Why Nikki Sixx And Mötley Crüe’s Manager Were Imprisoned In Japan

Formed in 1981, Mötley Crüe is one of the greatest metal bands in the world. Throughout their career, Crüe released nine successful studio albums, which sold over 100 million copies. Apart from their success, however, they are also among the most controversial bands in rock & metal music history.

Mötley Crüe’s bad reputation stems not only from their outrageous stage shows but also from their backstage antics. Moreover, the band members were especially known for their heavy drug and alcohol abuse which often fueled their mischievous and destructive behavior.

Knowing that Crüe lived the rock and roll lifestyle to its fullest, there have been numerous stories concerning the band members. Some of them are so unbelievable that people still question whether they are true or not.

The Crüe members have gotten arrested over fifteen times during their career for various reasons. Aside from the problems they caused in North America and Canada, they also got into trouble in other regions, such as Asia. For instance, there was a time when Nikki Sixx and the Crüe manager Doc McGhee were arrested during a tour in Japan, back in 1987.

Nikki Sixx Injured A Passenger On The Train And Went Into Jail

In an interview by the Rock Candy magazine, former manager of Mötley Crüe, Doc McGhee, recalled the time when they got jailed with the bass guitarist Nikki Sixx in Japan. As Doc said, the band was heading towards Osaka in a bullet train, and Nikki was messed up as always. Then, the bassist started messing around with Mick Mars.

Even though the members of Mötley Crüe pissed off each other quite often, Mick was the one who refrained from fighting. Therefore, he didn’t go for a fistfight with Nikki. As a result, the bassist threw a bottle at Mick, missed his target, and hit a passenger instead. All of a sudden, there were drops of blood on the floor.

When the band arrived in Tokyo, many Japanese police officers with riot gear were waiting for them. After Doc introduced himself as the manager of Crüe to solve the problem, they threw him on the ground and arrested him. Later on, the police officers dragged Nikki out of the train and put them together in jail. Although they needed to write an apology letter to leave the jail and Nikki refused to do, which made Doc quite angry.

Doc McGhee detailed the story in the interview as follows:

“We played Japan in December of ’87 and took the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka for a show. On the way back Nikki was all messed up. Mick and Nikki started getting into each other and Nikki threw doughnuts at Mick while he was drinking a bottle of Jack.

There wasn’t a fistfight, because Mick couldn’t fight anybody. Nikki threw a bottle and hit a Japanese guy in the back of the head. Blood was pumping and they ended up dragging the guy out like he’d survived a battle.”

He then continued:

“When we got to Tokyo there was a couple of hundred Japanese police with riot gear on waiting for us. I went up and said, ‘I’m Doc McGhee, the manager of Mötley Crüe.’ They grabbed me, threw me on the ground, and zip-tied my hands behind my back.

Then they went and got Nikki. They dragged him out and threw him beside me and took the two of us off to jail. We sat there for four or five hours and then had to write a letter apologizing before they would let us out.

If it wasn’t for our promoter Mr. Udo we’d probably still be there. Mr. Udo went through hell on that tour. He came down and sorted things out so that all we had to do was write that letter of apology. But Nikki didn’t want to do it. I wanted to kill him, because I’m in jail because of him.”

About two years after this event, Mötley Crüe released one of the greatest albums of their career, ‘Dr. Feelgood.’ The album featured lots of great tracks such as ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ and more.