“The Dirt” is a whopping 607 pages, so condensing that down to an hour and 45 minutes for the movie meant some creative liberties had to be taken. The timeline of the film isn’t wholly accurate, and some of the details were ignored. Tommy Lee did not meet Nikki Sixx at a Denny’s with only high school marching band drumming experience like the movie says. In reality, Lee was a drummer in the band Suite 19, and their meeting at the diner was a planned discussion on starting a new band. Additionally, Vince Neil was not the original singer of Mötley Crüe, that honor belongs to O’Dean Peterson. They also didn’t play “Live Wire” when Neil finally agreed to a jam session with the band, because Sixx hadn’t yet written it.
On the business side of things, Elektra Records A&R representative Tom Zutaut did not sign the band a minute into meeting them at a bar. He actually had to court them quite a bit before joining the label. At the time, they had created their own label, Leathür Records. Doc McGhee never arranged a surprise visit with Sixx’s estranged mother, and his firing was after he and Lee got into a fight because Bon Jovi was allowed to use pyrotechnics when they weren’t, and they were given low billing at a festival. McGhee’s partner, Doug Thaler, was cut from the movie completely.
Other inconsistencies include Tommy Lee meeting Heather Locklear for the first time. It wasn’t the night of Neil’s car accident, but actually an REO Speedwagon concert. The joke about confusing her with Heather Thomas from The Fall Guy is accurate, however. And most obviously, the film omits the existence of Pamela Anderson. Considering Anderson was vocally opposed to the Hulu series “Pam & Tommy,” her exclusion was likely by design. The film also ignores countless other allegations lobbied against the band, including an alleged gang rape that Sixx has since claimed was embellished for the book.