Thursday, August 27, 2009

10 things Ray Bradbury and musician Nikki Sixx have in common: #7 - Created an illustrated man

#7. Both SF&F author Ray Bradbury and Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx created an illustrated man.

Ray Bradbury is the author of The Illustrated Man (1951), a collection of eighteen unrelated science fiction short stories that deal with love, madness, and death. Inspired by a “Tattoo Man” that Bradbury met at a carnival as a youngster, the stories are tied together by a literary framing device, “the Illustrated Man,” a tattooed vagrant whose illustrations come alive to tell their stories. Five of the stories are set on or involve the planet Mars.

Here’s how Ray Bradbury's website describes his The Illustrated Man (1951): “a collection of tales that breathe and move, animated by sharp, intaken breath and flexing muscle. Here are eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin -- visions as keen as the tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body.”

Nikki Sixx is an illustrated man, with tattoos inked on his chest, back, arms, and at least one of his legs. According to excerpts from Sixx’s autobiographical book The Heroin Diaries (2007) that were published in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, he believes “Tattoos are a great way to keep people away who you wouldn't want to know anyway. I was 21 when I got my first tattoo. I have always loved the idea of the body being covered. We all had a few tattoos but after the Girls, Girls, Girls tour I came into rehearsal with a full sleeve. Then Tommy Lee [Mötley Crüe bandmate] got a back piece, and I got one, too. We'd go into hotel lobbies with stage make-up on and our tattoos; people thought we were a freak show.”

More Bradbury-esque are these lines that Nikki Sixx wrote about a near-death experience in The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band (2002): “I tried to sit up to figure out what was going on. I thought it would be hard to lift my body. But to my surprise, I shot upright, as if I weighed nothing. Then it felt as if something very gentle was grabbing my head and pulling me upward. Above me, everything was bright white. I looked down and realized I had left my body. Nikki Sixx -- or the filthy, tattooed container that had once held him -- was lying covered face-to-toe with a sheet on a gurney being pushed by medics into an ambulance.”

The last I heard, Nikki Sixx was dating tattoo artist Kat Von D. Check out this 10-minute video from October 2008 on YouTube in which Kat inks Nikki with a portrait of Mötley Crüe bandmate Mick Mars! Thanks TLC. Love the educational programming!

Pictured: Nikki Sixx

Previous entries on the Ray Bradbury-Nikki Sixx 10 list:

#10. Both are Angelenos who once palled around with a motley crew doing crazy things

#9. Neither attended college

#8. Both are intimately familiar with Playboy magazine

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