This Is Gonna Hurt (Book review)
Released: 2011, Harper Collins
I had seen this book all over the place for a few years as it had good distribution, based on the strength of the past two best-selling books he was involved with namely THE DIRT and THE HEROIN DIARIES. However, I didn’t gravitate to buying it, as I wasn’t really sure what it was or what he had to offer. I did finally grab a used copy since I have been on a bit of a Crue kick after seeing them one last time in concert in late 2015.
THIS IS GONNA HURT is a collection of the art, poetry, lyrics, drawing, and photography of Nikki Sixx, bassist of Motley Crue. As with his other works, the hardcover book looks really great. It’s a cool coffee table book, printed on glossy plates with very cool layout and design. The only thing I didn’t like was the red ink on black paper making it hard to read some pages, thankfully very few of these.
The book sort of wanders around without really any major focus and Sixx even says so, it started as a talking about one of his great passions, photography, and veers off to talk about relationships, his long-lost sister, his relationship with the guys in Motley Crue, his new band SIXX A.M. but always anchored with his art, photos and lyrics. Sixx has an eye for the macabre with darker images of giants, midgets, amputees, prostitutes, homeless and subjects that conventional people may think are ‘ugly’ yet Sixx lens tries to find beauty in these dark places. I’m not an expert but there is some very interesting work on display.
I hard a hard time getting past Nikki’s enormous ego and semi-condescending tone. He wrote this long babbling, stream of conscious personality play, and he made it seem like he was revealing these incredible earth-shattering truths that were until them only known to him, which was hardly the case. In a sense it seems that Nikki has matured from someone who was very emotional stunted to a some what more normal perspective on life (and I think he would readily admit that) but it is not all that amazing. I mean yes, he meditates now to find inner peace…good for him, so have millions of people for thousands of years. However, all rock stars need a very healthy sense of ego, you have to be strong enough to put your art on display for all to see, especially ‘art’ that the mainstream does not like. For better and worse, Sixx wears his heart on his sleeve, which makes the book one of the more intimate and personal accounts of a rock star that I have read.
Sixx is an artist, a creative person always driven to create… sometimes not always focused, but always interesting and engaging. THIS IS GONNA HURT is part exorcism and part cathartic glimpse into some of the more intimate parts of his life above and beyond his career in Motley Crue.