MÖTLEY CRÜE Producer TOM WERMAN On How He Was Portrayed In NIKKI SIXX's Book: 'Nothing He Said I Agreed With'
October 12, 2023
In a new interview with Artists On Record Starring ADIKA Live!, legendary rock producer Tom Werman was asked if working with MÖTLEY CRÜE in the band's early days was exactly as it had been portrayed in the official CRÜE biography, "The Dirt - Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band", and the subsequent Netflix film adaptation of the book. He responded: "[The portrayal in the book was] pretty fictitious. There's facts, but it's always stretched. And I was relieved not to be in that book and that movie. Nikki [Sixx, CRÜE bassist] slagged me in [his book] 'The Heroin Diaries'. Nothing he said I agreed with. We both recalled things differently. He said he wound up producing most of Vince's [Neil] vocals. Not true. Other things like that. [He said that] I was on the phone all the time. … You know, if I was that bad, how did I get 23 gold and platinum records? Or why didn't they fire me instead of having me do a second and a third album? It isn't easy having done stuff. They take shots — they take shots at you. I'm not saying it's perfect. I'm not saying it was perfect. I partied with the boys. But 'The Heroin Diaries' specifically was probably subject to inaccuracy because it was written by a guy who was on heroin. It figures."
Werman is promoting his new book "Turn It Up! My Time Making Hit Records In The Glory Days Of Rock Music", which will arrive on November 21 via Jawbone Press.
Back in 2008, Werman fired back at Sixx after Nikki responded to Werman's letter to The New York Times calling Sixx's memoir, "The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star", "totally deluded" and "stunningly inaccurate." Werman took issue with Sixx's claims that the bassist did all the work in the studio on the CRÜE albums "Theatre Of Pain", "Shout At The Devil" and "Girls, Girls, Girls" while Werman chatted on the phone.
Sixx said in his response in part: "Tom Werman being worried about what I said in my book about him is just so narcissistic and self-centered. I'm sorry if he got his feelings hurt but I feel that I was kind to Mr. Werman by withholding things from the book that would have jeopardized his marriage and his job security with Elektra at the time...if Mr. Werman wants me to publish a complete accounting of the facts, I'll gladly write a nice short story in the form of a blog that will expose his actions during all the MÖTLEY CRÜE sessions that would make very interesting reading for his wife."
A short time later, Werman released a statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET in which he said: "So let me get this straight: Nikki Sixx is threatening to squeal on me to my wife about partying in the studio 23 years ago? And he's doing this because I called into question his recollection of our recording sessions? Is this the same Nikki Sixx I once knew? Sure doesn't sound like him.
"How about this one: 'I feel I was kind to Mr. Werman by withholding things from the book that would have jeopardized his marriage and job security at Elektra.' Sounds to me like a lawyer, or maybe an editor, but not Nikki Sixx. I wasn't aware that he was that familiar with my 40-year marriage. As for Elektra, Nikki Sixx knew very well that I never held a job at that label during any of our three recordings. By saying he was kind, perhaps he's implying that I should be grateful to him for his allegation that I spent most of my studio time on the phone and for labeling me a 'whiny little fucker?' I can see Nikki Sixx writing that, but calling my letter 'narcissistic?' Come on…. Indignant? Maybe. Self-righteous? You bet. But 'narcissistic??' Who is this guy?"
Werman continued in his 2008 statement: "In the '80s sex, drugs and rock & roll was the name of the game. Tom Werman did it. Nikki Sixx did it. Everybody did it. It's a bit like having yet another reporter ask Barack Obama about his former cocaine use. Yes, he did it. Yes, that was back in college. Yes, he's 44 now. Next question, please.
"Show me a musician or anyone who worked in a recording studio for a living during the 1980s who claims never to have done meaningless, indiscreet things under the influence, and I'll show you a liar. Some people's judgment was so poor they even became addicted to heroin!! The notion that Mr. Sixx feels so defensive about my letter that he would issue this kind of threat and deal in this kind of innuendo might as well be the plot line from a bad screenplay.
"Isn't it curious how they say they love you while they're selling millions of records, but a couple of decades later you didn't capture their sound, you didn't work hard enough, you didn't pay enough attention, you talked on the phone all the time, you partied too hard, and, in fact, you're personally responsible for everything in their lives that they've failed to achieve?
"If his recollection of my behavior in the studio is accurate, isn't it curious that I was able to produce 20 additional gold and platinum records without his assistance? If I was so useless, why didn't he just can me after the first LP? Or at least after the second? After all, he was the leader of that band. More to the point, why didn't he express his dissatisfaction with my performance in the studio candidly, face to face, on the job? Apparently it's more convenient to wait 23 years and establish a couple of thousand miles between us in order to take a swipe at me. This is the same guy who slapped me on the back, called me 'Pops,' hung with me at his Sherman Oaks house, snorted coke with me, drank Jack with me, and went out for sushi with me.
"MÖTLEY CRÜE's support staff jumped through flaming hoops for these guys. Doc McGhee and his people did everything they humanly could to keep the band healthy, functioning and out of prison. The lawyers, the accountants, the publicists, the managers, the agents, the labels, the drug counselors….and similarly, I can assure you that it's no easy task to make a hit record with artists who are actively shooting heroin. And we made three of them! Mr. Sixx's take on this is simple: everyone was just taking advantage of him. Every individual mentioned in this book shares the blame for most of what was wrong with Nikki's life, as seen from his heroin-distorted perspective.
"I really do recall most of my time with this band as quite pleasant — even my relationship with Mr. Sixx. I enjoyed working with Mick, Vince, and especially Tommy, who is a very positive guy. What I object to, what comes as such a surprise — and what is such a deep disappointment — is this gratuitous historical revision, employed solely to insult people. Mr. Sixx calls this whining, I suppose.
"I guess I was just being unrealistic to have expected any better from any of them, but the hypocrisy is still pretty damn disappointing. Enough said."
Werman also lashed out in 2004 at TWISTED SISTER over comments the band made regarding his contributions to their breakthrough 1984 album, "Stay Hungry".
The producer retired from music in 2002 and opened a bed and breakfast in Massachusetts.
Back in 2021, Reservoir announced the acquisition of Werman's producer catalog. The deal included 100% of Werman's producer rights for all of his works including the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by POISON.
In addition to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", some of Werman's evergreen productions include POISON's "Nothin' But A Good Time", TWISTED SISTER's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", MÖTLEY CRÜE's "Girls, Girls, Girls" and CHEAP TRICK's "Surrender", among many others.
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