Category: rock & roll


Jimi Hendrix performing at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, February 1968.

Photos by Baron Wolman

The book The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star chronicles Nikki Sixx’s life 1986-1987. During this period

Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews

was Nikki’s girlfriend, and often mentioned in his diaries. In 1987, they were briefly engaged. It was a toxic relationship, they enabled each others’ drug abuse.

On meeting Vanity, Nikki says he was doing cocaine and watching MTV with a pal, pointing out girls he’d like to get to know better, when he spotted Vanity on screen. A call to the


office and he tracked down her phone number—common dating procedure for Sixx. She invited him over. When she “opened the door naked, with her eyes going around in her head,” he had “a feeling that we just might hit it off.”

Diary entry from January 1987,

Nikki: Vanity came and went during different periods of my addiction. She was a wild black chick who had sung with Prince: she’d also been his lover for a while. At the time I thought of Vanity as a disposable human being, like a used needle. Once its purpose was fulfilled it was ready for the trash, only to be dug up if you were really desperate…We became drug buddies: sometimes, you could even just about call us boyfriend and girlfriend. Vanity also taught me how to really freebase: the first time I based was with Tommy when Mötley just started and only a few times after that. So up until then, I’d been mostly snorting or injecting. But as soon as she showed me the real ins and outs of cooking up a good rock…it was love. 

Not her. The drug.

Jimi Hendrix photographed by Terence Donovan

for the

Observer Magazine at his flat in London,

August 1967.

Rolling Stone magazine covers from 1971


Ike and Tina Turner photographed by Jack Robinson on November 25, 1969.

Elvis Presley during a press conference at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 1, 1969.

Jimi Hendrix photographed by Baron Wolman in San Francisco, February 1968.