He was raised by his single mother, Deana Haight, and her abusive boyfriend, after his father abandoned the family. When he was six, he and his mother moved to Mexico for a short time, after which they moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, with his grandparents. The family moved several more times, to El Paso, Texas, then to Anthony, New Mexico, back to El Paso and then returned to Twin Falls. While living in Idaho, Sixx became a teenage vandal, breaking into neighbors' homes, shoplifting and being expelled from school for selling drugs. His grandparents sent him to live with his mother, who had moved to Seattle.
He lived there for a short time, and learned how to play the bass guitar after buying his first instrument with money made from selling a guitar he stole from a music store. At the age of 17, he moved to Los Angeles on his own; he got jobs at a liquor store and manufacturing plant and played in a band with Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. By 1981, Sixx had developed a plan to create the ultimate "theatrical" band for the new decade. He found guitarist Mick Mars, drummer Tommy Lee, and singer Vince Neil to share in this vision. The band Mötley Crüe rose quickly in the musical environment of L.A.'s Sunset Strip, although at first no label would sign them for their erratic stage performances.
So on their own label they recorded "Too Fast For Love" their debut record. Released in November 1981 on the band's Leathür Records label After but after signing with Elektra they re-released the "Too Fast For Love" and then went on to record and release Shout At The Devil, the band quickly reached national fame. Like his bandmates, Sixx took advantage of the excess that rock n' roll allowed, surpassing the attempts of his bandmates by binging on alcohol, cocaine, and most notably, heroin. Sixx has often stated that he would use his body as a human chemistry set, mixing excessive amounts of drugs on a regular basis to search for a new "high". On at least one occasion on the night of December 23, 1987 Sixx was declared dead after an overdose, only to be revived by the paramedics with two adrenaline shots to the heart.
This incident was the inspiration for the song Kickstart my Heart. On an earlier trip to London, Sixx overdosed at a dealer's house and, while he wasn't declared dead, he was put into a trash bin by the dealer after being beaten with a baseball bat. This was the inspiration behind the line "Valentine's in London, found me in the trash" from Dancing on Glass. Soon after his overdose, he and his bandmates sought sobriety through rehab. It was then that the band would produce their most successful record, Dr.
Feelgood, in 1989 with producer Bob Rock. The album would stay on the charts for 109 weeks after its release. When Motley Crue reformed at the end of 2004, Sixx declared himself sober. He is known for being one of the most excessive rockstars to have survived, and as such enjoys a legendary status amongst rock critics.
Whilst Motley Crue have received a large amount of criticism from the press due to their excesses, Sixx is often referenced in the same sentence as other legendary "live fast" rockers, such as Lemmy Kilmister and Ozzy Osbourne. Being the central creative influence of the band for much of the 1980s, Nikki subsequently wrote most, if not all of the Crue's material. This is particularly true for the earlier period of the band's career, as Tommy Lee and Mick Mars were still developing as song writers. Nikki has penned such classic tracks as 'Livewire', 'Home Sweet Home', 'Girls, Girls, Girls','Kickstart My Heart', and 'Dr. Feelgood'.
His songs are known for their distinct heavy and hard sound largely resulting from Nikki and Mick's instruments being tuned 'down' and their fast (almost punk) tempo. The first album with John Corabi marked a move away from their classic 80s sound to a more alternative and experimental style reminiscent of Alice In Chains and 'alt rock' movement of the early 90s. With a change in decade came a change in the songwriting duties for the band, with all four members contributing to the material on the albums, many believe this to be the reason for the change in band's sound. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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