’t find out. The movie version had been in development since 2006, with director Jeff Tremaine from Jackass attached since 2013.