Even though this may be a little off topic I'm going forward with this review anyway. All of us are fans of music and this is surely about rock and roll. I've had my head buried in a book the last few days. We've probably all been there, reading a book you just can't put down as the world continues to spin around. Oblivious to everything else, like the book is all that matters. Along similar lines is the subject matter of the book I just finished. Fans of Motley Crue are no stranger to the band's struggles with addiction. Most famous is bassist Nikki Sixx's addiction to heroin. Read more for details of his book The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, and video podcasts from Nikki and others.
The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star written by Nikki Sixx is an addicting book to say the least. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I have been a big fan of Motley Crue and Nikki Sixx since I purchased the Shout At The Devil cassette. It was one of the first albums I ever purchased. The first concert I ever went to was Motley Crue on the Dr. Feelgood tour. Having followed the band ever since, I am pretty familiar with all their music and other projects. I had always heard that Nikki was a troubled youth and had a pretty bad drug problem, but I would have never guessed it was this bad. The book is literally full of diary entries that Nikki kept throughout 1987. This was the year of the Girls Girls Girls album and world tour. Following many of the diary entries is commentary from people who lived through this with Nikki. The usual suspects Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil are interviewed as well as tour manager Doc McGhee, Vanity, Slash, Nikki's mother and the Grandfather who raised him, and many others. The book not only discusses the incredible drug use by Nikki, it also discusses the cause of so much of his pain, his childhood. The Heroin Diaries begins with Nikki consuming incredible amounts of drugs. You name it, he does it. Cocaine, alcohol and heroin are his drugs of choice throughout most of 1987. It sounds crazy but for Nikki snorting or freebasing cocaine and drinking Jack Daniel's Whisky like water was just an average Tuesday. Sure he did mountains of cocaine which drove him into paranoia, but his biggest problems revolved around his use of heroin. That is the one drug many rockers in the book said they would not use and the one drug Nikki could not stop using. In the book he had limited success staying off of the drug from time to time, but because of his terrible childhood it was the one drug he continually turned to that temporarily eased the pain. Fortunately Nikki realized that he needed to deal with the pain in other ways and that would help him kick his habits.
The best thing about this book is that it is not written as a memoir of excess and debauchery. To me those books always get old after a few chapters and the embellishments are more than obvious. There is plenty of decadence in this book but it is the emotional humane side that sucks you in. Nikki journals about snorting long lines of cocaine, followed by shooting heroine to calm him down and then taking advantage of groupies. The honest way it is written really makes you feel sad for everyone involved. Not once did I read about a wild event and think to myself, "Wow those guys could party." Stories of partying and puking become so passe after a short period and I am glad this book did not veer away from the main focus. Staying with the emotional drain of Nikki's self abusive lifestyle makes for a great read and is why the intermission pages in the middle of the book seem so appropriate. This book can be a bit draining. You can feel Nikki's pain and torment because it never stops. In the book he can't win whether he does drugs or not. It is painful for him to do them and if he doesn't he has to deal with the pain of his life and childhood. Nikki was surely dealt a bad hand the first half of his life. It is truly amazing he is still alive.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who can read. There is something for Motley Crue fans, especially if you remember the Girls Girls Girls period, and there is something for anyone interested in the human condition. You cannot help but be pulled in by the emotional rollercoaster. I have not really listened to the companion soundtrack to the book by Nikki's new band Sixx:A.M.. so I'll leave that one up to you.
Heroine Diaries Podcasts: