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Authors: Nikki Sixx

Tags: #Psychopathology, #Biography., #Psychology, #Travel, #Nikki, #sears, #Rock musicians, #Music, #Photography, #Rock music, #Rock musicians - United States, #Composers & Musicians, #Pictorial works, #Rock music - United States, #Entertainment & Performing Arts, #United States, #Personal Memoirs, #Artistic, #Rock, #Sixx, #Addiction, #Genres & Styles, #Art, #Popular Culture, #General, #Biography & Autobiography, #Biography

This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx

BOOK: This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx
3.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


This book is dedicated to my sister

Lisa Marie Feranna’s life.


For those who feel different, estranged and like the misfits of society, may this book show the world that we’re all the same.

This Book Contains…

You’re Probably Wondering Why I Invited You Here

Chapter 1
Look Thru My Cracked Viewfinder

Life’s Not Always Beautiful

Chapter 2
Ghosts Inside Me

This Is War

Chapter 3
One Man, Two Bands

Killer’s Instinct

Chapter 4
Help Is on the Way

Chapter 5
Tale of the Siamese Twins and the Black Rose Tattoo

Chapter 6
Rock N Roll Will be the Death of Me

Chapter 7
The End, Unless It’s the Beginning

About the Publisher




o here we sit again, pen to paper, heart in hand, me whispering softly in your ear as I prepare to take you on another journey. Last time we were together in
The Heroin Diaries.
Now we’ve moved on. I, cozy in my truths, and you, sometimes agitated in your opinions of me…but we’re still going to sit here together, nose to nose, pondering each other.

This is gonna hurt.

My dream has always been the same since I was a kid, to somehow show people life through different-colored lenses. Now more than ever I feel it’s important to see that way. We need to be aware that the warped perspectives of television, Internet, and magazines are sometimes poisonous. I cannot walk down the street without feeling I am being subjected to some constant sales pitch on what we should look like, smell like, dress like, or even worse, what we should

I hope to take your breath away from time to time as you read about my experiences, my life, my rants and celebrations. I am going to lay it all out there for the world to see, not worried about ridicule. In my short life I have been wrong in my attitudes from time to time, have made bad decisions that have affected other lives, and still to this day I work hard at spiritual growth. The fact that when death knocked at my door I was lucky enough to tell him to come back later is reason enough to tell my story.


But my story isn’t so much about me as it is about life. I am just a man with a megaphone. Maybe I’ll even be telling your story. I am sure you will let me know if it moves and motivates you. After
The Heroin Diaries
I got hundreds of thousands of e-mails and letters telling me how readers’ lives had been changed for the better. I shared my story and maybe someone else’s life was spared too. (I am speaking of the families as well.) If the photographs of human beauty and the words in this book show you the beauty in the downtrodden side of our souls, then I am happy. I have done my job. It’s never too late to wake up. It’s never too late for change. I, too, am changing.

I am writing this book partly in hopes that I will move somebody to pick up a camera, write a poem, pen a song, or take a shot at any other dream. I have always said, “If you can dream it, you can have it.” In my heart, I’m wishing that these musings might motivate someone somewhere to go do great things.

Back when I wrote “Shout at the Devil” I was motivated by anger as I shouted into a million teenage ears. As the years go by, I become more aware that I am in a position to be heard. As I mature and become more conscious, I take this responsibility seriously.

My personal struggle is this: How do I continue to do things of importance—to grow as a man—yet remain this crazy artistic father, photographer–rock n roller, and businessman? And still not lose my edge? I think the only answer is to keep digging in my past and poking at all the wounds until I have discovered and healed every last one. The pain gives me the edge. I am grateful for it.

I think I have answered a few of my own questions here in this book. I try to be honest and walk my talk. I am happy to roll up my sleeves (tattoos and all) and let you see that I wear my heart for the whole world to see (scars and all).

So the question is, are you ready? I am, so let’s go.



his all started innocently enough…

It was a crisp spring morning in 1989. I was newly sober and looking for something to replace the drugs that had been running through my bloodstream for years, and for some odd reason decided to go into a camera store. It was a simple little Canon 35 mm SLR and a couple of lenses that started an adventure that will probably plague me forever, like music.

(Well, okay, to be honest, it wasn’t really the beginning of me shooting pictures: I had been snapping Polaroids of the band and our life on the road for years. But that’s a different book.)

I believe my photography addiction somehow ties into the fact that I’ve always had an eye for the oddities in life. Even as a kid I saw the world in my own way and thought most things that were different were beautiful and magical. Even things that other people thought were horrifying and disgusting and weird.

I’m six or seven years old, walking down a street in L.A. with my mother. We pass by an amputee. I gaze at her, transfixed.

“Don’t stare,” my mother says.

“Why not?” I say. “She’s beautiful.”

A couple months ago I’m sitting on a plane next to Tommy Lee. I’m on my laptop, going through some of the photographs I’ve created. He asks to see. He clicks through a bunch, then stops and stares at one showing an obese woman standing on a pedestal, mouth open wide in a scream, spewing some kind of clear liquid.

“You know, Sixx,” he finally says, “you are one of the most seriously fucked-up people I’ve ever met,” and he laughs, and I laugh, too, but I’m thinking,
Man, thirty years together and he still doesn’t get me.


When I see the mainstream marketing imagery of beauty and love, I see a lie. Some people look at a rose and see romance and love. I see thorns and droplets of blood and heartbreak. I see the struggle to survive and connect and find a happy ending.

I remember as a kid looking through old photography books about sideshows and circus performers and wondering why people thought them so odd. Did people think they don’t have feelings because they’re missing limbs? They can’t love because their bodies are misshapen? They can’t be beautiful because they don’t conform to our stereotype of beauty?

Maybe we’re the ones who are ugly.

Whilst walking in downtown Los Angeles one day, a homeless man asked me for a helping hand. I think the fact that he had no hands played to the side of me that finds such irony poetic. I told him I had a few dollars to spare if he had a few moments for me in exchange. We sat together, not much different in our stories, but worlds apart in our realities. At one point he asked me why I was sitting there talking to him. After all, most people just look away at the sight of someone in his shoes, or lack thereof. I told him, as I tell you now, I didn’t know why. I do what my heart tells me to do and often I don’t understand, but I do know this: that day was one of the last times I was without my camera. The man’s image haunts me still. Not in sorrow, but because he, too, is a survivor, and he felt blessed to be alive, even on the hard, cold, streets of downtown L.A. Not capturing that moment was a great lesson in being a photographer.

BOOK: This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx
3.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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