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The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

4.6 402
by Nikki Sixx

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In one of the most unique memoirs of addiction ever published, Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine, presented alongside riveting commentary from people who were there at the time, and from Nikki himself.

When Mötley Crüe was at the height of its


In one of the most unique memoirs of addiction ever published, Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine, presented alongside riveting commentary from people who were there at the time, and from Nikki himself.

When Mötley Crüe was at the height of its fame, there wasn't any drug Nikki Sixx wouldn't do. He spent days -- sometimes alone, sometimes with other addicts, friends, and lovers -- in a coke and heroin-fueled daze. The highs were high, and Nikki's journal entries reveal some euphoria and joy. But the lows were lower, often ending with Nikki in his closet, surrounded by drug paraphernalia and wrapped in paranoid delusions.

Here, Nikki shares those diary entries -- some poetic, some scatterbrained, some bizarre -- and reflects on that time. Joining him are Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Slash, Rick Nielsen, Bob Rock, and a host of ex-managers, ex-lovers, and more.

Brutally honest, utterly riveting, and shockingly moving, The Heroin Diaries follows Nikki during the year he plunged to rock bottom -- and his courageous decision to pick himself up and start living again.

Editorial Reviews

Nikki Sixx's surest claim to fame is his breakthrough work as the bass player and lead songwriter of Mötley Crüe. In The Heroin Diaries, he recounts the dark night of the soul of his legendary career. In 1986, Sixx descended into an abyss of heroin addiction from which there seemed to be literally no exit. On one occasion, he was declared dead after an overdose; only the persistence of a paramedic who was a Mötley Crüe fan saved him. Another time, his drug dealer dumped Sixx in the trash, abandoning him to die. A nightmare come true; a nightmare survived.

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Van Nuys, 7:30 p.m.

Merry Christmas.

Well, that's what people say at Christmas, right? Except normally they have somebody to say it to. They have their friends and family all around them. They haven't been crouched naked under a Christmas tree with a needle in their arm like an insane person in a mansion in Van Nuys.

They're not out of their minds and writing in a diary and they're not watching their holiday spirit coagulating in a spoon. I didn't speak to a single person today...I thought of calling Bob Timmons, but why should I ruin his Christmas?

I guess I've decided to start another diary this time for a few different reasons...

1. I have no friends left.

2. So I can read back and remember what I did the day before.

3. So if I die, at least I leave a paper trail of my life (nice lil suicide note).

Merry Christmas...it's just you and me, diary. Welcome to my life.

BOB TIMMONS: By Christmas 1986, Nikki had been addicted to heroin and cocaine for at least a year, possibly longer. As a drug counselor, I first met Nikki when MÖtley CrÜe's manager, Doc McGhee, called me in to work with the band's singer, Vince Neil. Nikki was initially very hostile to me; he tried to get me barred from going backstage or being around them.

Nikki and I slowly formed a relationship, and early in 1986 he asked me for help with his own addictions. I advised him to go into a rehab center but he refused and said he didn't need to. He was very stubborn on that issue.

Over the years I have worked with platinum-selling artists from the Rolling Stones to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and all points in between, and let me make one thing clear from the start-MÖtley CrÜe, more than anybody, wrote the book for decadence and partying. In that area they were the most extreme people I ever met, and Nikki was the most extreme of all. For many years, Nikki had one motto: I'm going to do exactly what I want to do, and fuck everybody else.

Van Nuys, 2:10 a.m.

Jason came over again today. I was touched...so there is a Santa Claus, after all. He came mooching in, with his greasy James Dean hair and his junkie eyes that are sunk so deep in his elongated face that he looks like he's wearing makeup, and he stood by the tree and asked me how my Christmas had been. Like he cares...like he doesn't know already that it was exactly the same as his. Sometimes Jason pisses me off when he tries to make small talk. He asked me how much gear I wanted, and I asked, how much have you got? And he gave me this contemptuous, sneering look and said, that must be nice...

His Betty Page-wannabe Goth girlfriend Anastasia isn't much better. Oh, she's nice enuff, but I know on the inside I'm just her meal ticket to an easier, softer life. I know she tells Jason to jump when I call because she, more than he, wants the money. Not just for the junk, they make enuff off me to maintain their cheap little habits, but she likes to decorate their little one-room rat's nest with the extra money they have left over. That's the real reason she demands he comes at my beck and call...she likes that extra cash for thrift shops and secondhand stores.

I see her as a sorta Suzie Homemaker from Hell, but it's all just a fantasy-she's stuck with a habit too...

NIKKI: My dealer Jason and I had a real love-hate relationship. I loved him because I could pick up the phone and he'd be over in twenty minutes with everything I needed. I hated him because it was killing me. He loved me because I gave him hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars on a daily basis. He hated me because I was a spoiled millionaire rock star who could have anything I wanted whenever I wanted it, and usually did.

I used to ride a Honda Shadow motorcycle around the Valleys with my shirt off, totally out of my mind. One time Jason started talking about Harleys and how much he loved them. Tommy had one, so the next day I just went out and bought one and rode it to Jason's house to score. He was furious: it was his dream bike, he'd shown me a picture of it and I'd bought it. He thought I was such a spoiled brat.

Jason was as fucked on heroin as me. He was a tall, skinny guy who in another life could have been a model, or something, but he really just came off looking like a corpse. That was the real reason he hated me: we were both living for drugs, but I could afford as many as I wanted.

Van Nuys, 4:15 a.m.

The best part of freebase is before the first hit. I love that moment, right before I put the glass pipe to my lips...that moment when everything is sane, and the craving, the salivating, the excitement all feel fresh and innocent. It's like foreplay...the ache that's always better than the orgasm.

Yet as soon as I hit the pipe, within 30 seconds all hell breaks lose in my brain...and I keep on doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it, and I can't stop. Every day that I sit here and write, it's always the same. So-why? Why do I do this? I hate it...I hate it so much, but I love it even more.

The worst part of freebase is running out. But I have a new jones-speedballs of any kind. The junk just isn't enough anymore...I feel like I'm only halfway there...

TOMMY LEE: Back around Girls Girls Girls, we were starting to make shitloads of money. With money came success, power, overindulgence and experimentation. Sixx and I, in particular, took a lot of narcotics, and he would always want to push things: "Hey, how about taking these two drugs together? How about heroin and cocaine at the same time?" That period led us to this really dark fucking place. We all went to that place at various times-but Nikki seemed to like it there more than any of us.

Van Nuys, 9:40 p.m.

After I binged last night-or was it tonight-I was convinced yet again that there were people coming to get me. It was more than just shadows and voices, more than just fantasies...it was real, and I was scared to my core.

My bones were shaking...my heart was pounding...I thought I was going to explode. I'm glad I have you to talk to, to write this down...I tried to keep it all together, but then I gave in to the madness and became one with my insanity...

I always end up in the closet in my bedroom. Let me tell you about that place, my closet. It's more than a closet-it's a haven for me. It's where I keep my dope and where I keep my gun. I know when I'm in there I'm safe, at least until I get too high. I can't be out in the house-there are too many windows and I know I'm being watched. Right now it seems impossible that cops are peering in from the trees outside or people are looking at me thru the peeohole at the front door. But when the drugs kick in I can't control my mind...

Today, last night feels like a lifetime ago. But the sick thing is I could do it again tonight.

NIKKI: This was the crazy routine I had at the time. I would start out freebasing or mainlining anywhere in the house: the front room, the kitchen, the bathroom. But as soon as the coke-induced psychosis kicked in, as soon as the insanity began, I would make a beeline for my bedroom closet. That was my refuge. I would huddle in there, surrounded by my drug paraphernalia and guns, convinced that people were in the house trying to get me, or a SWAT team was outside preparing to bust me. I would be too scared to move until I came down. The only way to bring myself down quicker was heroin. Heroin would make the madness go away: it was the easy solution. It seemed to make sense at the time.

Van Nuys, 4:30 p.m.

I've been thinking about last Christmas Eve when I picked up that girl in a strip club, brought her back here on my bike, took her home the next day, then had Christmas dinner all by myself in McDonald's. I haven't made much progress I see.

Today I'm listening to Exile on Main Street, reading, laying around...tanning in the backyard, naked...today I feel like my old self. Sometimes I feel like I have two personalities. One is Nikki and one is...Sikki.

ROSS HALFIN: As a photographer I've shot MÖtley CrÜe many times over the years for magazines and got particularly close to Nikki. I remember the first time I ever met him in LA we got on pretty well and decided to go for a drink that night. We sat talking in a booth. Vince Neil was in another booth with a girl, arguing, and Vince suddenly stood up and punched her in the face. I asked Nikki, "Should we sort it out?" And Nikki just laughed and said, "Let them sort it out themselves."

Copyright 2007 © Nikki Sixx

Meet the Author

International rock icon Nikki Sixx is one of the founding members of Mötley Crüe and Sixx:A.M., a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Heroin Diaries and This Is Gonna Hurt, co-founder of rock couture fashion line Royal Underground, philanthropist, photographer, and host of the nationally syndicated radio show Sixx Sense, which airs on over 115 stations, and The Side Show Countdown. As the creative force behind a multitude of projects, Sixx never stops inventing new ways to express himself and continues to unveil his unusual points of view with new projects. In addition to selling over 100 million albums with Mötley Crüe and Sixx:A.M., songs written by Sixx have been used in national commercials, his photographs have been published by the New York Post, and he’s raised several hundred thousand dollars through his Running Wild In The Night charity for Covenant House California.

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Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 402 reviews.
Sierra_0001 More than 1 year ago
Before reading this book, I hadn't had the slightest idea who Nikki Sixx was, or Motley Crue. The only person I had heard of in this book was Tommy Lee, and that was only because he married Pamala Anderson. Now that I know how everyday life was in Nikki Sixx's, Tommy Lee's, Mick Mars and Vince Neil's life everyday, I really do respect all of them a lot more. Everyday life for them was drugs, sex and rock n' roll. Nikki was even board with his own life. He hated his life. He hated his fame. Twice in the book he wrote-- "You want fame? Take mine. Because I hate it." When he said that, it made me really realize that what he was going through was real; nothing in this book is fake. I mean... how many times would YOU lie in a diary?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always loved Motley Crue. To me they have been the ageless group. I'm 21 and listen to their music as if it just came out yesterday. I had always heard about Nikki's drug problem, but never really understood it until I read the book. It was truly amazing. He's very vivid in his details. I could not take my eyes off this book. It's given in the best perspective as he did the drugs. No doubt, the best book. A very REAL book/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always loved Nikki Sixx. Motley Crue, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Korn, Anthrax, Megadeath, etc. I'm 12. Im up to date on these things, i knew about his rough time. ( i always cry when i hear "life is beautiful" by Sixx:am) But this book made me even more aware. <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is really inspiring. I woukd reccomend this to eveyone. Hell they should make it the law to read this book in schools.
Demert More than 1 year ago
One of the best rock star bios on the shelf. Nicki Sixx tells an amazing story of his life. This book is an inspiration to all those battling their own kind of demons. Excellent read.
SunnyFlaLaw More than 1 year ago
Shocking...that's all I can say. I've never been a big Motley fan, but I noticed the book was a best seller and gave it a try. The writing is excellent (thanks to a fabulous writer he hired to help him), the set-up is unique (pages of his diary with his present-day reflection), and the stories are shocking (ie having sex with someone else's girlfriend right in front of him, minutes after Nikki meets her--and that's a mild tale in this book). It's hard to describe (for me), but really it's like crawling into the head of a junkie--and that's a dark, scary place to be. Everyone knows H is bad news--but this story shows you exactly why from an insider's view. Might be a good read for anti-drug programs for kids, because it will scare the bajeezus out of them. . A brilliant musician and songwriter, adored by fans all over the globe, raking in millions--but he preferred cooking drugs with toilet water and hiding for hours in the closet. Just an amazing tale of the fight to be clean, and I really hope he can win it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For anyone who has been touched by addiction, this book is truly inspirational. It is a well written portrait of a man who visited hell almost daily and survived to tell his story. One of the best books I have ever read, I have read it three times now and will most likely read it again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes me back, and reminds me why I am living day by day....be it a good day or bad, it is better than before.
RazBxViper More than 1 year ago
As a recovering addict as well, I felt that Nikki couldn't have told the story better. He brings wit and humor to what some would say is a very dark and morbid subject. I received this book as a present and couldn't have been more happier. I recommend it to anyone who loves to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this one hard to put down. As someone who has struggled with depression and addiction, I really related to what he was going through. I will read it again and again.
Karmayne North More than 1 year ago
I started this book a few years ago and to my surprise it was taken away from me, seeing as i was supposedly too young to understand, and that it was too graphic of a read for me. I read half way through, i thouht now i would start on from there. I found myself restarting the book and re reading it in its enrirety 4 more time. This book gives great outlook on what somebodys life is like being strung out on drugs, having sex, and hitting rock bottom. i personally think its not to graphic to anybody who is willing to read it. its wonderful and will keep you reading and you wont want to put it down. As a bonus. you'll want to read it more than ince.
LB_Ans More than 1 year ago
As a fan of M&#246;tley Cr&#252;e I was absolutely thrilled to see this on the shelf. The secret past life of Nikki Sixx is exposed in every waking detail through his daily diary entries. Readers get a scoop on the real life experiences Sixx has encountered with his struggle to give up his love for narcotic usage. As Nikki's world collapses he finds himself at the lowest point of his life; his addiction and mental instability keep him from happiness and his will to live. Each captivating chapter you think "this is as bad as it gets" but no, it gets worse. Sixx survives insane tours, gallons of alcohol, countless doses of narcotics, death and yet he lives to tell the tale. As harrowing life can get, Sixx shows how you can always turn your life around and start again. He demonstrates how you can always pick yourself up and see that "life is beautiful."
IronCam More than 1 year ago
can't believe this guy is still alive. an absolutely fascinating read!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
Nikki's path is all too familiar. The only unknown is the recovery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nikki Sixx answers many questions about the mind and addiction. Clearly showing that regardless of your place in the world depression is the root cause for addiction, the book also let's you know that a chemical imbalance is nothing to shame it's often a sign of brilliance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont read a lot of biographies. They always end up making me hate that person. Heroin diaries is exhibit a. It seems an oxymoron to say that i liked the book and thorooughly disepise Nikki Sixx. Even on his radio show he seems to not accept what a totaly retched excuse for a human being he was, and there is no redemption for such a narcistic debase waste of good oxygen. That said, the book was good but Ozzys is way better, and you still come out loving him!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love bvb and read this because andy (biersack/sixx) loves this band and withou them there would be no Black veil Brides. So for that. I am eternally greatfull. - bvb fan, Cassie
kaydoggydog More than 1 year ago
So uniquely written, I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Nikki's. I have read this book twice and it shocks and amazes me each time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait to read it 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cgoolsby More than 1 year ago
This book took me inside the head of Nikki Sixx and drug addiction.  I read it one day.  Very good book.