The year was 1987. It was a wild tour with Motley Cruë on tour with Guns ‘n Roses. The bass guitar player for Motley Cruë, Nikki Sixx, had a very long history of trouble with the drug heroin. Nikki Sixx was partying with Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, I believe; he had way too much and overdosed. He was considered dead for a full two minutes, until an ambulance crew arrived. The leader of that medic team that night was a big Motley Cruë Fan. He is believed to have said one of his music heroes was not going to die on his shift.
I do not know the entire story because I was not there; I only read of it on news web sites, and in accounts by Nikki Sixx. What I can tell you is that most people who come back from an experience like that never forget it. Nikki Sixx wrote a song about it.
The band, Motley Cruë, is one of my favorites; it has always been. I use stories like this in my work and this is one of the things that makes the way I work with people in coaching stand out. I know many coaches, speakers, and motivators who would never have researched a story like this to use for their programs. Nikki is not exactly the kind of person who would speak at a local church. In fact, my personal experience growing up in church was always being pointed away from stories like this.
Nikki stands out to me because not only did his best years happen after this event, but some of his best happened after he cleaned up from the life of heavy drugs. As I have said his music will not make the church scenes. But his motivational story is one that impacts people – just like his life and music had impacted a paramedic enough that he vowed as a fan to kick-start Nikki’s heart because he refused to see him die.
Now let me tell you the story of another person I know personally who had a near-death experience like Nikki Sixx. Tim Newland is a friend of mine from the Dallas area. He is the current president of the Passion Riders chapter of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, in Carrollton, TX. Tim has had heart problems and has had a device implanted to help keep his heart working properly. A few years ago, before I met Tim, he was out on a motorcycle ride with some friends. Tim fell down in the parking lot where they were meeting and those who were with him claim he died that day. The riders took their own form of “we are not letting him die on our watch.” They all put their hands on Tim and prayed over him. He came back and now Tim, just like Nikki, lives a life that has much more passion than before.
So what is your passion in life? I hope for you that it will not take lying on the ground with friends praying over you, or an ambulance crew giving you two shots of adrenaline to make you come to life with passion. In this week where we are talking about standing out from the crowd to succeed, both Nikki Sixx and Tim Newland are people who stand out. So is it time to kick-start your heart?