The Motley Crue Library

Hard to believe that the amount of literature published on the subject of our heroes could fill a moderate-sized bookshelf. Although there were some fan & low-profile publications from the 1980s-1990s, the real Motley book boom came with the 2001 publication of their Neil Strauss-penned autobiography, 'The Dirt'. It is one of the most celebrated Rock biographies of the last 15 years & was the impetus for the band to get back together in 2005: a reunion that would end ten years later in 2015. 

'The Dirt' showed that beyond the highly publicized & mythologized 'Decade of Decadence' (1981-1991), the Motley Drama continued on in equally chaotic & sensationalistic tones in the 1990s. Their star may have fallen but they remained a subject of controversy.

I got the 10th Anniversary edition of 'The Dirt' & was disappointed to find that it was an EXACT reprint of the 2001 first edition, right down to the typos. It came with a slightly redesigned cover & is housed in a black cardboard slipcase with a cool graphic so it's a nice collectible but there is ZERO new content inside, don't buy it hoping they did a catch-up. Knowing Motley, Neil Strauss has had no contact with them for a looong time. 

Tommy Lee published his autobiography, 'Tommyland' in 2004. I do not own the book but take a look at it as well as possibly the most comprehensive Motley Crue bibliography online at Paul Miles' amazing Chronological Crue.

Nikki Sixx's 'The Heroin Diaries', published in September 2007, is almost 'The Dirt ... Plus' in that it goes over events already covered in the band bio (I guess all the Motley bios do that) but Nikki's book is one that he was talking about publishing as early as the late 1980s. He had two books he constantly talked about publishing in those days: 'An Education In Rebellion': a book of early poems & song lyrics; & the book based on journals he kept as a heroin addict in the years 1986-1987. This would eventually be published as 'The Heroin Diaries'. It's a well-done book with lurid graphics & guest commentators which make it a pretty good read. It sold well & Nikki even published a second book of photos soon after (see Miles' bibliography above).

Vince has been the latest Motley member to release a bio with the world still waiting for the Man from Mars to publish his and his LONG awaited solo album. Like Tommy & Nikki, Vince's book was part of several tie-in media ventures, most obviously a full length album or soundtrack to the autobiography. Vince published 'Tattoos & Tequila' in September of 2010 & it continues the standard set up by 'Tommyland' & 'The Dirt' of offering brutal honesty & even antagonistic feelings for other Crue members & transgressions from the past. From these books you get the sense that the damage of the 1992 break-up was never fully addressed & a lot of resentment remains. 

Neil Zlozower's 2010 picture book, 'Motley Crue: A Visual History: 1983-1990' is THE best publication featuring top quality & rare vintage shots of the Crue in their absolute sweet spot heyday. Zlozower's photos of Motley live & in many different studio settings are among their most iconic & are gorgeously reproduced in this 232 page coffee table book.


The latest Motley publication is Martin Popoff's 'Kickstart My Heart: A Motley Crue Day By Day' & is an expert look at Motley's entire career with a tonne of rare Motley memorabilia & images. I particularly like some of Popoff's chapter introductions & how he puts each Motley era in context. This is some of the only writing out there, in book form, written about the Motleys & not BY the Motleys . . . in fact, that book still needs to be written, despite Nikki's protestations! You can purchase Martin's awesome book from the author HERE.

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