Tag Archives: Nikki Sixx

“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.”

–Big Bird (Caroll Spinney)

At the end of my freshman year of college in May 2005, I went to visit my best friend at Stanford University in Palo Alto, C.A. Stanford is a wonderful school–amazing academics, a gorgeous campus, and what I think is the best college bookstore out there. While my friend/hostess was busy writing an epic paper, I walked around the stacks and stacks of books and gorgeous mahogany wood furniture. I could have bought a book on say, Literary Theory and Criticism as explained by one of the best literature professors in the country. Instead, my big buy from the Stanford University Bookstore was The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of  Oscar The Grouch): Lessons From a Life in Feathers a.k.a. Big Bird’s memoirs. And I don’t regret it.

Big Bird–er, Spinney, follows the Marie Osmond style of writing, where instead of writing a straight up autobiography, he writes about key memories–how he got into puppeteering, the day he joined Sesame Street, the day he swore at a child as Big Bird (which is a highlight, he’s still remorseful over thirty years later!) Each chapter starts off with a quote, usually by Big Bird, Oscar or Ralph Waldo Emerson, that relates to Spinney’s anecdote.

Spinney’s book isn’t the most remarkable memoir, however, it is a memoir that makes you feel good and helps you to stop and think–not about the hardest things, but just how to have fun and enjoy yourself, much like he does while dressed as Big Bird or Oscar the Grouch. It should also be noted that Spinney is a great illustrator, providing the illustrations seen on various pages. As I said before, I don’t regret buying this book when I did–I was in the middle of a transition, going from a small, private college in Pittsburgh to a big, public university in Binghamton, N.Y.. I felt better, like I was worrying way too much about silly things and that I wasn’t thinking of the greater, more positive possibilities, such as, larger classes at the state school meant meeting more people than at the small liberal arts school.

Reading it again, in the midst of transition from student–>miserably unemployed–>on the way to a full-fledged career. I still felt warm and fuzzy when I finished. However, this transition is drastically different than the one I was going through five years ago. That being said, instead of feeling super stressed, I was more relaxed and very, very entertained.

So, who is this book for? As hokey as it is, anyone who is going through anything but  not quite sad/lonely enough to pick up The Heroin Diaries. I also recommend this as a quick read, as Spinney’s words only fill 176 pages.

What are your thoughts? Have you read The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of  Oscar The Grouch): Lessons From a Life in Feathers? Comment away!

Next time: Drew Barrymore’s teenage auto-bio Little Girl Lost.

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“When I Met Heroin, It Was True Love”

–Nikki Sixx, the introduction to The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rock Star.

Oh! Hi! Long time, no see. How have you been?

I apologize for the unexpected hiatus. Not long after my last entry, things got a little hectic, and I let my CLC duties slip. However, I’m back, and there will be a better updating schedule. I’m not able to update once a week, but it will definitely be less than a month between entries, I promise!

Before I go into my latest review, I have some sad news: the book I was going to review after Rue McClanahan‘s (RIP), Alyssa Milano’s Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, had to go back to the library before I got to take notes on it. So, instead, I present to you the CLC take on Nikki Sixx’s The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rock Star.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Sixx, he is the guitarist of the greatest hair band of the eighties, Mötley Crüe. The Crüe is responsible for such hard hits as “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood” and “Shout at the Devil.” Known for their killer look and loud, fierce sound, the Crüe spent the better part of the decade of decadence as the greatest rock stars–sex, drugs and rock and roll was their mantra.

Now, based on that description, I’m sure many people think that what Sixx has to say about his wild days is either “totally awesome, brah, totally awesome” or they dismiss it, thinking he’s another rock star trying to write to make some money.

If anything, my friends, Sixx’s memoir serves as a cautionary tale.

The Heroin Diaries is not written in a typical memoir fashion. Unlike, say, Marie Osmond or Paul Feig, he is not writing these stories from memory. Instead, he published his journals from Christmas 1986 to Christmas 1987 (the date of his infamous overdose, where he was pronounced DOA at the hospital. Luckily, two shots of adrenaline revived him.) and added his reflections/interviews with people who were there during his addiction, making for a more sobering (for lack of a better term) experience.

Disclosure: I first read The Heroin Diaries three years ago. I pre-ordered it in hardback, excited to read it as I had watched someone I love go through a very nasty heroin addiction for a while. To me, biographies/memoirs in which the subject dealt with any sort of addiction, particularly hard drugs, were and still are very therapeutic. They give me some insight about what an addict goes through, it gives me a better understanding.

When the book arrived at my off-campus house, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to read it. I went to campus early one day, to read a few pages before class started. I would resume when the hour-long class was over. Well, my readers, I never made it to class that day. I stayed in the library for a good two-two and a half hours reading the first half of the book, which I then put down and didn’t touch for a week as I was so shook up by what I had just read. It was that powerful.

Reading it again, I was still shook up. Even though I knew what was coming, I still felt overwhelmed and saddened by Sixx’s story. The entries at the height of his addiction really brought me down. It’s easy to dismiss him as a spoiled rock star, but when you’re that addicted, you become childlike. You regress.

So, in short, I do not recommend The Heroin Diaries as a beach read. I recommend it for a rainy day read, or if you know someone going through a similar situation. Yes, it will be hard, but it’s comforting to know that your friend/mom/dad/brother/sister/other relative/etc. isn’t alone (as heartbreaking and awful addiction is.)

Next time: something more lighthearted. As to what, exactly, I’m not sure. But it will be much, much lighter.

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