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"This is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, and Life through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx" (Book)

Motley Crue - "This is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, and Life through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx" Book cover image

Reviewed by on May 8, 2011

"'This is Gonna Hurt,' is very different in content; a unique book that is part photography, part journal, and part inspiration."

Nikki Sixx’s first book, “The Heroin Diaries”, became a New York Times bestseller and put Sixx on the map as a person of influence. His second book, “This is Gonna Hurt,” is very different in content; a unique book that is part photography, part journal, and part inspiration. After finding success at the expense of exposing a very personal portion of his life in HD, Nikki goes even deeper in his latest book, and it works.

The book begins discussing his obsession with photography that not coincidentally started once he got clean. There are stories (and the photos) from crack houses, brothels, and staged photo shoots in his studio known as Funny Farm.  All of this ties into Nikki’s belief that everything is beautiful in its own way. There are no models in this book, but instead what others may consider freaks or grotesque take center stage in this gallery.

Sixx then goes back and discusses his institutionalized sister he barely knew growing up as well as his disruptive upbringing with family members.  If that's not personal enough, he discusses his first encounter with Kat von D, their relationship and eventual break-up.

The band notes are secondary, but it’s impossible for Nikki to not discuss Motley Crue and how this “thing” is much bigger than him or any of the other members. He concedes that Vince Neil is the sound of Motley Crue and that the band is more business than pleasure at this point in his life. It’s clear that musically his passion lies with his new band, Sixx:A.M. The band initially got together to create a soundtrack for “The Heroin Diaries” and have gotten back together to create an accompanying record for “This Is Gonna Hurt.” Lyrics from both the first and new records are scattered throughout the book.

There is even a self-help element to the book with Nikki talking about how important Transcendental Meditation is in his life.  He offers up Eight Basic Rules to Survive By and his Self Help Mantra. Nikki challenges everyone to do what they want and if they don’t like their life, then change it because simply: it’s your fucking life. Through the photographs, writing, and song lyrics the constant message is looking ahead and enjoying what life has to offer.

Highs: The back alley tales of sifting through the underworld in order to find the perfect picture.

Lows: If you’re looking for a version of Motley Crue “Behind the Music,” move on and read “The Dirt.” This book is more introspective from the mind of an artist versus giant rock star autobiography.

Bottom line: A book of photography, the stories behind the photography, Nikki’s mantra, and band journals that comes together as a book of hope and encouragement.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

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)