–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.