20 Things You Might Not Know About Motley Crue's 'Dr. Feelgood'

By Dave Basner

September 1, 2018

September 1st marks the 29th anniversary of Motley Crue's fifth studio album, Dr. Feelgood. To celebrate, here are 20 things you might not know about the effort:

1. Dr. Feelgood was the first Motley Crue album recorded after the band got clean in 1989.

 

2. Bob Rock produced the effort but found it difficult to work with the guys. In an interview with Blender magazine, he called them “four LA bad asses who used to drink a bottle of wine and want to kill each other.” He had the guys record their parts separately to avoid conflicts.

3. The record was the last to feature lead singer Vince Neil until 1997’s Generation Swine.

4. The song “Dr. Feelgood” is Motley Crue’s highest-ranking single to date, peaking at number 6 on the Hot 100. It’s also their only Gold single in America – their only song to sell more than 500,000 copies.

 

5. “Dr. Feelgood” was inspired by a drug dealer.

6. Bassist Nikki Sixx wrote “Kickstart My Heart” while playing on his acoustic guitar and scribbling words down. The group’s former manager read the lyrics and encouraged Nikki to share them with the band. He was reluctant but did and they quickly put the song together.

7. “Kickstart My Heart” is autobiographical. In 1987, Nikki OD’d and died. Paramedics shot adrenaline in him to save his life and kickstart his heart. It’s also about the band’s sobriety.

 

8. “Without You” is about drummer Tommy Lee’s relationship with actress Heather Locklear.

9. The song “Same Ol’ Situation” (S.O.S.) is about lesbianism. Nikki once told Rolling Stone it is about “chicks leaving you for chicks.”

 

10. Nikki was inspired to write “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” after hearing the line in a movie. While there is no official word what the movie was, it’s likely 1986’s Heartbreak Ridge starring Clint Eastwood, which features the line.

 

11. The lyrics of “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” reference the 1984 Motley Crue song “Too Young To Fall In Love.”

 

12. The end of “Slice of Your Pie” is based on The Beatles’ song “She’s So Heavy.”

 

13. Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler contributed backing vocals to Dr. Feelgood. He was recording Pump at the same studio in Vancouver as Motley Crue and they hung out a lot.

 

14. The album also features backing vocal contributions from Bryan Adams, Skid Row, Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen, and Night Ranger’s Jack Blades.

 

15. Nike Skateboarding once made a shoe based on the cover of Dr. Feelgood.

16. Lars Ulrich liked what Bob Rock did on Dr. Feelgood so much that he hired the producer to work on Metallica’s self-titled record a.k.a. the Black Album.

 

17. The songs “Dr. Feelgood” and “Kickstart My Heart” were both nominated for the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance but the band lost to Living Colour.

 

18. The group did win the American Music Award for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album of the Year for Dr. Feelgood.

 

19. Having sold six million copies in America, Dr. Feelgood is Motley Crue’s best-selling album.

 

20. Dr. Feelgood is the band’s only album to reach number one on the charts. It stayed on the Billboard 200 for 109 weeks.

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