I went into this book thinking, I’ve been a Nikki Sixx fan forever, not much to learn for me. Well, I stand corrected! The First 21 is such an engaging insight into the life of Nikki Sixx. Leading quite a torturous life at times he certainly rose above adversity to become the man he is today. For those who think that he carries an ego with him, indeed he does, and he has every bloody right to! His journey to the top was a tough one with many life struggles along the way. Sheer determination and grit got him to where he is today, and that may be watching moose in his Wyoming backyard, but it sounds pretty damn good to me.
We all have some skeletons in the closet, but Nikki Sixx has a whole graveyard hiding in his. The First 21 takes you through one bag of bones at a time in a very candid journey through his life. His honesty is to be commended, and I felt his pain on many occasions, as he unfurled his childhood demons and his life living as Frankie Ferrana Jnr. Without giving too much away his life was a tough one, but through the love of his grandparents, Tom and Nona, he was able to remain grounded as he moved from town to town, trying to fit in and make new friends where he could.
The First 21 provided plenty of surprises and many times I said to myself ‘I didn’t know that!’, with many revelations, such as why he wore the black stripes on his face for instance. I’m not going to tell you, but yes, it is in the book. Just when did he pick up a bass guitar and what made him do it? I have a newfound appreciation for the back story of one of my music heroes. This book made me laugh and it made me cry. A very sincere journey of the first 21 years of Nikki’s life and how they shaped the Nikki Sixx we see today.
The fans will devour this book and like me, I’m sure they will shake their heads and mutter ‘seriously!’ on more than one occasion. The road Nikki Sixx took to get to the top was not always glamorous, but my oh my it made for an entertaining read. An overwhelming 5 stars from me. If you buy one memoir this year, make it The First 21. Nikki’s bold as brass approach and tunnel vision on what he wants in life makes for one wild ride. So, strap yourself into your favourite reading spot for a few hours and delve into the life of the man himself, you will be glad you did.
The perfect book for any budding musicians - pushing them to keep fighting for their music to be heard, you never know, they might just be the next Motley Crue!