Mick Mars of Motley Crue
Secret Location – Rehearsals
January 6, 2005
When I am asked what I do for a living, I explain that I am a Rock Photographer. Most people seem to find my job fascinating. They immediately picture the parties, the concerts, the tours, etc. Most people don’t seem to realize that there is a B-Side to this record – the long hours, the waiting, the bad attitudes, the ridiculous requests, the tardiness, and don’t forget all the physical damage I have taken over the years. Respect in the rock world is hard to come by. Respect and love are often shown in a number of different ways. Very often, that respect and love is shown to me in the form of a middle finger.
Motley was doing a week of full rehearsals for the Red, White And Crue Tour inside of a large auditorium in L.A. and they brought me in to capture every moment on film. You gotta’ remember that Motley Crue was one of my most influential bands growing up, so to be witness to a full Motley show, 8 hours a day, every day for a week was mind blowing!
One day before things got rolling, I was hanging with Mick. We were talking about everything…or I should say, he was, I was doing a lot of listening. Out of nowhere, he got this gleam in his eye and grabbed me. He walked me to the parking lot outside and showed me some really cool custom-made choppers that had been made for the band. Mick explained to me that, because of his rare bone condition, he was the only member of the band that did not get one. He went on and on, telling me how much he loved the bikes. I pulled out my camera and told Mick that it would be really cool to get a couple of shots of him on one of the bikes.
Mick was a giddy as a little kid, amazing. He did his best to hop on one of the bikes, but it was not working. So, with a little teamwork between Mick and I, we got him propped up comfortably against his favorite bike. I popped of a handful of shots; he was really into it…so excited. When we finished he said, “I can’t wait to see those photos. Make sure you let me see them as soon as you have them, okay? Don’t forget.” I assured him that I would get them to him asap.
About twenty or thirty minutes later, I was in the bathroom taking a leak. Mick’s assistant comes barreling into the bathroom. “I’ve been looking all over for you! Mick needs you right now! Come on!” I zipped up, grabbed my camera and sprinted down the corridor with Mick’s assistant. We found Mick, standing in the hallway outside the dressing room, waiting for me. His assistant said, “Here he is Mick, I found him.” Panting and out of breath, I asked Mick, “What’s up Mick? Is everything okay?” Mick answered me, “You got ‘em?” Huh? I wondered. “You got ‘em?” he said again. “Got what? I said. Mick answered, “the photos.” “Which photos” I said. “The photos of me on the chopper” he said. Confused, I replied, “Yea Mick, I have them, but I have to take the film to the lab and get it developed. I’ll have the prints in a day or two.” He smiled at me and said, “Okay, don’t forget.”
It was the strangest and coolest thing. Mick was just so excited to see the photos, he couldn’t wait…like a kid counting down Christmas. I love Mick, he is such a warm person…and whenever he says something, it is because it is important to him.
Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 Camera, and a Canon 15mm fisheye lens. Shot on Kodak Black And White Film.