This Is Gonna Hurt is music, photography, and life through the distorted lens of Nikki Sixx, bassist for heavy metal rock band Mötley Crüe’s and the New York Times bestselling author ofThe Heroin Diaries. A combination of powerful prose and dramatic photographs, This Is Gonna Hurt is an arresting, deeply personal look through the eyes of a real rock star at a stark, post-addiction world.
For fans of The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx comes back with another installment, this time to discuss how his life has unfolded since finding sobriety. He also talks further on some stories touched upon in The Heroin Diaires.
"The fact that when death knocked on my door I was lucky enough to tell him to come back later is reason enough to tell my story. 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."
Largely though, this book is meant to be a showcase of Sixx's stunning photography, a passion he picked up in the years following rehab. Seriously, it's amazing! What starts as a hobby turns into an obsession that takes him all over the world documenting the human condition in a way that is truly breathtaking. One such story he shares that I loved was a trip he took to Vancouver where he got to know a community of homeless people:
"My interaction was minimal. Nobody knew who I was, and if they did, why would they care? Still, I was treated with more respect and given more polite "thank yous" and "excuse me, Nikkis" than I get in some of the nicest neighborhoods in the world. They wanted to know about my addiction and recovery. They told me their dreams and downfalls. I took two hundred pictures that day, two hundred moments of hope. As I was leaving, one guy asked me if I would come back and say hello someday. I remember getting into the van and telling Kimo that people are amazing -- all they want is to be accepted. Next time I'm in Vancouver, I plan on going back there. I hope I don't recognize a single face."
He also talks about how the band Sixx AM came about -- truthfully, it's largely the music that he's done with Sixx AM that really made me a fan of his. I never got really heavily into the Motley Crue songbook -- I know and like their songs but I don't have pivotal memories attached to the music. Don't know if it's a generational thing, Sixx formed Motley Crue the same year (maybe the same month even) that I was born. But Sixx AM, my GAWD those songs echo my life experiences SO HARD, a number of their songs bring me to tears just with the opening lines (ie. "Skin")!
The thing I didn't expect was just how inspiring I would find this book. I went in thinking it would just be a cool art book, giving me a different artistic look at a musician I really admire. I knew from reading Heroin Diaries that Sixx has had his share of life lessons and naturally living through what he has is going to inspire people still struggling with their own demons. But here he gets some seriously inspiring and thought provoking passages in! There were a number of times I just found myself stopping and contemplating a point he makes... sometimes you find yourself smacked upside the head by the most beautifully simplistic honest truth bomb.
If you've read and enjoyed The Heroin Diaries, DEFINITELY go check this one out! Also like The Heroin Diaries, this book has a companion album, even better than the first, IMO -- and that first one was amazing!