I didn’t grow up in Motley Crue’s heyday but I’ve been a diehard fan of theirs since I first listened to them on the radio. Being a lover of both books and music I often search for biographies written by my favorite bands and with Motley Crue, I didn’t have to search long. Three out of the four band members have written books including the infamous compilation bio of the band. I figured I’ve shared so many of my other book favorites with you that it’s about time I’d fill you in on some of my most favorite rock bios as well.
The Dirt: Confessions of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band has been known to be one of the most innovative, revealing and revolting autobiography told by a band. It delves deep into the drug-addled world of the most notorious 80’s rockers. What makes it different over other biographies is that it’s a compilation bio of all four of the band members, not just one individual. It skips from band mate to band mate per chapter and each tells a piece of their tale that make up this Motley Crue. They talk about love, loss, family, the environment they grew up in, the debauchery they entailed during the 80’s, the backstage drama (with their then-promoter Doc McGhee) and everything that circumferences the band. One of the most important biographies of the rock genre and a must read for any Crue-Head.
Why stop there though? If you’re as dedicated to a band and rock genre as I am then you want, nay, NEED to read more! My next stop on this venture was Tommyland, an autobiography of the bands famed drummer, Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee was born in Greece and actually grew up in this Blogger’s home town of Covina, California. His mother never spoke English very well but taught him to express himself with images and music. This book became an inspiration to make sure children have every given chance to express themselves in an art; you never know what will come from it. Tommy Lee reveals all about his relationships with famous ex-wives (including Pam Anderson and Heather Locklear), ex-band mates (struggles with members from Motley Crue and side projects) and how important his children are to him. He also fills the book with his own personal style of hysterical humor that follows you through-out the book and reveals so much more about him.
When The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of A Shattered Rockstar was released in late 2008, I was first at my local bookstore to pick up a copy. I often tell people this is positively the most aesthetically phenomenal book that I have ever come across, and definitely not in the conventional way. Every page is a glossy, ink and blood splattered display that is totally unique in its styling. The book itself is Nikki Sixx’s (bassist/song writer) personal journal entries from the most horrendous year of his drug addiction, the year that Nikki Sixx had officially died due to an overdose and then was brought back to life because of one faithful paramedic. This book leaves it all on the table for you to discover, every disgusting and agonizing detail of Nikki’s life in 1987. This one is for the collection.
**This book was also co-released with an album dubbed the book’s soundtrack by Nikki Sixx’s side band Sixx: AM.
In 2010 the band’s lead singer, Vince Neil, released his own autobiography named Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen. I have only recently discovered this book and have not yet read it but what I do know about Vince Neil is that there’s more then meets the eye. Neil actually grew up on the rough streets in Compton during the time period that gangs were starting to take over the area. In the book he talks about his most infamous incidents including an intoxicated joy-ride he took with a friend, one night and the crash that resulted in the death of his passenger and his charge of first-degree man slaughter. Neil also opens up about his young daughter Skylar’s death and the charity fund that was started in her name. Not to mention personal tid-bits on well known celebrities.
The last book on my list is This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Released just this year I instantly fell in love. Nikki Sixx has such a way with art (music writing, photography, etc) that it’s impossible not to stop and take a peak at this book. It’s mostly a compilation of Sixx’s photography but it’s not just a picture book. Sixx also follows up from his last book and talks about his life now, his growing sons and his relationship with Kat Von D. I think this book’s main objective is to show that there is beauty even within people and things that aren’t what people consider the “norm”. A wonderfully articulate book that proves the Sixx has a keen eye for the absurd, the obscure and the beauty that lies in all of them.
I hope this review made a few eyebrows raised in curiosity and at the very least reminds everyone that your favorite artist probably has a book out (and if they don’t now, they probably will later *wink*).
– Amber (your local nerdy bookstore employee)