Motley Crue were never strangers to controversy.
Before fans heard Shout at the Devil, parents hated the pentagram on the front cover.
Despite the occult cover art, the Crue had a different target in mind on “Bastard.”
When the Crue were starting out, their first manager was the inspiration for this song.
During an interview for MTV, Nikki Sixx was questioned about the attempted murder in the lyrics saying,
“It was about a manager. So when I write a line like ‘don’t try to rape me,’ I’m saying don’t try to screw with me. Don’t try to take what we’ve worked our whole lives for.”
Even though Sixx didn’t have a warm feeling for his manager, he mentioned it being about the music business saying,
“The song says ‘you’re the king of the sleaze.’ He was trying to screw over four perfectly innocent human beings who just wanted to rock and roll. Greed in the music business is really what that song’s about.”
After “Bastard” became successful, Sixx started to push the envelope more with his lyrics saying,
“Something like ‘Wild Side’ is a good example of that. When you hear it in a stadium, it’s like ‘yeah man, I’m on the wild side. But when you listen, these lines underneath it…’East LA, midnight/Papa won’t be home tonight/He was found dead with his best friend’s wife.’ I’m sure there was some ego. I can do anything and they’ll play it on the radio. I’m telling stories here and no one is telling me no.”
According to the Crue’s new manager Allen Kovac, songs like “Bastard” are the reason why the band works, saying,
“He’s expressing himself in a way that people can understand. Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s light, and sometimes it’s humorous, but when you look under the hood, maybe it’s something else. And that’s what makes people listen again and again.”