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"The Heroin Diaries" (Book)

Motley Crue - "The Heroin Diaries" Book cover image

Reviewed by on February 13, 2009

"The story of addiction in this book is deeply disturbing, yet intriguing; shocking in some areas, other parts will leave a grin on your face."

It’s Christmas night and Nikki Sixx is lying naked, under the tree, with his gun. He is scribbling in a new diary while waiting for Jason, his dealer, to show up at his mansion dubbed “The Heroin House”. This is the setup of Nikki Sixx’s book, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star (Simon & Schuster 2007). A book of autobiographical entries beginning Christmas 1986, lasting through the following Christmas with the promise of his death as the climax (technically, he delivers on this promise).

The Heroin Diaries is one year of entries by the founder, writer, and bassist of Motley Crue. In between the daily entries, comments are made by a collection of those close to Nikki (Nikki himself also describes what he was feeling). Included in this group is Slash, ex-managers, the members of Motley Crue, and ex-junk addict Vanity (Prince’s former ex-lover, now a born again Christian who goes by The Evangelist Denise Matthews).

Normal entries include firing loaded weapons, hiding and shooting smack in his closet, and calling his security system operator because he thought people were in his house. These are all reoccurring themes, along with abandonment from his childhood. Each morning he woke up alone. This was during the height of Motley Crue's success, a time when they were one of the biggest bands in the world.

A typical day: 1. Wake up dopesick 2. Decide not to shower (going to get dirty anyway) 3. Do a bump to wake up 4. Wait impatiently for his dealer Jason. 5. Repeat.

On February 18 Slash and Nikki were at his house having drinks. Nikki used the bathroom and came back to a weird look on Slash’s face. He motioned over to the Christmas tree still up, with many unopened presents below. One of many stories highlighting the lost time in Sixx’s life during the height of his addiction; he wrote in one journal entry, it’s like I’m two people: Nikki and Sikki.

Wasted most of the time, hiding in his closet as a prisoner of heroin, everyone knew, but few tried to interact. Here was a person with tracks up and down both arms, forty pounds lighter than the previous year, but he was still functioning (technically) and making a lot of money. No one wanted to stop the money train. Despite Nikki admitting his use hurt his music, it didn’t matter, and his destiny was to be just another dead rock star.

Christmas Eve, 1987 finds Nikki passing out so hard everyone believes he has died. When he comes to he has one more shot of junk, passes out for two days, and then begins his road to recovery which he has been on (a couple slips withstanding) since.

The Heroin Diaries, a book based on its journal entries, also contains poetry, lyrics, and graphic art showcasing the artist in Nikki. This book is highly recommended to all. The story of addiction in this book is deeply disturbing, yet intriguing; shocking in some areas, other parts will leave a grin on your face. The tales told from the dark side of rock and roll are fascinating and laced with lessons for all. Mostly, Nikki’s recovery is hopeful.

Highs: The climatic ending of his entries, leading to death and recovery.

Lows: Some of the comments by now holier than thou Denise Matthews slow down the break neck speed of this book.

Bottom line: A scary, sickening, and entertaining look at a junkie rock star during the height of his fame. Good luck putting this one down!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)