Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There's Nothing Wrong With A Little Dirt

A lot of television gets watched at TV Steve. Some would even say too much. To which I say some people should keep their opinions to themselves and let a grown-man, no matter how juvenile and immature he may be, choose how to spend his free time.

But I digress.

While I like TV and all the channels it has to offer at all times of the day, I’m also not opposed to the written word. After all, you can’t take your big screen on the subway with you to help shorten the daily commute. Today will be the inaugural book review at this humble blog.

To kick start the heart of this new theme, I will be reviewing The Dirt, the autobiography of one of the most legendary bands of the 1980s, Mötley Crüe.

The Dirt is a feel good story of four friends – Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil - with a dream and taking whatever steps they had to in order to achieve it. If those steps involved doing more drugs than the ’86 Mets, having more sex than Wilt Chamberlain and applying more make up than J. Edgar Hoover, then so be it.

To say Mötley Crüe achieved everything they set out to accomplish is an understatement. They sold more than 80 million albums which in turn made them millions of dollars. They each married pin-up girls, some of them more than once. Tommy Lee was married to Heather Locklear AND Pamela Anderson. That’s like Phil Jackson getting to coach Jordan and Kobe.

The days of 1980s heavy metal were spawned at Whiskey a Go-Go on Sunset Blvd and The Roxy in West Hollywood. Based on The Dirt, the best parts of what happened at these iconic clubs were not the shows.

The band lived up the street from The Whiskey at what was called “The Motley House”. The stories in The Dirt about the goings-on there make the party scene in Midnight Cowboy look like a church gathering. A few years ago when I was in Los Angeles I made a point to walk past The Motley House just see if the city was still haz-matting it.

One of the questions I had while reading The Dirt was how in the hell do these guys remember the parties, shows, women and tours so vividly? They drank from the time they woke up until they passed out at night. They did what seems like every drug available, and weren’t shy about it. Yet no detail seems hazy or unclear. If this recall is accurate then modern medicine needs to do a study on these four guys. I don’t remember what I had for lunch two days ago and I’m pretty sure my day didn’t start off with a boilermaker and a bump.

It should be said that The Dirt is not for everyone. If you are easily offended or think Cameron Crowe’s version of a band biopic is troublesome enough, then this is probably not one for your book club. However, my wife read it based on my recommendation and didn’t once hit me with it for suggesting it to her. At more than 400 pages, I’m glad she didn’t.

According to IMDB The Dirt has been green-lighted to become a movie, but nothing seems to be progressing on that front. There were rumors that Val Kilmer signed on to play David Lee Roth. At least we know his schedule isn’t holding up production.

A lot of people love the movie Almost Famous, and just like how Jack Black is a movie star, I will never understand why. If you want to see what being backstage with a band is like from beginning to end, pick up a copy of The Dirt. You won’t be disappointed.

I guarantee you Nikki, Tommy, Mick and Vince never would have sung Tiny Dancer on their tour bus. They were too busy watching Ozzie do a line of ants.

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