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About a week ago at college my friend Adam came up to me and asked me to learn a new song on guitar because he wanted to jam it. I said okay and proceeded to listen to and learn the song.

The song was called Life Is Beautiful and was one of the most heartfelt songs I had heard in a while. I asked Adam about it and he said it was the third song off an album named the Heroin Diaries. I listened to a few of the tracks on youtube and dug out an old album from my room that he had given to me that I hadn't listened to yet. It turned out to be The Heroin Diaries.

That night was the craziest night of my life. The music was honest and intense, full of pain and unrealised demons and seeping with dregs of an almost forgotten past. Soon enough Adam passed me the book which the album was based on.

The Autobiography of Nikki Sixx. Which turned out to be his diary from a year when his band Motley Crue were at the top and he was face down at the bottom.

The intro is a chillin way to start a year. It began on Christmas Day 1986.

He begins:

Merry Christmas.

Well that's what people say at christmas isn't it?

But normally they have someone to say it to. They have friends and family and they haven't been crouched underneath a christmas tree with a needle in their arm like some insane person in a mansion in Van Nuys.


The entire book has been a heavy impact on my life on how someone can have everything yet have nothing at exactly the same time. How they can have everyone and have no one, be having fun and laughing while their soul is slowly being torn out of their bodies.

It's an incredible read and an incredible listen.

If anyone gets the chance I suggest you go onto their website and read the beginning few chapters of the book. Or go on Youtube and listen to the tracks written from the diary.

Just thought it needed a mention.


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  • 10 years later...

I don't normally read celebrity autobiographies (although this cannot be classified as one of those) but I have previously made exceptions namely Ozzy's autobiography which I found endearing with its honesty and his obvious regret at some of the things he had done, not to mention also very funny and moving in places as well as completely shocking.  After that I also read Death Punch'd - Surviving Five Finger Death Punch's Metal Mayhem by it's drummer Jeremy Spencer, because I am a massive fan of 5FDP's music and was genuinely interested but sadly I did not enjoy it, as Jeremy just came across as an arrogant selfish twat.  Anyway, because I bought that book off of Amazon, The Heroin Diaries kept popping up as a recommended read.  I consistently ignored it, but then my husband downloaded The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack which was a concept album by Nikki's new band Sixx:AM  and it was apparently meant to accompany the book, something which had never been done before and it blew me away with its honest lyrics especially the song 'Life is Beautiful' and after listening to it, I decided that I would get the book to read at some point and I have been meaning to get it for a while.

Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago when I finally did it, I took the plunge and bought a copy, the copy I have is not the original version of the book, but the 10th Anniversary edition which was released in 2017 and has a new bits added which tells of the enormous impact the book had since it was first released.  Apparently Nikki gets people coming up to him regularly telling him that reading his book inspired them to get clean and his book is routinely given to recovering addicts by rehab facilities in the States.

The book is nothing like anything I have ever read before, shocking doesn't even begin to cover it.  The fact that it is actually a diary which Nikki kept and wrote in whilst he was going through what he went through is astounding in itself but when you read some of the extracts it is really heartbreaking.  There are contributions from various other people who were around at the time and you get the distinct impression that some of them were willfully ignorant because the band was making them so much money.  When you read it you can see immediately how he ended up as he did, he had a wretched childhood with little stability and it had an massive effect on his mental well being, couple that with the decadence and excess of the 1980's music scene and you have a recipe for disaster. It really was hard to read at times, as because it was written at that time and not later with rose tinted memories it is more than raw and it is jaw droppingly horrific, it is just one year of his addiction and you almost feel his despair as he spirals out of control, how he is surrounded by people who enable his addiction, how he gets into a vicious cycle of heroin to relax and feel good and take away all his problems which then makes him unable to function so he then takes massive quantities of cocaine to pick himself up which results in him getting so high he is hallucinating so he then takes more heroin to bring himself back down and the cycle continues.  You read how he spent his night times crouched naked in his closet surrounded by drugs paraphernalia clutching a gun because he is convinced that people are breaking into his home, but it is all a hallucination.  You read how he managed to stop taking the heroin so he could function on tour, going through withdrawal (but he didn't stop the cocaine) and while he was on tour he crunched up massive amounts of sleeping tablets and mixed them with the cocaine - a substance he called zombie dust to try and stop the massive high's and paranoia . You read how he overdosed and the moments leading up to that and waking up afterwards in hospital.  You read how at one point he literally didn't have any veins left so he was reduced to injecting heroin into his penis, and how one time his needle broke and he was so panic stricken he kept jabbing the broken needle into himself to try and get something. You are left thinking how is he alive after all that? But it is also a story ultimately of redemption, he makes no excuses and he knows he will always be an addict.  I can't say I enjoyed this book in one sense as it really isn't a book that you 'enjoy' but it was compelling reading and I am glad I read it.

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That was actually my first thoughts, when I first heard about the book years ago, but over the years I had heard bits and pieces about it and it was all positive stuff and how refreshingly honest it was, I had read snippets here and there about it and heard about his early life story so as time went on I was not quite so prejudiced, (to be fair that is how Jeremy Spencer came across in his autobiography which is why I wasn't overly struck on it).  Yes, I admit there are moments of spoilt rockstar and privileged life of excess but I think by the point this diary is written that the hedonistic aspects of the rock star lifestyle of too much too young and emulating what all their 'heroes' in the business were doing at that point in time had long since vanished and Nikki was just lost. The spoilt rock star vibe tends to come across more vividly from the contributions from Tommy Lee, don't get me wrong they are there in the accounts by Nikki but there is also the strong undercurrent of sadness and desperation in Nikki's words and yes he does do some terrible things, not to mention downright stupid things and he objectifies women and uses them, but on the flip side you also see just how lonely and desperate he really was, drugs were his escape but inevitably ended up making things worse, yes he used women and he knew his long term relationships were toxic because they revolved around drugs but what also comes through loud and clear is that he didn't trust himself to get close to anyone either, and that I think is from the way his mother treated him, always abandoning him.  She makes contributions to the book and throughout there is no remorse or apology for what she did, just excuses and she just denies doing anything wrong or blames everyone else for her failings and it is clear she had plenty of issues of her own. The main book ends with him forgiving her, however that is at odds with the new extra introduction at the beginning of the book which covers the past ten years since the Heroin Diaries was first published where here he explains that his mother has now died and how he tried to mend bridges but how she managed to mess that up with her actions and how they never did reconcile, because she wouldn't own up or admit that she ever did anything wrong.


He credits writing the Heroin Diaries with saving him, not writing them at the time, but going back to them and then doing something with them and getting them published, he said reading some of the entries where sometimes he was lucid, sometimes spaced out and sometimes just insane was a shock and it reminded him of his life was back then and he said something quite profound he said 'my life was so abject back then that it was almost a relief when I died' where he is referring to overdose where he was dead for a short while and I think that sums up the book you can see he is searching for something, and at the same time he is on the treadmill of the music industry and you can see the lack of morals and basic care by the people in the industry and the band's management and how they were only interested in the band making them money and how that also played a major part in his drugs problem. He also said it was best incentive to never go back there and get back into drugs again.

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  • 9 months later...

I have just finished the ten year anniversary edition of this.  


Nikki Sixx is bass player and founding member of what was to be called a Glam Metal Band during the 1980's.  Glam Metal is where the band wear make-up and back comb their hair to make it look more than it is.  The band itself never interested me but this book did.


This is a year in the life of a rock star who survived his addictions and lived to fight another day.  He kept a diary during this time and has added to the book what happened in the ten years after it was released.  It's entirely what you'd expect it to be - debauchery at the highest level.  What's different about Nikki Sixx is that he was actually dead for several minutes and it was paramedics that brought him back to life - called by the girlfriend of Guns 'n Roses guitarist Slash. 


It's not a short book but it is a quick read and it's well written and easily accessible.  This book Is handed out to addicts to help them recover and give them something to live for.


Recommended but not unless you're interested and it is frank about what addictions can do to you so not for the faint-hearted.

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