Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, violence, mayhem, overdoses, and lots of money. But enough about my Friday night, we’re here to talk about The Dirt by Motley Crue! This book came out of nowhere for me. I had no interest in reading a book about a bunch of hairspray rockers, until I was publicly shamed for not having read “the greatest rock memoir of all time”. So with much reluctance I dove in, and never looked back. This book will rock your socks off. It will make you cringe, crack up, and maybe even cry. Get ready, to get DIRTY! Sidenote: That was not a Christina Aguilera reference. – Brad
I couldn’t let Brad have all that fun on his own so yes, I dove into The Dirt too. He’s right, the book does rock your socks off. And forget the maybe, it did make me cry (unexpectedly). The Dirt is one of those books where you remember every word, every moment, every cringe-inducing event. It was totally out of my wheelhouse but I am so glad I picked it up, because honestly, this book is a party — wild, unforgettable, a little unclean (ok, very unclean), but a whole lot of fun. – Shannon
Parts of The Dirt are written in interview-style so Brad and I decided to interview each other about the book…
BRAD: Well Shannon, my first question for you is a no brainer. As a woman, were you ever offended or disgusted by the bands rather…unpleasant treatment of women? Especially in the first half of the book.
SHANNON: I can definitely say I was disgusted! Some parts of the book are, well, disgusting. But, as much as I was disgusted with the members of the band, I was also disgusted with the behavior of the women. No, I don’t think that the guys treated the women well at all, but I wasn’t offended because I’m a woman, but rather just offended in general, by the behavior of both sexes. (That being said though, the fact that it was so offensive was what made the book so insanely readable, and memorable.)
For you Brad: The band members of Motley Crue all share in the narration of the book, providing four different ‘voices’ in the story. Who’s voice was the most honest? Were there any that you preferred reading above the others?
B: Ooohh that’s a tough one. The most honest was probably my least favourite, Mick. He always came across as a bit of a self-righteous jerk. He was always reminding us that he played in more bands, was older, and more tragic than everyone else. But at the same time his sections always seemed to cut right through the b.s of the other bands parts with straight facts. Picking a favourite is hard, I pitied Vince the most, but didn’t like him as a person. Nikki’s sections were by far the most debaucherous (sp?) and insane, but my favourite was Tommy. He was just so blinded by an unending need for love and affection. He was this druggy, boozed out man with the heart and soul of a love-struck 12 year old. I always wanted him to come out on top.
I’m going to throw your question right back at you. Who were you always looking forward to hearing from? Was there anyone, whether the band members or their circle of industry people, that you couldn’t stand?
S: I liked hearing all the different voices because they were so different, and offered new perspectives on the major events, but my very favourite was Tommy. Maybe because going into the book he was the band member I was most familiar with but he was also the character I felt the most compassion towards because he was so honest and open with his emotions. I think all the band members brought out this odd motherly instinct in me because I wanted to badly for them to just succeed and clean up, and make better choices, but it was Tommy who I was really rooting for.
B: Everybody. Well maybe not children, and maybe not my Grandma, but everyone else. I thought I knew what went with the phrase “Sex, drugs and Rock & Roll” but it turns out I had no idea! This book completely opened my eyes to just how insane the lives of rock stars really were back then. Whether it’s Ozzy Osborne snorting ants and drinking his, and Nikki’s, urine, or Nikki overdosing only to sneak out of the hospital and start all over again, these guys lived a life that few could have survived. It is an incredible window into a lifestyle very few people will ever experience and is a really eye opening window into what the music industry machine can do to young, impressionable kids, especially ones with troubled upbringings like Nikki and Vince.
When I read this book I went back and forth between thinking, “Oh man I want their lives!” to “Oh man they have the worst lives!”. If given the opportunity, would you want to live in their shoes? If so, how long would/could you do it? A day? A month? Or would you full on trade your life for the rock star existence?
S: Oh gosh…. Trade my life completely? Never. I know Motley Crue survived… but this girl definitely would NOT. Although, if I had the opportunity to live like a rock star, you know, could do anything I want, unlimited funds, that total ‘rock star’ mentality, then yeah, for a week that would be a pretty neat experience, provided there were no consequences! (Although I think I would be the worst rock star EVER… I hate making a mess.) But that’s why I loved reading The Dirt, because it gave me a glimpse into a life that I would never be able to experience.
To you, same question!
B: I like to think I could do it. Rock out every night, ingest/inject whatever came my way, throw caution to the wind and let my baser urges guide me through life. But in reality, I’d just really want a nap. So I’d do it for a week, maybe a month tops. Just thrash out with the best of them, get a taste test of the excesses that the privileged life brings, then run back to my couch and play with my cat. Like you, I think I’ll just stick to vicariously enjoying the exploits of the Motley boys.
Interested? Start reading The Dirt today
Already read The Dirt? Do you want to be a rock star? Did you love Tommy too? Let us know what you thought in the comments! We are also thinking of starting a band:
… But still need a name. Anyone have any awesome band names for us???