NEW YORK (Billboard) - Last September, Nikki Sixx's harrowing memoir of addiction, "The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star," debuted at No. 7 on the New York Times Book Review nonfiction best-seller list.
The book's companion album, "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack" (Eleven Seven Music), is also a success, having spawned the hit mainstream rock radio single "Life Is Beautiful."
A year later, reception for "Diaries" is still warm. The Motley Crue bassist recently received a Prism Award from the Entertainment Industries Council in recognition of his accurate portrayal of addiction on the album. The new single "Tomorrow," which is being worked to radio, was recently selected by NAADAC, the Assn. for Addiction Professionals, as one of the themes for National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
Sixx remains hot on the topic of recovery and is considering other methods to help spread awareness about National Recovery Month and the Mental Health Parity Act, which provides parity between health insurance coverage of mental health benefits and benefits for medical and surgical services.
"Here we are a year later and (I'm thinking), 'What can I talk about, what can I say that will make people that are in recovery want to stand up and support Recovery Month?"' he says. "A friend of mine said, 'You know, the fact that you did a really honest book and it changed people's lives, that's something to talk about.' It's a year later and the book is still selling, and it's still changing people's lives."
Discussing the wisdom he's gleaned from his own recovery efforts, he's noticed preaching to addicts that they need to stop usually doesn't help. The "Diaries" song "Accidents Can Happen" relates to how relapse is part of recovery.
"What I used to be told (was), 'What the f--k's wrong with you? Why can't you do like everybody else? Why can't you stop? Why can't you act right?"' he recalls, saying "Accidents Can Happen" attempts to convey that "We all fall off the wagon. It's only one day, it's not the rest of your life. Pick yourself up and go again. And I think if someone had told me that at times in my life, it would have been a lot better than being ripped apart.
The purpose of "Diaries" was to deliver a message to the masses. When it comes to his personal life, Sixx tries to show by example that sobriety is cool.
"I don't make it like a bummer," he notes, using the term "sobo cops" for people that get uptight if they see someone drinking and the like. "I'm in a rock band, you know. There's drinking, and when I'm onstage I see waves of people smoking pot. Can you imagine if I was like 'sobo cop' and was like, 'I'm not going to perform if people smoke pot at my concerts?"' he says with a laugh. "It's like, 'Hey, man, do what you want to do, but if you have a problem, here's an answer, and here's some awareness."'