With the 10 year anniversary of Nikki Sixx’s, The Heroin Diaries, novel and accompanying CD, I figured this would be as good a time as any to review one of my favorite books by one of my favorite artists.
For some background: for those of you who don’t know who Nikki Sixx is, he put together and remained in an 80’s rock band, Motley Crue. As a lot of people in the music industry at that time, he partied, battled with addiction, and played music. The Heroin Diaries is his own personal work, chronicling a year in the life of himself, making music and battling addiction.
Now to this book:
What makes this novel so appealing is the startling reality it showcases involving drugs. Sixx writes over the course of a year of the parties he attends, the music he plays, the evolution of his band, their issues, his own issues, and his drug use. As opposed to other novels about drug use, this is an actual journal. Meaning, it is a first hand account of what was going on in his life, not an autobiography written years later when he was clean. A major point to this book is showcasing the grittiness and harsh reality of a life on drugs.
He speaks about the relationships he ruined, the failed rehab attempts, the hallucinations, and the times he died (he was pronounced dead twice). He speaks about the loneliness and fame, and his intense love for heroin. As we know, heroin is a huge epidemic in today’s society, this novel does an incredible job of showing the addictive qualities and problems that arise with drugs.
Now to the CD:
Nikki Sixx had originally planned to create an album to accompany this book and so, Sixx A.M. was born. Nikki Sixx put this band together with DJ Ashba and James Michael to create an album that correlates with the novel. It’s best to listen to the album after you read the book, the songs play in progression with the novel. One particular song that stands out as one of my favorites is “Girl with Golden Eyes”. This song relates to his feelings about using heroin, his attempts to get clean, and his relapse. With a very mellow instrumental, it is super easy to listen to and focus on the message behind the song. In the middle of the song, Sixx speaks on the track (the speaking is an excerpt from the book) about his attempt to get clean and the struggles he deals with while taking methadone to wean himself off of heroin.
Fun fact: because fans had such an amazing response to Sixx A.M. they continued to create songs together. They now have 5 albums in total:
-The Heroin Diaries- released in 2007.
-This is Gonna Hurt- a follow up to The Heroin Diaries, released in 2011
-Modern Vintage- a new sound for Sixx A.M. released in 2014
-Prayers for the Damned, Vol 1.- the first part of a double feature album, released in April 2016.
-Prayers for the Blessed, Vol 2- the second part of their double feature album, released in November 2016.
So go get the book, go get the album(s) (fall in love with the rest of their music) and lose yourself for a few hours. Incredibly written, incredibly powerful and eye-opening. Enjoy.