On December 23rd 1987, Motley Crue bassist and main songwriter Nikki Sixx was declared legally dead of a heroin overdose for two minutes before he was revived.
The licentious Sixx was definitely the epitome of the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” lifestyle; heroin (amongst many, many other things) was so predominate in his life that it nearly took it away. He was put into an ambulance where paramedics (one of which was a Crue fan) pumped him with two adrenaline shots. Sixx promptly came to, bolted from the ambulance, finagled a ride home, took yet more heroin (seriously) and passed out.
There’s a reason his memoir is called The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star. According to the book, he was the only member of the band addicted to heroin, and he overdosed “about half a dozen times” before finally almost succumbing to one.
According to Loudwire, four years ago today Sixx posted a statement on his Facebook page about the experience and what it taught him:
“25 years ago today I had two almost fatal drug overdoses that changed my life forever. I can’t even see myself these days as that kid who was running head strong into the abyss but I know he taught me how to live when he finally decided to do it for himself. I would of never seen the birth of my four beautiful children and had such a wonderful life (even with its adversity) if I had not kicked drugs. I can’t say it loud enough if you’re into them or considering doing them DRUGS DON’T WORK. The downside is NEVER pretty.
I am extremely grateful to be able to look back over these last 25 years and have all the memories that would of otherwise gone down up flames. Today I am going over more script material for The Heroin Diaries for the broadway play. Life really is a crazy and fun journey isn’t it?
Have a great holiday season wherever you are. Live in the moment.”
Sixx’s near fatal overdose helped him rededicate his life to music, and even inspired the band’s rowdy song “Kickstart My Heart.” He entered rehab not too long after the incident, and came back with a vengeance—the band’s next album, Dr. Feelgood, is considered by fans and music critics alike to be their best studio album, evident in the fact that it is their top selling one.
Watch Sixx discuss his overdose and subsequent death:
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