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Where Is Nikki Sixx Now? Stories And Facts About Motley Crue's Bassist

Music | December 11, 2019

As the bassist and songwriter behind Mötley Crüe’s biggest hits Nikki Sixx been able to shout at the devil and run into a lot of girls, girls, girls. He also managed to inject more heroin than everyone in the Velvet Underground and live to tell the tale. Throughout the ‘80s Sixx lived a life of debauchery unmatched by his peers in the hair metal scene; he lived fast, he played loud, and he managed to survive multiple heroin overdoses. Few musicians have lived, died, and lived again, and after nearly four decades as the driving force behind one of the most hedonistic rock bands to ever plug into Marshall stacks his life is something out of a sleazy magazine… in the best way. 

He Was Abandoned As A Child

source: twitter

Born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr., in San Jose, California, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe didn’t have a stable home as a child. His early years were filled with trauma from being abandoned by his mother when he was only three years old. His mother ditched him on her doorstep to be picked up by her parents. Sixx told the Guardian:

My most heartbreaking memory was when my mom called my grandparents and said, ‘Come pick him up.’ I was six and she said, ‘I’m going to lock the door and I’ll just leave you in the porch. She couldn’t wait until my grandparents got there. She left with this guy in a truck. That broke me.

Sixx never forgave his mother, citing the fact that when she reached out to him after Crüe took off she was awful to him. He said:

When she saw a picture of me in a magazine in about 1988 she called me up, ‘What have you done to yourself? You have all those tattoos over your whole arm. Are you going to join a circus?’ It was just like when I was 13 and I had my toenails and fingernails polished and painted black, and then my ears pierced and I put silver paint in my hair and I was wearing women’s suits and she asked, ‘Are you a transvestite?’ I was, like, ‘I don’t know, am I?’ I had to get a dictionary. She never got me and then she even tried to take the credit it for me once. She said, ‘I’m the one that gave you the fire to have so much talent.’

Sixx Started Drinking When He Was Only Six Years Old

source: pinterest

Aside from his discography of hits the one thing that most people know about Sixx is that he has a chemical dependency to rival that of William S. Burroughs. The bassist says that he set his sights on being a junkie from a young age thanks to his father’s insistence that he try whiskey when he was only six years old. Sixx wrote in his book The Heroin Diaries:

Once that pot and whisky hit my system, my mind went KABOOM and my whole world changed. The static in my head and my body that I felt all day every day just went away. Everything in my life became about chasing that feeling. To this day it has never stopped, no matter how much work I do on myself.

He Snorted Ants With Ozzy… Maybe

source: pinterest

There are some discrepancies throughout Sixx’s life. The stories about his legendary drug and alcohol intake are definitely real, but some of the excesses have been exaggerated… maybe? When it comes to Crüe’s heyday it’s honestly hard to figure out what’s real, what’s imagined, and what’s a story that makes for a good legend.

In 1984 the band was out on tour with Ozzy Osbourne and while hanging out around the pool they noticed a line of ants on the ground. Sixx says that he and Osbourne were in a competition to see who was more debauched but he was often out done by the Prince of Darkness. Sixx writes:

I handed him the straw, and he walked over to a crack in the sidewalk and bent over it. I saw a long column of ants, marching to a little sand dugout where the pavement met the dirt. And as I thought, ‘No, he wouldn’t,’ he did. He put the straw to his nose and, with his bare white ass peeking out from under the dress like sliced honeydew, sent the entire line of ants tickling up his nose with a single, monstrous snort.

When He Was Bored On Tour Things Got Out Of Hand

source:reddit

When Sixx wasn’t onstage he was either partying with groupies, doing drugs, or just acting the fool. Sixx found that one way to pass the time with Tommy Lee (the band’s drummer) was to break bottles over each other’s heads while swallowing small lightbulbs. If he couldn’t find any glass to use he was known to chase down members of other bands and tackle them just for fun. 

Then there were just the regular old shenanigans people get up to when they’re bored. He crashed his prized Porsche into a telephone pole in front of a group of fans after getting naked and wasted before trying to peel out and impress them. Rather than stick around at the scene he just drove away. 

Before Finally Getting Clean Sixx Nearly Let Heroin Get The Best Of Him

source: getty images

Aside from dying for a couple of minutes in 1987 Sixx fell into a world of pain and weirdness thanks to his heroin addiction. While filming the video for “Home Sweet Home” Sixx says that he was so out of his gourd that he found himself beneath the stage where the band was performing. After winding up down there he had a conversation with an imaginary creature about "family, music and death.”

When he wasn’t speaking with imaginary creatures he was overdosing. One dealer had to beat him with a baseball bat in order to wake him up from a stupor. That’s not the suggested way to help someone recover from an overdose, but in this case it worked. 

Sixx Was High During Tommy Lee’s First Wedding

source: UPI

It’s one thing for someone’s addiction to get to them, but when it destroys their friendships that can be the last straw for many people. Sixx has been lucky enough to have his bandmates stand beside him through his ups and downs, but he nearly brought the band down when he showed up to Tommy Lee’s wedding to Heather Locklear in April 1986 high out of his mind. Lee wrote of his would be best man:

He was emaciated; he sweated constantly; and his skin was pure yellow, dude. He kept excusing himself to go to the bathroom, and then he'd return and start nodding off in the middle of the ceremony. As a best man, he was so f*cked up on heroin, he was useless. I couldn't believe he was shooting up at my f*cking wedding.

After the wedding Sixx was put in treatment but he wasn’t ready to give up the white horse just yet and he jumped from a three story window in his hospital gown before heading home. 

He Was Clinically Dead For Two Minutes

source: pinterest

Sixx was in such a heroin haze by the late ‘80s that he was on a collision course with the grim reaper at every moment of the day. Two days before Christmas in 1987 Sixx was getting in some holiday fun when with Slash and Steven Adler from Guns N’ Roses when he banged a little too much heroin before passing out and turning blue. Sixx was dead for a full two minutes before paramedics could give him a hit of adrenaline and kickstart his heart. In the band’s biography, The Dirt, Sixx wrote about his experience with the afterlife:

I tried to sit up to figure out what was going on. I thought it would be hard to lift my body. But to my surprise, I shot upright, as if I weighed nothing. Then it felt as if something very gentle was grabbing my head and pulling me upward. Above me, everything was bright white.
I looked down and realized I had left my body. Nikki Sixx—or the filthy, tattooed container that had once held him—was lying covered face-to-toe with a sheet on a gurney being pushed by medics into an ambulance.

Sixx was prematurely reported dead by local radio, which made it all the more strange when he staggered out of the hospital in nothing but a pair of leather pants to greet a couple of fans who were lighting a candle in memoriam of the “fallen” bassist.

Mötley Crüe Said Said Goodbye But It Didn’t Take Long Before They Came Back

source: consequence of sound

In 2014 the band announced that they would never be touring again, signing a contract that essentially barred them from ever hitting the stage together again. The “cessation of touring agreement” kept the group from reforming unless they all agreed to get back together for one more bang. Ash the time, the band’s attorney said:

Other bands have split up over rancor or the inability of people to get along, but this is a mutual [agreement] among all four original members and peaceful decision to move on to other endeavors and to confirm it with a binding agreement.

In 2019 the binding agreement was unbound after the group announced that they were touring with Poison and Def Leppard. Why the change of heart? The band missed playing together. Sixx said:

Honestly, I don’t think any of us thought, when we were on the final tour, we would ever get back together. We weren’t really getting along at that point. We had been together 35 years and it’s been a lot of years on the road. I don’t think we took a lot of time for ourselves off. We were just constantly touring for all that time. And when we came to the end, we broke the band up and everybody went their own ways. I think we really needed that break… And I think we sort of realized how much, without even talking about the music, how much we missed each other… We missed each other to be honest with you. We missed being in a band together.

Tags: Heavy Metal | Motley Crue | Nikki Sixx | What Did He Do?...

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Jacob Shelton

Writer

Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.