The Dirt is everything the name implies – the fascinating, inside (often messy) scoop on the band Motley Crue and its individual members. This tome to '80s glam-metal decadence is sometimes fun, sometime sad, but will most assuredly engross (sometimes just plain gross-out) fans of the band. To non-fans, this is a glimpse back into the days where rockers wore lots make-up, lots of hairspray, and too much Spandex. It’s also a testament to how set rock n’ rollers felt when those days were gone, smothered by the flannel shirts and grungy guitar sounds from the Seattle scene.
If you’ve followed Motley Crue or have seen VH1’s "Behind The Music," then you already know much of what’s in this book. The story is the same template for just about every tell-all book about a rock band: band struggles early to make it while overindulging in copious quantities of drugs, women and alcohol; band makes it big while continuing its bad habits; band hits the top of the charts, while, incredibly, doing even more drugs, alcohol, and women; band spirals out of control due to the fact they are hardcore drug addicts; break up; make up; battle each other; battle their addictions; attempt to get clean and sober; recover to some extent and attempt a comeback.
The first couple hundred pages become a tad tedious, but only a tad. Even if you whole-heartedly adhere to the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll mantra, you have to at some point say “enough is enough.” When does excess spill over into redundancy? It is a quarter way into the book when it becomes apparent that they were narcissistic delinquents who woke up, did drugs, slept with lots of women (even homeless), passed out and then did it all over again. For a metal band you expect this debauchery. It’s forgivable to a point, but after a couple hundred pages it starts to become a bit of a yawnfest when that is all they do. Luckily, about midway this aspect gets evened out as the battling of inner demons and fighting between the members becomes more prominent.
What really made this book interesting is that it is told from many points-of-view. Tommy, Vince, Nikki, Mick and even Vince’s replacement John Corabi have their say. To balance everything out there are even a few chapters from manager Doc McGhee, Tom Zutaut and record executive Sylvia Rhone. All of this makes for a quick, interesting read.
Overall, this book delivers the goods for Motley fans; they never hold back, everything is there -- good and band. From the roach-infested Motley house where they lived in squalor, to the highs of financial success, to the lows of death (the chapter on Vince’s daughter Skylar is heartbreaking), to failed personal relationships, you get “the dirt” on the lewd, crude, tattooed dudes from Motley Crue.