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Review: The Dirt : Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
Book Review
The Dirt : Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
Publisher: Regan Books
Author: Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx with Neil Strauss
Year published: 2002
ISBN: 0060989157
Pages: 448

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: July 24, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The Dirt : Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band

Rated 5/5 (100%) (2 Votes)

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, having been told it was a real page-turner. I can confirm that is absolutely true - it is very difficult to put this one down once you start reading it. Anybody who was in this band - or anybody who was into hard rock/metal music for that matter - some 20 years ago knew that these bad boys wrecked havoc everywhere they went. Well here you get the protagonist themselves to describe their career, from the events that lead to the formation of the band, to the downfall of the band (when most big metal bands dropped from shows with an audience of 20,000 in the 80s to 400-1500 in the 90s) and to the production of "New Tatoo", although the level of details drops quite a bit toward the end. You get everything from the juicy "rock 'n' roll moments" (sex, drugs, destruction of property and self-esteem) to the members' most intimate personal and family details (both good -not much of that- and bad -lots of that). Vince Neil's description of his 4-year old daughter's struggle with cancer that eventually led to her death shorthly after is particularly disturbing, and that's just one among many other tragedies that hit the band members to various degree.

Each chapter is actually a band member, manager, friend, record company executive recounting some episode of their personal life or a professional moment of the band. This of course means occasional badmouthing of someone else, whether it's a bandmate, an ex-girlfriend/ex-wife, and incidentally anyone in management. On some occasion, the other party gets to respond to the other's allegation. Notoriously missing is the response of any of their ex's. Whether they declined to participate or were not invited to do so, I do not know.

There are several pictures throughout the book, but I found myself not spending much time looking at those - the text was just too interesting and this book reads itself. While at times I couldn't wait to see what was coming next, there were times when I wondered if things could get any more sick and I wasn't sure if I wanted to turn to the next page! :) The cover of the edition I have says "New York Times Bestseller" and it's not a surprise. Biographies like this one often get stale after a few chapters, and while this one does have a few more or less boring moments (I'd say no more than 10 pages total), it is fascinating from cover to cover. Whether you (ever) liked Mötley Crüe or not is irrelevant: This is a rock 'n' roll tale that will knock you off your socks.

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