The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band – Mötley Crüe

By Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Neil Strauss

(HarperEntertainment, 2001)

One of the most shocking rock biographies ever compiled, The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band Mötley Crüe provides exactly what it says on the cover and much more besides.

While they were never the most acclaimed of rock bands (in fact they were widely despised and derided by many critics), Mötley Crüe sure made up for their lack of critical love with astonishing multi-platinum success (over 40 million records sold worldwide), and effectively built their legend on incessant touring and an eye-watering appetite for excess and destruction.

That practically unrivaled decadence and destruction is the main focus of this no holds barred, tell-all book, which was co-written by all members of the band plus noted rock scribe Neil Strauss.

Included is everything from drummer Tommy Lee’s stormy relationships with blonde actresses Pamela Anderson and Heather Locklear, Mick Mars shooting a woman and attempting to kill his own brother, Vince Neil’s jailing for vehicular murder and Nikki Sixx’s back from the dead heroin overdose. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Though the actions of the band members for the most part make it extremely difficult to like or sympathize with them, some context is added to their personal stories; notably Neil’s pain and subsequent anger at burying his daughter who succumbed to cancer, and Sixx’s childhood abandonment and heroin struggle.

The Dirt expresses Mötley Crüe’s raison d’etre more accurately than any of their largely forgettable hair-metal records. It is at times ugly, ridiculous, hedonistic and exciting. Even those vaguely aware of the Crüe’s reputation for excess will surely be left stunned by this book.