Sunday, March 24, 2019

Mötley Crüe THE DIRT: Movie vs Book

Mötley Crüe: Tommy Lee (Thomas Lee Bass), Vince Neil (Vince Neil Wharton), Nikki Sixx (Franklin Carlton Serafino Feranna), and Mick Mars (Bob Alan Deal).

This weekend Mötley Crüe group autobiography  THE DIRT a Netflix Original  directed by Jeff Tremaine premiered. How does it compare to The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band the autobiography authored by Mötley Crüe and Neil Strauss published 2014?

Netflix The Dirt Omissions (and almost) 

O’Dean Peterson, who still occasionally performs in Los Angeles, is missing in the movie as the original signed vocalist (1981) on the earliest Mötley Crüe demos. His vocal talent is undeniable, but some in the early formation of the band had issues with his image and vocal pitch being right for their vision of the band.

Doug Thaler, seen disappearing in one scene of the movie, met the band as Doc McGhee's partner at the Santa Monica Civic Center after a show, and later on after DM was fired by the band, became Mötley Crüe's sole manager until the flop of the self-titled Mötley Crüe album.

John Corabi who replaced Vince Neil in 1992 was more significant as a band member than depicted in the movie. While JC was with the band, Mötley Crüe released an album and an EP. As a band, they worked on another album, Personality #9, later re-titled Generation Swine after the departure of JC and return of Vince Neil. The label met with JC assuring him several of his songs would be on the  album he'd collaborated on and that he would make more money out of the band than in it. JC also agreed to come into the studio during recording and help with recording.

Randy Castillo, former drummer for several bands, most notably ten years for Ozzy Osborne was recommended by Sharon Osborne to replace quitting Tommy Lee (who had initially introduced him to Ozzy--confused yet?) in 1999. Randy Castillo died in 2002, several weeks before Mötley Crüe was set to tour the New Tattoo album, causing the band to go on an indefinite hiatus.

Tommy Lee married actress Pamela Anderson after meeting her four days prior. They made two children and an infamous sex tape in their three and a half year marriage. TL spent six months in prison after being arrested for assaulting her. Also, she accused him of giving her hepatitis C. "All of this insanity got about 10,000 times more attention than anything the band did in the Nineties, but there’s not even a single mention of her name in the movie." (from Rolling Stone online)

Netflix The Dirt Scene Adaptions and Timeline Alterations 

Movies based on true characters or events often make adaptions and timeline alterations to organize the plot and further enhance scenes and Netflix's The Dirt is no different.


In the movie the early formation of the band shows up at a house party and watches Vince Neil cover Billy Squire's My Kind of Lover which in reality wasn't released yet at the time.  Likewise Live Wire, depicted as their first jam together as a band, hadn't been written yet. In actuality, the first meeting was at The Starwood after having stalked a reluctant VN for several weeks.

In the movie, Tommy Lee runs into Nikki Sixx, who plays with Londen, at Denny's restaurant after a show. In the book and reality, the meeting at Denny's at 7373 Sunset was planned. NS had seen TL performing with his band,  Suite 19, and sought him out to play in the new band he was beginning which would become Mötley Crüe.

In the movie, Greg Leon, a highly regarded guitarist at the time, is possibly the character referred to vaguely in the Mick Mars audition scene as "the hippie." However, Leon maintains that although he often jammed with NS and TL, he never had any intention of staying in the band.

Nikki Sixx's Death Reported

In the movie, Vince Neil watches reports of his bandmate's death on television but in reality, he says he heard it on the radio. "I cried. And I never used to cry then.” (The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band) The movie is accurate depicting Sixx’s two life-saving adrenaline shots.and his ride home from the hospital by two mourning fans. “No one’s going to die in my f***ing ambulance,” Sixx recalls the paramedic saying ... "It was so funny to me that everyone thought I was dead that, as soon as I returned home, I walked to my answering machine and changed the message. Hey, it's Nikki. I'm not home because I'm dead. Then I went into the bathroom, pulled a lump of heroin out of the medicine cabinet, rolled up my sleeve, tied off, and with one sink of the syringe plunger realised that all the love and concern of those millions of fans still didn't feel as satisfying as one good shot of heroin." (From The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, by Mötley Crüe and Neil Strauss.) The song 'Kickstart My Heart' is generally believed to be about Nikki Sixx' revival.

The Record Deal

In the movie a just promoted young A & R rep sees the band perform, loves them, and signs them practically on site--after turning down a surprise under the table blow-job. In reality, Mötley Crüe created their own label, Leathür Records and were courted by Virgin as well as Electra before signing with Electra through A & R Tom Zutaut.


In the movie, Tommy Lee meets Heather Locklear at a party the night of Vince Neil’s DWI crash where Razzle Dingley of Hanoi Rocks dies. In the book and reality, TL and HL were introduced and met backstage at an REO Speedwagon concert. In both movie and book versions, TL confused HL with Heather Thomas from 'The Fall Guy.'

In reality, from 1981-1985, Vince Neil was married to first wife, Beth Lynn with whom he has a daughter. Two years after their divorce he married Sharise Ruddell a mud wrestler and fashion model and the couple had daughter Skylar who died of cancer at age four. During the 90's he married and was divorced from Heidi Mark and in the early 2000's was married and divorced with Lia Gherardini. He has a son from a girlfriend in the 70s whose name was Tami

Unmentioned in the movie: In 1987, Denise "Vanity" Matthews who may have been engaged to Nikki Sixx during their own and off again relationship. NS married first wife, Playboy Playmate Brandi Brand, and they have three children. One month after his first divorce NS married second wife, another Playboy Playmate, actress Donna D'Errico and they have one daughter.

Also unmentioned in the movie, Mick Mars was married for three years to Emi Canyn. Mick married for the second time to Sharon with whom he raised son Les Paul and daughter Stormy Deal.

Publishing Rights

Mötley Crüe's catalog was restored to them in the movie after a disgruntled conversation with Tom Zutaut around the time Vince Neil returns to the band. In reality, the settlement including their publishing rights didn't happen until around 1998 following a long ugly legal battle with Elektra. By this time Zutaut was long gone from the label.

Doc McGhee is fired on the spot

In the movie this happens in a hotel lobby after DM invites NickSixx's mom to see a show around Christmastime. In reality, this  happened on the spot at Moscow Peace Festival in 1989 with Bon Jovi, the Scorpions, Osbourne and Mötley Crüe after DM conveyed wrong information to the band regarding the sets.

Mick Mars hip replacement

In the movie, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee pick up Mick Mars who is released from the hospital following hip replacement surgery which was a result of a painful disease he was diagnosed with before he joined the band. They go on to talk Vince Neil back into the 'fam' and the band. In reality, MM's surgery was in 2004, occurring well after the lineup was back together.

Vince Neil Rejoins Mötley Crüe

In the movie this comes easily after each member of the band suffers a personal set back or tragedy and they realize their brotherhood is more important than petty arguments. In reality Vince Neil had embarked on a failed solo career. Mötley Crüe with John Corabi had signed a 25-million dollar contract and had released self-titled Mötley Crüe which was a commercial failure. The band wanted to make another record with Corabi, but reluctantly set up a meeting with a likewise reluctant VN at the insistence of the label who refused funds to record the album unless VN was let back in the band.

Buy the book on Kindle or Amazon

Check out the cast and more

Find Lisa Gillis Reads That Rock on Rock Star Reads!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Author Confessions

Lately on various social media sites, #authorconfessions has been a trending hash. I was tagged in a few of these posts, but lack of time kept me from reciprocation. So with a few minutes today to kill, I'll make my post here, instead of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Story, etc. Besides, this blogger has been absent from post entirely too long!

I'm mental. Not certifiable because I hide it really well:

  • channeling MPD into heroes and villains
  • delusions into story arcs
  • manias into jaw dropping scenes and  quirky character flaws
  • bipolar moods into angsty scenes and happily-ever-afters. 
Writing voices I hear into stories is therapeutic enough to keep me running  errands among you instead of  rocking in a ward somewhere.

Disclaimer. Truly this post isn’t meant to lighten any type of mental illness. Diagnosed mental illnesses plague family and friends I love, including a cousin who for almost two decades has resided in a psychiatric facility. At times, I’ve battled anxiety or depression, and I believe everyone does deal with mood disorders, phobias, and more at some point in life. I admire all who overcome daily and those who support them. My heart breaks for all who don’t and their loved ones who don’t understand or see. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Music is more than a mood

I love when series and movies use music as more than a mood to enhance the setting. My latest of these to fall in love with is Big Little Lies.

Big Little Lies is an HBO miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon as Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Nicole Kidman as Celeste Wright, Shailene Woodley as Jane Chapman, Zoë Kravitz as Bonnie Carlson—all mothers of young children in the same grade. As an act of bullying plays out as one of the many plots of the show, each episode opens with a short clip six months into the future of a murder involving the characters.

A lot of the appeal of Big Little Lies is the soundtrack. Not only does Chloe’s (daughter of Madeline Martha and husband Ed) iPod capture the perfect mood anytime the camera pans to the Mackenzie house, but also many heart wrenching messages are subtly—and sometimes blatantlywoven into the scenes with lyrics.

In episode 6, my heart cracks when Ziggy, son of Jane Chapman, lip syncs  “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Episode after episode we watch as Ziggy begs any information on his father. We wonder if gun-wielding Jane is actually contemplating murder as revenge on the man who is a mystery not only to his son, but also a nightmarish blur to her, the mother of his child. As Ziggy takes up a choreographic stance and mimics a mic in his hands, she smiles with motherly pride at the first lyrics.

It was the third of September
That day I'll always remember, yes I will

And then her smile falters a little with the next line.

'Cause that was the day that my daddy died

She completely pales when he carries on with the song.

I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin' but bad things about him
Momma I'm depending on you to tell me the truth.

**Spoiler alert **
I’m not sure about you, but this is the point where I became positive Jane wouldn’t be the killer in the murder, lingering in the shadows of this show.

Another poignant moment spoken far better with lyrics  than any delivered lines could have ever  done justice to came the night of the climatic fund raiser.

Ed Mackenzie, who has in earlier episodes revealed he feels he comes second to Madeline Martha’s ex-husband Nathan in her affections, takes his place on stage. Even after much practice at home of his intended Elvis cover, "The Wonder Of You", it takes a drink to bolster his courage enough to pour his heart out with these lyrics.

When no-one else can understand me
When everything I do is wrong
You give me hope and consolation
You give me strength to carry on

And you're always there to lend a hand
In everything I do
That's the wonder
The wonder of you

And when you smile the world is brighter
You touch my hand and I'm a king
Your kiss to me is worth a fortune

Your love for me is everything

I'll guess I'll never know the reason why
You love me like you do
That's the wonder
The wonder of you

And then up next is ex husband Nathan with his song choice How’s The World Treating You?"
 which seems to affirm that he feels regret for his divorce with Madeline Martha.

I've had nothing but sorrow
Since you said we were through
There's no hope for tomorrow
How's the world treating you?

Every sweet thing that mattered
Has been broken in two
All my dreams have been shattered
How's the world treating you?

Got no plans for next Sunday
Got no plans for today
Every day is blue Monday
Every day you're away

Every sweet thing that mattered
Has been broken in two
And I'm asking you darling
How's the world treating you?

Listening to those lyrics, Ed knows he’s been right all along about his 'first love fire still burning' suspicions.

Big Little Lies is one I’ll be watching a second time, hoping to catch little things I may have missed the first time. The soundtrack and songs aside, the biggest acclaim I feel this series has is the diverse ways in which these women each with very different upheavals in their lives see themselves, are seen by others, and the ways that they act accordingly.

The playground plot of bullying serves as both a mirror and a catalyst to even bigger things going on behind closed doors.

There were more than a few ways in which I felt disappointed during the finale, but for every loose end seemingly left dangling, and every backstory that should have been expanded a bit more to explain the ending, I give just as many props and nods for the way in which the deep and dark subplots are exposed and handled as they come to light.

Notable subjects tackled head on in a worthy way for such a short series is rape, spousal abuse, bullying, marital affairs, alcoholism, and even human trafficking.

I’ve yet to find a full soundtrack for what seems to have easily been up to a hundred songs, but here’s a couple of lists.

My favorite cover in Big Little Lies is hands down Zoe Kravitz’s cover of “Don’t.”

Friday, February 24, 2017

Riddles and Rhymes

A Reality in the Fiction episode

If you've read the D-Strings trilogy of the Silver Strings series, you'll remember a lot of emphasis is on song writing. A lot of conversations stem around verses and song writing and each chapter begins with a snippet from one of their songs. In Rising Sun, the first in this series, Matt and Jules collaborate. In Half Moon, Jules stays in the biz writing for other bands, and it's here she branches  out into a completely different style than when co-composing with Matt. 

At some point, Jules is reflecting on how her song style has changed. She admits to stringing together words and meaningless phrases that sound good together and that "To her surprise, these meaningless, yet poetic songs [became future chart toppers.]"

The reality in the fiction is this. Musician's for years have been saying the same. Time and time again, they're asked to explain a song that truly has no meaning. John Lennon continually laughed at the misconceptions of and the attempts to decipher his lyrics. Here's one of the many times Kurt Cobain spoke about lyrics being just that--lyrics nothing else. 

(2:30) I notice people expect a thematic angle to our music... they want to read into it... i was just writing pieces of poetry... pieces of poetry... garbage that would spew out of me... and then i find myself having to come up with explanations for it...

And that sums it up nicely!

Excerpt from Rising Sun, Half Moon, Rock Stars, Silver Strings D-String trilogy.

“Can I ask you something?” Matt brought his hand from her hair to splay his fingers through hers.


“Which album is better?”

“That’s an impossible question…” She considered and reconsidered, wanting to give him a real answer, but she really couldn’t decide between the two. They were both just as great in different ways. “I love them both, just as much.”

“If you were going to be stranded on a desert isle, which one would you take?”

“A desert isle? Like with cactuses and scorpions and geckos?”

“Now, his hand went back to her hair, but it was to pull. “A deserted island, Gilligan. And it’s cacti.”

“You’re not a real professor you know…”

Toying with one of her ponytails, he raised his brows. “Oh really? So why did you work so hard for that ‘A’?” When she blew out an exasperated breath, irritated that he had bested her, as usual, in their repartee, he shot her a victorious grin before tugging on the ponytail. “You’re changing the subject.”

“Well…” she mused, “You mean, I know I’m going to be stranded? In advance enough to plan out my album collection?”

“Cari…” Matt warned, in that coated-with-the-sex-rumble which always came from deep within his throat. “You’re fixing to get it… and get it good…”

“It’s an impossible question… I mean it…”

“Just try…”

Another loud sigh expelled through her lips, this time from frustration at the situation. How could he seriously expect her to choose between the two albums? But there he was, patiently waiting. She could feel his anticipation of her answer in the darkness.

“The first one, I love for the lyrics, the way the words flow. I guess if everything else disappeared but the words, the songs would still be phenomenal.” She reflected on the two albums and chose her words in careful honesty. “The second easily has the best guitar riffs I’ve ever heard—EVER. To be honest, I don’t understand the words to half of the songs. I’m not sure they’re real words. But every time I hear any song from that album, I want to grab the guitar and start ripping.”

“Favorite songs?”

“Oh c’mon already… that’s too hard, and you know it. I did what you asked…”

“Not exactly—but good enough, better maybe…”

“Thank you!” She breathed the words dramatic. “Why the quiz?”

“On Precious Jewels, every song is from something.”


“Something about you. I know you had to have figured that out.”

“Every song? I mean, I knew two. Three, really I guess.”

“Three?” Matt squeezed her tighter, his earlier tension gone. Knuckles brushed her neck, and her fingers were massaging on his scalp. “Three? Damn girl, this is going to be fun. You got homework to do.”

Every song? And you called me a stalker. Can’t you just tell me? What they mean?”

“That’s no fun…”

“I could make it fun…”

“No doubt about that…” he growled, reading the look in her eyes.

His gaze changed, and his every movement stilled. “Can I ask you something else? Something about your songs?”

“Sure.” But in mistakenly thinking he was speaking of Julian songs, she was unprepared for the question.

“When you recorded ‘Rightfully Mine,’ were you… were you crying, cari?”

The room faded, and she was back in the studio, Marc and Candi having left her to record in private, the technician a silent entity behind glass. The feelings of that day assaulted her. Sitting alone in that room with the world beyond the glass partition had seemed symbolic. Possibly sitting, where only weeks ago, Matt had but hadn't cared to stay.

“I'm sorry, Jules.” His arms encircled her, tightening with emotion, and she realized she had nodded in answer to his question. “After almost every session, I drove to the beach or to my room at my old man’s house and cried my eyes out.”

“Can we not talk about this?” It hurt too much. It was the past, and they were in the present. She was done with hurting.

His lips brushed hers gently, again and again, until the kisses were possessive and demanding, until the pent up emotions hanging in the moment were lost in lovemaking.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Get Rocked! In Vegas' Rock Casualty in the Making

Get Rocked! In Vegas

The pitch was each author write a new story about existing characters in their series. A story in which the characters of every series included would be together in one place!

When approached about this project, I was stoked. I was ready to get back to writing and excited to be writing with the authors in the set: Jenna Galicki, Jade C. Jamison, Theresa Hissong, Lashell Collins, Jennifer L. Allen, Bella Jeanisse, Maria Bernard, Sadie Grubor, Kacey Hamford, Toni Kenyon, Lindy S. Hudis, and Gina Kincade.

This fervor lasted until I actually pulled up that blank MS Word file and put my fingers to the keyboard. I was stymied. Who would I write about. What side story from Silver Strings Series could I tell that hadn't been told already in Storm Cells?


Marissa is a previous casino dealer. With this in mind, I decided on an alternate reality Jack and Marissa story. The premises would be destiny: If Jack and Marissa had never crossed paths at the Hang Fest, would destiny have still brought them together? Would a blackjack dealer restarting her life in Vegas have hooked up with a metal musician passing through Sin City with his band?

I couldn’t stop thinking about this. Intrigued, I wrote out the bare bones of the story and a few chapter samples. I pitched this plot to several close author friends. The all around consensus was that Jack and Marissa have been done to death.

“Besides, you haven't yet completed E-Strings.”

With a heavy heart, I shelved the project.

Instead, I remembered a tweet turned reader discussion, a couple of years back. The original tweet went something like “Hey, are you going to write June's story?”

Truthfully, I’d never considered June. But this child Jack and Marissa wanted badly enough to put emotions, time, and money into for years—this beloved little sister Tristan picked out a present for at a truck stop toward the end of his great adventure—this precocious older sister to the miraculous accident baby Zoe—June had worked her way into the heads of readers! A dozen or so replies to this simple tweet was testament of that.

To readers who began the Silver Strings Series with D-Strings, I beg you, don’t think about timelines. New rule for Silver Strings. Timelines only exist for an orderly sequence of events. Think of Silver Strings timelines in dog years!

My editor Debbie Williams said it best with a comment similar to, 'Matt and Jules would’ve remained rockers while in their rockers.' A nod to this rocker pun, and to rocking with a soulmate in the decades to come is played out in Rock Casualty. The rocking chair on the porch becomes a nightly routine to Crey Stone—and June Loren.

Here's your story, June Bug!

Rock Casualty Blurb

With this ring… or not?

June and her metal-music-god have an open relationship. No drama. No complications. That is, until down on one knee, he suddenly declares himself monogamous. On the night before their wedding, convinced there's no way this man-whore musician who spends 200+ days on the road is faithful husband material, she tears off her rose colored shades and escapes to Vegas.

One-time rock star Creighton spent the last few years fighting his demons. After getting kicked out of his band Soul Rift, and a stint in rehab, he needs more than a little luck to get his life back on track. The GET ROCKED IN VEGAS Festival is the perfect opportunity to redeem himself. But when he’s sidetracked by a beautiful girl on a losing streak at the Blackjack table, his world is turned upside down… again.

Hard liquor and heavy partying lead to a night Creighton Stone and June Loren wish they could remember, especially since the next morning they wake with more than a hangover. The gleaming platinum rings on their fingers suggest they had more fun than a one-night stand.

Everyone knows
'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.'
What happened in Vegas?

Rock Casualty Excerpt

My gaze snapped from a fixation on his mouth, to his eyes, and then away. Every pink and yellow shade on a palette streaked the sky. The sun was a great orange orb sinking fast. “Do you remember? Any of it? The chapel or ceremony?”

“All I remember is luring you into the bedroom.”

“Luring me? No, that doesn’t sound creepy at all…”

He grinned at the mockery and defended, “Yeah. Well, I was pretty direct about it. Asked you if you wanted to move our party to the bedroom. You said sure.”

Sure. I said sure. Of that, I had no doubt. Neurons fired lobe-to-lobe as I strained to recall the conversation or anything beyond. “Did we?” My eyes landed on the zipper of his jeans and then skittered away. “I mean I know we didn’t, but did we…” For the first time, I realized just because we hadn’t completely hooked up didn’t mean we hadn’t done other stuff. An imagination of my knees between his Nike-clad feet sent my stomach into one of those flip-flops that seemed to be happening a lot around him.

His brows furrowed slightly. “I don’t think anything happened. But then again, who knows? If it weren’t for the rings, we wouldn’t even know—well you know—what we know.”

“Maybe it’s good we don’t remember the wedding.” I was beginning to think replaying the marriage in my head would be more bittersweet than embarrassing.

“Know what I wish I remembered?” His eyes darkened with an intensity I’d seen earlier at the restaurant. “I wish I remembered the part that goes, ‘You may kiss the bride’.”

“You may kiss the bride.” My words were an instant and instinctive whisper in the spell of a moment.

Our lips brushed, once, twice, before melding together. The kiss was wild and sweet as we tested, tasted, and finally consumed.

My phone rattled again, and I removed my hand from where it curved his neck long enough to wrestle the device from my pocket and toss it aside.

I knotted my empty fist in his shirt, and swallowed his hungry groan. Nothing existed in the world except his lips against mine. His tongue tangled with mine. The stubble on his face against my chin. Our shallow pants synchronized, becoming increasingly ragged until dizzy from the deprivation of breathing, we pulled apart.

The distance between the mountain rise in the distance and the bottom of the sun had narrowed even more.

“Damn, I’m sure I would’ve remembered that.” His breath caressed my face, and the hoarse and husky words caressed my ears.

“Yeah,” I agreed. I was sure I’d never been that moved by a kiss.

Show Some Rock★Star Love!
Like and/or Comment this Star Trailer by Theresa Hissong
Thanks to 5 Stories for the loan of this great song! 
Much ♥ to the band's page too!

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