Sixx:A.M. - The Heroin Diaries book and soundtrack
Sixx: A.M. – The Heroin Diaries CD and Soundtrack
President and CEO
Nikki Sixx - Bass, Background Vocals
DJ Ashba - Lead Guitar, Drums, Percussion
James Michael - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Born Dec 11, 1958 in San Jose, California, Nikki Sixx is one hell of a sexy Sagittarian. His father walked out on him and his mother when he was just three. He really did not have a childhood, being bounced back and forth between mommy and grandparents every time his mother got a new boyfriend. Eventually he would end up heading out to LA, ignoring rumors to stay away from the boys in Mötley Crüe. He and Tommy Lee, drummer of Mötley Crüe, are like brothers. They have been through hell and back, same as with Vince Neil and Mick Mars. The album itself is more than just a complement to the book, but more like an album to help addicts get their life in order. And this is brutal honesty from a man who has died twice and come back to life. His diaries started in 1986, and if there is any reason that he published this book, it's to prove to the younger generation of musicians and non musicians that drugs and alcohol do not cover up the pain, it just makes it worse. It's message is deal with what you have on your plate now, without the drugs. This is one of the most honest CDs and books that I have come across. For an artist to be both a founding member of Mötley Crüe while still being his own person and doing side projects, this must have been a big decision to make and I give him credit. So I would like to thank Nikki for trying to save the kids. For any one out there that is trying to stay clean, this is the book for you to read. He is honest, blunt and heart wrenchingly raw. Imagine Nikki Sixx, "sitting under a Christmas tree with a needle in my arm, naked, knowing that my life was spinning out of control". For a man to say that in a book should give you a lesson kids. We will do more on the book review, but now I want to tell you my feelings on the CD.
Nikki Sixx and Mötley Crüe were all high school drop-outs that were emotionally and physically rejected from the world. Eventually Mötley Crüe would become one of the largest selling bands in the world and has influenced too many other bands to count.
Nikki's new band is called Sixx: A.M. All songs were written, produced and recorded by Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba and James Michael.
Track List -
X-mas in Hell: Nikki started these diaries in his own mind so that he could find out what he had done the day before and so that if he were to die there would be one hell of a suicide note. Nikki Sixx has always been a very private person; you can't even get into his Myspace account unless you know his real surname. This is the privacy he wants to keep. This first track has a beautiful musical balance to it. Nikki, while this beautiful music is playing in the background, is reading from his journal back in '86. I can't imagine being alone on the holidays, I can't imagine having no friends and family, as he sits there naked, getting stoned with a needle in his arm. Do not take these words as a joke; this is really how horrid it gets. He put this book out for the addicts, this is for you and this is how your life will end if you do not change.
Van Nuys: Van Nuys must have really hit Nikki at a point in his life where he really hit bottom. Everything professionally is going great but he still has to deal with the open wounds of his childhood; he doesn't want to tell his mom the truth about just how badly his childhood sucked and he desperately wants his dad to know he made it without his help. So here he is, sitting in Van Nuys, realizing that his life is going down the tubes and that he needs help; but he doesn't want to disappoint anybody. And all he wants is a normal life. He still holds the desire to be loved by both parents and not looked at as the "Rock Star" cash cow - he doesn't want to be known as Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe. He just wants to walk down the street as a normal person. He is realizing that nobody's life is perfect and he hopes that if something did happen to him that at least his parents would have recognized that he made something of himself.
Life is Beautiful: When you are looking at life through the eyes of an addict, as Nikki is - he is afraid that if he died no one would show up at his funeral. His fans would cry, his mother may miss him. His band would miss him. And then it happened: the overdose - and the trauma it brought made him realize – life is worth living and not dying. Luckily, he did have the support of his musical family; his fans and band members –they were there for him. But when you are this strung out, you feel you have nobody until circumstances force you to open your eyes. Like when you are in the back of an ambulance, and you get an adrenaline shot in the heart by the EMT, and it just so happened that his EMT was a huge fan who loved Mötley Crüe and would not let Nikki die. He was truly his guardian angle that night. He brought back the mighty Sagittarian as a gift to the world. PS – Nikki, who do you think you're fucking with? We know that has to be Tommy Lee playing drums on this track!
Pray for Me: Hearing this song you see that Nikki has this beautiful woman in his life that really cares about him that wants him to get cleaned up, but he is still in the throws of denial. His thought process is screaming 'sure, go to church for me, pray for me, but I wont stop using until I am ready, I wont quit. So just keep praying. And stop hiding my fucking rigg' (drug paraphernalia). Nikki was so far from clean at this point, and he is letting you inside to feel what he was feeling. This paints a picture of his paranoia and pain and anguish, he felt that NA and AA could not help. The one person that was trying to help him – and I hope that she is somehow still with him – because he is still alive and with us today.
Tomorrow: It's very true what they say: drunks and addicts speak the truth. He is showing us this kid that grew up as a junkie – screaming from the sidelines for him to look at his life and realize what he has done to himself. But when you wake up every morning in that same state of mind and you look in the mirror and say where did I even go? What happened to the 'me' that I used to be? And the answer to this problem? Find yourself again without the haze of drugs and alcohol, clean and sober and alive.
Accidents Can Happen: Not to change the subject on Nikki, but let's bring up Stevie Ray Vaughn: Before Stevie died, he was a massive addict and alcoholic and he was clean about maybe a year and half before his death. He would take the time to talk to any fan he met that was in the recovery program. Now back to Nikki: Nikki is a sponsor. He is telling us that it's okay to fuck up, we all makes mistakes, we just have the guts to start over again – and as a sponsor – those are some really touching words that he put out there for anyone in recovery. For my personal note, if I was in recovery, you bet your sweet ass that I would want Nikki as my sponsor! We would be 13 stepping all the way to the Four Seasons hotel. But I digress; this is just his little message in the bottle - that your sponsor is there for you, if they are not doing their job, then find another sponsor who will. He must have had one hell of a sponsor because look at him today.
Intermission: #1 the background music reminds me of the absurd and circus-like sounds in "People are Strange" by the Doors. Nikki is just about to write his book when all this emotional shit starts pouring out of his memoirs. As he is going through all these papers, he realizes all the crap that he has been through and wonders how in the hell he is still on this earth. Here is your answer: you were saved. This is the message that he is sending out to all addicts. Do not give up because people do care about you and they may have to love you in the tough-love way so that you wake up. So my little stoner friends, go ahead and keep a journal to remember the past, but always stay in the now. Like most Sagittarians who hold on the things for life, Nikki held onto the entries that would one day show him how far he made it. But then again, this IS just the intermission.
Dead Man's Ballet: This is a weird combination. On one hand, it is like a suicide note to his dad, and yet he also doesn't understand what is going on in front of his eyes at this moment in time. He sees the ambulance. He asks god to let him live and god did; he gave the world back Nikki Sixx. There is nothing wrong with being pissed at your dad and mom, in fact every day we get pissed off at something, and you have to finally learn to deal with it. This is the message he is sending out. As you are going through this CD, you are listening to Nikki's whole life in music form – the trauma and the salvation. Intense.
Heart Failure: You're stoned, you're overdosing, and you are in a state of mass confusion. All you see is that train in your head and you know it is not the train of life, but the train of death. And he is praying that it doesn't derail but it does. This is another warning to wake up and smell the coffee. If you are truly Nikki Sixx fans, you will understand where he is coming from and respect him for being honest. I feel bad for him, the life he led, and it's clearly not all sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll like he says. What he is telling you is this; use me as a role model for my talent as a musician, but don't admire the addict in me - it will get you nowhere but the back of an ambulance with heart failure. Go into this business for the music, nothing else.
Girl with Golden Eyes: His Persian with golden eyes is not my lovely black Persian kitty Ra-Ra, we are talking about heroin. He gives you the lessons of how this drug is so intoxicating and feels so loving but thankfully he is not going to wait for the girl with the golden eyes anymore. He is going to wake up clean and straight and fuck everybody else. His friends and family and band mates can see him looking better and doing well for himself. But yet he knows the vultures are out on the streets; waiting to pick at his soul to start using again. But he does not. He will not. In a nutshell he tells you what its like to go through recovery and heroin withdrawal.
Courtesy Call: First thing this song brings to mind is the image of Nikki in a motel room, totally wasted and not opening the door so no one will ruin his buzz. But this is also a courtesy call from the reaper. You've got one chance to live, get up and answer the door to people who want to help you. Answer the phone, don't answer to the reaper. Get the help you need. In the nicest sense, to all you little addicts out there: look at what he has been through. Nikki made it, you may not.
Permission: I keep using the word honest; this may be the most honest that any musician that has struggled with addiction has ever been. It doesn't matter how long Nikki has been clean – because nearly every morning he wakes up, still jonesing, needing that fix. Everyone is tearing at him; everyone wants a piece of his body, mind and soul. All he is asking of everyone; his fans, Mötley Crüe, his side projects and everyone else is to give him space. He loves what he does. He is a master at his craft. He just wants everyone off his back for a little while so he can have a cup of coffee and live life. Just heal. He loves all of you that you stood by him, but there comes a time in a life where you need your privacy. In the eyes of an addict, there is always a reason to use. A bad phone call, bad tour, anything. He just needs to be left alone to heal and be the musician that he is and was. So he is begging you to stop trying to find out his real last name - he ain't gonna tell you anyway. Let him live a normal life and do what he has to do to stay clean. Let little Nikki be alone.
Life after Death: He admits the facts in Life after Death; this is not the misadventures in the life of Nikki Sixx - yeah, he had a fucked up childhood, and he became a rock and roll mogul. Yeah, he got addicted to drugs, he's learned from his lessons, now there are no more paranoia states or voices in his head. That monkey on his back is no longer there screaming in his soul quite as loudly. Now he keeps it chained down so that he doesn't go back to the low point he has risen from. All my little minions: within these 13 tracks, Nikki Sixx bares to you his whole life, and shows you that there can indeed be life after death.
Editor's Note: I have reviewed the Brides of Destruction and now Sixx:A.M. – both great bands and great albums. If you don't read the book, buy the CD, but if I were you I would get both. It is a lesson in life. Everybody always goes by the Big Book and sometimes there are those that just don't like AA or NA meetings. They are in denial and they don't want to hear that. But if you read this book and listen to this CD, you will see that this is Nikki's version of the Big Book- one for all you Metalheads. Use them together to find your own way out.