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Essential For Fans Of The Genre
on 16 September 2010
Such a well-written book, I read it in two sittings without even realising how quickly the pages were turning.
Dave Mustaine presents his take on his life and the events of a turbulent music career. The early days with Metallica are covered, but this time from Mustaine's mouth.
He's been driven for nearly two decades by wanting to beat Metallica, and it shows here. He's clear in his view that Metallica are legends, but part of getting there was earning a cult following on the tape-trading scene, which was a result of Dave's compositions (four of the seven demo songs) and blistering solos. This monkey on his back comes back again and again, even in the comparatively recent past where he felt he couldn't attend Metallica's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, unless he was on the stage with them. This seems to have impacted him on every step of his journey. (He saw flashbacks to the past when Enter Sandman became a hit with the same "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ..." children's prayer that he had included in Go To Hell at the same time; every time he tried to step ahead, Metallica was always there.)
There are all sorts of trivia points: He's careful to let us know where the name of the band comes from, what inspired certain lyrics, and why MTV considered A Tout Le Monde to be about suicide. (Dave thought the next song in a live performance was Skin O' My Teeth, introduced it as being about trying to kill himself, then realised his mistake and carried on the live performance anyway.)
There are hirings and firings covered in detail, and it's interesting to see that he was big on giving people several chances, as he wished he'd had in Metallica, rather than being the tyrant that outsiders considered him to be. There's an interesting titbit involving a deviation from sobriety and return to rehab when Marty Friedman arrived, because he realised how much the pint-sized shredder was than him, and developed severe anxiety.
It's a top book, covering all the stuff that was only hearsay and partisan when I was growing up. I like it (and Dave, as it turns out) an awful lot. Highly recommended.