Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Heroin Diaries

Just finished reading The Heroin Diaries - A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx.

This book is supposedly more or less a transcript of Nikki's diary from 1987, supplemented with commentaries by Nikki himself as well as other participants and/or bystanders. I use the modifier "supposedly" because it looks quite edited for a raw transcript of a diary. Also, there's something inherently iffy about a diary with a co-author, but whatever.

Whether or not the book is a legitimate diary, it's entertaining most of the time, and provides a peek into the mind of a seriously messed up individual throughout the entire work. Heroin is one helluva drug, and Sixx has a black belt with matching shoes in addiction. Moreover, all signs point to him being a bona fide, 100% grade A, guaran-damn-teed scumbag when intoxicated.

I would recommend that you read "The Dirt" before you read this, but "Heroin Diaries" is well worth the money. If you thought the debauchery was at top levels in "The Dirt", you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Another thing which is quite obvious from this book, is that the hatred and contempt the Mötley boys and Guins'N Roses direct towards bands like Bon Jovi and Poison is completely ridiculous. Nikki Sixx accuses Poison of just being another hair band with make-up but no skills, while touting Crüe as a legendary band with kick-ass songs and musicians. I beg to differ. While I haven't heard anyone argue that Poison is made up of virtuosos, the same can definitely be said of Mötley Crüe. Breaking it down member by member and starting with Mr. Sixx, even Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick, one of Nikki's heroes, states that Sixx has a lot in common with Gene Simmons as a bass player. It sounds better when he doesn't play. Not that Crüe bass lines are particularly complicated in the first place. Vince Neil is, or at least was, a blond prettyboy who pouted for the camera whilst fighting a losing battle to stay within a city block from the correct pitch. Dude ain't a particularly good singer, but he does have a distinct style. As for guitarist Mick Mars, I have never, ever read or heard about any guitarist in the known universe who has cited him as an influence. I read an interview in "Guitar World" once where the interviewee claimed that on one occasion he had perhaps overdone the intake of liquid courage prior to taking the stage, and thus sucked something fierce. As the band entered the dressing room post gig, his band members accused him of "sounding like Mick f*cking Mars, man". By far the best musician in Mötley Crüe is the drummer Tommy Lee, and that's saying something. But the lyrics, man.....Sixx really prides himself with being a great lyricist, unlike the aforementioned Bon Jovi and Poison. Would you hook a brother up - if you've listened to any Crüe songs you'd know how ridiculous this claim is. With profound lyrics like those found in "Girls, Girls, Girls", "She Goes Down", "Looks That Kill", "Sticky Sweet" and "Slice Of Your Pie", I'm surprised Nikki's name isn't mentioned in the same breath and context as Lord Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats. Epic delusionite.

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