Art, in all its forms, has often strived to upset the status quo. Music, in particular, has been used to push boundaries and overthrow the establishment. Challenging those aspects of society that seem archaic goes hand in hand with rock n’ roll, as much as guitars and hard liquors.
Born In The USA was Bruce Springsteen’s brilliant dismantling of the idea of patriotism. F*ck Tha Police was NWA’s stance against police brutality. And, Why by Tracy Chapman, questioned the injustices and contradictions of life in the so-called civilized country of America.
Sometimes artists write songs to trigger thought processes or prompt reconsideration of a particular topic. “Artistic freedom” is used to stray into uncomfortable areas that most of us wouldn’t dream of exploring – it can work, but sometimes it completely misses the mark.
Rock music is littered with examples – even of the most famous artists – exploring topics that require great caution or are downright obnoxious. Not only have these songs not aged well, but it’s remarkable that they were released in the first place…
The snake-hipped rockers of Mötley Crüe were well known for their feminization. It’s not hard to tell what they had in mind when they released their fourth album Girls, Girls, Girls. Every music video featured scantily clad strippers, and every other song referenced some sort of sexual conquest.
Yes, tagging girls and yelling about it was all the rage in the 80s — and no one did it more verbally than Vince Neil. It’s amazing these guys managed to get so big whipping the same dead horse for so long. But, that was the 80s; the trousers were tight and the manners loose.
We can dismiss some of it as being of a time and place, but it’s hard to explain any particular song on this album. The seventh track revealed that Vince Neil’s appetite for female flesh extends to the lust of teenage girls. He wasted no time getting to the heart of the matter, the first line reading like a courtroom confession: “She’s only fifteen, it’s because of her that I can’t sleep. You say illegal, I say legal was never my scene, – I’m out of control”.
Doesn’t really leave much room for ambiguity, does it…
It might be best to skip this particular trail the next time you stay on the Crüe.