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For the love of God, kids, don’t do drugs! And especially don’t shout at the devil!

I’m in the midst of reading The Dirt: Confession of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. This is the Mötley Crüe biography, and it’s not for your mom, and it’s not for your grandma, because it’s very likely that Vince Neil has had sex with them both. And he wants to tell you about it.

I was never a Crüe fan, but I admired them from afar. Upside-down pentagrams didn’t really fly in the McLean household, so Guns N’ Roses were about as hardcore as we were allowed to get, and even that was only because we’d convinced our parents that Izzy Stradlin was from Harbour Grace.

The Dirt isn’t a biography I’d normally think to buy, but lately I’d started to believe that I was the only person who hadn’t read it. Douglas Coupland read it almost as soon as it hit the stores (and describes the book as being “so brutally honest that after a while it becomes art”). A group of writers in L.A. found the book so inspirational that they began a summer of debauchery under the rallying cry “What would Crüe do?” It seemed that no matter where I turned, there was The Dirt. So it was only a matter of time before I bought it, because I’m a hopeless follower of trends. Hence the blog… and the Kabbalah bracelet… and my goblet of Crunk Juice.

The book purports to be written by the Crüe, with the assistance of rock biographer, Neil Strauss. Now, we can all imagine that the band didn’t come within ten feet of a keyboard for this—at best they dictated their stories to Strauss over eight-balls and Jack Daniels—but whatever the method, the spirit of the band was well captured. The band members trade off taking the lead per chapter, and whenever there’s too much finesse, whenever the book starts feeling especially ghostwritten, the text quickly shifts to verbatim Crüespeak. After Nikki culls your sympathy over his lonely and misguided childhood, Tommy cuts in with: “Duuuuuude. Fuck yeah. Finally. How much room is Nikki gonna get, bro?” They do a good job of keeping each other in check; whenever someone’s chapter gets too high falutin’, someone else comes in and brings it back to the gutter.

I’ve never read another rock biography, so while I’d like to say that Mötley Crüe is the sluttiest, filthiest, angriest rock band there ever was, I’d probably be wrong. In fact, the book name-drops innumerable other bands and movie stars that skanked it up alongside them, such as Poison, Ozzy Osborne, Van Halen, Rob Lowe, Robert Patrick, Shannon Doherty, and apparently Jon Lovitz. (I see the last name and sing to myself “one of these things is not like the other”, but then the T1000 seems a bit out of place too.) Nevertheless, the Crüe are not people you want to know, and they’re not people you’d wanna have over.

Here’s a quick Who’s Who:

Vince – The pretty one; the cutest skid from your high school. Likes to crash very expensive cars and date playmates and porn stars. Has had more sex than anyone you’ve ever met or imagined.

Nikki – Songwriter and base-player. The type of guy who will overdose, wake up with two needles of adrenaline sticking out of his chest, then flee the hospital in search of a dealer. Third only to Keith Richards and Ozzy for lifetime drugs ingested.

Mick – Least degenerate of the bunch but drinks like a Newfie—because he is a Newfie! (I remember feeling great pride when I first found that out as a kid.) Tells incoherent stories; often gets robbed and beaten by his girlfriends.

Tommy – Perhaps you know his ex. Perhaps you forgot he was also married to Heather Locklear. Perhaps you’ve seen his unit. There you go.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but I don’t think I need to in order to write a review. Now three hundred pages in, I learned everything I needed to know about the band from these two choice passages which both came before page fifty:

Vince: “In the nine months or so we lived there, we never once cleaned the toilet. Tommy and I were still teenagers: we didn’t know how…We couldn’t afford—or were too lazy to afford—toilet paper, so there’d be shit-stained socks, band flyers, and pages from magazines scattered across the floor.”

Nicki: “Now that I look back on it, I realize how naïve and innocent I was. There were no jets or sold-out stadiums then, no mansions on Ferraris. There were no overdoses or orgies with guitar necks stuck up some chick’s ass.”

Everything you every guiltily thought about doing, every evil whim you might have had, these guys have indulged in, again and again, until it actually becomes meaningless. I don’t know if I’ve enjoyed the book so much as learned from it. And I also know that, simply by living vicariously through the Crüe, I’m going straight to hell.


Jorge said…
Who gets the urge to stick guitars up chicks' asses?


I think it's time that we hit the road my man. More Than Words our style.

Jay said…
You are such a goof.
Jorge said…
Or Dave?


Unless you also want in on our road trip action-fest!
Reay said…
Does Vince give a specific number of the number of women he's slept with? Because I've met and imagined a whole lotta women. Also because Gene Simmons and Ron Jeremy both gave the same number for the number of women they've slept with in an interview last year (Jeremy admitting he gave it as a comical number): between four and five thousand. Just wondering if Ron/Gene or Vince is the bigger slut.
With pitiful single digits myself, I'll really have to beef up that part of my own rawkin' biography.

Also: it's ok that you're going to hell. It's more interesting, anyway. You get to hang with animals and Jimi Hendrix, and things. See you there? Noonish?
Isha said…
Based on your review, I am actually adding this to my "To Read" list. It sounds fantastic.

I bought a Motley Crüe t-shirt last year to be "ironic", but have always felt that I lacked the background knowledge to support my wearing of said t-shirt.

Great review!
Tien said…
Isha, I can't see you wearing said t-shirt....well, maybe if you got a pair of tight black jeans to go with it....maybe you could start with something like Def Leppard and work your way up to Motley Crue.
Jorge said…
Yes Tien!

Trying to put the moves on Isha!

Kickin' it up Old Skool!

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