Five weeks ago tonight, I had just two things on my mind: Meeting Nikki Sixx and the Bruins Game 4 against the Flyers…
I remember when my older brother first showed me inside the Shout at the Devil record. I couldn’t believe my eyes. To that point, The Beatles were the only band I had listened to (I was 10), and even though I didn’t get the full meaning to all their songs, at least they didn’t look like that! “Dave,” my brother assured me, “Just listen.” Even though “In the Beginning” had me wondering what the hell I was listening to, “Shout at the Devil” blew me away, and would change the course of my musical taste for the rest of my life.
Even though there weren’t too many “metal heads” in my 5th grade class, I remember talking to my classmate Todd after hearing about Vince Neil’s accident on December 8, 1984. We were wondering how much it would affect the band. My brother was a huge Hanoi Rocks fan too, and was (wisely) more concerned about its effect on them than Motley. It’s amazing to think of how much the way news travels has changed since then, and often overlooked are the two people that Vince paralyzed.
I remember being excited to hear Theatre of Pain when it came out. My older brother got it the day it came out, and we listened to it just about every day that summer up in Prince Edward Island.
I remember seeing “Home Sweet Home” as the #1 video on MTV every day for months and months until they changed the rule and limited the time songs could be #1 down to 3 months.
I remember going to my first concert. Whitesnake opened for The Crue at The Centrum in Worcester. There was pyro, scantily clad women on the stage, and Tommy Lee’s drum set spun upside-down, and around and around. I was hooked, and knew I would be seeing The Crue and other bands live…a lot.
I remember hearing about Nikki’s overdose. It was the winter after that first show, and (again because of the time and slow news travel) the rumor was that Nikki had died. Of course he had died for a couple of minutes, but the news of his “kickstart” didn’t reach me until later that day. I remember being relieved and pissed at the same time. I thought “Dancing on Glass” meant not doing drugs anymore, and was upset that Nikki would put his life on the line like that. But, I was happy to find out he was okay, and hoped the close call would make him stop.
I remember following The Crue in metal magazines and on MTV, buying their albums, and going to their shows. Even when I went to college and grunge took over the 80s metal scene, I defended my metal bands and still listened to them along with my newly purchased Ten by Pearl Jam.
I remember seeing Motley Crue play live back in 2006, when they opened for Aerosmith at Great Woods (it will always be called this to me) in Mansfield, MA. Crue AND Aerosmith? I would like to tell you that it was the best concert I’ve ever been to, but Vince’s voice flat-out sucked that night. He apologized, and I don’t think Steven Tyler thanked Motley for opening. Hey, one bad show out of a bunch isn’t bad.
I remember being excited to hear and read Nikki’s Heroin Diaries CD and book. Not surprisingly, both rocked and I was glad to see that after he cleaned up his act, Nikki hadn’t lost his edge.
I remember reading online about Nikki’s book signing in Boston. I knew I wanted to be there, no matter how long I had to wait. My older sister and I got to the bookstore a little before 4:00, and waited until almost 8:00 for our moment at the head of the line.
I had already written Nikki a note in front of my latest book, Episode IV Play, thanking him for his music and words that I had enjoyed over the years. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to say as I approached the table, but I remember telling him I had something to give him, thanking him, and asking if he’d sign my first concert ticket. Meeting Nikki was over in a matter of seconds, but it was well worth the wait.
I included my contact info in my book, but I’ve yet to hear back from Nikki (not that I expected it, but hey, I’m a dreamer). Maybe he didn’t even read the book; maybe he was upset I didn’t thank him on the back cover, maybe he forgot about the book, I’ll never know. I just hope at the very least he enjoys fans giving back something…
Oh yeah, Go B’s!