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Fame & Fortune: Nikki Sixx

Just when you think that the life of a rock star is everything a red-blooded young man could dream of, some rocker tells the real story and makes you thankful for your day job.

Nikki Sixx has been the bass player and songwriter for the legendary heavy metal band Mötley Crüe since the early '80s, and with more than 45 million records sold worldwide, has enjoyed every perk a rocker possibly could, including fame, fortune and girls, girls, girls.

But while he was at what should have been the height of a legendary ride, his partying led to a debilitating drug addiction. When Sixx, who has always kept a diary, looked back at the entries from some of his hardest times, he realized there was an amazing story to be told.

"The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star," features selected diary entries from the mid-1980s, when Sixx's addiction was so severe that drug-fueled paranoia drove him to hide in closets. Co-written with journalist Ian Gittens, the book also features asides from those who watched (and many who shared) his struggles, including his Mötley band mates.

Bankrate spoke to Sixx about the project, and the challenges that led him to it.

Bankrate: Talk about what inspired this project.

Nikki Sixx: I've been keeping diaries since probably '79. When I fill up a book or two, I drop them off at a storage unit.

So I was there, glancing at stuff from, like, 1980 and '81, and I was this kid with a dream, talking about how I was in local bands, and how I wanted to be in a band that was like AC/DC meets the New York Dolls, or The Ramones meets Black Sabbath. Looking at these, I was like, "Wow. For a kid, I had a pretty clear vision."

Then around "Shout at the Devil" and "Theater of Pain," we started to pop and had hit singles and sold out arena tours, but then I started doing a lot of drugs. I was uncontrollable.

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So I sat in this boiling hot metal storage unit, sweating and reading, and I kind of laughed and cried. It felt like I was reading someone else's journals -- it didn't feel like it was me. Because in the beginning, because of where I was at in my life, I kept referring to my mom and dad, and asking were they there for me, and was it the addiction, and I was ungrateful and pissed off, and I hated my band and my band members. And I was like, who is this guy? And I was thinking that whatever that addiction and depression were at the time, during that era, they were really a Band-Aid for what happened to me as a child, which was, my father abandoned me at 3, my mother was unable to be a mother, and I lived with my grandparents.

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