WHEN I’M LOSING MY MIND, THE ONLY THING THAT CAN SAVE ME IS HEROIN.
FEBRUARY 2ND, 1987
Van Nuys, 1 a.m.
When I’m losing my mind, the only thing that can save me is heroin.
I love the ritual of heroin. I love the smell, and the way it looks when it goes into the needle. I love the way the needle feels when it goes into my skin. I love watching the blood register and mix in with the beautiful yellowish-brown liquid. I love that moment just before I push…
Then I’m under that warm blanket once again, and I’m perfectly content to live there for the rest of my life. Thank God for heroin…it never lets me down.
I’m off the methadone. It didn’t work.
Daytime in the studio for a rock band is torture. When you’re a creature of the night, daytime is not your best creative time, but that’s when our producer wants to work. Tom Werman can be such a whiny lil fucker. I have no idea why he’s producing our album. We’re doing all the work…he’s just on the phone most of the time or sending out for food. He hasn’t come up with one idea to better our music.
I used to like this guy, but now I realize he’s just a money-grubbing cheeseball. This is his last album with us–he can go produce Poison, or some such bullshit.
I have to do all the work with Vince on the vocals and it’s hard being a mess and trying to organize vocals. I always do since I write the lyrics, but Werman could at least help.Vince is just always trying to hurry through the vocals and it drives me nuts. I know I drive him crazy but he would do a half-assed job if it wasn’t for me bird-dogging him. So I’m sure he hates me…that makes two of us…
VINCE NEIL: When Nikki was coming into the studio fucked up, I could only tell he was strung out because he wasn’t saying anything. Nikki likes to talk. If he wasn’t talking, it meant he was fucked up, and can I tell you something? I liked him like that! I was happy when he was quiet at the Girls sessions!
I’ve never had any interest in sitting around a studio watching Nikki play bass or Mick play guitar, but Nikki has always liked to be there when I record my vocals. He’s always had to give his opinion or criticize me, and I’ve always told him, “Dude, shut the fuck up!” I listen to the album producer, not to Nikki Sixx. We’ve got in a few fights over that. Nikki was spending a lot of time shooting up in the bathroom during the Girls sessions, and that suited me fine–it was the perfect time for me to record my vocals.
TOM ZUTAUT: I was Mötley Crüe’s A&R man at Elektra Records, and Nikki Sixx used to go on and on about how he was the guy who was going to set rock ’n’ roll on fire and take over first Sunset Strip and then the rest of the world. I thought to myself, yeah, he’s absolutely right, the kids are bored with new wave, and this glam rock Kiss meets the New York Dolls vision of Nikki Sixx’s is going to change popular music.
The second time I ever met Nikki he described to me the almost cartoon-like character attributes of each member of Mötley Crüe, why they were there, the part each of them had to play within the Crüe, and how with his songs they would revive rock ’n’ roll and kill new wave. At that point, I was convinced that Nikki was one of the smartest guys I ever met. The remarkable thing is that he had his vision of Mötley Crüe laid out in his head from Day One.
FEBRUARY 4TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 10 p.m.
There are some good songs coming through for this album. I’m really proud of Wild Side, but other times I’m just recycling old Aerosmith riffs or repeating myself.
I know I should be trying harder but I can’t be bothered.
I never thought I would say those words.
DOUG THALER: Nikki was normally a talented and prolific songwriter, but he just couldn’t write enough good songs for Girls Girls Girls. You want the truth? Tom Werman made that record. We even had to include a live track, “Jailhouse Rock,” on the album. Nikki wrote one song in a key that Vince couldn’t even sing, and some of his lyrics were absolute dreck. One day he came in wasted, and he’d written a song called “Hollywood Nights” that was just so bad: really, really horrible.
Candy coated holocaust buried in the past Swallowed all these lies and shit it out your ass Babies born with switchblades Dumping bodies in the Everglades California high tide, needles on a fishing line Backwashed and belly up, dancin’ on a land mine
FEBRUARY 6TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 3:15 a.m.
It’s pouring rain outside. I’m alone again, sitting here with this one candle…my pen in my hand, trying to not reach for my dope. I can’t stop. I’m so strung out and I can’t get off…I don’t think I will ever be off drugs. I think this is my purpose in life. I’m gonna be the guy who had it all and lost it all ’cause he couldn’t stop–or just another dead rock star.
The rain is making a beautiful rhythm on the roof. It’s hypnotizing. Sitting here reminds me of when I was a kid, laying in bed, listening to the rain, wondering where my mom was, or if she was even coming home. I feel the sorrow still, it stings…
Everybody thinks I’m so tough as nails. If only they knew.
DOC McGHEE: Nikki Sixx was a pretty fucking angry guy in 1987. He was very nice and polite and intelligent, but he had a really dark side to him. I think it all came down to the way his family life was before he came to LA and a lot of the things that had happened to him as a child. Let’s just say that he had a pretty disturbing start to his life…there are some things that I’m just not able to tell you about.
FEBRUARY 7TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 4:40 a.m.
I can’t feel my soul. This darkness has become my only friend. My new addiction is drinking tons of water right before I shoot coke, then puking it all up in the Jacuzzi as my head explodes into the stratosphere. Why? Why not? I’m engaged in a dance of death in this house…
RANDOM LYRIC: HOOLIGAN’S HOLIDAY
Drop dead beauties Stompin' up a storm Lines of hell on our face Bruised bad apples Crawling through the night Busted loose and runaway
FEBRUARY 8TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 2 a.m.
Bob Timmons came to rehearsal today. I’ve no idea who sent him down. He asked me straight out if I was using. Of course, I denied it, said I’d just been partying hard, doing too much blow and drinking, but I could easily stop if I wanted to.
I don’t know if Bob believed me, he didn’t look like he did. But I’m not gonna let him put me in rehab again–I’d kill him first…or kill myself…
NIKKI: Bob Timmons and Doc McGhee put me and Nicole in rehab in the summer of ’86. I hated it and it was a disaster. The counselors kept talking about God, and in those days I agreed with my grandfather–who needs God when you’ve got a Chevy pickup truck and a 12-gauge shotgun?
I lasted three days. One nurse kept talking to me about God, until I stood up and yelled, “Fuck God and fuck you!” The nurse told me to sit back down, so I spat in her face, jumped out of the window and took off walking home–it was only a few blocks from my house. Bob followed me in his car until we agreed he wouldn’t take me back to rehab. He took me to my house and I showed Bob my ritual room–my bedroom closet. It was covered in dirty black marks from all the spoons, and Bob and I spent hours cleaning the room. We went through it finding all the bindles of coke, pills, booze and syringes, and disposed of the lot. The only thing I didn’t get rid of was my guns. I promised Bob, I can do this on my own; I don’t need rehab.
The second Bob left, I picked up the phone. Jason delivered the cocaine and junk an hour later.
Then Bob came back and I wouldn’t let him in. I was lying on the floor in the hall, talking to him through the crack under the front door, with my .357 cocked and loaded. He was asking me to go back to rehab and I was saying I’d rather die than go back there. I said I’d shoot myself if he tried to come in.
Except that when I came down from the cocaine, Bob had never come back at all. It had just been me and my demons, yet again.
Nicole stayed in rehab for a few weeks and got clean. She and I were inseparable drug buddies, never leaving each other’s side, but as soon as she came out clean, we didn’t have a thing to say to each other. We didn’t even know each other. We had met via a shared love of narcotics, and as soon as that had gone, we had nothing. So that was the end of that. For now…
BOB TIMMONS: When Nikki walked out of rehab in ’86, the rehab center phoned me. I happened to be in the area, and saw Nikki walking down the street. I pulled my car over and asked him what was up: he just said, “Fuck you!” So I drove real slow alongside him as he walked along and glared at me. Eventually, when I promised I wouldn’t take him back to the center, he got in my car and I drove him home. When we got there we cleared out his closet of all his drug paraphernalia. It was like an exorcism–getting rid of all the bad memories that were in his living space.
Did I know that Nikki called a dealer as soon as I’d left? No. Does it surprise me? No.
TIM LUZZI: I remember once cleaning Nikki’s house out of booze, bent spoons and all the needles that were lying in every closet and on every cabinet shelf. I thought I had found all of his drugs and paraphernalia, but it turned out later that he had hidden a stash in the brass balls on top of the bedposts. He came home, unscrewed one of them and shot up. There I was busting my balls cleaning his house out, and I didn’t check the balls.
FEBRUARY 10TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 4 a.m.
Today was mostly a wasted day in the sense that I didn’t achieve anything other than lying around on the sofa talking on the phone all day. But today felt good. I felt like my skin wasn’t crawling, my insides weren’t on the outside, but I also felt sorta flat…non-committed to life.
I wish I knew what this hole in my soul is all about. Cause let’s be honest, this isn’t about now, it’s about then…no father, no mother, no memories of a childhood other than being shuffled around the country. Nona and Tom loved me and I loved them, but something is blazingly apparent…my mother and father had other things to do than raise me, other things that interested them more…
Maybe that’s why I’ve turned out the way I have, where my rage comes from. But I don’t know how to make it go away…
NIKKI: My father left when I was very young. His name was Frank Feranna, and so was mine until I changed it in my teens because I wanted that bastard totally out of my life. My mother is named Deana and I believed she loved me when I fit into her plans, but when I was a kid she was usually nowhere to be found. When I was young, I felt every time she met a new man, she’d ship me off to live with her parents, Tom and Nona, in Idaho because I was in the way. This was an introduction to abandonment that could only lead to bad things. The whole thing left me feeling unlovable and festered into the sores of anger, rebellion and discontent. It caused a lot of the angst that I took into Mötley Crüe and my life.
DEANA RICHARDS: Nikki’s father was a very selfish person. The world revolved around him and nothing else. I left him when Nikki was ten months old, and Nikki and I went to live with my mother, Nona, and her second husband, Tom. I didn’t know what else to do—I was nineteen when I had Nikki, I had no parenting skills, and Frank was binging on drinking, drugging and going with other women. He never had any time for Nikki at all.
We never heard from Frank for five years until one day he turned up out of the blue at Lake Tahoe, where Nikki and I were living, and said he wanted to see Nikki. I asked him why, and he said, “I’m planning on getting married again and the woman I’m marrying can’t have kids, so I want to see what kind of kid he is.” He had decided to check out his son after five years to see if he was worth taking.
Nikki and I were so close when he was a little child. It was so wonderful. When he was about two or three, every time I walked in a room he would throw his arms up and shout “Darling!” and run to me. I can still remember holding him up against my chest and feeling his heartbeat, and just how precious it was to hold him.
My relationship with my own mother, Nona, was difficult. She was a very cold woman. The first time she ever put her arms around me, I was thirty-seven years old. As a child I could do nothing right and she just always asked why I couldn’t be more like my older sisters. Later, she was just horribly judgmental. I was a little wild and I might sleep with a man without being married to him, and oh my God–that was the worst thing in the world to my mother! I was just a tramp to her.
Nona had married Tom when I was sixteen and I was really angry at her for doing it. I felt that she had never shown me any love and yet she had all the time in the world to give to Tom. I thought it was really unfair.
Nona and Tom were always telling me how to raise Nikki, what to say to him, what I should be doing. They were always asking me to send Nikki to stay with them for a week or a weekend at a time, and I used to do so. But I would never have imagined that they would do what they did to me. You never imagine your own family will plot against you to steal your son.
TOM REESE: Nikki’s dad, Frank, was just a typical Californian hustler. I liked the guy, but then he went off the deep end into the drug thing.
When he was a boy, Nikki would stay with me and Nona in Idaho a lot. It might be for a few days, or sometimes it was as long as a year at a time. Nikki was real close to Nona: he was the son she never had, and she doted on him.
Nikki’s mother, Deana, was wild. She was always going off with guys. She’d meet some guy and just go off with him and leave Nikki. She’d go off with Italian guys, truck drivers…you name it. Nikki would come to stay with us for a while, then Deana would come back and take him. Then we’d have to go get him again, then she would talk him into coming to her, then she’d throw him out and we’d fetch him again–that was just the way it went.
Deana was crazy as a kid. Even when she was eight years old, she would go to a show and her sisters wouldn’t sit with her because she would end up necking with some kid. Everything came easy to her. Her sisters had to work hard to do well at school but Deana was so smart, better than everybody else. She would pick up a musical instrument and in no time she would be playing it. Deana was the smartest of the girls…but she didn’t have a brain in her head.
Nona would bend over backwards for her. What she did for the other girls, she did for Deana, but you couldn’t do anything for her. You would say, “Good morning, Deana” and she would fly off the handle at you. She’d sneak and steal and lie–we had a little restaurant and she used to wait tables for a while, but we had to stop her because she was stealing too much. We sent her to a psychiatrist, but she was cleverer than him.
You had to let Deana do what Deana was going to do–because you couldn’t do nothing else.
RANDOM LOST LYRIC
The hatred I have learned for myself Will fester in the wounds on your soul
FEBRUARY 11TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 6 p.m.
Some guy just came to the door preaching about the Lord so I told him that I worship the Devil to get rid of him. I’ve got to give it to the guy, he didn’t skip a beat, just kept on trying to save my soul. Then the phone rang and I told him I’d be right back, but I forgot he was there. I guess the dude finally took the hint and split. But he did leave me this nice little pamphlet. I think I’ll save it and give it to Vanity.
I’m meeting Riki up at the Cathouse tonight…better order a car to drive me there…I need to order a few things…I’m running low. I’ve had no toilet paper for a week. And I’m on my eighth day without a shower.
I am so into writing all this down. Sometimes when something is happening, all I can think about is getting this journal and writing. Crazy…
FEBRUARY 12TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 5:10 a.m.
Tonight started off with a bang. I scored some old school loads from this black cat who sells porno out of his house in Van Nuys…he also had some china white. We headed out to the Cathouse and it was way cool. They only played glam rock from the early ’70s. Hearing T. Rex blaring at that volume really puts a smile on my face. I remember seeing T. Rex at the Paramount Theater in Seattle as a kid right before Bolan died. Anyway…
Fuck, what a meat market that place is, girls galore and every sweet one ready for anything…so be it. Out to the limo and off with the clothes. A few lines up the nose and voila! Rock ’n’ roll cliché 101. Back into the club, back out to the car with a different chick…on and on…
So how did it change? How did I end up crouched behind my bed with my gun?
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME??????
I’m glad nobody from the club came back here with me…who knows what might have happened.
Cocaine sucks but I love it. I need to have a couple of drinks and try to sleep. I’m supposed to meet the decorator tomorrow to look at some gothic English desk. I hope I’m not too hungover again…blah blah blah…
TOM ZUTAUT: I first realized Nikki had gone beyond the point of hard partying one night in 1983 when Roy Thomas Baker threw a big party for Mötley Crüe at his house after remixing Shout at the Devil. Nikki went for it all night–too much sex, a huge pile of blow and gallons of hard liquor, not to mention whatever pills he might have ingested out of his own pocket.
At one point I mentioned to Roy that it would be a bad idea for anybody to leave, as it was clear that no one was in any condition to drive. Roy pushed a button and I heard the sounds of a prison lockdown: doors closing, gates swinging shut and dead bolts clanging. RTB explained that he never wanted any of his invited guests to get hurt, so when everyone was too high to navigate home safely, he simply locked them in and insisted they spend the night and stay for breakfast.
Nikki decided he was going home, and must have come to me a dozen times asking me where the door was. Eventually he would find a door, but with the house in lockdown mode and Nikki barely conscious, there was no way he was getting out…or so I thought.
The next day we sat down for breakfast and only one guest was missing–Nikki Sixx. We found his car a few blocks away, wrapped around a tree, and eventually we found him at his apartment with his arm in a sling, a survivor who somehow had definitely beaten the odds, given the condition he was in that night.
No one knows to this day how he managed to get out of Roy’s house that night, much less find his car keys and drive home. It made me realize that Nikki was willing to cross the line and put his life in danger with excessive drug and alcohol abuse. But that said, he also seemed to be indestructible.
Ragtime fast lane–another overdose You know James Dean wasn’t playing the role I said hey, you, what-cha gonna do When time runs out on you.
Fuck. Just woke up…what’s my excuse today?
Maybe I have the flu again…
FEBRUARY 13TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 5 p.m.
Been listening to music and playing guitar all day.
Heroes–why do we look up to them? Is it their music or their lifestyle? For me it’s both. I’m 29 years old, they say you grow outta loving rock ’n’ roll but it’s such a huge part of me. It feels like music raised me, adopted me, saved my life.
TOP TEN THIS WEEK
New York Dolls
Mott the Hoople
FEBRUARY 14TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 6:20 p.m.
I’ve decided I should do something for Valentine’s Day to mark the anniversary of the day that I died. I think I’ll call Vanity.
NIKKI: I had overdosed in London exactly a year earlier: Valentine’s Day 1986. We had played Hammersmith Odeon, and the second we left the stage I caught a taxi with Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks. He took me to a heroin apartment in a real shabby neighborhood. I was drunk, and I remember I was very impressed that the dealer had clean needles. When he offered to shoot up for me, I let him. Big mistake.
The problem with street drugs is you never really know exactly how potent they are from dealer to dealer, so I OD’d on the spot. My lips turned purple: I was gone. The story I heard was that the dealer grabbed his baseball bat and tried to beat the fucking life into me. He couldn’t, so he flung me over his shoulder to dump me in the trash, because nobody wants a dead rock star lying around.
Then I came to…and I guess I had yet another dark secret to never tell anybody.
Let me tell you, I felt like shit. When you die, every single muscle in your body hurts. Your body has closed down because it thinks it’s done, and when it gets rebooted, every inch of you hurts. Plus I’d had the shit beaten out of me with a baseball bat. The second show at Hammersmith Odeon wasn’t the happiest gig I’ve ever played.
TIM LUZZI: Nikki started taking heroin with Hanoi Rocks in Britain on the Shout at the Devil tour. Hanoi just weren’t looking right; their eyes were off. But Nikki was a most willing participant. He was always destined to get hooked on heroin, and if it hadn’t been with the dudes from Hanoi Rocks it would have been someone else.
FEBRUARY 15TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 2:15 p.m.
What the fuck was that about? Even by Vanity’s standards, last night was insane. When I called her she didn’t want to come over, and invited me to her place instead. I soon found out why when I got there. She’d been smokin’ coke for hours and looked pretty fucked, so I thought I’d join in.
Vanity was doing her crazy Art shit and we ended up doing base all night, then when it got light out she told me she felt hungry. That seemed weird because nobody gets hungry on coke but I said OK, and drove out to get bacon and eggs and orange juice. Then when I got back 10 minutes later, the guards wouldn’t let me in the gate to her complex…they said she wasn’t there. I was telling them fuck you when two black guys drove out in a Cadillac…that was weird…there are no black people there besides Vanity. She drove out 10 minutes later and I chased her down in my car and asked who the black dudes were. She said they were just friends.
Weird night. She always finds a new way to mess up my head.
NIKKI: I found out later from her sister that the two guys were dealers delivering coke. One more cute thing about Vanity back then: her car license plate said HO-HO-HO. When Prince had finished with her, he’d told her, “You ain’t nothin’ but a ho-ho-ho!” and she liked that because…she had a thing about Santa Claus. That sort of made sense in Vanityworld.
EVANGELIST DENISE MATTHEWS: I was the glutton for punishment [with Nikki] and also the punisher punishing. It wasn’t easy being high all the time and relating to another human being. He could have related better with a pet rock.
I won’t pretend that I was always there. If our relationship had been examined by a professional at that time, his diagnosis might have read, “Intensive care is much needed for this mad, neurotic, paranoid, psychotic, disturbing relationship, with egos at large coming through the door.”
I believe there is a whole phi-sod to the ph-sod of being an idol, don’t you think? We take on the mysterious role of its origin. Everybody else traveled the same road so we might as well follow the drugs, the sex, trash the hotel, the crazy parties, grow your hair longer, look the part, wear the makeup and act crazy until it kills you. The rest is simple…boy meets girl, girl gets yucky, both get woozy and call it love, oh yes…sick!
Her love is like a swimming pool Winter comes and it’s no use to you Her love is like a suicide Lose your faith and it takes your life Her love is like a merry-go-round Spins you in circles then it knocks you down Her love is like cheap alcohol Morning comes and you don’t remember at all Her love is like a Cheshire cat At first so friendly but at you it laughs Her love is like a passionate kiss At first so sweet then it takes your breath Her love is like the stars above Your guiding light always leaves you lost Her love is like Jesus Christ No matter how much faith You still die on the cross
FEBRUARY 17TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 1 a.m.
Today I didn’t drink, mostly because I’m pissing blood again. It will pass–it always does, right? I think I’ve done pretty good today.
I am reading a great book called Junkie by William Burroughs. I never really cared for Naked Lunch.
FEBRUARY 18TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 2:30 a.m.
Slash came over today. We were playing guitar and having a few drinks and watching MTV and I went for a piss. When I came back, Slash was looking at me funny. He asked me why I still have my Christmas tree up with unopened presents under it. That’s a good question…
SLASH: My first memory of Nikki was seeing him playing with his band London at the Starwood. I was about fourteen at the time, and he was just this charismatic glam punk bass player who made a real big impression on me. Then I remember him coming to my high school and giving out fliers to a Mötley Crüe show at the Whisky A Go-Go to all the hot chicks.
Mötley Crüe was America’s Sex Pistols. On a musical level they had some catchy songs and cool lyrics, but they were all about the attitude and the image. They were the only band coming out of the LA scene, apart from maybe Van Halen, who had any sincerity and took what they were doing seriously, and it was all down to Nikki. He just had this focus, a real sense of direction.
I hung out with Nikki at his house a little in ’86 and I found a sickening allure in his lifestyle. My worst junkie years were behind me by then, but I was drinking like fuck: I’d start the day with a Jack and coffee. My junkie years were dirty and sordid, but Nikki seemed to me to have found a cool, glamorous way to be a junkie.
Guns N’ Roses still hadn’t taken off then so I was still a street kid, but let me be honest…if I’d had Nikki’s money, I would have been living exactly the same way that he was.
FEBRUARY 19TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 6:15 p.m.
Just got back from antique shopping. Bought some old books. Tonight I’m gonna read one called Five Years Dead…it seems kinda fitting.
What is it about antiques that intrigue me? There’s a feeling of history, a story not so plain to see, that seeps from the wood. It somehow makes me feel comfortable. I almost bought an old coffin today, but I couldn’t think where to keep it in this house. The house is shrinking.
I’ve lost so much weight. None of my clothes fit anymore.
FEBRUARY 20TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 4 a.m.
So I’ve started writing a song called Five Years Dead. I guess it’s another attempt at capturing what Aerosmith did on their first album…what a great record. It brings back all the best and worst memories from Seattle. How I survived those days I just don’t know.
ROSS HALFIN: That was how Nikki got his song titles. He told me he used to just get old books and steal their titles. “Five Years Dead” was only one example–there were plenty more.
FIVE YEARS DEAD
Uptown downtown Haven’t seen your face around Paper said you shot a man Trigger-happy punk down in Chinatown
FEBRUARY 21ST, 1987
Van Nuys, 2:45 a.m.
I wonder what my sister’s doing right now. I wonder if she hates me for hating Mom. I wonder a lot of things…
1. Does my dad know who I am?
2. Does my band hate me and wanna find another bass player?
3. How’s Lisa?
4. Will I ever have a family?
5. What would happen if someone found these diaries?
NIKKI: Lisa was my sister I never knew. After she was born, a year after me, all I remember was that my sister had vanished. I never knew where she’d gone until I was older. Lisa’s whereabouts intrigued and troubled me all my life, but it wasn’t until the late ’90s that I discovered she was living in a sanatorium. I knew that she had Down’s syndrome and other major health issues but, to be honest, it was all a huge mystery to me.
In a heart-to-heart conversation with my mom, I discovered where Lisa was just before I toured the New Tattoo album. When I called the people who had cared for her all these years, they told me they remembered me from when I was a boy. I said I was told that we couldn’t see her because it would upset her, and it was better never to visit. They told me, “No, that’s not true–we always wondered why you never came to visit.” I said that I was a musician, and they told me Lisa’s only pleasure in life was listening to the radio. She was living in San Jose, where we had played many concerts.
My heart sank and my anger soared. Oh God, I thought, more misinformation, and I arranged to visit her as soon as the tour had finished and vowed to do something to help change her life. By the time the dates ended, she had died, and all I could do was build an angel statue with wings in her memory. It’s one of my life’s huge regrets that I never knew her. I used to blame my mother, but now I know I had the power to force my way into Lisa’s life.
I’ll never forget holding her little hand in the casket and looking down at her sweet face. We had the same eyebrows. We never had a chance to be together. I cried harder than I ever had in my life.
DEANA RICHARDS: When Lisa was born, doctors knew very little about mongoloidism. All they knew was that mongoloid children had two genes instead of one. Lisa was a very extreme case of Down’s syndrome. The majority of Down’s syndrome kids reach a mental age of anywhere between three and ten years old. Lisa never reached that. She never walked, couldn’t feed herself, nothing–she literally had the mind of a newborn baby all her life.
When Lisa was born the doctors told me, “Don’t take her home, she will never be all right, she will never live.” But when she was two months old I went to the hospital and took her out. The doctors said, “You can’t do this, she is going to die,” and I said, “Well, then she will die in my arms, at home.” I took her home and tried to take care of her, but her father and I broke up, and I couldn’t afford the constant care of the doctors and nurses and everything. I became quite ill myself trying to look after her, and Nikki was getting totally ignored.
I managed to find a little private hospital just outside Scotts Valley, California, that took care of Down’s syndrome sufferers. They wanted Lisa there, but to get her cared for, I had give up my legal right to her and make her a ward of the state of California. I signed away my daughter, and the people who ran the hospital told me to walk away and never look back. I asked why, and they said, “Because it will only rip you apart. Lisa doesn’t know you. She will never be anything but what she is today, and you will just tear your life apart.”
I wouldn’t listen and I made a lot of financial sacrifices to go see her every week, but it got to the point where Nikki, who was now three, was feeling so neglected that he would just sit on the floor and rock. I had to make a choice–it was Lisa or him. So I stopped going to see Lisa and started spending more time with Nikki. Things with Nikki started improving then…for a while, at least.
Nikki should not feel guilty about any of that. He never had any control over what happened to her, nor did I. There would have been no point in him going to see her because she wouldn’t have known who he was, and when strangers came in, she got upset. For years, I thought I had done something terribly wrong to deserve all that happened to Lisa. Then eventually I realized she was a special gift from God.
CECI COMER: Whenever Mom talked about Lisa she was always soft-spoken and heartbroken, and you could tell it was excruciatingly painful. She never denied us information but she was hesitant about visits–I remember asking several times if we could go see Lisa and it made Mom cry. She stopped visiting because it would make Lisa go into fits and be upset and withdrawn for days, and Mom was under the impression that complete strangers would have the same effect–or worse.
I’ve been thinking for a while, why do I always buy such pissy amounts of dope? I just use it all right away, then I have to wait for Jason to come around and see his stupid face every day. Why don’t I buy in bulk and just see him every week?
I’m waiting for Jason now. He’s coming over with 1 oz of Persian and a 2 oz bag of blow…I should have done this a long fucking time ago.
FEBRUARY 22ND, 1987
Van Nuys, 5:30 a.m.
Tonight may have been the worst of my life–which really is saying something. After Jason left I started shooting up, and the insanity kicked in right away. I don’t remember going to my closet, but I was there, freaking out, knowing the cops outside had followed Jason here and were outside the house coming in…
I was banging so much that I knew I had to puke.
I was too scared to get to the toilet so I just puked in the closet…I only made it to the toilet when the cops were at the door…I flushed the entire stash…
Then I came down…nobody had been here…nothing had happened…I am truly insane. I had to call Jason to get more gear. He couldn’t believe I’d flushed it…nor can I…what an asshole…
NIKKI: This was a spasmodic occurrence. I would decide to buy drugs in bulk, then would invariably binge as soon as I got them, freak out and flush them away. Once I did it twice in one night, and Jason said he had no more supply left. And then he asked me, “What the fuck is wrong with you flushing drugs, anyway?” I guess you know you’re in a bad way when your antics are exhausting the patience of junkie drug dealers.
My nose is all chapped Got a knife in my back Got a nasty reputation And I’m getting too thin Now my friends all laugh How I fell for the crack Hooray for addiction What a mess I’m in
FEBRUARY 24TH, 1987
Van Nuys 11:30 p.m.
I felt hungover and strung out in rehearsal but Five Years Dead sounds badass and the album is gonna turn out OK. What does it say about me that I can write songs when I feel like I’m dying? I wonder what I would be writing if I were straight…
TOM ZUTAUT: Nikki was a pretty intense, driven individual, so when he first started dabbling, he seemed to be kicking back a little and finally able to enjoy the fruits of his hard work to get Mötley Crüe to the top. We didn’t realize it was heroin at first–he just seemed a little dreamy, and nodded off on a few phone calls.
When I realized it was junk I voiced my concern to Nikki, and he assured me he was stopping and had it under control. When it didn’t stop I mentioned it to the band’s management, who told me they were dealing with it. Once I realized exactly how big his problem was, I was very worried about him–it seemed like the train was moving so fast and drawing in so much cash that nobody wanted to stop the cash flow by dealing with the abuse of sex, drugs and alcohol.
FEBRUARY 26TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 4:20 a.m.
Could I pay someone to kill my girlfriend?
Vanity came to rehearsal…Jesus, I try my best to look normal around the band and then she shows up like that. A year ago, I would have been ashamed at her cackling, throwing those fucking Prince dance moves and hanging off my neck while I was trying to play. Her eyes were fucked…she must have been freebasing all night. I told her to shut the fuck up and she got in my face and asked what I was gonna do.
What could I do? I just turned and walked out of rehearsal. Left her there with the guys in the band.
TOMMY LEE: There was something real crazy about Vanity. She would just turn up at a rehearsal and jump up on a road case and start dancing randomly, out of nowhere. We’d be trying to rehearse and Vanity would be doing this strange little burlesque show. When I first met her, she seemed cool, but then it all changed.
Nikki and I were freebasing a little back then. Vanity was into that as well, and Nikki claimed she got him started on it. But Sixx is a big boy–he can’t blame Vanity; it was his doing. Back then Sixx was like a big spider’s web, and he would bring others into his little fucking dark world. They would either a) never leave, or b) get so fucked up that they would panic, get out of there and leave him to it.
EVANGELIST DENISE MATTHEWS: Nikki and I had very different tastes in music, religion, food, movies—you name it. It made for a relationship built on chaos and confusion, like two people getting stuck in an avalanche that never stopped rolling downhill. Life was full of surprises, with too many bruises and not enough Band-Aids. The highs were too high and the lows were as deep as Hades, the home of the dead.
Was I happy? Well, happy is all that you know it to be when you’re a kid parading, masquerading and raising yourself in this crooked, wicked world. Back then, it was like giving candy to a baby, or more like chocolate cake…all you can eat. Then the candles burn out and you burn out, and wake up wallowing on the plateau of stupidity.
I am happier today than I ever was. I am only unhappy when I am not paying attention and listening to God’s voice for simple direction. The struggle is less because I quit fighting with God as much and now try to submit to his will (the Bible) faster. Life is a series of hits and misses and tests that never end, but the reward is when you win Heaven just because you gave it your best try.
True happiness comes when you obey the Scriptures. My morals and values have greatly changed and, because of my faith in Jesus, quite often pain and suffering breed growth. I dig doing what’s right. I hate pain.
FEBRUARY 27TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 10:50 p.m.
Vanity left when Pete came over today. We have decided to have a party. I’m waiting for Jason now, and Pete has gone down to Sunset to pick up some girls from the strip clubs and bring them back here. It’s never hard to persuade them.
LET US PREY
Seven million bodies
Beneath my hands
War was such a simple
Game to play
Preachers do my bidding yet
Blame me for their sins
Altar boys are taken in dismay
Kill and eat your neighbors
Gas a subway in Japan
I got more apocalyptic plans
Before I was so strung out, I used to go out and pick up girls and bring them back myself. Now I’m too reclusive to do it. Every time I go out, somebody gets in my face and wants something from me, and I just can’t handle it. It’s not just the drugs, it’s the fame…it’s overwhelming these days to go anywhere. We’re on the cover of every magazine on the newsstand.
FEBRUARY 28TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 6:15 a.m.
Well, that was quite a night…until I brought it crashing to a halt as usual.
Pete came back around two with 20 girls and all hell broke loose. I was pretty drunk, and ended up fucking a girl in the bathroom while another girl banged on the door. Then when we were done, the second girl came in, got mad at me for screwing her friend, then fucked me as well. I’m pretty sure Pete fucked them both too. What about the other 17 or 18 girls? I can’t keep track.
It was a cool night until about five, when the coke came out again. I was just gonna do a few lines, then suddenly I was wired and just wanted everyone out of my house. I couldn’t bear them being here. So I told Pete to tell everyone to get the fuck out. I don’t need anything but my drugs, my guitar and my journal.
TIM LUZZI: Nikki once showed me his heroin den in his closet. There must have been a hundred two-inch-by-two-inch pieces of torn aluminum foil covered in dark stains lying on the floor. He also took me in there once and shot up in front of me. He had the rig, the spoon, needle, cotton, flame, tie-off…that was wickedly sick. Nikki asked me to do it as well, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Yuppies dressed up as satanic clowns Commit another suicide just to please the crowds And this anti-freeze is how we shoot the breeze…With this bottle and keys we'll drive off in our disease…Handsome dreams dressed up as a scheme And the reason for a gun is to prey on the meek…Last year’s haggard housewife scored a sedative as a lover Sits on her kitchen floor and eats from the same gun as her mother. God bless the weak?
I just had an outrageous memory from last night. Right before I broke out the blow and decided to end the party, this big redhead girl I’d never seen before dragged me into the bathroom and gave me a blow job. She never said a word until she was done, then she said you’ll never forget me, right? I agreed, then I’d forgotten her 20 minutes later. I need to take it easy for a few days…
ROSS HALFIN: Women always liked Nikki because he had the je ne sais quoi of a rock star but also a really innocent face, like the guy next door. He’d always fuck the ugliest women, though. He’d meet an ugly girl and tell me, “Dude, no matter how fucked up I am, don’t let me bone her,” but he’d always end up going off with them. Always. He just seemed to like doing the most extreme thing possible.