The Mötley Crüe Pinball Machine Never Happened, and We’re Not Happy
How did pinball machine manufactures overlook the Crüe as a pinball machine subject?
Very few rock bands have had music's greatest honour bestowed on their CV. We’re not talking about an ‘80s MTV award, a Grammy or even the privilege of appearing on the 'Golden Child’ soundtrack, as achieved by Ratt in 1986.
We’re talking about the rare honour of having a pinball machine designed and manufactured in your band's image.
Sure, AC/DC, Guns n’ Roses, Metallica and the Rolling Stones were all deserving pinball machine subjects. Even a Kiss pinball table kind of makes sense, if not for the obvious commercial benefits (rabid Kiss fans are known to commit themselves to weeks of eating canned beans to support acquiring rare merchandise), but for the band’s colourful and eye-catching, gender-fluid iconography and blazing pyrotechnics.
Which leads perfectly into our argument for a Mötley Crüe pinnie. How did Bally/Williams miss this perfect opportunity? Arguably the loudest, crudest, most colourful, ridiculous looking (and sounding) band of the 1980s, Mötley Crüe feel better suited to the constraints of a neon-lit pinball machine than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
We can't think of a better way to light up a back box than with classic Crüisms: Harleys, bad tattoos, leather, spandex, NFL-style black grease makeup, bigger-than-Tina-Turner hair and burst blood capsules. The Crüe always looked badder than all other metal bands in the poodle rock era.
We acknowledge Electronics Arts’ Crüe Ball from 1992 but we’re afraid this doesn’t count. Originally created to promote MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, Nikki and team took the opportunity to step in and take naming rights after MTV balked at the concept.
We can even understand the reasons for Bally’s 1979 Dolly Parton pinball machine, as it was a stroke of genius releasing the table just before Dolly’s stocks blew up in Nine to Five.
But we can’t, and won’t accept the non-existence of the Mötley Crüe Wild Side pinball table. Pentagram thumper bumpers, phallic flippers, demonic sinkholes and thrust magnets all sound like Crüe song titles, and as flashing parts, all would fit neatly in our proposed table. The perfect man-cave centrepiece.
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