Motley Crue had struggled in the early days after they arrived to the scene. The arrival of grunge left little mainstream space for a band best known for songs like “Girls, Girls, Girls”, while the years of reckless living and hard-partying were starting to catch up with Nikki Sixx & Co. Amidst all that, Motley Crue found itself without its iconic frontman, as Vince Neil departed the band in 1992 and tried to pursue a solo career.
John Corabi had stepped in as the replacement and the Corabi-fronted version of the band would recall 1994’s “Mötley Crüe”. And while the band’s former reputation meant that the album’s chances of becoming a mainstream success were slim from the get-go. Corabi’s arrival brought was more in line with the contemporary tastes, and the story of Motley might have been different had the band chosen to push on with that lineup. However, Corabi would end up leaving the band anyway.
John Corabi talks about his departure
The singer explains in a recent interview with The SDR Show, the decision had to be made due to the band’s previous arrangements with their record label:
“There was a meeting at Nikki’s house, and Allen Kovac, the manager, came in and he was very frank. He goes, ‘Listen, man, I don’t give a shit who’s fronting this band…’ And you got to go back and look at it from prior to me joining, like, a year before I joined. They had just signed a massive record deal with Elektra for like $40-50 million guaranteed money. And, and then, like six months later, Mötley calls Elektra, [and] goes, ‘Oh, yeah, hey, by the way, the singer’s out.’ And they’re like, ‘Uh, not what we paid for!’
“So I don’t know, they were always cool to me, but I don’t think they were huge supporters from the beginning, for obvious reasons. And so Allen came to me and he said, ‘Here’s the deal dude, no disrespect to you, but this isn’t what the record label paid for.’ His words were, ‘I don’t give a f**k if Paul McCartney was fronting this band – It’s not what they paid for.’ They want Vince Neil, or they’re doing nothing. I understood that. And, you know, that was that.”
John Corabi is currently preparing to release his memoirs titled “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Tales from the Other Mötley Crüe Frontman and Journeys through a Life In and Out of Rock and Roll”.