…. HE SAYS IF YOU DON'T CHANGE YOUR WAYS YOU WONT LIVE UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR
DECEMBER 1ST, 1987
Van Nuys, 1:50 p.m.
Abdul is coming over while Karen is at work. I feel so burned out, ripped and torn from the tour right now and I need a break from reality…hence Abdul. I’m so tired of being tired. I feel like I’m vanishing into a ghost right before the world’s eyes.
I really don’t think the office knows how brittle we’ve become. Karen doesn’t know that I know she’s a spy. I must be careful to have Abdul come at the right times. His appearance is a dead giveaway–he looks like a decaying rat, even more so than me. Karen could see him coming a mile off ’cause he looks like junk. Karen is a girl who’s blind as a bat to dealers but even a bat could see he’s bad news.
I wonder how the guys are doing. I know whenever a tour ends I feel like a stranger in my own home. Without room service it’s hard to even figure out how to eat. Gate just buzzed…gotta go…
DECEMBER 2ND, 1987
Van Nuys, 3:45 p.m.
Just laid around yesterday feeling nothing, no remorse and no celebration. Actually I’m lying, I feel hatred, but for whom I’ve forgotten…does it really matter anymore? Maybe not.
The sky is gray outside today and it makes me feel safe, like I’m under a huge down comforter and I’m drifting off to sleep. I bought $5k worth of dope yesterday ’cause I don’t wanna see Abdul every day for a few reasons. I don’t think I can face seeing anybody right now ’cause I’m on the verge of having a human contact breakdown. The tour has left me completely without personality. Also Karen is keeping an eye on me and visitors will set off red flags.
I will venture from my bedroom soon but for now I’m praying the clouds don’t lift.
DECEMBER 3RD, 1987
Van Nuys, 4:20 p.m.
Been shooting dope 4 or 5 times a day. The good news is I won’t have bad tracks if I stay on track (there’s a cool lyric)…it feels so good to not feel. My nerves have been like live wires for months and months. People, they just wear you down, they get in close, look in your eyes and say stupid shit. You have to restrain yourself or you come off as a heartbreak to them, especially if you’re their hero.
Mostly Vince has the most impact on my sanity. I may be an asshole, Tommy may be self-centered, Mick may be a recluse and insane but Vince is a drama queen and that wears you down…little episode-by-episode temper tantrums. When you’re brittle it doesn’t take an earthquake to wear you down. Repeated tremors do the job just fine.
Karen is coming home from Doc’s office in a few hours. I guess I need to use the old junkie fave excuse that I think I’m coming down with something…maybe the flu…I just can’t get out of bed…
DECEMBER 5TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 2:30 a.m.
It’s official, I feel strung out again.
I guess I knew it all along.
DECEMBER 6TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 2:05 p.m.
Today would have been Nona’s birthday. I feel too ashamed to call Tom and ask how he’s doing. I’m sure he’s sitting somewhere with a broken heart too. So I sit here and shoot dope in my bedroom alone. Watching TV, watching life pass me by–I went from a kid with a dream to a loser, a hero to a zero. I hope she can’t see me now ’cause who I turned out to be would break her heart. I was a good kid, she loved me, I guess I just didn’t love myself enough and now that I’m unraveling I must be a true disappointment. I’d say I’ll see her soon, but I know as you do diary, if there is a heaven, it’s not where I’ll be going…
Nona, I’m out of my head without you…
DECEMBER 7TH, 1987
Van Nuys, midnight
I’m heading down a road I know I shouldn’t be going but I can’t seem to find the brakes. I’m not sure I want to find them. Abdul told me today he’s taken to selling blow to a select few since the junk business isn’t doing so good. I told him I was enjoying not having to worry daily about deliveries since I bought quantity from him and I would take 1 oz if he could get some pure pink. He said he has a lead to get it before it gets cut but I’d have to pay extra so he didn’t have to step on it and I’m fine with that…I have more money than I can ever spend so what’s an extra $500 to me? I don’t wanna start cooking and all that hassle plus Karen is still watching me like a hawk. I know the minute she walks into the office it’s always the same–How’s Nikki? I’ve even taken to calling the office before I shoot up to throw everybody off my track (wow, another song title). Abdul said he’d bring me 100 fresh rigs when he comes over. I’m running low and you triple your shots with coke. Now, the dilemma–do I shoot so I don’t get caught, and when I go into Japan, how do I hide the tracks?
I have to tell you I don’t feel like I’ll ever be off this shit and I’m settling into being OK with that. If I could just fade away I might be the happiest I’ve ever been…
Pete stopped by and we shared a shot…he’s strung out again too.
KAREN DUMONT: Doc and Doug liked the fact I was staying at Nikki’s because they hoped it would be grounding for him, but they never asked me to spy on him. I’d tell them that we’d had a good weekend but that was pretty much it. Nikki wasn’t straight, but he hid it well because he knew I can’t handle being around anyone drugged out of their mind and I would have just taken off. There was a dealer who would come late at night and ring the gate bell. I would answer and tell him to go away, then Nikki and I would fight about it. If I was there, they wouldn’t get in, so I guess Nikki had to plan other visits.
DECEMBER 8TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 7:30 p.m.
Karen asked me why when I go to the store I only buy plastic lemons and ice cream. I told her I use the lemon in my tea after she goes to work and the ice cream–I just have a sweet tooth lately…
I haven’t really eaten food in a week…junk is like that. So Karen has to go to the store and buy real food, which I never eat. I tell her I eat when she’s at work. I’m getting so thin it’s hard to find clothes to fit in my closet. Of course, they say you can never be too rich or too thin.
NIKKI: I’d use the plastic lemons to cook up my Persian heroin with. You can use real lemons but they are such a hassle. I would have garbage bags of used plastic lemons in my bedroom and the maid would ask me if she could throw them away and I’d say no. Nothing is worse for a junkie who’s using Persian than running out of lemon for your dope…other than running out of dope. I remember going into the market with a shopping cart and wandering up and down the aisles. I must have spent hours there and only bought lemons and ice cream. What a beautiful picture of decay I must have been to all the mothers doing their weekly family shopping.
DECEMBER 11TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 3:10 p.m.
I just woke up and realized today is my birthday. I ran to the machine to check it…no messages. Nobody has called to wish me a Happy Birthday. No presents, no cards, nothing. Nice. Wake up junk sick with a head full of sorrow.
I have to go to Japan tomorrow and I know I’m gonna kick on the plane just like I did in ’85. Karen knows something is up but as with all things junkie, I’m good at hiding it. My arms on the other hand tell a torrid tale. Thank God it’s December because if it was summer it would be highly suspect wearing a long sleeve shirt and a leather jacket all the time. I haven’t had sex since the tour…I’ve lost all drive or interest.
Abdul came by. He gave me a balloon of high-grade china for my birthday. He said if I wanted he could get me a great price if I bought bulk like I did the Persian. I’m not sure if this is what you’d call a conventional birthday gift but considering it’s my only one, I’ll take it.
I’ve yet to unpack from the US leg of the tour so I’m gonna dump my clothes out and grab some clean clothes so I’m ready to go tomorrow. I feel sorry for my maid–she hasn’t been in my bedroom in almost two weeks. It smells like death in here. I gotta dispose of everything before I leave, I know Karen will snoop…
Just got back from the store. I need a few things for my trip to Japan. Karen said I should take a shower ’cause I smell. I’ll try but I’m so strung out and I just don’t give a fuck anymore.
This is sad, but it’s my destiny.
DECEMBER 12TH, 1987
On the plane to Tokyo, 5 p.m.
I brought a small amount of dope to snort but I ran out 6 hours or so ago. I’m going into a kick. Everybody keeps saying how much weight I lost. I told them I was dieting and stopped drinking…at least the drinking part is true ’cause junkies hate alcohol. But right about now I need a shot and Jack is all there is. I got a stash of Valium to help but even that can’t remove this pain. Fuck, I’m feeling like shit…sweating up a storm. It’s amazing what a difference 12 days can make in your life. I went from completely drunk and coked out to strung out again.
This is my second trip to Japan on a kick. It’s fucked but good, ’cause one thing I know is you can’t get junk in Japan…at least, I haven’t ever been able to. Thank God…
DOC McGHEE: While Mötley was in Japan they basically tortured poor Mr. Udo the promoter, who is the nicest man on the planet. When we got to Tokyo they found some pot in Tommy’s drum case at the airport so the cops took all our equipment. Tommy didn’t have a clue how serious that could be. He just said, “Dude, what’s a little pot?” Mötley just didn’t understand–or care–that in Japan there is a very low tolerance for any kind of disturbance. When we got to the hotel, Tommy dropped a wine bottle out of a tenth-story window and couldn’t figure out why that might have been a big deal.
IF YOU CAN’T MANAGE THE UNMANAGEABLE, THEN HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF A MANAGER?
DECEMBER 13TH, 1987 SOGO TAIKIKAN RAINBOW HALL, NAGOHAI JAPAN
Backstage, 5 p.m.
Getting ready to go onstage. I’m so sick. I keep to my lie that I must have the flu but everybody knows the truth…it’s an unspoken truth. I’m gonna go out and sweat some of this poison out. I’m very jet-lagged and feeling depressed. Trying to smile and be up but to be honest this is the worst it’s ever been…but I knew what I was getting into.
DECEMBER 14TH, 1987 FESTIVAL HALL, OSAKA, JAPAN
Hotel, Nagoya, 2 a.m.
Still awake, can’t sleep. My legs are cramping so bad and the Valium isn’t doing much good. Everybody got smashed and fucked lil Japanese girls. I couldn’t fuck if I wanted to…
NIKKI: You know what’s not glamorous? Throwing up and shitting at the same time during junk withdrawal. Something’s not going to get in the toilet bowl. Can you imagine the look on those sweet lil Japanese housekeeping ladies’ faces?
On the bullet train to Osaka, 2 p.m.
Didn’t get much sleep…mostly on and off. I’m almost over the kick, now it’s just the jones. Thank God for pills.
I’m on the bullet train. These fans are amazing, it’s like we’re the Beatles over here. It’s basically a riot, all screaming Nikki! Tommy! Nikki! Tommy! They seem to love me and T-Bone here for some strange reason. I would think it would be Vince, with his blonde hair and California cool. He’s perfect to be idolized here.
The sick thing is, they keep saying, Oh Nikki-san, we so sorry you have a flu! Fucking lies travel fast…gonna try to sleep.
Just got to Osaka. Last night’s show was fucking crazy…I can’t believe it–the band seems to be in love again. But fucking Emi is still with Mick like she’s his girlfriend or something. Fucking whore!
Sound check time.
DECEMBER 15TH, 1987 DAY OFF
Hotel, Tokyo, 5 a.m.
Just got out of jail…will write later…
Hotel, 11:45 a.m.
Well, I feel like shit…not from last night’s event, from my head killing me. So let me see if I can piece last night together. We played a show, got on the bullet train to come back to Tokyo, me and Tommy started drinking a lot. We were pouring drinks on Emi and starting trouble and then I sort of blacked out. I guess I threw a Jack Daniel’s bottle at some Japs or something. I sorta remember being in jail and Doc and Mr. Udo being there. I guess I’ll make some calls and see who’s mad and who thinks it’s funny.
First some shitty runny eggs…eating eggs in Japan is like committing hari-kari.
TOMMY LEE: Dude, we were just being an ugly American drunk fucking rock band on that bullet train. We looked like fucking freaks. We were pouring JD on Emi, then Nikki thought somebody was looking at him wrong so he just cocked the Jack bottle and heaved it across the passenger car. It smashed against the wall, and glass and whisky went all over this fucking Japanese businessman who got up and freaked the fuck out. Then we pulled into the station and it was lined up with police officers. The Japanese guy pointed Nikki out and they took him to jail. I think he was even doing blow in the holding pen area. He had it hidden in his sock.
MICK MARS: I still think Nikki threw the bottle down the bullet train because of me and Emi. He had thrown a load of rice and crap all over our seats and down our necks and then suddenly he came at us all pinned. His face had turned about fifteen shades of red with anger. He started yelling at me and was going to hit me with the JD bottle, but at the last second he spun around and threw it down the end of the train, and it smashed all over a bunch of people at the front.
VINCE NEIL: Nikki and Tommy were completely out of control on the bullet train, and I was totally embarrassed by it. They were just being awful to the Japanese people, yelling, “Fuck you–you lost the war!” to these sixty-year-old businessmen who didn’t know who Mötley Crüe was; they were just on their way home from work and had these fucking psychos yelling and throwing bottles of JD at them when they probably didn’t even understand English. It was totally unacceptable. When Nikki got arrested I just said to Mick, “Fuck these guys, let’s not get involved with this.” I didn’t give a shit if Nikki went to jail and stayed there. I just thought, You know what? You’ve dug your own grave.
DOC McGHEE: When we arrived in Tokyo there were a hundred police waiting to arrest Nikki. Tommy wanted to fight them and kept yelling for them to arrest him too. I told the police chief, “Look, I’m the manager. Can we talk about this?” and he said, “You the manager? Under arrest!” So they dragged Nikki and me away. We were sitting in the cells and if I could have unhandcuffed my hands I would have beaten the shit out of him. Nikki was so far out of it he was just saying to me, “Dude, shall I show them my tattoos?” Mr. Udo had to come to the police station at four o’clock in the morning and we had to sign an apology note for the guy who had been hit with the bottle.
NIKKI: I remember Fred Saunders telling me that when I was in jail in Tokyo, I asked the police captain, “If my balls were on your chin, where would my dick be?” The police captain asked what I had said and the translator told him that I had said I was very sorry and didn’t mean any disrespect. I guess that was the Mötley Crüe way. Somebody was always bailing us out of trouble.
DECEMBER 16TH, 1987 NIPPON BUDOKAN TOKYO, JAPAN(SHOW 1)
Hotel, Tokyo 2 p.m.
Lately I’ve been slipping deeper into thoughts of…why? I don’t know why, I just am slipping deeper. Some days I don't know how much longer I can hold on, or why I would even want to. You’d think I’d be excited about selling out three nights at the Budokan but I’m rotting inside and all I smell is my putrid past…it haunts me. Maybe to you it would seem like a surface burn but the pain is too deep for surgery.
P.S. I’m so lonely I called Vanity. It must have been the cocaine I got from the Yakuza…
P.P.S. Fucking Tommy pisses me off. He says I punched him in the face last night–I fucking should have. Vince almost got shot by a Yakuza. Interesting evening. Nobody in the band is talking to each other. Lovely…fucking lovely…
DECEMBER 17TH, 1987 NIPPON BUDOKAN TOKYO, JAPAN(SHOW 2)
Hotel, Tokyo, noon
Another show last night…like I do anything else! We got offstage early as usual here in Japan. I went straight into a blackout drunk. I can’t seem to stay sober ’cause my guts are trying to kill me. I know I’m dying from depression. I feel like a lost soul…like the only person left on Earth. If I died, would anybody cry? It seems to me by putting myself out of my misery I’d be killing two birds with one stone.
Rich Fisher said I called the hotel front desk and complained about the fans banging on my window last night. Fuck–I’m on the 26th floor. I’m losing it…unraveling at the seams. And this is news?
P.S. I have press today but everybody can fuck off. I’m not showing up…
DECEMBER 18TH, 1987 NIPPON BUDOKAN TOKYO, JAPAN(SHOW 3)
Backstage, 10 p.m.
Just got offstage. Last show of the year. I don’t wanna be on the road and I don’t wanna go home. If I go home I’ll get strung out again. I’m going to Bangkok to explore. I got $50k in cash coming from the accountant and everybody is telling me, “No.” I’m so sick of all these assholes. Let me live or die my way. I know I’m your meal ticket, but haven’t you milked it enough? If I don’t come back you make millions on the dead rock star merchandise…
I’m done, I’m fried and I don’t care. My heart is broken from my childhood. I’m worn to the bone from being driven like a slave and I’ve lost my will to do anything but fade…please…
DECEMBER 19TH, 1987
Hotel, Tokyo, 11 a.m.
Well, today I was shot down in flames.
Doc and everybody demanded that I don’t go to Bangkok and said in exchange Doc and Mr. Udo would go to Hong Kong with me. I just don’t wanna go home so this is better than nothing–but they only gave me $15k in cash! I sometimes wonder why I let them lead me by a ring in my nose like a cow on its way to slaughter. I have every intention of ditching Doc and Udo but I’ll play like I’m excited to go (for now…).
I have a plane to catch and I can’t find my clothes so I’d better figure out what happened last night. I’m so bummed. It’s Christmas and I don't have a reason to go home. Is there anybody out there? Or am I gonna be a rock ’n’ roll casualty? Is death an option? Or am I a fucking martyr? Why am I alive? Why do I care? What do I care about? Am I a…
Fuck me, I hate me…fuck off and die already…
ANYBODY OUT THERE?
I'm gonna die You're gonna die We gotta live for tonight 'cause we're runnin' Out of time Lookin' for a lover? Let me ask ya Is anybody out there?
KAREN DUMONT: Doc McGhee was so depressed and embarrassed about Nikki in Japan because Doc really respected Mr. Udo and saw him as a friend as well as a business partner. Doc offered to take Mr. Udo to Hong Kong to make amends and they were talking about it when Nikki came wandering over and said, “Hong Kong? That sounds great–I’d love to come!” Mr. Udo, being so polite, said, “Please come with us.” Doc was just dying of shame.
TOMMY LEE: I actually thought deciding to go to Hong Kong was one of Nikki’s more sober moments. He didn’t want to go home because that meant the party was over and he told me he wanted to buy some furniture for his home. He seemed really sincere about wanting to go to Hong Kong and get amazing deals on furniture.
VINCE NEIL: When Nikki announced he wasn’t coming back to LA but was going to Hong Kong I couldn’t have cared less. I didn’t give it a second thought, just said, “Fine, have a nice time, ’bye.” We weren’t close in any way and I wanted to keep my distance from him because he was fucking bad news.
On a plane to Hong Kong, 4 p.m.
Mr. Udo just said to me, Nikki-san, you’re gonna die if you don’t stop. He said he told the same thing to Tommy Bolin and Tommy didn’t listen. He died a few days later. Udo looked like he was gonna cry. It made me feel loved…more than my father ever did.
Hotel, Hong Kong, 7:20 p.m.
Doc, Mr. Udo and me are going to go to a Chinese restaurant that Mr. Udo says is one of the best in the world. I haven’t eaten in a few days. I’m too weak to attempt to go out afterwards. When I told Doc, he breathed a sigh of relief. Oh Doc, you’re not getting off that easy. Tomorrow is just around the corner and hell only a few feet away. Sounds poetic, doesn’t it? Right. Off to dinner…
P.S. I smell so bad. I haven’t showered since LA and I can see people actually look repulsed when they get a whiff of me. Sometimes I stand next to people just to fuck with them. I didn't bring any clothes with me, just cash. Fuck, what else do I need?
DECEMBER 20TH, 1987
Hotel, Hong Kong, 11 a.m.
I have an interpreter Li meeting me in an hour and I’m gonna buy some antiques for the house. Doc said he will join me. I’m feeling good since I slept but I still don’t have any interest in a shower or food.
I have a feeling of relief at being away from everybody. If I could just disappear into some place like this, maybe I could find myself. My life is loud. Everywhere I go, people are talking to me, but nothing is as loud as the screams in my head. They are far off, distant, and I can’t make out the words…I have come to realize it’s most likely the drugs. They are always calling me. Right now I have given up. I really don’t care anymore…they win! To be honest my life has been an abortion. Or at least it should have been.
If being a rock star is an accomplishment I’ve failed miserably and I feel miserable. Be careful what you wish for as they say (whoever they are). I commend them. They were right…rotting is painful. Isn’t there an easier way? To go shopping for antique snot wondering if you will be alive at Christmas is about as empty as you can feel. It’s like trying to enjoy the last cigarette before your execution.
Hotel, 5 p.m.
Just got back…Li (a girl) looked horrified when she saw me. I think the tangles in my hair and the days of growth on my face add to my homeless look. Anyway I bought a beautiful Chinese table for my dining room…cherry wood, pearl cherry blossom…quite the cliché to be honest but I like it. I ordered some food and I’m getting ready to go out tonight…
Just woke up passed out facedown on the bed with a bottle of Jack and a steak next to me. I guess they just brought my room service in. I wonder what they thought.
DECEMBER 21TH, 1987
Hotel, Hong Kong, 1 p.m.
Well last night was an interesting evening…an exercise in excess…
Mr. Udo, Doc and myself had a few drinks in the bar and went off to a club that’s actually a brothel. There were two ballrooms, two bands playing–I can’t believe I’m in Hong Kong and I heard a band play a Mötley song in a whorehouse. We were escorted (no pun intended) to a private booth where we had 4 bottles of Cristal, 2 bottles of Jack, 1 bottle of vodka and huge plates of food…this is one of those things I have to write down…
So this is how it worked…there were beautiful girls walking around with number tags on them. You tell the madam what number you want and any special requests (a white dress, black boots or anything else that takes your fancy)…in other words they are there to please on every level. At one point I noticed Number 800…fucking 800 girls to pick from! I picked about 8 numbers and the evening began. They will take you in the back but for a few extra American dollars they will meet you at your hotel so I remember asking the madam if I could have a girl in a nun’s habit with army boots and seeing Doc wince…he probably knew this was just the tip of the iceberg. Well, I got the nun outfit organized but they had no army or more importantly Nazi boots to add to the mix…the other girls were run-of-the-mill whores…perfect as imperfection could be…
My real intention was to find drugs and lo and behold (after all isn’t that what strippers and whores are really for?) a gram of junk is 100 bucks…beats the 500 I pay at home…so I got a gram of coke and a quarter of china white (easy to sniff)…as the evening wore on I decided to grab the girls and go back to the hotel…but not before I sent a bunch of girls to Mr. Udo’s room. Funny how when I do nice things I always seem to step in shit…Doc called this morning saying that Mr. Udo was insulted…fucking hell…just when I thought things were going good…
Well the kicker to the story is I woke up with all my clothes on and all my money and drugs gone…I have no idea what happened and I guess I don’t care. Doc nervously asked me to go back to LA…this is my chance to ditch the fucking No Fun Police, so I agreed. Good news, we’re on different flights, so I ain’t gonna make my flight…once Doc and Mr. Udo are in the air I’m grabbing Li and heading out…
DOC McGHEE: Nikki sent prostitutes to my door and to Mr. Udo’s door. They turned up in the middle of the night. As a parting joke when I left the club I’d said to Nikki, “Don’t send us any girls in Nazi helmets and Gestapo boots,” and he must have thought I meant it because they turned up in helmets but not the boots. As I opened my door to them, Mr. Udo called me and said, “Nikki has sent three girls to my room!” Poor Udo was out of his mind. I had to do a buyout and give the women some money just to go away.
I have a 9 p.m. flight tonight–not that I’ll be catching it, ha ha! Doc has a 6 p.m. and Mr. Udo is leaving now. I need to find a bank, I don’t have any cash but at least those fucking whores didn’t steal my credit cards…
I guess I should call home. I haven’t called in weeks…
I’m alone. It’s not nice…
Waves of depression come over me, then anger, then disinterest. I’m already drunk, I guess, if half a bottle of Jack is drunk. I actually don't feel anything, but maybe that’s just me. I’m going out tonight to walk around. I don’t have any plans. I leave tomorrow and I’m sure Doc will have a fucking coronary when he finds out I didn't make my flight.
I told Li not to tell anybody or I’d have to kill her. Then I smiled…she didn’t…
I put a call in to Abdul…he’s gonna meet me at LAX tomorrow. I’m having a limo pick him up and I told him to bring a precooked Persian shot with him. I can’t wait…my mouth is watering…at least it shuts up the screams.
DECEMBER 22TH, 1987
Hotel, Hong Kong, 4 a.m.
I’ve been back a few hours. I’m bored…nothing happened. I think Li was steering me away from anything that would put her job on the line. The only thing of interest was I was walking down a street and I looked down an alley and saw an old guy sitting with one single light on next to steam rising out of the gutter. I asked Li what it was and she said it’s a fortune-teller. So I said, Cool, let’s go talk to him. We walked down the street and up to the old man who looked at me and then at Li and then back at me. He sorta looked freaked out. That’s OK, I’m used to it…but I didn’t expect what came next.
They started chattering in Chinese, back and forth, and then Li announced he didn't want to do my fortune. I said, Look, isn’t that his job? She said that I wouldn’t like what he had to tell me. I said I would and he slowly reached for my dirty hand and looked in my eyes then spoke to Li. She said, “He says if you don’t change your ways you won’t live until the end of the year.” I said to tell him, “Thank You…that gives me a week longer than I expected.”
He looked at me, old and tired, and said 3 or 4 words softly to Li. She said he was serious. I said “Thank You” and asked Li if those guys were just part of the tourist traps in Hong Kong. She looked sad and said, Nikki, they are never wrong. Then she said, Maybe we can go back to the hotel, you have an early flight. I agreed, if only out of boredom…
On the plane to LA, noon
I’m on the plane…we just took off. I feel good. Slept well and took a shower but didn’t have a comb to get the knots in my hair out so I think I probably look even worse. These leather pants really feel slimy. It’s worse to be clean in dirty clothes, it’s like I’m wearing a homeless person’s clothes. I have a blanket on my legs to cover up the odor. I had breakfast and coffee, almost like a normal person. I have a couple Halcions in my jacket somewhere…think I’ll sleep all the way to LA.
I’m not sure what day it is…is it the 23rd or still the 22nd? But I just got asked to raise my tray up–we’re landing in LA. I hope Abdul is here. I left messages for Robbin and Slash asking them if they want to go out…I forgot to call Karen.
In Hong Kong I noticed my ribs are sticking out but also my face is puffy and yellow. I have some weird scabs on my legs and a rash on my chest and arms. I’m sure it’s just from not showering…I’ve seen it before. OK, buckle up…we’re descending into Hell. Satan is home (ha ha)!
Van Nuys, 7 p.m.
Home sweet home. Wow, is it nice to get outta those leather pants. I took another shower and got the rat’s nest outta my hair. I feel great–Abdul gave me a 10cc shot as soon as I got in the limo. I feel great. This is what I’ve been missing.
I got a message from Robbin and Slash. We’re all going to the Cathouse tonight. King’s got some Persian but no needles so I’m going up to his house in the hills to chase the dragon and then off to the Franklin Plaza Hotel to pick up Slash. I kept the limo.
Karen won’t go out–she said she has to work! I asked her if Doc knew that I didn’t come home from Hong Kong when I was supposed to and she didn’t think so. I guess threatening the interpreter’s life worked. It always does, ha ha. I just realized that it’s Christmas and I haven’t got anything for anybody. Karen got a Christmas tree though, and finally got rid of last year’s one. I could always give people the presents that I got last year that I haven’t opened yet…
This is just a courtesy call This is just a matter of policy This is just an act of kindness To let you know that your time is up
DECEMBER 23TH, 1987
Van Nuys, 9:30 a.m.
Unraveling, unsure, undetermined, unnecessary…this is what my life has boiled down to. I either have to stop or die…I can’t straddle this fence any longer. I have taken into my lungs the longest breath of hell and I’m still here.
Maybe there is a God…maybe, just maybe, there is such a lifeline. Something happened last night…good, I died. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? I feel different today. I think for the first time in my life I feel hopeful. I can’t remember ever feeling happy but I feel something has snapped. I feel, I don’t know…
Last night was not unlike many nights for me, driving towards hell, hoping to be welcomed into death’s arms or simply to kill the pain and fill the hole of emptiness inside. I’m too weak and sick to write the whole evening down, I’ll try later…so here is the short version…
Picked up Slash, his girlfriend Sally, Steven Adler and Robbin and went to the Cathouse. Lots of coke, alcohol, pills…I really don’t remember much. At some point the usual blackouts. Then we went back to Slash’s hotel to get some junk. I was too wasted and let this cat shoot me up. I turned blue on the spot. This is what they tell me.
Steven and Sally came in and tried to revive me. I’m sure all the usual drama behind a junkie dying in your place happened at that point. But then something that’s never happened before–I couldn’t come back. The ambulance was called and I was well on my way to getting out of my skin.
I saw something…fuck…OK here we go. I was on the gurney, the sheet over my head. I saw something…there was my limo. There were people crying. There was an ambulance…there was a body with a sheet over it being loaded into the ambulance. It was me. I saw it all.
I was up, above it all. I couldn’t know this if I was dead. I don’t understand. But something feels different to me. I’m just gonna have to write later. I need to collect my thoughts.
SALLY McLAUGHLIN: I’m originally from Scotland but moved to America in 1987 because I was dating Slash. When I arrived I went straight out on the road with Guns N’ Roses supporting Mötley Crüe, then Guns went straight on to Alice Cooper’s tour. So December 22, 1987, was my first day in Los Angeles.
Slash and I were staying in the Franklin Plaza, and Nikki called up Slash and came over. Nikki, Slash, Robbin Crosby and I went to the Cathouse in Nikki’s limo and we were there for hours. The boys kept running off to the limo to do coke and then coming back to the club. The last time they did it, they never came back for me, so I had to walk back to Franklin Plaza on my own. I was steaming.
SLASH: I can’t remember too much about it. Nikki had asked me at the Cathouse if I knew where he could get dope. A friend of mine had just become a junkie so we called him and all went back to Franklin Plaza. I was so screaming drunk that I couldn’t even find the floor to fall on. My friend turned Nikki on, but I didn’t even notice.
SALLY McLAUGHLIN: Guns had two suites at the Franklin. Slash was in one and Steven Adler was in the other. I came storming into our suite, furious, and Nikki said, “Uh-oh, we’d better leave them alone for a while.” Nikki and Steven went to Steven’s room with their dealer, and I started yelling at Slash, but he was too drunk to even argue back.
A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was Nikki, looking dreadful, and he came in and just fell on the floor. I was thinking, Great, now I’ve got two drunks to deal with here, but then the dealer came in, took one look at Nikki, yelled, “Nikki’s dead!” and ran off. He literally jumped out the window and over the balcony and ran off down the street.
SLASH: Then the next thing, Sally was screaming because Nikki was rolled up and blue in the corner.
SALLY McLAUGHLIN: Slash was paralytic and Nikki was turning blue. Steven helped me drag Nikki into the bathroom, then he ran off, so I was left on my own with him. I tried to get Nikki into the shower to pour water on him, but then Slash came in, saw Nikki and started freaking out. Slash had a friend named Todd who had died of a heroin overdose a few months earlier, so he started yelling, “Todd!” and smashing up the bathroom.
By now I was giving Nikki mouth-to-mouth resuscitation over the bath while trying to hold Slash back with one hand. Slash smashed the shower screen, and the glass showered over me and Nikki, so I got up and punched Slash and laid him out. I was screaming for somebody to call 911, which they did, and said, “Nikki Sixx is dead!” I later found out that Nikki’s limo driver heard that and phoned Vince Neil.
VINCE NEIL: I got two phone calls saying Nikki was dead, one from the limo driver and one from our tour manager, Rich Fisher. Maybe deep down I knew it was going to happen one day, but it still tore me to pieces because I loved Nikki–even though he was an arrogant selfish shit. I cried. And I never used to cry then.
SLASH: Then paramedics were there, but I was so drunk I’d passed out. When I came around, the first thing I noticed was that for some reason I’d destroyed the fucking bathroom. Sally was freaking out at the influx of people in white uniforms taking Nikki away.
SALLY McLAUGHLIN: The paramedics came pretty quickly and took over from there. I was still giving Nikki mouth-to-mouth, and the weird thing I remember is that when my breath came back out of his mouth, it sounded like he was snoring. I thought, Fuck, what if he’s just asleep, wakes up and thinks I’m snogging him?
The paramedics ripped off Nikki’s T-shirt to give him adrenaline, then whisked him off. I hadn’t managed to bring him around but the paramedics later said that I’d kept him going. After they had taken him away, the police moved us into Steven’s room. We had to carry Slash in. He was still passed out. The police questioned us all and checked the other room. Then later, when I went back in, I found a bag of dope on the floor and a vial of coke on the table. They had just missed it.
TOMMY LEE: I got a phone call in the middle of the night from Slash. He said, “Dude, don’t freak out, but Nikki’s in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.” Slash said that they had done everything they could to make him wake up–put him in the bathtub, splashed his face, pounded on his heart–but nothing they had done had worked. I thought, Oh fuck!
KAREN DUMONT: Doug Thaler called me at 3 A.M. to ask if Nikki was home. He said a limo driver had called Vince and said that paramedics had pronounced Nikki dead at Franklin Plaza and taken him away in an ambulance. I began frantically calling hospitals but couldn’t find him anywhere.
SLASH: He was in and out of operating rooms all night. His management came down later and yelled at me as a horrible influence, but the truth was that I was seventy-five percent oblivious to what was going on. To me, it wasn’t a big deal. I used to do it all the time.
NIKKI: I came to in a hospital bed. There was a cop asking me questions, so I told him to go fuck himself. I ripped out my tubes and staggered in just my leather pants into the parking lot, where two teenage girls were sitting crying around a candle. They had heard on the radio that I was dead and looked kind of surprised to see me.
The girls had this pissy little Mazda and gave me a lift home as we listened to my obituary on the radio. One of them gave me her jacket and they made me promise to never do drugs again. Karen opened the door to me. I went straight to my answering machine and changed my message so it said, “Hey, it’s Nikki, I’m not here because I’m dead.” As soon as Karen had left for work I went straight to my bedroom, shot up and passed out.
KAREN DUMONT: At 5:45 A.M. there was a knock at the door and I opened it to see Nikki standing there, shivering like crazy. He was missing his boots and shirt plus he was wearing what looked like a little girl’s jacket that was so tight across his back that his shoulders were heaved up. He just said that he couldn’t find his key.
The next day I went to get his boots and give Slash and the Guns a piece of my mind. Sally told me that the ambulance guys had been going to give up on Nikki but a couple of girls had hysterically begged them to try again, and that was when they had managed to bring him back.
I just woke up. My body hurts like it has never hurt before. I’m hungry, I’m dirty and I want to take a shower. I need to return some of these messages. When I came in last night I changed my message to HI, I’M NOT HERE BECAUSE I’M DEAD. I need to change that…
All my messages from everybody are saying things like, “You’re an asshole” or “That’s not funny” or “What’s wrong with you Nikki, are you OK in the head, dude? That’s fucked.” For the first time I agree with all of them and I don’t think it’s funny either. (Well, maybe a little.)
One last thing…I might as well admit now. I’m done with drugs. I’m done with being unhappy and I’m done trying to kill myself. I woke this morning with a needle still in my arm and blood in my hand. How sick am I that I came home and shot after I died? But more important, I threw all my rigs away. I’m sick of being a selfish, egotistical, self-hating, alcoholic junkie.
TO USE A CLICHÉ: I’M SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED.
KAREN DUMONT: Only later did I find out that Nikki had shot up again when he went to bed. We had a very proper relationship, or otherwise I would have gone into his bedroom to make sure he was sleeping before I left for work. He was clearly shaken and should not have been left alone, but I just didn’t really know any better.
I told Karen I’m done with drugs. She said she hopes so but looked like she didn’t believe me. I think it will take a while till people believe me. Shit, I don’t know if I believe me.
I’m so tired. I need sleep. I feel like I haven’t slept in years. It’s the only way to explain how tired I am. You know, I feel like maybe coming undone isn’t such a bad thing after all. I found my AA book under my bed when I was clearing away all my drugs. I read this. It makes sense to me…for the first time…
DEANA RICHARDS: When I heard Nikki had nearly died it was not unexpected because it was what I had always feared but prayed would never happen. I was so terrified that he was going to die without anything being resolved–without him finally realizing just how much I loved him.
MICK MARS: When I heard Nikki was dead, my first reaction was, “I knew that fucking prick was going to do something like that!”
VINCE NEIL: I have to say, there have always been rumors about people in Mötley Crüe dying. We used to get loads of crank calls. I even got a call a couple of weeks ago saying that Tommy had died–and that was from my own mother.
DECEMBER 25TH, 1987
Christmas morning, Van Nuys, 9:30 a.m.
Good morning and Merry Christmas. I’ve decided to put this diary away and start a new one…with a new day upon us I feel hopeful. Life, I think, has somehow taken a turn for the better.
I don’t know how I survived the last year but I know there has to be a reason. Today for the first time ever I don’t care about the outcome or the whys and whens. I just wanna live. I woke up happy. I can’t believe it. I didn’t wake up with my head screaming and my instincts telling me to run and hide inside a needle or inside a coffin, whichever came first…as long as I became numb or better yet dead…I want to live and I don’t know why.
Hey…why ask why…I’m going to go wake Karen up and tell her “Merry Christmas.” I think I’ll even call the guys in the band.
NIKKI: I’ll never forget waking up after sleeping almost forty-eight hours and feeling so different. I knew something had happened to me but I wasn’t ready to look into it. What I had experienced was, I believe, something spiritual. Drugs had brought me to my knees and I knew it. Even though it would take a few attempts I was gonna get off drugs. I had been given another chance to live and I was gonna grab life by the back of its neck and shake the hell out of it.
I’ve lived my life to the max ever since. Yes I’ve fallen a few times but I always get back up. I always say I wouldn’t have wanted to know that guy back then—and neither would you.
KAREN DUMONT: After he’d died, Nikki didn’t want to do anything at Christmas but I invited a couple of my friends over. I said, “I don’t want to sit here miserable, even if you do.” I went out on Christmas Eve and bought food and a tree, which one of the guys from Ratt helped me decorate. Then Nikki decided it was a good idea after all and invited Slash over.
SALLY McLAUGHLIN: On Christmas Day, Slash and I went to Nikki’s in a limo with all the presents we’d bought. I remember Nikki gave Slash a moleskin hat. Slash and I spent the night in Karen’s room. Slash wet the bed again: he always used to after taking coke and drinking. He didn’t want to tell Nikki, so he begged me to do it. When I did, Nikki just said, “Ah well, at least he isn’t shitting himself like I used to.”
I actually ended up buying Slash adult nappies, but he never wore them