David Ellefson Recalls When Nikki Sixx Was Pronounced Dead
Megadeth bassist David Ellefson recalled his experience of Motley Crue counterpart Nikki Sixx being pronounced dead after a heroin overdose.
Sixx was in the midst of addiction issues that more than once brought him close to death; at the time, Ellefson wasn’t far behind. On the night of Dec. 23, 1987, they’d both been partying in the Franklin Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles along with Guns N’ Roses members Slash and Steven Adler, Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and others.
“I was there,” Ellefson told The Metal Voice in a new interview. “Adler and I were friends, and I didn’t really know the other guys too much. … I’d never met Nikki before. And we’re just partying, and Nikki comes busting into the room. I wanted to see if I could get some drugs off him, but he didn’t have any, so I guess they were looking for some too.”
He recalled that in "the wee hours of the night, they left and went in the room next door. ... I don’t know, 15 minutes later, a girl comes running, ‘Oh my God, I think he’d dead!’ You could hear the sirens. Fred looked at me and goes, ‘You got a car – get me the hell outta here.’ It was pretty hardcore stuff, man. Thank God, I really wasn’t around it; I mean, I had no part of it.”
You can watch the full interview below.
Sixx had reportedly turned blue almost immediately after taking a heroin injection. As depicted in the recent Motley Crue biopic The Dirt, medics revived him by injecting adrenaline directly into his heart – the moment that served as inspiration for the song “Kickstart My Heart.”
Last year, however, Adler disputed Sixx’s recollection of events, presenting his own significantly different version.
“I was on the drug and alcohol train for 10 years,” Ellefson said in the new interview. “At the beginning, it was a lot of fun. … When I moved to L.A. in 1983, cocaine was on the cover of Time magazine that year.”
He noted that he "hit a wall when I was 23. … I had to get clean. It wasn’t going [to] go away. I came out the other side of it. Today, being in Megadeth … we travel the world, and I’m able to talk either publicly or privately with people about addiction. And it’s a cool platform to be able to help people if people reach out and need help.”