The book brings Motley Crue from Sunset Strip to the world stage and what it means to become the most famous rock band in the world. It is an unflinching, uncensored story of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, fame and the high price of excess (see trailer below). It’s great to see how books and film work together to create so much interest in the band’s music and its unique and remarkable history.
Metal band Motley Crue enjoys a revival thanks to a new book. In the four decades since its inception, the band has become one of the most famous bands in the world, as prolific as they have been in the arena, belting out anthems about themselves and their escapades on stage. From multi-platinum record artists to international rock stars and legendary rappers, the group defined a generation.
Nikki Sixx is a nationally syndicated radio host, Sixx Sense writer, artist, photographer and loyal member of Motley Crue, the legendary rock band he formed with Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee. Born Frank Feranna, she grew up in Seattle and moved to Los Angeles at the age of seventeen. She is now the best-selling author of The Heroin Diaries: How to Go On Hurting and co-author of The Dirt.
This confessional style book chronicles his rise to fame when he joined Crue at 17 and toured the world with the band and subsequently married and divorced Hollywood bombshell Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson. The book is full of tabloid stories as it reveals that he is a father of two sons with Pamela and shares the lessons he has learned over the years, from his difficulties with the law to his difficult relationship with the music industry. Like the other books on this list, it is a story of anger and redemption.
It is clear that the death of band drummer Razzle Vince Neil in a car had a lasting and profound impact on the band, which does not seem to have been solved in 2001, and especially the section about Vince Neil’s daughter Skylar and Mick Mars’s ongoing illness is harrowing to this point. In short, if Motley Crue is not cured of cancer sometime in the future it is safe to say that The Dirt contains aspects of its history that are worth reading. No one has an opinion on whether Motley Crue will have a ride of joy in the ten years leading up to its anniversary edition, but we are reminded that it remains one of the best rock biographies of all time and will blow everyone away with how well it goes.
There is no doubt that The Dirt is the most detailed account of the incredible joys and perils of rock ‘n’ roll stardom I have ever read. Like any good rollercoaster, it makes you cry, laugh and even turn your stomach a little. It is the book that every friend should buy for himself and his girlfriend and read at the end.
Whiskey, pornstars, hot red cars, crashes, black leather high heels, overdoses and death. Once you can take a breather, you are back where you started on page one, ready for the ride.
I have to admit that Motley Crue’s music had its own clichés and was the lowest common denominator in the metal-dominated rock world of the regrettable 80s, with bands having “album titles with such modest offerings as Shout to the Devil, Theater of Pain and Doctor Feelgood. It’s fascinating to see how these guys cultivated their image in a sense: Motley Crue’s glam rockers were drag queens, they wore makeup and hairstyles and wore women’s clothes, while David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger embraced and celebrated their feminine side (in the case of Bowie and Mercury, who were both outspoken about their bisexuality), while the band presentation was a long scream of Homo Bro. They didn’t go a single goddamn page without reminding us of their glowing masculinity or giving us details of their sex lives that we hadn’t asked for.
After Motley Crue was filmed on Netflix in 2019, he takes the opportunity to go straight to the source: I’ve always wondered if rock autobiographies would seem tame and passive in a world where the lives of celebrities are published in such detail by the press, and this book doesn’t disappoint. The four main band members tell their own stories with their own voices and what a diverse bunch they are. Not a single sentence of it is about colourful music, which I think is impressive and appropriate.
The quartet consisting of Vince Neil (vocals), Mick Mars (guitar), Nikki Sixx (bass) and Tommy Lee (drums) concluded their two-year final tour with 165 shows on five continents in 2015 and totalled over $100 million. In 2001, I said that the sound quality of the most notorious rock bands in the world had reached a plateau, and I was generous. Their last release at the time, the 2000 New Tattoo album, was anticlimactic for the band’s fans, many of whom did not know of the release until many years later.
Motley Crue manager Allen Kovac recalls the struggle he and the band had for the release of the 2001 book The Dirt. The project consisted of leaving the original interview with the author Neil Strauss, who wrote it, to indemnify the publisher from a possible lawsuit, and leaving copies on tour buses of other bands. The result was an acclaimed book and a series of setbacks that became a biopic last month.