Anyone who knows this member of Rocks Off will know that he owns most every book written about Motely Crue, or written by a member of Motley Crue. Yes, next to Howard Zinns's A People's History of the United States and a well-worn copy of American Psycho, sits the collected literary works of Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil and Tommy Lee. We are still waiting for a Mick Mars book.
Motley pulls into Houston tomorrow night at the Toyota Center with Poison and the New York Dolls. Crue and Poison wouldn't have existed without the Dolls, who are now down to only two original members. Show up early to get a history lesson.
We've probably read The Dirt, their memoir written with Neil Strauss, at least four times, with the tales of hard-scrabble scumbag druggie life thrilling us and making us chuckle each time around. On their own though, the band, now in its 30th year of action, shows signs of heartbreak and pain.
Sixx's work is full of struggles with drug use, including a year in love with heroin and death; Lee writes about his legal troubles and torrid romance with ex-wife Pamela Anderson; Neil is cocky and self-assured, but his stories about watching his daughter Skylar slowly die from a rare form of cancer will bring you to tears.
It was from reading all of their books, at least twice, did we find a soul in all the mayhem and strife. They all came from varying backgrounds, some harder to overcome than others, but in the end you find that no matter how rough their relationships with the world and each other, than love playing music together and for their fans. Once you read their books, you will be shocked that are alive. Sixx should have rightfully died in 1987.
The Dirt: Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band, Motley Crue with Neil Strauss
Obviously one of the best rock and roll books ever written, and with Strauss' help the band finds peace in the end. It's the stories of debauchery on the road and gigging in L.A. that will keep you coming back for repeated readings. And yes, Ozzy Osbourne smears his own feces on Lee's hotel room walls. (If you are reading this blog, Crue dudes, we are ready at any time to help write the film script for The Dirt.)
Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock's Most Notorious Frontmen, Vince Neil
It gets bogged down by Neil selling himself and his various business ventures, but you get a more rounded and fleshed-out look into the car crash that killed Hanoi Rocks drummer "Razzle" Dingley. Neil's many marriages and drunken expolits get prime real estate in the latter half of the book.
He also goes into more detail about Skylar's cancer nightmare and the toll it took on his life, which will tug at your heartstrings. Here's a guy who can snap his fingers and get most any woman he wants in his lap, but he can't help the one girl in life who matters most to him.
The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, Nikki Sixx
We read this one over last Christmas, making for delightful holiday fare. Sixx spent all of 1987 chasing the dragon, smoking crack or drinking heavily, while managing to keep a detailed diary. He dies of an OD at one point in the hospital, only to escape the ER and get picked up by Crue fans who think he is a ghost. He doesn't ask for sympathy as much as he offers caution to anyone with an addictive personality.
Tommyland, Tommy Lee
The goofiest of the Crue books, Lee's memoir takes us through his Greek-American upbringing, discovering the drums, meeting Pamela Anderson, his jail time, and even a chapter written by his well-traveled penis.
This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx, Nikki Sixx
The sequel to Heroin Diaries showcases Sixx's eerie photographic eye, and also delves into more stories of sickness not touched on in The Dirt or his first book.
Motley Crue - The Official Biography: The First Five Years, Dante Bonutto
Motley Crue: A Visual History, 1983-2005, Neil Zlozower
Famed rock photog Zlozower collects three decades of blood-covered metal mania of Crue life for his book. Spandex, paint, chains, and tattoos rule the day here. Be sure to also seek out Zloz's Van Halen book as well.
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Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys Into Fame & Madness, Neil Strauss
Strauss' new tome of excised excerpts from two decades of interviews includes a few nuggets from his Dirt sessions, including trying to fact-check the book. Not an easy task.