Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx

Photo by Richard Chavez.

I have just finished reading the Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx. Wow; what a mind blowing book. When I mentioned to friends that I was reading a book written by a member of the infamous bad boys of hair metal 80's rock and debauchery, people sort of gave me a puzzled look, such as (why? what could he possibly have to say?)if they even knew of Nikki Sixx or Motley Crue at all. I can promise you all this; Sixx has A LOT to say. And what he says and how he portrays it through a collection of notes and a dairy where he meticulously noted his life and how he felt during Christmas of 1986 to Christmas of 1987 are the core of what makes this book great and not just another rockstar ex-junky telling his story.

The layout of the book itself sets it apart from others; its written on 411 pages of glossy paper complete with artwork and "doodles" from Sixx himself which adds impact to the words on the page and further brings you into his state of mind. The gaps and notes are filled in as diary progresses by the people who were involved at the time, their recollections of the situation and Sixx's state of mind and behavior; band mates, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars, managers and music producers, ex-girlfriends (Vanity of 80's fame Vanity 6 and ex love of Prince was heavily involved with Sixx and his addictions that year), and importantly, his grandfather, mother and sister. He documents the pain and misery that he inflicted upon those that loved him a cared about him the most at a time where he didn't care if he lived or died. He wanted to experience life to the fullest by pushing himself to the limit until there was no going back. Sixx was legally dead in December of 1987 after an overdose (notably his 2nd one) and was brought back to life through an adrenaline shot to the heart.

Sixx admits today that he is not the same man that he was in 1987. He says that the Nikki Sixx of 1987 would HATE the Nikki Sixx of 2009. And that is a good thing. Today he is more passionate than ever about his band(s), the Crue; which he pulled back together after many years of estrangement and he admits wasn't at all easy, Sixx AM (an new band with James Micheal and the impressive guitar playing master DJ Ashba), a clothing line, and President of music label Eleven Seven. Above all he is committed to helping others fight addiction. He has stated that if he can save one life from addiction through his work and his book than it is all worth the effort. A portion of the proceeds from the soundtrack related to the book are donated to a Charity called "Running Wild in the Night" founded by Nikki for Covenant House to help troubled and homeless kids get off the streets.

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