Motley Crue's "Red, White and Crue 2005...Better Live Than Dead" tour, an early contender for sleeper tour of the year, is also notching stellar merchandising sales, according to Signatures Network In

Motley Crue's "Red, White and Crue 2005...Better Live Than Dead" tour, an early contender for sleeper tour of the year, is notching stellar merchandising sales, according to Signatures Network Inc., the band's licensing and tour merchandising company.

The band is running up the highest merchandising sales in its history, averaging more than $10 per head for the first week of shows. The tour opened Feb. 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Also selling well are Platinum Ticket Packages, available at www.motleycrue.com, which allow fans to meet and take photos with the band throughout the tour. Limited to 25 fans per engagement, the packages have sold out at every show.

SNI has created a broad line of vintage and current Motley Crue merchandise for the tour. Top-selling products includes Motley Crue panties, the giant Crue foam finger, bottle opener, vintage trunk t-shirts and the band's traditional black shirts and posters.

The winter leg of the tour wraps May 1 at the Budweiser Events Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The band will be out all year, with more than 100 dates on the books.