I love hair metal. I love it more now than I did when it was actually popular and not just popular in this ironic, 80s retro, leggings-are-back sort of way. I’m not sure who to blame for this: My sister’s band, whose show opening for Bon Jovi last year led directly to my obsession with finding “Dead or Alive” and “It’s My Life” on Limewire? My ex-boyfriend Kyle, who wooed me with a metal-heavy mp3 mix? Or maybe the indie-rock hipsters who’ve bored me so much with their anemic (but pretty, I admit) shoe-gazing songs that I’ve had to turn to Journey for a good hook? Whatever it is, I suddenly have the musical taste of a 16-year-old boy – in 1983.
Which is why I was delighted to hear an interview with Motley Crue bassist, songwriter, co-founder, and famous fuck-up Nikki Sixx last night on 107.7 The Bone (Click to listen).
See, in the last few months, I’ve spent plenty of time nurturing my crush on Tommy Lee, who seems always to be in the spotlight somewhere. But I’ve hardly heard of Nikki (maybe because he’s not getting into fights with Kid Rock at awards shows…but I digress).
Turns out it’s because Nikki’s been a busy little beaver, touring with his new band SixxAM, raising money for Covenant House in L.A., running a clothing line, and writing The Heroin Diaries, an autobiography about his life as a drug-addicted rock star – and all while staying sober. As much as I’d like to make fun of him for being an aging has-been, or for having the hubris to write about himself, or for the fact that in “Kickstart My Heart” (which is on the soundtrack for his book), he couldn’t think of anything to rhyme with “kicking ass” except “kicking ass.” But I actually was impressed with how he sounded on Rockline: focused, mature, and truly committed to doing good things for the world. And so I can’t poke fun in good conscience. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing, I’m going to buy his book off Amazon – even if it sucks as much as his critics say it does.
Because, you know, that’s how crushes work: mindless devotion which may, or may not, be warranted, and almost certainly is not requited. And if I’m still crushing on hair metal enough to listen to Mr. Big on my iPod, can you really expect me to resist Nikki’s charms? I didn’t think so. I blame Aquanet and anthemic choruses. And Kyle.