Mötley Crüe is known as much for their antics and rap sheets as they are for their music, if not more so. The band was notorious for living up to their name in the 1980s and '90s, destroying hotel rooms and binging drugs and alcohol. Lots of notorious rock bands have still managed to make their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but bassist Nikki Sixx has said Motley Crue is banned from ever being inducted to the Hall of Fame. But is that true and, if so, why?
Is Mötley Crüe banned from the Hall of Fame — and why?
The origin of this rumor comes from comments Nikki Sixx made to British rock weekly Kerrang in 2019 about whether another reunion was ever in the cards for the band. Interest in a comeback surged with the release of The Dirt, the movie based on their biography of the same name.
Sixx told the zine that they'd been asked that in another interview recently and drummer Tommy Lee had said, "I don’t know. Maybe if we got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or something, we could dust off a couple of our old classics." However, Nikki says that is pretty much moot, "because we were told by the Hall of Fame that we would never get in, because of how we’ve acted, so that’s kind of it.”
According to the Hall of Fame website, the only strict requirement is that an artist does not become eligible until 25 years after the release of their first record, which for Mötley Crüe, made them eligible 14 years ago. The selection process also considers "the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll."
Who decides who gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anyway?
If Nikki is telling the truth, somebody from the Hall of Fame selection committee made it clear Mötley Crüe isn't being considered for their "influence and significance." The question is who that person might have been. See, the thing is, not much is known about the body who determine the inductees to the Hall of Fame, and that seems to be by design.
CEO Greg Davis said in a 2016 Q&A that there are "roughly 24 people" who decide each year which artists will be honored, and their identities are shrouded to avoid giving artists the opportunity to curry favor with them. However, the site Future Rock Legends, which is not affiliated with the Hall of Fame, has lists of the supposed nominee selection committee members for each year.
The committee does not wholly change each year, according to the site, and the list of 2020 members includes musicians like Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters, Questlove of The Roots, Linda Perry, and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. The committee also includes music industry execs and music critics.
Who knows whether anyone with any authority told Nikki that the band is verboten, but with such a large selection committee, it seems possible, if enough members feel passionate enough about it, that the Crüe still has a shot at the HoF. But even if they never make it in, they're in good company. The list of snubs includes legends like Mariah Carey, Rage Against the Machine, Brian Eno, and fellow umlaut lovers Hüsker Dü.