Nikki was born Franklin Carlton Feranna on December 11, 1958
in San Jose, California. Nikki Sixx was raised by his
single mother, Deana Haight, and her abusive boyfriend, after
his father abandoned the family. When he was six, he and his
mother moved to Mexico for a short time, after which they moved
to Twin Falls, Idaho, with his grandparents. The family moved
several more times, to El Paso, Texas, then to Anthony, New
Mexico, back to El Paso and then returned to Twin Falls.
While living in Idaho, Nikki became a teenage vandal, breaking into neighbors' homes, shoplifting and being expelled from school for selling drugs. His grandparents sent him to live with his mother, who had moved to Seattle. He lived there for a short time, and learned how to play the bass guitar after buying his first instrument with money made from selling a guitar he stole from a music store. At the age of 17, he moved to Los Angeles on his own; he got jobs at a liquor store and manufacturing plant and played in a band called Sister with Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P.
By 1981, Nikki had developed a plan to create the ultimate "theatrical" band for the new decade. He found guitarist Mick Mars, drummer Tommy Lee, and singer Vince Neil to share in this vision. The band Mötley Crüe rose quickly in the musical environment of L.A.'s Sunset Strip, although at first no label would sign them due to their erratic stage performances. So on their own label they recorded "Too Fast For Love" their debut record. Released in November 1981 on the band's Leathür Records label After but after signing with Elektra they re-released the "Too Fast For Love" and then went on to record and release Shout At The Devil, the band quickly reached national fame.
Like his band mates, Nikki took advantage of the excess that rock n' roll allowed, surpassing the attempts of his band mates by binging on alcohol, cocaine, and most notably, heroin. Sixx has often stated that he would use his body as a human chemistry set, mixing excessive amounts of drugs on a regular basis to search for a new "high". On at least one occasion on the night of December 23, 1987 Sixx was declared dead after an overdose, only to be revived by the paramedics with two adrenaline shots to the heart. This incident was the inspiration for the song Kickstart my Heart. On an earlier trip to London, Nikki overdosed at a dealer's house and, while he wasn't declared dead, he was put into a trash bin by the dealer after being beaten with a baseball bat. This was the inspiration behind the line "Valentine's in London, found me in the trash" from Dancing on Glass.
Soon after Nikki Sixx's overdose, he and his bandmates sought sobriety through rehab. It was then that the band would produce their most successful record, Dr. Feelgood, in 1989 with producer Bob Rock. The album would stay on the charts for 109 weeks after its release. When Motley Crue reformed at the end of 2004, Sixx declared himself sober. Nikki Sixx is known for being one of the most excessive rockstars to have survived, and as such enjoys a legendary status amongst rock critics. Whilst Motley Crue have received a large amount of criticism from the press due to their excesses, Sixx is often referenced in the same sentence as other legendary "live fast" rockers, such as Lemmy Kilmister and Ozzy Osbourne.
Being the central creative influence of the band for much of the 1980s, Sixx subsequently wrote most, if not all of the Crue's material. This is particularly true for the earlier period of the band's career, as Tommy Lee and Mick Mars were still developing as song writers. Sixx has penned such classic tracks as 'Livewire', 'Home Sweet Home', 'Girls, Girls, Girls', 'Kickstart My Heart', and 'Dr. Feelgood'. His songs are known for their distinct heavy and hard sound largely resulting from Nikki and Mick's instruments being tuned 'down' and their fast (almost punk) tempo. The first album with John Corabi marked a move away from their classic 80s sound to a more alternative and experimental style reminiscent of Alice In Chains and 'alt rock' movement of the early 90s. With a change in decade came a change in the songwriting duties for the band, with all four members contributing to the material on the albums, many believe this to be the reason for the change in band's sound.
Sixx has recently divorced from acress/model Donna D'Errico on April 27, 2006. Nikki Sixx filed for irreconcilable differences. Between the two of them, they had a child together; Frankie Jean. Before their marriage in 1994, Nikki had 3 children with Playboy Playmate, Brandi Brandt; Gunner, Decker, and Storm. From her previous marriage, Donna has a son, Rhyan.
Sixx was in a band called Brides of Destruction with Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns. Now, Mötley Crüe have just finished their reunion tour, featuring the original line-up, with Nikki Sixx (bass), Tommy Lee (drums), Vince Neil (vocals) and Mick Mars (guitar). They are going into the studio in June/July to record some new material. No date yet has been set for the release of the up coming material. Mötley Crüe has also just recently announced a fall 2006 co-headlining tour with Aerosmith.
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