The list of celebrities who have left crumbling California for better lives for their family and themselves is impressive. Things have gotten so far out of hand in the Golden State that industry and residents are packing up and heading for safer, more normal places to call home. It is hard to blame anyone for leaving. Crime is out of control, taxes are through the roof, homelessness and open-air drug use are rampant, and barring a visit from a Chinese Communist leader, Governor Gavin Newsom seems more interested in the White House than he does his own state.
So, while Newsom spars with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and jets all over the country insisting that he is NOT running for president, his state is bleeding residents, industry, celebrities, and tax revenue. The list of industries is almost as well known as the list of celebrities leaving the left coast. McAfee, Tesla, Oracle, Starlink, Lucas Oil, and others have ditched California for fewer regulations and lower taxes. The list of celebrities is impressive and varied as well.
Among the high-dollar talent in the entertainment industry to leave are names on both the conservative and liberal sides of the aisle. Even rich liberals have come to realize that life is better and more profitable in Red States. Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry, 50 Cent, Mark Wahlberg, Scott Baio, and Dean Cain are a small cross-section of entertainers that have left for more tax and family-friendly locales.
The latest, and perhaps one of the most unlikely celebs to speak out about leaving California is legendary bassist, and founding member of Mötley Crüe, Nikki Sixx. The 65-year-old hair metal legend took his wife and kids and left California in 2020 for Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and revealed in a recent interview that they couldn’t be any happier. Sixx, born Frank Feranna, Jr in San Jose, California, has seen his share of drug and alcohol-related issues during his years as a metal superstar, but has found peace and happiness in Wyoming.
Sixx and his wife Courtney both serve on the board of the Jackson Hole Film Festival, and the Heroin Diaries author said in an interview: “We love the idea of bringing arts and culture to Jackson. We’ve been talking about this for the last year and a half or so, it’s been in motion. There’s a lot of really fantastic people involved.” Sixx also raved about life in Big Sky country: “It just really clears our head and allows us to reset. We spend a lot of time outside. I mean, the whole point of being here is to really be outside whether you’re into skiing or fishing or hiking or being up on the lakes or snowmobiling.”
The Shout at the Devil bassist took his wife and daughter Ruby to Jackson Hole in 2020, and have had no regrets. He talked more about the move: “And it’s very social here, so it’s fantastic for us. I wake up and I’m like, ‘I can’t think of a place I’d rather be.’ And to be able to still be creative at 65 and have a wonderful family and be surrounded by good friends. I’m very grateful.” Considering the battles Sixx waged with heroin, he should be grateful. The rocker died twice from overdoses only to be revived by first responders, and to make it to 65 is nothing short of a miracle.
The Sixx AM founder waxed poetic as he explained what eventually led him and his wife to decide on the move: “I felt like my journey took me back to a place where I can go fishing and see the mountains. And then one day, my wife was like, ‘Why are we still here in California? This is a better place to raise our daughter.’ We find ourselves coming down to Los Angeles to see friends. But then we are happy to go back home. And we spend 95% of our time in Wyoming. It’s home.”
Similarly, Sixx told Fox News, “We originally started the conversation like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to get a little place where we can go during the summer and take the kids fishing?’ Or, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to go somewhere where we can go skiing together in the winter?’ We just kept talking about it, but it never happened. Then the pandemic hit. Like many people, we were looking around the country. It seemed like everybody was running towards these rural areas, but it’s something that’s been on our minds for a long time.”
It is an amazing journey for a legendary rocker who cut his teeth on the Sunset Strip on his way to being one off the most successful artists in rock history. It is also a strong testimony for getting out of California. Life is better elsewhere, and Nikki Sixx is just another former Californian who has realized the state is no longer worth it.
Featured image credit: By Toglenn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31583179
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