The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star (Book Review)
Released: 2007, VH1
The Heroin Diaries is not as entertaining as “The Dirt" but much more captivating than Tommy Lee’s “Tommyland”. The Heroin Diaries is a great read. It’s akin to watching a train wreck or school bus full of small children teetering on the edge of some perilously high bridge…you just can’t look away, or in this case stop reading.
When I was 14, I thought Nikki Sixx was a god. I wanted to be him or anyone in the Crue. What I didn’t know is just how fucked up, reclusive, paranoid, and shattered Nikki Sixx was. After his “death” and return, I knew things were bad, but it’s not until now, with the reading of The Heroin Diaries that one really gets an appreciation of just how low things got. At that point in his life, Nikki should not have been anyone’s idol or role model. In the book he recalls telling idolizing fans who come up to him that they must be crazy for feeling that way. It’s because no one knew the true horrors or of the personal crisis and road to ruin that Nikki was on. Those close to him in the band were also too messed up to notice or care while most of those making money off his music and fame turned a blind eye and enjoyed the ride. We learn in the book that Nikki Sixx, born Frank Feranna in San Jose, California, in 1958, has a tumultuous upbringing. He grew up in Seattle with his grandmother after his mom either dumped him or was taken away by his grandparents (depends on who you talk to I suppose). At 17, Nikki sold his guitars and headed for LA where he quickly found his way into the local music scene. By 1981, Nikki had met Tommy and Mötley Crüe was born. Despite Nikki’s rise to fame, the scars of his childhood were never healed but are buried beneath music and a deepening haze of drugs, booze, women, and more drugs…way too many drugs.
The diary entries are at times disturbing, sad, and even at times very funny. Interspersed throughout the diary entries are new anecdotes from Motley band members, friends, managers, etc. Of course, one always wonders if the diary entries are exactly word for word, or if any embellishment occurs to increase effect. It reads and sounds authentic though. At its very least, this serves as a warning to those who think that being a rock star and consuming copious amounts of booze, and hardcore drugs is in any way glamorous. When you get to a point where your veins are collapsed and you are shooting heroin through your dick, in a closest, alone and naked…then something is terribly wrong!
As a fan, I hope that Nikki never falls off the wagon again and can get back to playing Motley Crue music. And not just playing nostalgia tours either! I STILL hope for a new Crue album with new HEAVY (Shout at the Devil-ish) material! The CD that accompanies this book was not what I was hoping for at all. Unfortunately, it’s more like some modern alt-rock Nickleback stuff…Bring on “Bastard”, “Red Hot”, “Live Wire”, etc….