The Ballad of Nikki Sixx

Hollywood is a small town, with all the quirks of a small town and little of the charm; everyone knows everyone else, or at least pretends they do until they can bump into them at the Safeway on Sunset.

I didn't consider myself a Motley Crue fan, having cut my musical teeth on steady diet of Depeche Mode and The Cure, to the exclusion of most everything else. By the time my band landed in Hollywood, however, the inevitable lineup changes brought me into a circle of ex-glam rockers, and by virtue of them, I began to broaden my horizons.

After the fifteenth Sunday-night screening of the Motley Crue "Behind the Music", it occurred to me Nikki Sixx's drug-induced, operating-table death and subsequent return to life (only to stagger home to the needle and the bottle) needed to be immortalized in song. My guitarist and I wrote "The Ballad of Nikki Sixx" that night, and within a few weeks, debuted it at The Viper Room. Hollywood is a small town, with all the quirks of a small town and little of the charm; everyone knows everyone else, or at least pretends they do until they can bump into them at the Safeway on Sunset. It didn't take long for word to reach the Man Himself.

I have the moment captured on a VHS tape somewhere, although I have long since left my VCR to be reclaimed by the San Francisco street gnomes, so I haven't reviewed the clip in a few years. On the tape, outside The Gig on Melrose, a tall figure with long, spiky, black hair leans over to me and whispers in my ear. His assistant stands by, talking with our drummer, who is clearly distracted by the presence beside her. The rest of my band stands nearby, pretending to chat amongst themselves.

Nikki showed up to our gig that night, and I'll never forget the moment I, in the middle of his biographical song, jumped off the stage to play with the audience as was my usual tack, only to notice that spiky-haired silhouette standing in the back of the shotgun room. I continued leapfrogging between chairs until I was on the floor in front of him. At that point, he was just another dude in the audience, so I grabbed him by the collar of his black duster, and screamed in his face, "HELL WOULDN'T TAKE ME, OH, NO! IT'S GONNA TAKE A LOT MORE TO BREAK MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" I'd closed my eyes before I grabbed him, and as I finished screaming the chorus, opened them just a slit. He was grinning! It was cool! It was only after I'd made my way back to the stage that the reality settled in; after being in Hollywood less than a year, we'd managed to capitalize on something that set into motion a chain of events which allowed my band mates to play for, and meet, one of their rock gods.

Nikki came backstage to meet us after the show, and followed us through the kitchen outside, where someone had the foresight to pop on that video camera.

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