November 19, 2007

The Heroin Diaries

I had not taken a bath in a year nor changed my clothes or removed them except to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous grey
wooden flesh of heroin addiction. . .
I did absolutely nothing.
...William Burroughs

The book du jour at the residence is Nikki Sixx's "The Heroin Diaries". First off, I never liked Motley Crue very much. As a punk, I hated hair metal. And while I was always in favor of sex, drugs and rock n roll, I absolutely despised the attempt at "singing" that Vince Neil screeched. The Crue had some righteous riffs, but why would you have a giant pussy like Vince Neil lead your band? According to The Heroin Diaries (and Tommy Lee's book as well), the rest of the band thought he was an asshole as well. Plus, Vince Neil murdered Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle and paralyzed another person in a 1984 car crash.

However, Nikki Sixx seems to have been a guy I coulda gotten along with. Well, aside from the Heroin of course. He professes to have been influenced by all the "right" bands... Iggy, Sex Pistols, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, etc.

It's nicely packaged, with Ralph Steadman style nightmarish art on virtually every page (lots of black and red)

The book itself reproduces his diaries from 1986 through 1988, at the height of The Crue's stardom and the depth's of Sixx's addiction. According to the book, he grew up pretty much unloved and abandoned. He's not exactly blaming his addictions on his childhood, but it certainly seems to be a factor. But Sixx takes all the credit for becoming a junkie and does not blame it on the r n r lifestyle. Escapades with former Prince anti-ingenue Vanity and various seedy denizens of the L.A. rock underground provide lotsa laughs (not!) and it's a miracle that Sixx was capable of keeping a diary, much less playing bass and writing the material for the band.

A cautionary tale to be sure and one that I would recommend to any teenagers. Hey kids, hard drugs are bad, mmmkay? There is absolutely no glamour or bragging in the book. It's simply a harrowing and sad tale of a guy who had it all, and almost blew it all.

Replacements - Hold My Life (live 7-27-87 NYC)
Velvet Underground - Heroin (demo)
Neil Young - The Needle And The Damage Done (live London 2-27-71)
Rancid - Junkie Man
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Too Much Junkie Business (live)
Keith Richards - Before They Make Me Run (live 1993)
Rolling Stones - Sister Morphine (1969 outtake)


Mrow said...

Great review. I'm a junkie when it comes to rock n roll bios and the like. Must pick this one up, and pronto.

But: where's the bitchen Mötley Crüe mp3 tuneage? Surely, something off of Too Fast For Love would've made the cut.

Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf said...

Nice selection, but no Pete Doherty?

Nazz Nomad said...

my hard drive is a no crue zone (although I do have a drunken rendition of "Looks That Kill" performed by yours truly.

and I ddin't know Doherty actually had any music out... thought his entire ouevre consisted of drugging felines and dating fallen supermodels.

manicgirl said...

I believe he recently recorded Janie Jones.

aikin said...

I literally just finished reading the Heroin Diaries two days ago. I also wondered how in the hell Sixx could function at all with not just the drugs, but all the other issues he had. I probably would have just stayed in that closet.

I want to read Slash's bio next and see his take on the stories Sixx told.

And I almost hate to admit it here, but in the early '80s, I was a big time Crue fan.