Eric Greif, former Allan Coffman assistant during Motley Crue's early years, recently conducted an interview with Sleaze Roxx in which he recalls the early Motley Crue days as well as his production and management career. The following excerpt recalls Motley Crue's first trip into Canada in the summer of 1982.
"The tour was hysterical, ridiculous, dramatic and hilarious. The idea on paper was to get the guys out of California, give them some road experience, and make some news. At that point the farthest away they'd ever travelled to gig was the area near Lake Tahoe where Allan lived.
The Canadian venues ranged from a tiny disco in Edmonton that supposedly had a gay following to a small arena in Saskatoon. Crue were completely unknown at that point, other than a positive review in Canada's Music Express mag. I did all the promo by driving from venue to venue a day ahead. The road crew drove a truck up from the US and had both vehicle trouble and a hassle at the border. There was also a small motor home that the band would travel in, but their arrival to Canada came via a flight to Edmonton from LAX.
I waited at the airport and, to make a very long story short, there was a big problem. As rock stars in training, they decided to wear all their stage gear on the plane, which is the exact opposite of what they would do nowadays. Instead of trying to be inconspicuous, Nikki's hopes were to draw as much attention to the band as possible. The problem was that around their wrists, arms, & necks were custom-made spiked bands of leather, considered 'dangerous weapons' by Canada Customs. They were detained at Immigration, there was talk of pressing charges, and in the end after a long wait they were let into the country, sans much of the stage wear. Then, once they obtained their bags, Vince was lectured at length when one of his small suitcases was opened up by a Customs officer revealing dozens of hardcore porn mags, all confiscated. I think in total we were held up by three hours. Weeks later I found myself in a hassle with the Canadian Government trying to get the spiked leather stuff returned, but by the time I got a positive ruling, they informed me that, following procedure, unfortunately they'd all been destroyed.
On one level things got worse, but I fed all of our exploits to my friends in the press and we started getting daily coverage. Throughout high school I'd had a weekly teen column with Southam News, so I knew who to call. Then came the biggie: It was obvious that the booking into Scandals Disco at the Sheraton Caravan in Edmonton was a big mistake. People saw the Crue posters and said 'what in the [.] is that?' I had a plan to stir the hornet's nest. An anonymous call was made to the cops threatening to 'waste the drummer onstage during the show', and then a call was made asking for Tommy and threatening to kill him. He of course freaked out, but what we couldn't anticipate was the police response. Tons of officers arrived, word spread on local radio, and by then crowds of curious people started showing up at the gig. Allan and I kept smiling at each other and giggling. In the end, the show went on, with cops at either side of the stage! The next day, it was a front page story in the Edmonton Journal with quotes from me and Tommy, and it was picked up nationally. That night was our second gig at Scandals, which of course had to turn people away because it was so well-publicized. We stayed at the hotel, mayhem ensured, and the last act of hell was Tommy throwing a telly out the window from the 8th floor. My memory tells me the hotel had one floor that was utter filth, used for visiting bands & staff, and the sheets were soiled. Luckily we left the city in haste, but knew we'd have to return to play additionally booked gigs at the Riv Rock Room, where of course the owner of the hotel showed up with goons demanding money for the damage!
The band managed to play additional gigs but, after only a week, decided they'd had enough of Canada and hit the road back to LA. It sucked because I had already gone on to Vancouver to promote that show. The main goal of seeking attention, however, had easily been met, so Nikki was satisfied, as was Allan. I had wished we'd played more venues to promote the album, but that was vetoed. Nikki specifically stated that he did not want to tour again until they were a big band, which is exactly what happened within a year and a half. Bummer was that, after only ten days physically in Canada, they'd notched up huge bills, including fines, and every single one went to me personally."