You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

4 Motley Crue Books to Read After Watching ‘The Dirt’

Thanks to a buzzy new movie on Netflix, metal band Mötley Crüe is once again making news, almost 40 years after they first hit the scene.

The Dirt,” which stars Daniel Webber, Douglas Booth, Colson Baker and Iwan Rheon as Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars respectively, chronicles the formation of the group, their fallout and their reconciliation, dotted with ripped-from-the-tabloid anecdotes along the way. Released on Netflix last month, the film was received poorly by critics, but has had fans both old and new clamoring for more on the prolific ’80s and ’90s rockers. Still, while the group debuted a new single to coincide with the release of the biopic, the members have said there are no plans to reunite or put out a full album just yet.

While you wait for new music, we’ve rounded up four Motley Crue books — all written by or approved by the band — that tell the story of how a group of misfits from Los Angeles rose to fame, rocked the industry and clawed their way to the top.

1. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band

motley crue book the dirt netflix

The inspiration for the new biopic was this book, released in 2002 and penned by the four members of the band themselves (with an assist from journalist Neil Strauss). Released in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the group’s founding, “The Dirt” gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the rise of the band, their backstage antics, rocky romances, and ultimately, the vices that lead to the group’s undoing and subsequent hiatus.

The book became an immediate hit when it was released, charting on the New York Times Best Sellers list for multiple weeks, thanks to its sordid — and occasionally graphic — tales of life on the road, which fans and readers lapped up. That part from the Netflix film about Ozzy Osbourne snorting ants out of a sidewalk crack? It was first detailed in this book, which also addresses the band’s scuffles with everyone from Axl Rose to Pamela Anderson. Purchase: $13.52 on Amazon.com.

2. The Heroin Diaries, Ten Year Anniversary Edition: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

Nikki Sixx’s harrowing memoir about fame and addiction was re-issued in 2017, 10 years after the Mötley Crüe bassist first released his story publicly. Written by Sixx (with author Ian Griffins), the memoir shines a spotlight on Sixx’s darkest days, as he struggled with drug addiction and anger issues that threatened to tear apart his relationship with the band — and his friends and family. Though he was experiencing some of his greatest successes career-wise, Sixx writes that his personal life was in shambles, and the personal photos and journal entries he shares in the book reveal a musician who would often spend days in a coke and heroin-fueled daze (Sixx also released a book of personal photography, “This Is Gonna Hurt,” in 2013).

the heroin diaries nikki sixx book new edition ten year

The 10 year anniversary edition of “The Heroin Diaries” features new content and entries from Sixx, who says he was inspired to share his story with a new generation of fans and readers, especially in light of the growing opioid crisis in the country. Though it offers a no-holds-barred account of drug dependency and a frightening descent into paranoia, Sixx says the important part is that he sought help and eventually overcame his demons. His subsequent recovery and transition into an advocate for rehab and treatment is what he wants the book to impart on others. Purchase: $16.36 on Amazon.com.

3. Tommyland

tommy lee book tommyland review

Also the name of his second solo album, “Tommyland,” is Crüe drummer Tommy Lee’s controversial autobiography, released in 2009 and written with an assist from former Rolling Stone writer, Anthony Bozza.

The confessional-style book chronicles Lee’s rise to fame, from joining Mötley Crüe at 17, to touring the world with the band, to his subsequent marriages — and divorces — from Hollywood bombshells Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson. Though it’s filled with tabloid-worthy stories, the book also reveals Lee as a father, to two sons with Anderson, and shares the lessons he’s learned over the years from his troubles with the law and his rocky relationships in the music industry.

“Those with weak stomachs, strict morals, or chronic indigestion should put the book down,” he writes in an excerpt. “For the rest of you, there’s one truth that’s real across the board: What you send out is what you get back. Send out the good, people, and it will come back to you.” Purchase: $11.00 on Amazon.com.

4. Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen

vince neil book tattoos tequila

Like the other books on this list, Vince Neil’s memoir is a story of rage and redemption. While Neil contributed to “The Dirt,” he says he felt confined by the interview process for the book, and as a result, did not share as much with the publishers as the other members did. Years later, the singer released “Tattoos & Tequila” as a companion book to a solo album of the same name. Each song on the album corresponds with a chapter in the book, and both projects share the same cover.

Neil addresses some painful moments in the memoir, including being behind the wheel of a fatal car crash in 1984 that claimed the life of a friend and critically injured two others. Neil would be charged with vehicular manslaughter, and sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years probation. The singer and reality TV star (Neil has appeared on “The Surreal Life” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” among other reality shows) — also details his three plastic surgeries, his romances over the years and the lessons he’s learned from trying to make it in other businesses aside from music.

“These days,” he writes, “I’ve got businesses to run. I like the action. Something to get your heart pumping. Healthier than a syringe full of cocaine powder like I was doing back in ’81 with my girlfriend Lovey, that’s for sure… But you got to admit…those days are a lot more fun to talk about.” Purchase: $10.74 on Amazon.com.

Editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something from our links, PMC may earn a commission.

More Music

  • My Chemical Romance

    My Chemical Romance Confirms U.S. Reunion Tour, With 18 Cities Set for Fall

    As anticipated, My Chemical Reunion’s December show at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles, their first in nine years, was not a one-off, as America goes. Following the announcement of some European gigs, the group has also slated a month-long run of arena shows in 18 cities this fall, including a return to L.A. [...]

  • Rusty Gaston, CEO, Sony/ATV Nashville

    Sony/ATV Publishing Nashville Names Rusty Gaston as CEO

    Making good on news that was reported last July but not officially announced until now, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville has appointed Rusty Gaston CEO. As head of the titan Nashville division, Gaston will work under Jon Platt, Sony/ATV’s chairman/CEO. “The Sony/ATV Nashville catalog is the undisputed greatest collection of country music on the planet,” Gaston [...]

  • BTS The Late Late Show with

    BTS Goes Into the Woods With James Corden for 'Black Swan' Live TV Debut (Watch)

    BTS took James Corden back into the woods for the live television premiere of the group’s new “Black Swan,” unfolding on a deep-forest set two nights after their Grammys debut, which was also the subject of a short interview on the late-night show. Speaking of their appearance on the Grammys, the group said, “Everything about [...]

  • Grammy Awards nominee Yola performs live

    John Prine, Yola, Rhiannon Giddens and Other Americana Notables Salute Willie Nelson

    Willie Nelson could have warned mamas not to let their babies grow up to be Americana musicians, but too late — he’s one of the core heroes and spiritual gurus of that roots-based movement, and some of its leading lights gathered at L.A.’s Troubadour on Grammy weekend to salute Nelson by covering his songs, showing [...]

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez. Kristen Anderson-Lopez,

    Kristen Anderson-Lopez Talks Responsibility, Representation in 'Frozen 2' and the Biz

    Gender parity isn’t an issue in Oscar-winning songwriting-composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s house, what with her longstanding collaboration with husband Bobby Lopez, but at the Oscars luncheon on Monday, it was a different story. “There were 13 female directors represented in the shorts and documentary fields,” Anderson-Lopez notes, adding, “but how do we get from there to [...]

  • Mrs. Doubtfire BroadwayCon panel

    Listen: 'Mrs. Doubtfire' the Musical, Live From BroadwayCon

    In the Broadway-bound musical version of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” actor Rob McClure has the unenviable job of following in the footsteps of comedy great Robin Williams, who memorably played the title role in the 1993 film on which the stage show is based. Listen to this week’s podcast below: How does McClure hope to fill those [...]

  • Lizzo

    Osheaga and Firefly Festivals Reveal Lineups: Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, More

    Two of the summer’s biggest festivals — Firefly in Delaware and Osheaga in Montreal — announced their lineups this week, and both feature some of the most important artists working today. Delaware’s Firefly Festival will feature headliners Billie Eilish, Halsey and Rage Against the Machine (the latter of which is also set to headline Coachella). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content