Kickstart Your Heart (Book Review)
Released: 2015, Backbeat Books
The timing of the publication of Martin Popoff's new book about Motley Crüe could not have been better. It hit the shelves just as the the Motleys were finishing their epic Final farewell tour, appropriately tilted All bad things ha must come to an end tour. The new book also carries the appropriate title KICKSTART MY HEART which for many of us degenerate rock children of the 80's, was exactly what Motley Crüe did.
This fine looking hard bound, coffee-table book is published by Backbeat Books the good people who also published the very similar titles by Popoff focused on Ozzy and Iron Maiden, all of which follow the chronological Day-By-Day format. The 244 page book is a visual feast, full colour and graphic intensive just like the he band. It is crammed with memorabilia and photos from across the ages. It is as fun to just browse through as it is to read.
In his introduction Popoff admits that this was a tough book to write because of the enormous amount of trouble and tragedy (legal, financial, personal and professional) that the band has both caused and endured. Accordingly, Popoff decided to focus on positives; the music and the legacy and he opted to minimize the dirt as that book has already been written. At the time of writing this review (Dec 2015) the rumours of the movie based on THE DIRT still swirl about in Hollywood gossip circles like confetti from a Crüe concert.
Much of the material is drawn from Popoff extensive interview archives with quotes from journalists, managers, producers, and any number of musicians. I was very pleased to see Popoff acknowledge the role that Blackie Lawless had in developing the look and feel of Motley Crüe although due to some ancient bad blood Sixx is loathe to admit it. I was especially pleased to see the inclusion of several quotes by former Manager Eric Grief who stewarded the band through some of the early days including the now (semi) legendary and (semi) aborted Western Canadian bar tour in early June 1982. Someone needs to write a book about that tour!
When KICKSTART MY HEART was announced Motley Main-man, Nikki Sixx, in a knee-jerk reaction fairly typical of the ever-protective founder, took to the press to denounce the publication and regrettably included some rather uncalled for personal remarks about Popoff. Popoff, widely considered the worlds foremost expert on all things Metal, took the ill-advised slight in good nature and
extended an olive branch. Upon learning about the high quality source and nature of the book Sixx quietly mumbled something of a low-key and half-hearted apology, which if you blinked you probably missed, again typical of the Crüe. It is likely that Sixx is still sore about the very poor and unauthorized biography of his life (AN EDUCATION IN REBELLION) and that might have contributed to his lashing out. I have no doubt in my mind that when Sixx got his very own copy of KICKSTART MY HEART he was extremely pleased and proud of his legacy and the superb job that Popoff did of capturing the music behind the Motley Crüe that we all love to hate, and hate to love but can't help it in spite of ourselves.