MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx spoke to U.K.’s BUILD Series about the long-waited Broadway adaptation of his memoir, “The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star”.
“The Heroin Diaries”, which was supposedly taken from actual journals Sixx kept in the late ’80s while in the grip of a near-fatal heroin addiction, was originally released in September 2007 via MTV Pocketbooks/Simon & Schuster and debuted at No. 7 on the New York Times Book Review non-fiction best-seller list.
“The idea is to do with ‘The Heroin Diaries’ for the opiate epidemic what ‘Rent’ did for AIDS and HIV — to really shine a light on it and give back to communities locally, nationally and internationally,” Sixx told BUILD Series.
“I’m really happy that the word ‘epidemic’ is attached to this crisis right now, but I’m also very frustrated that it took us so long to get here,” he continued. “And so the timing for us is important, meaning it needs to happen now. And that’s what we’re working on. And we’re very close to having all the pieces together so that it can come out very early next year.”
CRÜE manager Allen Kovac told BUILD Series that the plan is for “The Heroin Diaries” musical to launch in the spring of 2020. “Our lead investor is the CEO of Live Nation [and] Ticketmaster,” Kovac said. “He put in the first million dollars, and we now have mayors across the United States. We’ve lowered the cost to go to a hundred cities instead of the traditional model of one Broadway or 20 major markets. We can now where the crisis is. And we have bus companies, light companies, sound companies taking their profit off the table and doing it for cost. We have Faces & Voices [Of Recovery], an organization in 50 states, along with governors. And we wanna bring that to Europe and the rest of the world. And it’s about getting awareness and taking away the stigma, so people will talk about it.”
Sixx went on to say that he hopes “The Heroin Diaries” musical will further inspire people struggling with addiction to begin the road to recovery.
“It was the sixth day that the book came out, and I was somewhere in America at a book signing,” Nikki recalled. “And it was unbelievable — there wasn’t hundreds; there was thousands and thousands of people coming to these book signings. And there was a guy coming up in the line and he was shaking and he was sweating. And the security came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we’re a little scared, a little worried about that guy. Do you want us to remove him?’ And I said, ‘No. He’s kicking.’ And the guy goes, ‘What do you mean he’s kicking?’ I go, ‘He’s kicking dope right now, dude. You’ve gotta let him come up here.’ And the guy came up and he started crying. And he had his one-day chip from being one day sober. The book had been out six days, and he was in the sixth day of his withdrawal. And that has never left my mind. I wanna see that over and over and over and over. It’s taken people out in droves — it’s unbelievable — and it doesn’t need to be. And we can get into political angles, we can get into all kinds of angles, but really, it’s all about the heart, and the story is real, and what can we do with that story.”
When “The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star” was published, it was accompanied by a soundtrack by Sixx‘s side-project SIXX:A.M.
Titled “The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack”, it featured collaborations with vocalist James Michael and former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist DJ Ashba.
The 13 tracks on the record each correspond to one month of Sixx‘s supposed diary, which he kept from 1986 to 1987 and formed the basis for the autobiography.
The memoir charts the recording sessions for CRÜE‘s 1987 album “Girls, Girls, Girls” as well as a near-death experience following a heroin overdose.
A tenth-anniversary edition of “The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star”, featuring several new chapters and a new foreword, was made available in 2017.
In a March 2010 interview with Brazil’s Dynamite magazine, Sixx‘s former MÖTLEY CRUE bandmate, singer John Corabi, questioned the authenticity of “The Heroin Diaries”, saying, “I love Nikki to death, and this is just my opinion… Everybody that I know that’s done heroin, they do heroin and they’re out. And I find it very hard to believe that somebody can do heroin and then have the foresight to write everything down. Everybody that read the book said it was great, though; it was a great book. It’s great reading, it’s a great book… More power to him, you know.”
In February 2008, former MÖTLEY CRÜE producer Tom Werman slammed “The Heroin Diaries” as “totally deluded” and “stunningly inaccurate.” In a letter to The New York Times, Werman took issue with Sixx‘s assertion that the producer chatted on the phone during the recording of “Theatre Of Pain”, “Shout At The Devil” and “Girls Girls Girls” while Sixx did all the work. “If this distortion of reality is the result of Sixx‘s past heroin habit, then his diary is truly nothing more than a pipe dream, and the events to which this book refers may simply be the needle-induced fantasies of an attention-starved junkie,” Werman wrote.