Motley Crue were “probably” a sexist band in the ’80s, Nikki Sixx admits

(Image credit: Ross Marino/Getty Images)

Nikki Sixx has acknowledged that Mötley Crüe were “most probably” a sexist band at the height of their fame in the 1980s, but claims “everybody” else was too.

“It was a different time,” the bassist tells Classic Rock.

Interviewed in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, while promoting his latest memoir, The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx, the 62-year-old musician looks back upon Crue’s wild formative years in Hollywood’s decadent, debauched club scene, and concedes that accusations that the quartet were sexist is “most probably” accurate. 

“In today’s environment, most probably,” he admits. “As was everybody. In the seventies, when I grew up, it was just the messaging that came through, and you were emulating your heroes.”

Recalling hearing Steven Tyler’s use of the words “slitty licker” among the lyrics on Aerosmith’s debut album [on the track Pandora’s Box], Sixx says, “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s fucking rad!’ It was dangerous, y’know? When someone is talking about guns and sex and drugs, you’re like, ‘This is fucking dangerous, man. This is not mom and dad’s music.’ So it was a different time. You can’t rewrite history, man.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Sixx admits that his (former) image as a hard partying rock ’n’ roll hellraiser persists in the minds of some Crue fans, despite the fact that he has been sober for over 20 years.

“I’m really looking at somewhere between twenty-five go thirty years of not sticking needles in, and drinking alcohol and taking pills and stuff. I actually lead a pretty clean lifestyle. But people don’t think that when I walk into the restaurant. People are always like, ‘Hey man! What’s happening? High five! Let me buy you a shot of Jack Daniel’s!’  I’m like ,’It’s been three decades!’

For the full wide-ranging interview with Nikki Sixx, pick up the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which is out now.

Classic Rock

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.