Classic Rock Corner

Five More Epic '80s Tours That Deserve The Wall Treatment

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Will all the behind-the-curtain mechanics and Waters' endless pontificating add up to a compelling documentary? We'll let you know when we see it. But it's certainly an idea with potential. Hell, "The Wall Live" ain't the only historic 1980s tour we'd like to see given the documentary treatment. In fact, it might not even be in the Top 10. Here are five more epic '80s productions on which we'd like to get the full, inside scoop:

5. The Use Your Illusion Tour When Guns N' Roses' mammoth Use Your Illusion Tour kicked off in 1991, they were the biggest rock band in the world. When it limped to a close two and a half years later, they were barely a band. Co-founder Izzy Stradlin had quit the group, never to return. Slash and Duff were drugged-out wrecks. And Axl Rose suddenly controlled 100 percent of the band's name.

There had been no shortage of incendiary performances given over Guns' marathon run of 194 shows across 31 countries, and maybe a good documentary film could shed some light on nights like their three-and-a-half hour scorcher at the L.A. Forum, or the night in Bogota when a gentle rain fell precisely for the duration of "November Rain." In fact, a ton of footage was shot during the tour for a doc entitled The Perfect Crime.

Naturally, it was never released or even discussed again after the tour's end. Guns N' Roses as we'd known them were simply over. All anyone cares to remember about the tour today are the late arrivals, last-minute cancelations and rioting in the streets.

4. The Jacksons Victory Tour The Jacksons Victory Tour was the fulcrum of Michael Jackson's career. He began the tour as a cog in his father's grandest scheme yet, but emerged from it as a solo superstar who would never again allow his performances to be dictated to him. And Michael being Michael, enough family drama and weird shit happened along the way to fill three or four documentary films.

It was promoted by freaking Don King, for example, who hatched a plan with Joe Jackson and stadium owner Chuck Sullivan to create a "ticket lotto" system that forced fans to buy $120 coupons to maybe get a ticket. The plot was not received well by the public or the media. Sullivan eventually lost so much money he had to sell the New England Patriots.

Michael, who only agreed to do the tour when his mother begged him to help his brothers earn some scratch, refused to rehearse or perform any songs from the Jacksons' Victoryalbum. He didn't need to. With Thriller in stores, he was becoming the world's biggest star. MJ was all fans wanted.

His brothers and father weren't pleased to be shuffled off to the side while Michael sang "Billie Jean" and the like, and they let him know it. They shouldn't have. It was the beginning of a lifetime of estrangement from one of the strangest (and richest) people in pop history.

3. Motley Crue's Girls, Girls, Girls Tour Motley Crue should not have survived 1987. Either as a band -- Girls, Girls, Girls was barely an album -- or as human beings. In fact, songwriter Nikki Sixx very nearly didn't; he was pulled out of a dumpster after overdosing on heroin. Naturally, that didn't stop the band from nightly indulging in "Zombie Dust," an insane mixture of Triazolam and cocaine, or from having their dealer follow them around from town to town in a limo with a license plate that said "DEALER."

Whether they were indulging their drug habits or indulging increasingly twisted sexual larks with groupies dressed as Nazis and worse, the band was always indulging. The Crue was almost banned from Japan forever after Sixx nearly killed a man on a train by throwing a bottle of Jack Daniels at him. Eventually, a European leg was cancelled when the band's management feared someone was going to die.

Frankly, Behind the Music never cut it with Motley Crue. We'd like to see an uncensored, rated-R documentary about the most sordid and destructive point in Motley's career -- on VHS, if possible. After all, who wouldn't want to relive the closest we ever came to being rid of Motley Crue?

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith