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Published:September 15th, 2007 12:22 EST
Review of 'The Heroin Diaries'

Review of 'The Heroin Diaries'

By Jessica Baird

After years of decadence and self-destruction, Nikki Sixx, founding member and bass player for Motley Crue, is a true rock ‘n roll survivor. In his new memoir, “The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star,” released Tuesday, Sept. 18, and companion CD with new band Sixx A.M., released in August, Sixx reveals the horrors of drug addiction amidst the height of musical success.

“The Heroin Diaries,” co-written by music journalist Ian Gittins, is composed of Sixx’s journal entries between Christmas of 1986 and Christmas of 1987. The journal entries give “The Heroin Diaries” an unprecedented, unparalleled and unapologetic look into the mind of a musician spinning helplessly out of control into the depths of addiction.

At times heartbreaking, at other times repulsive yet always honest, readers may be surprised to find themselves rooting for this strung out anti-hero. Whether or not the reader is personally affected by addiction, it is virtually impossible to not be invested in Sixx’s struggle.

For longtime fans of Motley Crue, one of the most successful bands of the 1980s and undoubtedly the most infamous, tales of Sixx’s addictions are nothing new. Along with band mates Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars, Sixx divulged many of their wild escapades in the group’s bestselling autobiography “The Dirt,” released in 2002.

“The Dirt” ran the gamut in terms of shock value, but “The Heroin Diaries” is much more than a cautionary tale of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. It provides a fly-on-the-wall look into the life of a musician with millions in the bank, who performs for millions of fans on the road, yet is only fulfilled by drugs.

A rebellious spirit since his father abandoned him at an early age and his mother sent him to live with his grandparents, Sixx was eventually expelled from school for selling drugs. He went on to become the principal lyricist for Motley Crue, composing lyrics as raucous and rebellious as he was. In a recent interview with Blender magazine, Sixx said the lyric he is most proud of is from the song “Primal Scream.” “If you want to live life on your own terms, you’ve got to be willing to crash and burn.”

This lyric could serve as a sort of mantra for Sixx in his times of crippling addiction. As contributing writers in “The Heroin Diaries” point out, Sixx did what he wanted, when he wanted, regardless of the consequences. These contributing writers, which include each member of Motley Crue along with former tour managers and ex-girlfriends, provide an interesting perspective from people peering in from the sidelines, helpless to save Sixx.

Whether a longtime fan, or simply curious, “The Heroin Diaries” is a truly addictive memoir.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Sixx’s charity “Running Wild in the Night,” which helps to fund creative arts programs around the country.

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