Producer Tom Werman recently stated that Motley Crue’s official biography “The Dirt” was “pretty fictitious” and also noted how Nikki Sixx allegedly severely misrepresented him in the memoirs “The Heroin Diaries”.
He kicked off his career as a highly successful A&R man for Epic during which he discovered Boston, Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rush (the label would refuse to sign the latter three), Werman went on to (co) produce a string of highly successful albums.
He started his collaboration with Motley on 1983’s “Shout at the Devil”, Werman already had Nugent’s first four records and Blue Öyster Cult’s “Mirrors” under his belt. Still, Nikki Sixx (in)famously depicted him as an eternally-unavailable hot shot in his memoirs, while “The Dirt” — both the book and the biopic — omitted Werman’s character entirely.
“[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 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.”
Tom Werman and Nikki Sixx had previously exchanged barbs after “Heroin Diaries” came out in 2007, with Sixx implicitly threatening Werman to disclose the details about their joint excess, which would’ve “jeopardized his marriage and his job security with Elektra at the time.”
He similarly feuded with members of Twisted Sister over his contributions (or a perceived lack thereof) to the band’s 1984 breakthrough record “Stay Hungry”.
Commenting on what it was like to work with Dee Snider on “Stay Hungry”, the producer said last year:
“He was fine. He was fine. You know, in the beginning, we did have a disagreement about which songs to do. He manufactured this story about him having to get down on his knees and beg to do ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ which I found a little bit like a nursery rhyme. I did not take the song that seriously. I don’t have the authority to tell them what songs we’re gonna do. I just don’t..
“He was fine, and he approved the album and all the mixes. The minute that we finished the album, I was the worst person in the world. In [Dee’s] book, he said – I can’t quote it exactly, but he’s talking about an album that sold six million copies – and he said, ‘I think that Tom Werman single-handedly destroyed our album.’ And I have to wonder about that statement. It doesn’t make too much sense to me.”
Tom Werman is currently promoting his upcoming book “Turn It Up! My Time Making Hit Records In The Glory Days Of Rock Music”.