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The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx

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Rock-and-roll icon and three-time bestselling author Nikki Sixx tells his origin story: how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx, chronicling his fascinating journey from irrepressible Idaho farmboy to the man who formed the revolutionary rock group Mötley Crüe. Nikki Sixx is one of the most respected, recognizable, and entrepreneurial icons in the music industry. As the founder Rock-and-roll icon and three-time bestselling author Nikki Sixx tells his origin story: how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx, chronicling his fascinating journey from irrepressible Idaho farmboy to the man who formed the revolutionary rock group Mötley Crüe. Nikki Sixx is one of the most respected, recognizable, and entrepreneurial icons in the music industry. As the founder of Mötley Crüe, who is now in his twenty-first year of sobriety, Sixx is incredibly passionate about his craft and wonderfully open about his life in rock and roll, and as a person of the world. Born Franklin Carlton Feranna on December 11, 1958, young Frankie was abandoned by his father and partly raised by his mother, a woman who was ahead of her time but deeply troubled. Frankie ended up living with his grandparents, bouncing from farm to farm and state to state. He was an all-American kid—hunting, fishing, chasing girls, and playing football—but underneath it all, there was a burning desire for more, and that more was music. He eventually took a Greyhound bound for Hollywood. In Los Angeles, Frank lived with his aunt and his uncle—the president of Capitol Records—for a short time. But there was no easy path to the top. He was soon on his own. There were dead-end jobs: dipping circuit boards, clerking at liquor and record stores, selling used light bulbs, and hustling to survive. But at night, Frank honed his craft, joining Sister, a band formed by fellow hard-rock veteran Blackie Lawless, and formed a group of his own: London, the precursor of Mötley Crüe. Turning down an offer to join Randy Rhoads’s band, Frank changed his name to Nikki London, Nikki Nine, and, finally, Nikki Sixx. Like Huck Finn with a stolen guitar, he had a vision: a group that combined punk, glam, and hard rock into the biggest, most theatrical and irresistible package the world had ever seen. With hard work, passion, and some luck, the vision manifested in reality—and this is a profound true story finding identity, of how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx. It's also a road map to the ways you can overcome anything, and achieve all of your goals, if only you put your mind to it.


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Rock-and-roll icon and three-time bestselling author Nikki Sixx tells his origin story: how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx, chronicling his fascinating journey from irrepressible Idaho farmboy to the man who formed the revolutionary rock group Mötley Crüe. Nikki Sixx is one of the most respected, recognizable, and entrepreneurial icons in the music industry. As the founder Rock-and-roll icon and three-time bestselling author Nikki Sixx tells his origin story: how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx, chronicling his fascinating journey from irrepressible Idaho farmboy to the man who formed the revolutionary rock group Mötley Crüe. Nikki Sixx is one of the most respected, recognizable, and entrepreneurial icons in the music industry. As the founder of Mötley Crüe, who is now in his twenty-first year of sobriety, Sixx is incredibly passionate about his craft and wonderfully open about his life in rock and roll, and as a person of the world. Born Franklin Carlton Feranna on December 11, 1958, young Frankie was abandoned by his father and partly raised by his mother, a woman who was ahead of her time but deeply troubled. Frankie ended up living with his grandparents, bouncing from farm to farm and state to state. He was an all-American kid—hunting, fishing, chasing girls, and playing football—but underneath it all, there was a burning desire for more, and that more was music. He eventually took a Greyhound bound for Hollywood. In Los Angeles, Frank lived with his aunt and his uncle—the president of Capitol Records—for a short time. But there was no easy path to the top. He was soon on his own. There were dead-end jobs: dipping circuit boards, clerking at liquor and record stores, selling used light bulbs, and hustling to survive. But at night, Frank honed his craft, joining Sister, a band formed by fellow hard-rock veteran Blackie Lawless, and formed a group of his own: London, the precursor of Mötley Crüe. Turning down an offer to join Randy Rhoads’s band, Frank changed his name to Nikki London, Nikki Nine, and, finally, Nikki Sixx. Like Huck Finn with a stolen guitar, he had a vision: a group that combined punk, glam, and hard rock into the biggest, most theatrical and irresistible package the world had ever seen. With hard work, passion, and some luck, the vision manifested in reality—and this is a profound true story finding identity, of how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx. It's also a road map to the ways you can overcome anything, and achieve all of your goals, if only you put your mind to it.

30 review for The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    ➙ 4¼⭐ ➙ Narration 😍 = Amazing ➙ Narrated by 🎙️Nikki Sixx ➙ The memoir of Franklin Carlton Feranna ➙ His drive, determination & will to succeed I love Nikki Sixx’s unapologetic attitude...he’s like, yeah, I stole your name, but you didn’t “make it”, so what difference does it make? He’s definitely not afraid to own it. There wasn’t much to this but it was a super quick listen and Nikki Sixx is such an accomplished storyteller that I couldn’t help but find it interesting. Nikki has an Instagram ac ➙ 4¼⭐ ➙ Narration 😍 = Amazing ➙ Narrated by 🎙️Nikki Sixx ➙ The memoir of Franklin Carlton Feranna ➙ His drive, determination & will to succeed I love Nikki Sixx’s unapologetic attitude...he’s like, yeah, I stole your name, but you didn’t “make it”, so what difference does it make? He’s definitely not afraid to own it. There wasn’t much to this but it was a super quick listen and Nikki Sixx is such an accomplished storyteller that I couldn’t help but find it interesting. Nikki has an Instagram account and I’ve seen his posts about hunting and fishing that he’s done in and around his home in Wyoming and always wondered where is love for the outdoors came from...now I know.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Durfee

    See my review at BRIAN LEE DURFEE REVIEWS on YouTube--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2ME6... See my review at BRIAN LEE DURFEE REVIEWS on YouTube--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2ME6...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jo-Ann Duff

    The Dirt by Motley Crue is probably one of my favourite music biographies. I also thoroughly enjoyed the hedonistic movie of the same name starring Machine Gun Kelly, and it was reading this book and watching the movie which made me start listening to some of the band’s music. Unfortunately, before this book and movie arrived in my orbit, I had little knowledge of who they were, aside from the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson tabloid dramas. Nothing of their music or their meteoric rise to fame. The The Dirt by Motley Crue is probably one of my favourite music biographies. I also thoroughly enjoyed the hedonistic movie of the same name starring Machine Gun Kelly, and it was reading this book and watching the movie which made me start listening to some of the band’s music. Unfortunately, before this book and movie arrived in my orbit, I had little knowledge of who they were, aside from the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson tabloid dramas. Nothing of their music or their meteoric rise to fame. The First 21 tells the tale of a young Frankie Feranna, who is raised by various interesting, wanderlust filled and yet ultimately caring people who picked up a bass guitar and became a member of one of America’s largest rock bands. Taking dead-end jobs to buy a guitar, forming bands in mates garages, and getting the crap kicked out of him for parading the halls of his High School with big hair and a women’s jacket turned inside out. Throughout his childhood, it seems to me that Frankie Feranna stayed true to himself and the only thing that ever really changed was his name. Frank changed his name to Nikki London, then Nikki Nine and then eventually settled on the name now etched in music history, Nikki Sixx. Nikki writes really well. I loved the flow of his words on the page and the emotion which comes through at certain times of his life. His unwavering love for his sisters and the sheer rage and frustration triggered when talking about his mom. I’m no die-hard Motley Crue fan, nor am I an avid subscriber to Rolling Stone magazine. I prefer dance music and 90’s RnB if truth be told. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying every page of The First 21. This isn’t a book solely for musos. If you love a good memoir, then I highly recommend The First 21. There is a reason Nikki Sixx has topped the New York Best Sellers list for the third time!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Justin (Backstage Revisited)

    (...) I'm an artist -- and an artist is a little like somebody born with no skin. You feel everything. Then you grow up and make it your job to feel and interpret the world." (p. 74) Ever since I've discovered Nikki Sixx and Sixx:A.M., back in 2015 (sixx years ago), I've been a huge fan of both of them, and they both have had a lot of influence on both my life and me as a person. I know every Sixx:A.M. song by heart (though I'm not that much into Mötley Crüe, except for some songs) and I've read (...) I'm an artist -- and an artist is a little like somebody born with no skin. You feel everything. Then you grow up and make it your job to feel and interpret the world." (p. 74) Ever since I've discovered Nikki Sixx and Sixx:A.M., back in 2015 (sixx years ago), I've been a huge fan of both of them, and they both have had a lot of influence on both my life and me as a person. I know every Sixx:A.M. song by heart (though I'm not that much into Mötley Crüe, except for some songs) and I've read both Sixx' previous books, The Heroin Diaries (2007) and This Is Gonna Hurt (2011). Sixx has amazed me many times, so he has set a high bar for everything he does. I had high expectations when I started reading this book. The book is about Sixx' youth, the first 21 (or actually, almost 22) years of his life, when he was still named Frank Feranna. He tries to discover his own youth and family history and tells how everything that happened to him, all the (regularly stupid) decisions he's made or things he's done, and all the people he's met have influenced and shaped him as a person. The story starts with a short introduction about the current, after which he tells everything he's discovered about his own family tree. He talks about his parents (apparently his dad was twice the age of his mom), how his father left the family and that his mother always had another boyfriend. He ended up growing up with his grandparents Nona and Tom (apparently Nona was sixteen years older than Tom and used to be his babysitter as a kid; Tom wasn't Frank's biological grandfather). He moved a lot with them, living in different places and making new friends every time. Eventually he goes to Los Angeles to live with his Uncle Don, who worked for Capitol Records, before dropping out of school and kicking out of Don's house (he still supported Frank, though). After that, Sixx talks about how he tried to survive by himself. He worked a lot of different jobs (and often got fired), had difficulties paying rent, moved very often, and was involved in criminal activities like theft, scam and drug dealing. Frank got his first new guitar after he stole one in an ingenious way, only to find out it wasn't a bass guitar. He sold the guitar twice - which of course got him into trouble. Once he got his bass he was finally able to actually be a musician. He eventually went on to form the band London (because all good musicians are from London), and asks his Uncle Don to come visit a concert and sign them. Don watches them live, but refuses to sign them. The story comes to an end when Frank really needs some money, because they didn't get payed for a concert, and ends up calling his dad to whom he hasn't spoken for years. When he dials he got told that "Frank Feranna is dead" (he was named after his father). He agreed, and decided to officially change his name into Nikki Sixx, on the 9th of December 1980, two days before his 22nd birthday. Only a few weeks later he formed Mötley Crüe. He once again asked his Uncle Don to sign his band, and once again he refused. After Mötley Crüe sold millions of albums, Uncle Don told Sixx: "Failing to sign Mötley Crüe was the biggest professional mistake that I made." To be honest, I found that a beautiful sentence after reading the whole story. The book is very easy to read, because Nikki Sixx writes in an easy yet beautiful way. As someone who lives in Europe, it sometimes was difficult to follow every place he's lived in, but he did very well to describe how these places looked like. The book is structured in a chronological order, with sometimes some small switches to previous or current times. The chapters are quite short. Next to that, the book contains a lot of photographs and pictures of Nikki Sixx and people he talks about, and a picture of the legal document in which his official name change is accepted. While reading this book, every now and then I felt sorry for the kid, because I knew that he had to go through everything that happens in The Heroin Diaries. The final chapter also contains some personal advice from Sixx to the reader, and I'd like to share some of my favourites. He tells you to surround yourself with creativity; creative people, but also with creative things like books, paintings, photographs, records (p. 197). The other one is: "It doesn't take ten thousands hours to master your craft. It takes a lifetime, and that's the best thing. A lifetime is what you happen to have." (p. 198) That's how beautiful Sixx can write. Sixx also admits that luck has been important for the bands success; he says it'd be a lie if he said it wouldn't be. After finishing to book, I put it down and had to think about the whole story. It left me sitting there inspired and with an urge to be creative myself. For those who love Nikki Sixx, his music/bands and/or rock 'n' roll in the sixties and seventies, I can absolutely recommend reading this. I can also recommend you to read this if you want to know more about a very creative artist. When you're gonna read it, you should put up some Sixx:A.M. or Mötley Crüe as background music to get an even better vibe when going through the story; Sixx:A.M.s new song 'The First 21' really catches the vibe and story of the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Share

    Nikki Sixx is a great storyteller. Loved the look into this life growing up. However, I am either in awe or perplexed how someone can remember so many details about their "first 21 years". Mine are all a blur. I can't recall what I ate for dinner last Thursday never mind remember the antics when I was 19....lol! Nonetheless, flew through this one quickly. Great memoir. Always a Mötley Crüe and Nikki Sixx fan forever. \ m / Nikki Sixx is a great storyteller. Loved the look into this life growing up. However, I am either in awe or perplexed how someone can remember so many details about their "first 21 years". Mine are all a blur. I can't recall what I ate for dinner last Thursday never mind remember the antics when I was 19....lol! Nonetheless, flew through this one quickly. Great memoir. Always a Mötley Crüe and Nikki Sixx fan forever. \ m /

  7. 4 out of 5

    Booked-up22

    I enjoyed the book. The book was honest,and I felt he let us see a more vulnerable side of himself. You can tell that life has humbled Nikki, and that he has come to peace with his life. He’s a smart articulate, and driven man who “made it” by hard work,and determination. I’m sure there is more to come from him.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Baker

    Best book ever written Best author alive That’s it That’s my review Everyone read it right now

  9. 4 out of 5

    Victoria R

    I was so happy to recieve a copy of The Frist 21 for my birthday after waiting all year for its release. This book focuses on Nikki's childhood and his time in the band London. Nikki wrote a chapter for "The Dirt" which talked briefly of his roots and time bouncing between Tom and Nona and Deanna. It was one of my favourite chapters in the book, so I was excited to see a whole project dedicated to this part of his history. I love that while Nikki had so many new stories to tell, he also fleshed I was so happy to recieve a copy of The Frist 21 for my birthday after waiting all year for its release. This book focuses on Nikki's childhood and his time in the band London. Nikki wrote a chapter for "The Dirt" which talked briefly of his roots and time bouncing between Tom and Nona and Deanna. It was one of my favourite chapters in the book, so I was excited to see a whole project dedicated to this part of his history. I love that while Nikki had so many new stories to tell, he also fleshed out some of those stories I loved so much from that chapter in "The Dirt" - (the lunch box story being my favourite of course!) I finished this book feeling incredibly inspired. I was most struck by the difference in the tone of Nikki's writing. While his other books were also incredibly enjoyable, I noticed some undertones of anger, pain and frustration when he talked about his parents, despite his assertions that he had processed all feelings of betrayal and dealt with his demons. Conversely, The First 21 is so calm, mature and wise in its delivery. I really got the impression that he has welcomed a lot more peace and understanding into his life. It's so interesting to see an author develop in their writing like that. As a product of this, I found so many bits of wonderful advice which fit surprisingly well into the context of my own life and made me think long and hard about my future which is shortly to become my present. A few bits of said great advice: * "Chasing trends or even following them is a deadly poison - not just to the process {of creating} but to the outcome." * "Learn to practice long-term thinking not short-term thinking, in your life and in your work. The worst that can happen is that you'll fail. And the best that happen is that you will fail, because failing is what lights a real fire under your ass." * "It doesn't take ten thousands hours to master your craft. It takes a lifetime, and that's the best thing. A lifetime is what you happen to have." And, my personal favourite: * "Don't underestimate the role that luck plays. Successful people tend to do that: chalk their achievements up to their intelligence, diligence, good looks or charm. The truth is, at some point, they probably got lucky - and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Luck comes and goes. The trick is to stay in great shape so that when it does come, you can seize it. The really big break might not come your way twice. So when it does come, don't waste it." Nikki is just awesome, man. A true inspiration and I have a lot of respect for him. He's very intelligent and insanely passionate. (The little detail about how he trains for shows was so interesting; he sets up a playlist of songs identical to the set-list, runs faster during more intense songs and slows down during ballads so he can wreak havoc on stage without missing a beat.) I've never seen someone that dedicated to perfecting their showmanship and musicianship. (Also, how he doesn't make himself sick to death of the set-list by the time he gets to shows I don't know!) Nikki's like that cool relative who's always got an epic story for every occasion, and a great lesson to inspire you to go alongside it. Hope he writes more in the future. Books and music! Also as an aside, the cover design is impeccable. It's so beautifully put together!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle "Champ"

    If you have read Nikki's other books, this one will fill that gap in Nikki's early years. There is not the sex and drugs (well just a tad) from the other books, this book is about a beginning, creation of a work ethic, and a desire to fulfill a dream. It talks about the foundation of what forms a kid into an adult and how music can change your life. The last part is my very favorite part. There is some very good advice there, very good advice. I did the audio because I wanted to hear Nikki read If you have read Nikki's other books, this one will fill that gap in Nikki's early years. There is not the sex and drugs (well just a tad) from the other books, this book is about a beginning, creation of a work ethic, and a desire to fulfill a dream. It talks about the foundation of what forms a kid into an adult and how music can change your life. The last part is my very favorite part. There is some very good advice there, very good advice. I did the audio because I wanted to hear Nikki read it to me. He does an excellent job and even gives you a song at the end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dani Bradbury

    Nikki Sixx never fails to be an inspiration. All of his books draw you in. I do think this one requires you to have a love for it for at least rock and roll. Because it is very much based in Rock at the time obviously. Nikki is a compelling author though and words things so well. I highly recommend if you're a fan at all. Plus the pictures made me happy. Nikki Sixx never fails to be an inspiration. All of his books draw you in. I do think this one requires you to have a love for it for at least rock and roll. Because it is very much based in Rock at the time obviously. Nikki is a compelling author though and words things so well. I highly recommend if you're a fan at all. Plus the pictures made me happy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Estee

    No tricks here. The First 21 is exactly that. The first 21 years of Frank Feranna Jr. and the pivotal years that changed him into Nikki Sixx. This is a great addition to The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries. I read this hard copy book because I wanted to see the pictures. But in retrospect I should have listened to the audiobook!

  13. 4 out of 5

    FamousLeslie

    Listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed his story and narration

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ishi sixx :)

    I deadass can't wait. I'm so excited to read this book, I think Nikki's an amazing writer, the parts of The Heroin Diaries that were taken from his journals left me in tears more often than not. I have really high expectations for this book. I deadass can't wait. I'm so excited to read this book, I think Nikki's an amazing writer, the parts of The Heroin Diaries that were taken from his journals left me in tears more often than not. I have really high expectations for this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I'd probably give it 3.5 stars if we could do half stars, based solely on the fact that I'm not sure this book would be anywhere as interesting if I wasn't a Motley Crue fan. The content itself is nothing earth-shattering. But I am impressed with the maturity, the kind that only comes with age, that you can see in Nikki based on his previous writings. I don't want to put it as he's losing his edge, but he's shedding some of his more negative qualities that have exhibited themselves in his outwar I'd probably give it 3.5 stars if we could do half stars, based solely on the fact that I'm not sure this book would be anywhere as interesting if I wasn't a Motley Crue fan. The content itself is nothing earth-shattering. But I am impressed with the maturity, the kind that only comes with age, that you can see in Nikki based on his previous writings. I don't want to put it as he's losing his edge, but he's shedding some of his more negative qualities that have exhibited themselves in his outward persona via the ego. It's a nicer look for him; true growth. As a Crue/Nikki fan, it's a solid four stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    harley

    “don’t just write a book; write a soundtrack to a book. and make sure that the story you’re telling resonates and helps people who may be going through some of the same stuff you’ve gone through. think outside of the box. and think bigger each time you go out, no matter what the project may be. it’s important to leave some sort of mark in this life. and it’s just as important to pass the baton.” p. 201 i read the dirt in 2019, after i saw the film, and nikki sixx’s chapters always stuck out to me “don’t just write a book; write a soundtrack to a book. and make sure that the story you’re telling resonates and helps people who may be going through some of the same stuff you’ve gone through. think outside of the box. and think bigger each time you go out, no matter what the project may be. it’s important to leave some sort of mark in this life. and it’s just as important to pass the baton.” p. 201 i read the dirt in 2019, after i saw the film, and nikki sixx’s chapters always stuck out to me as my favorites. i read the heroin diaries in 2021, and hearing his story and learning about his journey really impacted the way i think about things. nikki sixx is one of the most respectable guys in the rock industry today, and i mean that wholeheartedly. seeing the family man he is and the work he does to help people lost in addiction and mental health struggles makes me feel all the more honored to even live in the same lifetime as this guy. over the years, he’s become one of my biggest role models — which is funny because when you look at how he was in the ‘80s, like, role model? really? — but he is. not only is he an excellent musician, but he’s an extremely talented author as well. ever since nikki announced that he was releasing a new book, a book about his life before mötley crüe, i knew i had to read it. i don’t think i could’ve chosen a better book to start off my 2022 with. (or start off my goodreads account with!) the first 21 is a book that, once you start reading it, you’ll never want to put down. nikki sixx is so well-spoken. he’s an excellent storyteller, and when reading this book, you can feel like you’re right there with him. there were some things in this book that i did know beforehand having been a fan of nikki for a few years, but there were so many stories i didn’t — stories that make you think, “wow, who would’ve thought a kid like this would’ve grown up to be one of the biggest rockstars ever?” he had a hell of a ride, and that ride makes a fantastic read. i enjoyed reading the first 21 a lot, not only because i wanted to hear about the childhood of nikki sixx, but because of the way he tells his stories, and the way he uses some of them as callbacks to compare them to his life today. there’s spots in each chapter where he uses the childhood story he’s telling to talk about how it’s influenced his life since, and it makes the reader feel so connected to him and the story. he writes about his grandparents with so much admiration for them in his heart. he writes about the kids he knew exactly how you’d imagine he’d write about them back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. the way he describes people in such great detail and makes you feel what he feels for each and everyone one of them is awesome. as someone who sometimes has a hard time getting through books quickly, i didn’t have any problem reading the first 21 within a few days. nikki sixx paces his stories excellently, and never fails to entertain. in the first 21, nikki discusses mötley crüe’s upcoming stadium tour and his life in the covid-19 pandemic, before getting into his childhood. he talks about his family, his neglectful mother, his sisters, the revolving door of men in his mother’s life, his aunts and uncles, and nona and tom — his grandparents. (i could listen to him talk about those two forever.) he talks about all of the friends he made over the years, his early experiences with drinking and drugs, how he got into music, his incredible individuality, all of the trouble he got into (a lot), the numerous places he lived, london, and how he came to be not frankie feranna, not nikki london or nikki nine, but nikki sixx. if you’re a fan of nikki sixx, if you’re lover of rock and roll, if you appreciate a good memoir, if you’ve read the dirt, the heroin diaries, or this is gonna hurt (on my list), or if you’re an artist yourself, you’ll love this. being a lover of rock and roll makes this a much more enriching experience. nikki is an excellent musician because of his love for music, and apparently, that love for music impacts his writing just as much and just as positively. 5 stars. P.S. buy the hardcover. the scrapbook pictures are so wonderful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cortney Davis

    Goodreads needs half stars!! I would give this 3.5 stars!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Finn

    3.5 stars. I love Nikki Sixx. I couldn’t wait for this book. I’ve read his others. I had high expectations for this book. Only to be kinda let down. I didn’t like the back and forward it got confusing. The whole book was a bit like Nikki giving us bullet points. It was very oh there was this and then this then that. I thought it was going to start at the beginning and work it’s way through. But no it starts at the end the goes back then forward and so forth. Did I find out anything I didn’t know 3.5 stars. I love Nikki Sixx. I couldn’t wait for this book. I’ve read his others. I had high expectations for this book. Only to be kinda let down. I didn’t like the back and forward it got confusing. The whole book was a bit like Nikki giving us bullet points. It was very oh there was this and then this then that. I thought it was going to start at the beginning and work it’s way through. But no it starts at the end the goes back then forward and so forth. Did I find out anything I didn’t know before. No. Not one thing. I wanted to read it and be like 5 stars. But I just can’t. Sorry.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karman

    As much as I love Nikki Sixx I felt that having another book touch upon his origins was a bit unnecessary as a lot of it was already covered in The Dirt. Had it been a book about his later years, or his other projects, his sobriety and maybe present day Motley Crue, I would have thought would be a little more interesting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I did not have an interest in reading this book, since I have already read “The Dirt” and “The Heroin Diaries.” I was a huge Nikki Sixx (and Motley) fan when I was younger. Now that I am older and have a real life of my own, I do not idolize celebrities and rock stars anymore. However, while I was at the library checking out this month’s book club book, I saw this book displayed in the “New” section. I was intrigued by the book for the nostalgia factor, and I also needed one more book to complet I did not have an interest in reading this book, since I have already read “The Dirt” and “The Heroin Diaries.” I was a huge Nikki Sixx (and Motley) fan when I was younger. Now that I am older and have a real life of my own, I do not idolize celebrities and rock stars anymore. However, while I was at the library checking out this month’s book club book, I saw this book displayed in the “New” section. I was intrigued by the book for the nostalgia factor, and I also needed one more book to complete my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge, so I thought why not! This book was a super fast read. It’s only like 200 pages but 25% of it are pictures. I enjoyed reading the stories, but some of the stories sounded familiar. Probably cuz they were already discussed in “The Dirt.” I think the book could have been written better for the average reader. It seemed like the book was written as stories, rather in chronological order. He would write about one place, and then the next chapter would be another place. Then I would be confused and would be like, is he still 14 years old at this place? Also, his moving around a lot didn’t really get explained. The chapter would just end, and begin at a new place in the next chapter. Sometimes he had a girlfriend, sometimes he didn’t. He didn’t go in depth about breaking up with them. He didn’t even go in depth about what happened to his mom and dad in the end. How did his dad die? I liked that the end was about his name change. The book should have stopped there. Instead, we get an additional chapter of mumbo jumbo about following your dreams and sticking to your guns. He also repeatedly mentions staying humble. I thought that was funny cuz his ego shows a bit in the book. He mentions that he always got the “prettiest girls” even if he stood behind like a “lump.” He also mentions how back in the day, he loved hearing people’s stories and writing about them as if the topics were so deep. How he read so many books and was so inspired to write. If you are a Motley fan, their songs are NOT that deep. Let’s be real here. When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Nikki cuz of his drive and ambition. You can read about his drive and ambition in this book too. Since I’m older, I guess I’m not as inspired by it as when I was younger, but I respect his hustle stories. I also liked the fact that he admitted to stealing a lot of ideas, even his name. He even had a bullet point in the end about seizing opportunities when luck comes your way. That’s a good quote but I’ve heard it before…from Oprah!!! Also in the last chapter, he mentioned writing the “The Heroin Diaries” and going on a book tour and doing signings for every person that came to see him. I actually went to one of his signings on that tour…I stood in line for like 8 hours at a Barnes and Noble to see him! I acted like a dumbass in front of him, but he signed my book! I was so happy that day, LOL. I didn’t like the last chapter, but I was happy to see he acknowledged the signings in this book. :-) All in all, this was a good and easy read. I would recommend “The Dirt” over this one, but if you are a die hard Nikki fan, then i would recommend this book. Also, I would highly recommend if you need to complete your reading challenge :-) P.S. I literally laughed out loud when he mentioned wearing glasses, and how he hated looking like he spent his time indoors! What’s wrong with spending time indoors? Too funny!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Morris

    After I picked up and read The Heroin Diaries - literally in a matter of days it was that good - I knew I had to pick up and read more of his work. So off I went to Amazon, saw Sixx had recently had a new book released and into my kindle it went. The book had rave reviews and had topped the bestseller lists - oftentimes I'm wary of things like that, especially when it comes to memoirs but I knew, having read The Heroin Diaries, that this wouldn't be poorly written. And let me tell you, I was not After I picked up and read The Heroin Diaries - literally in a matter of days it was that good - I knew I had to pick up and read more of his work. So off I went to Amazon, saw Sixx had recently had a new book released and into my kindle it went. The book had rave reviews and had topped the bestseller lists - oftentimes I'm wary of things like that, especially when it comes to memoirs but I knew, having read The Heroin Diaries, that this wouldn't be poorly written. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The First 21 is an origin story, first and foremost. Such a term we have come to associate with superhero movies and the like, but this is a real one. We know this man as Nikki Sixx, bass player and Rockstar extraordinaire with the infamous Motley Crue, a man who hit rock bottom thanks to drug addiction and clawed his way back. But who was he before he became Nikki Sixx? That very question is answered in this book - and it's answered in a way that has you following Sixx's early life like the rollercoaster it was. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to punch this guy in the face and then you'll want to hug the absolute shit out of him. As with any memoir it starts with his birth. He was born Franklin Carlton Ferrana and had a tumultuous childhood, moving from place to place. The most stable environment that he had growing up was with his grandparents, and you can really feel the love and respect that he has for these two people in his life. He goes into detail of his chaotic childhood, writing candidly about being abandoned by his father, how he truly discovered music thanks to one of his mother's boyfriends and how that grew into a love for music, and an itch that he could only scratch by eventually upping sticks and moving to Hollywood. As with any Hollywood story, Sixx didn't find instant success. He spent time living with his uncle (a well known individual in the music industry), working a number of jobs simply just to survive. He tells stories of how he and his friends sold lightbulbs and how they started their own little lightbulb business, scamming customers away from their old company. There are stories too of how he stole a bass guitar and how he ended up pawning it, only to buy it back once he had some money. Success started to come for him and he joined the band London - they became well known on the Hollywood circuit, but it didn't work out. Things started to look up when he met the lads who would go on to form the Crue with him - Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars. Sixx had a vision at this point - he knew what he wanted and where to take his musical journey. The four of them formed a band, they played small gigs on the Sunset Strip only to be booked by more and more venues. This brought money. It brought girls. And of course it brought drugs. This was Motley Crue and they would go on to become on of the greatest bands the world had ever seen, dominating the rock scene in the 80's and 90's. The title "The First 21" refers to the first 21 years of his life and this part of his story ends when he legally changed his name from Franklin Ferrana to Nikki Sixx - the back story to how he changed his name certainly had me chuckling to myself. I won't go into it here so as not to spoil it for anyone who doesn't know it. Sixx has done it again with this book. He has created a book that is a page turner, a read that you just won't want to put down. Quite simply, this book is an absolute triumph and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the Crue and wants to know more about how Nikki Sixx came to be. A well written, at times funny yet heart wrenching piece of work - Sixx should be proud of what he has created here. I'd like to see more from him in the future - I genuinely think if he were to write a novel, that it would be amazing. 5/5

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica White

    I was a teenager when my mom handed me a copy Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries We regularly shared music books so this wasn't a big thing, but this book was insane. It detailed Nikki Sixx's descent into sex, drugs, and rock and roll. So when I saw that he was publishing another book, The First 21 , detailing his life leading up to his rockstar lifestyle, I immediately preordered it. Where The Heroin Diaries was raw and unfiltered journal entries filled with unbelievable stories, The Firs I was a teenager when my mom handed me a copy Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries We regularly shared music books so this wasn't a big thing, but this book was insane. It detailed Nikki Sixx's descent into sex, drugs, and rock and roll. So when I saw that he was publishing another book, The First 21 , detailing his life leading up to his rockstar lifestyle, I immediately preordered it. Where The Heroin Diaries was raw and unfiltered journal entries filled with unbelievable stories, The First 21 drops the facade of Nikki Sixx and lets us into the life of Frankie Feranna. A young man who had been taken in by his grandparents who allowed him to be who he wanted to be. They believed in him when neither of his parents did. Strangers along the way created the man we know as Nikki Sixx. But little did I know, he borrowed or straight up stole aspects of his stage persona from literally everyone he came in contact with, even his name. It's not really the book I was expecting it to be, but it was a good quick read into the life of an average kid with Idahoan roots who actually made it as a rockstar. It's not about the raw unfiltered version we all know and love, it's about the kid who made it. Reviews for Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and other musician's books can be found at A Reader's Diary!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Q

    Love and respect this man and this band more than you can imagine. He wrote the songs that got me through my teen angst and right up to today, I'm still rocking out to them...at 40+ years old. I loved his humble hard working scamming scrapping getting by roots in Idah with his Nona and Tom and his candor about his family issues. I love a good memoir that gives me I sight on how this person became who they are today. I follow his photography and. Ow have to find d a way to catch up on podcasts I m Love and respect this man and this band more than you can imagine. He wrote the songs that got me through my teen angst and right up to today, I'm still rocking out to them...at 40+ years old. I loved his humble hard working scamming scrapping getting by roots in Idah with his Nona and Tom and his candor about his family issues. I love a good memoir that gives me I sight on how this person became who they are today. I follow his photography and. Ow have to find d a way to catch up on podcasts I missed if they are out there. My friend Debbie and I loved this band, and she, in particular loved Nikki. We both had parents who yelled at us to "turn that shit down" until they they listened to it a bit. I loved the wild life the high octane sounds and the ballads. It was great to see how well read and in depth Nikki is. His homage to his Nona on one of the albums was especially personal because, I too had a great affection for my Nana...who was more like a mother to me than my own mom was. As a teen and sometimes even as an adult you tend to think you are the only one in the trench dealing with a dysfunctional family and a mom with bipolar or a dad with issues and then you learn...hey my favorite band must of had to draw from their experiences with that too. I'm not alone after all. Nikki if you read this...some of your songs really were a life line. Glad you are still here kicking ass into your 60s and are living clean and still inspired and inspiring others with your talents!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andy Haddon

    I can't help feeling that much of Nikki's creative stuff is style over content; despite what he might say and think about his band's output, they never made an all-time classic record. Great singles and outrageous copy sure, but when Nikki talks here about lifting inspiration from Bowie and the greats, his band never came close artistically. Personally I think Crüe's best record is the one they made with John Corabi and it's telling that commercially it flopped, leading to the band seeking out V I can't help feeling that much of Nikki's creative stuff is style over content; despite what he might say and think about his band's output, they never made an all-time classic record. Great singles and outrageous copy sure, but when Nikki talks here about lifting inspiration from Bowie and the greats, his band never came close artistically. Personally I think Crüe's best record is the one they made with John Corabi and it's telling that commercially it flopped, leading to the band seeking out Vince Neil to recapture former glories. Whilst none of this is mentioned (obvs because this book covers Sixx's 'life' story up until his 21st birthday) it's important to remember the context in which this book pertains to Sixx's life. Sixx is an admitted magpie, stealing whatever he needs both artistically and materially in order to follow his 'vision'. As such, I think at least some of The Dirt and this book are orchestrated revisions of Sixx's life story, taken in order to reposition Sixx, in both cultural relevance and secure his artistic legacy. There's no doubt Sixx is a good story teller, not so much because of his literary skills, more because his life is one adventure after another; he's woven a rich tapestry and this book reminds me of Dave Lee Roth's Crazy From The Heat in that regard. This is an entertaining read, and what Sixx has to say about sobriety is important. But some of it - the paragraphs when Sixx is describing his songs, poetry and other creative output should be taken lightly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    NhaughtyV says Damn the Zon Save the Reviews

    “I guess we all get to live out our destiny, even those of us who have to choose the worst one imaginable. So why did I take this strange, dark trip? Well, I have a little 1-2-3 theory on this…” --Nikki Sixx On December 11, 1958, Franklin Carlton Feranna was born. Growing up in the farmlands of Idaho, Frankie was abandoned by his father…was partially raised by a mother that passed him on to various family members until he ended up in LA. Always trying to stay true to himself by always forging “I guess we all get to live out our destiny, even those of us who have to choose the worst one imaginable. So why did I take this strange, dark trip? Well, I have a little 1-2-3 theory on this…” --Nikki Sixx On December 11, 1958, Franklin Carlton Feranna was born. Growing up in the farmlands of Idaho, Frankie was abandoned by his father…was partially raised by a mother that passed him on to various family members until he ended up in LA. Always trying to stay true to himself by always forging ahead and never being just part of the crowd, little Frankie grew up to be a kickin’ rock star who legally changed his name to Nikki Sixx…a legend that would co-create one of the world’s most notorious rock bands, Mötley Crüe. But before all that, there was the first 21 years… Unless you live in a cave or have no interest in music, everyone has heard of Nikki Sixx in some fashion. Whether it be how he came back from the dead after overdosing on heroin not once, but twice, or listened to one of the many top tracks from Mötley Crüe that he wrote, or read any of his previous books, there is no one quite like Nikki Sixx. In his recent foray in writing, Nikki gives us a glimpse on how his early years molded him to the man he is today. After years of sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll, I have no idea how he was able to recall so much of his past, but if you are a die-hard Crüe fan, you’ll for sure enjoy the journey of how Frankie became Nikki!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marinela

    I have been a Mötley Crüe since I was in high school, and Nikki Sixx has always been my favorite member of the band. I do know some band trivia, having read his other books, and watching the movie The Dirt, so I didn't go in completely blind into it. However, it was still fascinating to read about Nikki's life before the band - from childhood to his teen years and going to Los Angeles. From Frankie, a kid from Idaho to Nikki, an infamous rockstar. Now, to tell you the truth, as much as I love th I have been a Mötley Crüe since I was in high school, and Nikki Sixx has always been my favorite member of the band. I do know some band trivia, having read his other books, and watching the movie The Dirt, so I didn't go in completely blind into it. However, it was still fascinating to read about Nikki's life before the band - from childhood to his teen years and going to Los Angeles. From Frankie, a kid from Idaho to Nikki, an infamous rockstar. Now, to tell you the truth, as much as I love the LA scene, the way Nikki described his early years was the most fascinating part for me. I knew he had a troubled relationship with his mother and his father abandoned him and his mother. To say that Nikki has had a hard childhood is definitely an understatement, but now he digs deeper into how and why his parents acted the way that they did. He tries to look through his point of view now as a parent, and I feel like he has made his peace with them. The most heart-warming moment for me was his relationship with his grandparents and how they practically raised him, and I was just trying to imagine how he went back to see them as a rockstar. It must have been really bitter-sweet seeing his old room just as he left it. Overall, I'd definitely recommend it to all rock fans, fans of biographies, and just if you are curious about how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Faye Walton

    A friend told me it was less about drugs and sex and more about music. He was right. Good, personal, down-to-earth story about the Nikki Sixx I never knew. Couldn't because of him being in Motley. The part about his teen years that stood out to me was the makeup he wore below his eyes. I'd always thought it was because he was a glam rocker. If you haven't read this book, you'll find out why he wore it. Like Nikki, I am also an author. I so loved the last chapter. I photocopied a few pages from th A friend told me it was less about drugs and sex and more about music. He was right. Good, personal, down-to-earth story about the Nikki Sixx I never knew. Couldn't because of him being in Motley. The part about his teen years that stood out to me was the makeup he wore below his eyes. I'd always thought it was because he was a glam rocker. If you haven't read this book, you'll find out why he wore it. Like Nikki, I am also an author. I so loved the last chapter. I photocopied a few pages from there and am working on cutting certain parts and taping them on a poster. I'll hang it on my wall by my desk. I never thought I'd see the day I'd go from having glossy posters of him and Crue to parts of one of his books hanging on my wall. From being fond of him because he's a hot bass player to being someone I'd love to someday talk writing with.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    This book is genuinely fantastic. Generally I avoid books that aren’t fiction, but my mom bought me a signed copy for Christmas and I have liked Mötley for many years. The writing is magnificent in a way I didn’t expect, though I suppose I should have given that Sixx has been writing nearly his whole life. The storytelling is detailed which surprised me since I can hardly remember my own first 20 years, but I realize that a lot of the book is likely core memories for him as well as helpful accou This book is genuinely fantastic. Generally I avoid books that aren’t fiction, but my mom bought me a signed copy for Christmas and I have liked Mötley for many years. The writing is magnificent in a way I didn’t expect, though I suppose I should have given that Sixx has been writing nearly his whole life. The storytelling is detailed which surprised me since I can hardly remember my own first 20 years, but I realize that a lot of the book is likely core memories for him as well as helpful accounts from other people that sparked his memory. Even if you aren’t a fan of rock or Crüe, I would absolutely suggest this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I love Nikki so I really wanted to love this book.. but holy buckets did he jump around a lot. The main storyline was pretty straightforward but then he would throw in a tidbit about it some how relating to Motley and it would just throw you off. I got to know Nikki so much more from this book though. And I love how honest he was. I have no idea how he possibly remembered it all even with the help he had. Due to my younger age, I had no idea the names he was throwing around. I really should re-r I love Nikki so I really wanted to love this book.. but holy buckets did he jump around a lot. The main storyline was pretty straightforward but then he would throw in a tidbit about it some how relating to Motley and it would just throw you off. I got to know Nikki so much more from this book though. And I love how honest he was. I have no idea how he possibly remembered it all even with the help he had. Due to my younger age, I had no idea the names he was throwing around. I really should re-read the book and throw myself in by Googling and expanding my knowledge when I didn’t quite know something. This time around, I just didn’t have that interest to do so.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I've been a fan of Motley Crue since the first album, Nikki has always been the driving force and the creative hub of the band, his other projects have been no less impressive. Having read the first two books (heroin diaries and this is gonna hurt) I couldn't wait for this one. Some of the information I knew from being a long time fan but this didn't detract from the book in any way, a fantastic read and a nice insight into the life of a man I have been a fan of and hugely respected for nearly 4 I've been a fan of Motley Crue since the first album, Nikki has always been the driving force and the creative hub of the band, his other projects have been no less impressive. Having read the first two books (heroin diaries and this is gonna hurt) I couldn't wait for this one. Some of the information I knew from being a long time fan but this didn't detract from the book in any way, a fantastic read and a nice insight into the life of a man I have been a fan of and hugely respected for nearly 40 years.

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