Girls, Girls, Girls reached No. 2 on Billboard 200 in its third week -- your highest charting album at the time. But it was held out of the top spot by Whitney Houston's Whitney, which debuted at No. 1.
Well, back then, you know, there was no SoundScan. Retail would report in with their top-selling bands, and then Billboard would accumulate the results from all these different chains—Licorice Pizza, Tower Records, all these places. And I remember I was on a conference call with [then Mötley Crüe managers] Doc McGhee and Doug Thaler, and they said, "Hey man, you guys are outselling everybody two to one. You're gonna have a No. 1 record." And I said, "That's great." I don't really think that having a No. 1 record mattered to us that much, but we were like, "That's fucking cool!" But then Whitney Houston came out and she was No 1. And I remember that lit a fucking flame to the fucking bomb man. That lit the fuse. Because we were like "What the fuck happened?"
What did happen?
All due respect to Whitney Houston, a very talented artist. But her label flew all the heads of retail out to Australia, first class. Five-star hotel. Free concert. Fucking wining and dining. Those were the days of cocaine and bad silicone jobs. And everybody had a real good time. And it was, "You just make sure that you report that the right record sold the most." And we were fucking livid. But that was like the changing of the guard for us. After Girls, Girls, Girls, we got a new producer, the band got sober. And we were like, "We want a No. 1 album." And [1989's] Dr. Feelgood flew into the No. 1 position. And you know, I have a plaque hanging on my wall at home. It says, "Hey, Nikki. Congratulations on your No. 1 record. About fucking time! -Elektra Records." Because they were pissed, too. They were pissed too, man! [laughs] Welcome to the music industry!"
What gets me is he doesn't even consider that maybe just maybe their manager lied to them. What an asshole!