Mötley Crüe – “Kickstart My Heart” Lyrics Meaning

Photo of author
Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Craving a quick answer? Here it is. “Kickstart My Heart” by Mötley Crüe is all about the thrill of living life on the edge. This high-octane rock anthem celebrates adrenaline-pumping activities, from speeding cars to skydiving. The songwriter, Nikki Sixx, penned this as an ode to his own near-death experience and a love for the rockstar lifestyle. It’s not just a heart-pounding song; it’s an ethos: live life full throttle or don’t live at all.

Ready for more? Dive in to uncover the layered meaning behind this iconic track.

“Kickstart My Heart” Lyrics Meaning

The song bursts open with “When I get high I get high on speed.” Right off the bat, Nikki Sixx isn’t talking about a normal “high.” He’s talking about the thrill that speed and danger bring him. “Top fuel funny car’s a drug for me” continues this theme. The adrenaline rush is his drug of choice, and what better way to encapsulate that than through fast cars?

“My heart, my heart, Kickstart my heart” is the crux of the song. Sixx is talking about activities that make him feel alive. These things kickstart his heart, literally and figuratively. His life might be dangerous, with “cops coming after me” and his “custom-built bike doing 103,” but it’s this lifestyle that fuels him.

“Skydive naked from an aeroplane or a lady with a body from outer space,” shows that his desire for excitement isn’t just restricted to terrestrial activities. Whether it’s jumping out of an airplane or fantasizing about an extraterrestrial beauty, Sixx is always in search of the next thrill.

But the song is not merely a catalog of thrills; it’s also a reflection on the band’s journey. “When we started this band, all we needed, needed was a laugh. Years gone by, I’d say we’ve kicked some ass.” Here, Sixx acknowledges how the rockstar lifestyle, filled with its ups and downs, is worth every single moment. The song rounds out this thought with “And to think, we did all of this to rock.” The meaning is clear: they’re not just playing music; they’re living it.

The Story Behind “Kickstart My Heart”

The song is deeply personal for Nikki Sixx, the band’s bassist and songwriter. In 1987, Sixx had a near-fatal heroin overdose. Medics revived him, essentially ‘kickstarting’ his heart back to life. This near-death experience was transformative; it helped him reevaluate his approach to life. Instead of spiraling further, Sixx channeled his second chance into creating one of Mötley Crüe’s most iconic tracks.

“Kickstart My Heart” thus serves as both an ode to his love for extreme living and a tribute to his rebirth. The mindset that went into the song was one of a man who had looked death in the eye and grinned back. It’s this backstory that makes the song even more compelling, as it’s not just a celebration of a high-octane lifestyle but also a toast to resilience and second chances.

After his near-death experience, Sixx entered rehab and worked on getting clean, but the intensity with which he approached life didn’t wane; it just got redirected. In many ways, “Kickstart My Heart” can be viewed as a phoenix rising from the ashes, embodying his resurgence and renewed vigor for life. Sixx once said in interviews that the song is a reminder that life is a series of moments, and it’s up to us to make the most out of them. It’s more than just a song; it’s a philosophy that many can apply to their lives.

The making of the song also highlighted the band’s collective spirit. The high-energy guitar riffs from Mick Mars and the smashing drums from Tommy Lee provided the perfect setting for this autobiographical tale. The synergy among the band members made the song a cathartic process for Sixx and a triumphant comeback for Mötley Crüe as a whole. This track wasn’t just another song on their 1989 album “Dr. Feelgood”; it became an anthem that encapsulated the resilience, the rebellion, and the sheer joy of living that the band stood for. It’s one of those rare tracks that tells a compelling story, both in its lyrics and the real-life events that inspired it.