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What is smack and zombie dust? Phrases from Motley Crue biopic The Dirt explained

Motley Crue biopic
Motley Crue biopic The Dirt includes references to the use of “smack” and “zombie dust”. Pic credit: Netflix

Motley Crue biopic The Dirt hit Netflix today and for anyone who is not familiar with the ’80s metal scene, there are some terms that fans might not be familiar with — such as references to drugs as “smack” and “zombie dust”.

What is smack?

Basically, smack was the nickname used in the ’80s for black tar heroin. It is a very dangerous illegal drug. Heroin caused the death of Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison.

The drug comes in a powder or goo and is mixed with water and injected, smoked or snorted up the nose. When you see a movie with someone making a drug using a spoon and a flame, you are looking at someone preparing smack.

Heroin can often cause high and uplifting feelings in people who take it but it also has side effects.

It can make a person throw up or feel itchy. It can also slow or stop breathing, which can potentially kill a person. Heroin was the cause of many drug overdoses of the ’70s and ’80s and resulted in the loss of life of a number of famous people.

Sid Vicious, River Phoenix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Chris Farley, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are sad examples of celebrities who died from reported heroin overdoses.

Zombie Dust

Also mentioned in The Dirt was “Zombie Dust”.

Zombie Dust is a mixture of Halcion — a sedative — and cocaine, and was the name given to this mixture by Motley Crue, coined by Nikki Sixx.

Zombie Dust is different from the similarly named Pixie Dust.

Pixie Dust was extremely dangerous. It is a mixture of ketamine and liquid acid, or LSD. It is called such because sometimes people take it and believe they are a pixie.

Both LSD and ketamine are hallucinogens, causing people taking them to go on a “trip” where it may be hard to know what is real and what is in their head.

Motley Crue and drugs: Nikki Sixx overdose

Motley Crue reportedly spent a large part of their careers on heavy drugs. Guns N Roses guitarist Slash mentioned once that he was on a jet with Motley Crue heading to a concert and the stewardesses brought out large silver trays lined with cocaine.

However, it was smack that almost killed Nikki Sixx.

In his biography The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, Nikki Sixx recalls how he was so addicted to drugs that it almost ruined his life. When he overdosed, it almost killed him.

Sixx has since recovered and has remained drug-free for years.

To celebrate the release of The Dirt, Motley Crue took over the Hair Nation channel on SiriusXM and have talked about their career, including their rampant drug use.

At one point singer Vince Neil had just suffered through a hard time when he was in an auto accident in Vegas while drunk, killing Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle. After this, he was “slipped some smack”, taking it thinking it was cocaine.

According to drummer Tommy Lee, they were all addicted to drugs in the ’80s and they knew they had to clean up before it was too late.

After they did so, they released their best album, Dr. Feelgood, proving that getting clean was very important to their success.

The Dirt is streaming now on Netflix.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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