Book Review: This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx by Nikki Sixx

This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. At the recommendation a twitter friend – and a description involving music and photography, two of my most favorite things – I ordered it on a whim.

I didn’t know much about Nikki Sixx prior to reading this. My knowledge of all things Crüe was limited to Behind the Music as background noise, the occasional trashy tabloid headline (thanks, Tommy!) and the one time my older brother dragged me to a show to ignore the divorce he found himself lost in the midst of.

This isn’t a book about Motley Crüe. I think thats the biggest thing to note. You don’t have to like or really even know much about the band to enjoy this book and take from it lessons or ideas.

Starting off focusing primarily on his photography, it doesn’t take Sixx long to switch from the inspiration of his photos to his inspirations in life. He stays there, touching on his past and present – childhood, the effect of absent parents, addiction, touring – without delving too much into any one area. It’s not an autobiography. I haven’t read The Heroin Diaries (I will now) but would guess from its mentions in this book that it’s more of a memoir than this piece, if that is what you’re looking for. More than anything, This Is Gonna Hurt focuses on the personal philosophies that guide his life and decision making in all areas – music, photography, career, family, and love. Just enough of each to the wet pallette.

His writing style is easy and conversational, as if he was sitting across the table sipping coffee and telling tales, and allows for a quick read. I read the first 200 pages in a single sitting and the rest the very next day.

All in all, I was impressed with the honesty of the book,  as if we got to peek into the private journals of an aging, and more importantly -maturing, rock star.

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