Not for the faint of heart


Brooke Robinson, Staff

If you haven’t read “The Dirt,” a book based on the preposterous yet iconic glam metal band, Motley Crue,  it is a wild 430-page ride. 

The four band members—bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist Mick Mars, drummer Tommy Lee and singer Vince Neil—tell their  stories from the Glam metal-era,  starting on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to their eventual world tours. Amidst the partying, gigging and groupies, there was tragedy and danger. 

Keep in mind, this book is not for the faint of heart.

“The Dirt”  begins with bassist Nikki Sixx (at the time, he was Frank Feranna) explaining his abusive childhood.  As a teenager, he has his mother arrested, framing her for his self-inflicted wound. He then explains how he was in and out of schools and jobs, and eventually joins a band as their bassist. Funny enough, Sixx didn’t own a bass and resorted to stealing one from his local music store. 

In the next few chapters, the other band members explain their childhood, but in less detail. For example, Tommy Lee explains how his childhood was much more “traditional” than Sixx, and Mick Mars, who was a few years older than the rest of the band, explains not only his childhood but his first marriage, kids and divorce while shedding some light on his autoimmune disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, a chronic form of arthritis that causes inflammation of the spine. 

Neil tells a bit about his childhood and how he attended the same high school as Lee, who had started a metal band and was in search of a guitarist and singer. 

As time goes on, Motley Crue is born and they share the stories of how they were signed to a record label and  began touring. Again, it isn’t all sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. There were tragic accidents, jail time, overdoses and loss. 

As chaotic and controversial as this book is,  it was an enjoyable read. The reader hears the stories through the band members’ first-person points-of-view, rather than reading it through someone who has not  lived through the experiences. 

It is a very eye-opening and informative glimpse into the lives of one of the biggest metal bands of  the 80s and recommend this to anyone interested in metal or rock music.