Rock stars are not exempt from aging. Even after 30 years in Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx is still one of the coolest motherf*ckers in rock and roll, but the sad fact is – he’s getting older! More than his previous books, his latest, This Is Gonna Hurt shows that Nikki isn’t afraid to expose his vulnerabilities. He may have written songs about strippers, doing drugs, drinking whiskey, riding motorcycles, and dying and coming back to life, but not one of his songs exposes what’s going on in Nikki’s mind in the intimate way that This Is Gonna Hurt does.
If you’ve read The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries, you’ve lived vicariously through periods of Nikki Sixx’s life. But, aside from doing a lot of drugs what do you really know about Nikki Sixx? This Is Gonna Hurt, is like a rickety dark ride through his mind. Even though I’m a big fan of Nikki Sixx, this book showed me a side of Nikki I wasn’t aware of.
Nikki’s writing style has always been very personal, but here that style comes full circle. Parts of his previous books were culled from old diary entries whereas this is a more timely account of his thoughts and feelings. Sure he discusses a few old stories, but for the most part he brings you up to speed with his life as it is now. He’s lived through drug problems, a divorce, and challenges within his band.
Throughout the book I appreciated his attempts to spark the creativity of the reader. He doesn’t want to just tell us stories, he yearns to make people look at things differently, appreciate life and art, and stand up for themselves. He continuously reminds us that he’s had a second chance at life and he’s never let that idea escape him. Capturing beauty through writing and photography is one of the ways he’s broadened his scope as an artist. He’s not trying to hold on to the past, he’s been trying to soak up every beautiful piece of life there is and he’s poured it into this book.
For a guy who many thought was just a dumb big haired bassist back in the ’80s, his brilliance is presented here for all to read and look at. For the past several years Nikki has been exploring and taking advantage of various ways of self expression. Nikki writes, tweets, hosts a radio show, and has an extremely awesome side band that he’s passionate about called SIXX A.M who just released their latest album also titled This Is Gonna Hurt. All of this indicates that Nikki Sixx continues to adapt to the times and doesn’t plan on packing it in any time soon.
If his firm grasp on social media doesn’t surprise you, then his view on Hollywood will. Early on, Nikki explains how his outlook on his own stardom has changed drastically since the beginning of his career. He’s sick of showbiz and the fact that the media tries to dictate what’s beautiful. One moment in the book that I especially applauded was when he trashed Keeping Up With The Kardashians and similar shlocky shows. While it’s perhaps not as riveting, This Is Gonna Hurt is definitely more telling than the typical drug addled exploits of The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries.
The Motley Crue founder, songwriter, and bassist shows off his affinity for bones, (human and otherwise) and his addiction to photography. The visual aspect of This Is Gonna Hurt is more enticing than a regular book that merely offers bland off white pages and black type. This is more of a scrapbook with glossy pages and it’s so much more enjoyable to consume. Breaking in between each chapter are interludes that include photos, song lyrics, and even some inspirational self help tips. Nikki also includes chronicles from his tour around the globe, the creative vibe between SIXX AM, anecdotes on Motley Crue, and even some tidbits on the ill fated Brides of Destruction.
I only had two complaints about the book. First, not to take anything away from Nikki’s photography skills, because he’s damn good at it, but the subject matter in the photos might make you think you were looking at a book on a coffee table at Marilyn Manson’s house. There are plenty of photos of freaks, dead flowers, dunce caps and gravestones that Nikki shot himself. You’ll also see a few self portraits as well as a glimpse into his own studio filled with oddities. The other issue I had is that a few pages have red type on dark backgrounds which is fairly difficult to read if you’re in low light.
Just because Nikki has enjoyed ridiculous levels of fame and money doesn’t mean he can’t experience mental anguish. In the book, he warns that drugs are not a cure all and delves into many issues that he continues to struggle with even after so many years of being sober. You’ll also get to read how he fearlessly discusses the true love he had for Kat Von D and how she totally broke his heart right before he left to go on tour with Motley Crue. What a bitch! This Is Gonna Hurt will make you realize that Nikki Sixx’s life wasn’t all about eyeliner, smack, and shiny stripper poles.