The Bottom Line: Philosophy everyone should heed: Shout at the Devil!
Motley Crue. Say that name. Motley Crue. That's such a cool name for a band. Motley Crue. Kind of just rolls off your tongue, doesn't it? Motley Crue. Motley Crue. Motley Crue.
Now for the hundred thousand dollar question: When someone does say that name to you (Motley Crue!), just what is it that you think of? Motley Crue. There. Right off the top of your head, by simple human reflex, what was it that you thought of? Was it the loud, obnoxious heavy metal music they sold to the masses (over 35 million albums sold worldwide to date)? Was it the fast-paced, adrenaline fueled energy that made their live shows so exciting?
Or was it the numerous drugs they did, the fueds they started (both within the band and outside the band), and the women these bad boys managed to stick their filthy pricks into? Chances are, unless you're a complete hermit who lives deep within the Andes mountains with no television, radio, newspaper or anything that would keep you remotely in touch with the outside world, it was the third option. For all that Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee did for rock music, bring up any of their names and the first word that will come flying into your head will be druggie. Or womanizer. Or violent maniac.
Apparently, we have no idea just how bad they did it, because coming clean with their fans in The Dirt, they stick with these three subjects. Drugs and booze, women and violent hotel rampages, and I think they mentioned something about being musicians somewhere along the line. And they don't give us the sugar-coated version of it all so the kiddies can read, either. They lay it all bare boned for maximum shock value.
And, per usual with Motley Crue, shock they do. These guys don't skimp on the details. They tell us everything from their childhoods right up to 2001. One band member tells us what it's like to lose your virginity ("a lot like masturbation, but a lot more work"). Nikki Sixx-formerly Frank Ferrano Jr.-tried to have his party animal mother arrested by blaming a self-inflicted arm wound on her. And he describes his death and return to life in nightmarish detail-from the moment he sat up only to see his body still lying there to the moment he was yanked right back in. Mick Mars-formerly Bob Alan Deal-talks about the crippling disease that is slowly petrifying his bones. Vince Neil talks about what it was like to sit at his daughter Skylar's bedside and watch her die, and how he deals with the pain. He also uses a chapter to mention the fact that his offer to fight Axl Rose from Guns 'n' Roses is still on the table. Tommy Lee talks about what it was like having the paparazzi stalk him and Pamela Anderson at every nook and cranny, what it was like seeing his sex tape with her on the internet and how he maintained his sanity in jail.
As a band, Motley Crue talks about their formation at Nikki's girlfriend's house and how they lived in a squalid hellhole deemed "The Motley House" in their early days. They talk about what it was like on their tours and how their friendship slowly deteriorated into endless fights that eventually led to Vince Neil's departure and his replacement by Scream frontman John Corabi. Corabi gets a couple of chapters to himself to explain how he felt about replacing Neil and trying to live up to Motley Crue's reputation as a booze, sex and drug fueled band. By the way, there are no hard feelings between him him and the other band members-including Vince, who admits to taking a liking to Corabi.
By all means, I should have hated these guys-they made millions of dollars playing loud, obnoxious music (alright, I'll admit it-Motley Crue is a guilty pleasure), did every drug they could get their hands on (I didn't know what some of these drugs were), chugged obscene amounts of booze and still got prime selection of the best women the world had to offer (while we get stuck with leftovers). But halfway through, something weird, amazing and not altogether unpleasant happened. I began to feel for these guys. Really. The gang put a surprising amount of heart into their autobiography, and as it goes on you begin to root for them and pray for them in the hopes that they'll get through the next cog without self-destructing. Even in the end, with the departure of Tommy to form Methods of Mayhem, you begin to hope, however distantly, that these guys will someday be able to kiss and make up. I guess it's just proof that, no matter how invincible or godlike they may seem, rock stars are mere mortals like the rest of us and susceptable to the same pitfalls.
The layout, you should know, is done so that each Motley Crue member is given a number of sections in each chapter to explain his side of whatever argument they're having at the time. Unlike say, Aerosmith's autobiography, in which the chapters are done interview-style and the entire band shares their opinions of what's going on, in The Dirt everything is given from a different perspective, letting the reader take sides. A great layout altogether, although the band still has trouble getting the story straight on whether Vince was fired or just quit.
Motley Crue. Say the name. Motley Crue. I've never seen such an aptly titled book about a rock band before, although that may be because every band-every interesting band, anyway-does the drugs, booze and women. Yeah, they emphasize their dirty deeds more than they do their music, but that shouldn't keep you from reading one of the more interesting rock autobiographies out there.
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About the reviewer
Nicholas Croston (BaronSamedi3)
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial. Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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