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on 17 April 2017
This book immediately appealed, being an old rocker of a certain age.

I was completely taken back in time to my teenage years almost as soon as I delved into this fabulous book - this is so very relatable and laugh-out-loud funny at times too. So many of Seb's experiences are so familiar to me - I was laughing and nodding my head all the way through. I was particularly impressed to note his indepth knowledge of my all time favourite band, Hanoi Rocks. This only added to my enjoyment of this book, and respect for this author who has a very deep knowledge of his subject, and a quirky writing style that means you can easily lose an hour or so in this book without noticing the time passing at all.

Very interesting and informative too - there are details on some of the music stalwarts of my formative years that even I hadn't previously known (and I pride myself on my knowledge of 80s metal/NWOBMH/glam, so that's no mean feat).

If you're an 80s metal-head like me, you MUST buy this book!!
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on 4 May 2017
Was looking forward to this read but disappointed, how can you talk about Donnington & not have been there! He slates some of the bands, I have been at 86 & 87 and can say W.A.S.P. were good Def Leppard were not so good! The writer doesn't know thrash metal that is obvious, slags Anthrax, talks about thrash shouting with no melody?? He need's to listen more to genres of music if he's going to comment! It wasn't all bad but hey it's only rock n roll
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2008
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A book about Heavy metal would not have been on my immediate 'to read' list but when I started to read Chapter 1, I was plunged back into my past and was glad I had chosen the book. This is a book where the reader can relate to the teen years - playing your favourite album to the family at Christmas and wondering why they don't feel the same elation; finding like-minded friends into the same bands; discarding the school uniform in favour of denim, leather, pvc and other skintight material; forming a band and thinking you're the best ever!

In Hell Bent For Leather, Seb goes beyond the personal journey and litters his beautifully written narrative with information that the reader might not be aware of - who the best Heavy Metal bands were and what happened to them; what the different types of guitars were available and how they were altered for effect; the importance and impact of band logos; a brilliant guided tour of Heavy Metal London; the rise and fall of Metal's many facets.

As the years roll by, Seb describes the band and name changes. As in any culture of this type, he describes his introduction to drugs and it is Acid which brings him back to his senses. From this he is teaching the reader the danger of drug abuse and must be praised for his handling of this subject matter. It is an uphill struggle for the band to become recognised and Seb's narrative works with honesty and even though I was never into Heavy Metal (Hi-NRG was, and still is, my only love!), I could still relate to Seb's struggles with his parents, leaving home and following his path to an uncertain future.

Seb's book is a constant reminder of growing up, making new friends, facing disasters, accepting sad loss, enjoying conquests and, in general, the highs and lows of life while attempting to achieve the ultimate goal. You don't have to be interested in Heavy Metal because there's something for everyone in this book. Illustrated with relevant photographs, this book is highly recommended for up and coming musicians and non-musicians alike.
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VINE VOICEon 3 December 2008
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I thought this might be enjoyable, taking me back to my childhood when metal ruled my world - and it did.

Well written and amusing, it's a quite gentle tale through a man's life which many will remember as true to life. Heavy metal was such a dominant force for people wanting something more from their music than the regular chart hits, and a driving force in helping people form bands with a common aim.

This book will be a joy for plenty of men of a certain age (mid 30s- mid 40s) who grew up with metal, joined bands, played terrible gigs - and eventually moved on as I did, although plenty have stayed loyal to true metal.

Although I started the move away with John Peel and the C86 movement, metal was *so* important (first song I learnt was TNT by AC/DC) in binding young men together, and helping them learn to play that this book will reawaken plenty of memories - and it's funny too!
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on 19 July 2017
This is undoubtedly the best book about being a rock fan ever written and easily in my personal top ten favourite books.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
But misses out huge bits of the scene, while I understand that this is one persons hourney through metal there seems to be much more attention paid to bands like deicide while mere lip service to the giants like Zepplin, Purple, even Motorhead and Alice Cooper deserve a better mention. I enjoyed the book as I remember sneaking into the local rock pub (very underage) listening to the old stuff like Hawkwind, Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep while bands like the Scorpions, Iron Maiden etc were making it big it was a great time and if that sounds familiar then you should maybe read this.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 December 2008
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like a lot of other reviewers I can see a lot of my own early history in Seb's often very funny biography.

Overall I found his earlier exploits, before he left home, to be the most engaging and what I, in particular, identified with. I can still remember my own Road to Damascus moment when I "discovered" Heavy Metal. Unfortunately this first half of the book also shoe horns a lot of Heavy Metal lists and trivia in amongst the pure biography and I doubt anyone but a true believer is going to really enjoy reading these or have much of a chance of getting the jokes.

The second half of Seb's story, when he begins to pursue fame and fortune in earnest doesn't feel quite as authentic as the first half. It's entirely possible that he simply can't remember much of the details because of the amount of drugs he was using. During this second half of his story Seb does come across as a total loser and not a nice guy to know. Where he does concentrate his attention it's on fairly mundane parts of his life and I felt that a lot of what was happening on stage with the band was glossed over in a few lines. Perhaps he's just really embarrassed about the stage performances.

The relationship between Seb and his father surfaces every so often as an important theme, but, typical of a teenager, when out of sight his family is out of mind so again I was left feeling there was more there to be told.

If all that sounds a bit negative it's not meant to be. Like the book, it's a warts and all viewpoint. In truth I ate this book up and finished it in a couple of sittings. I'm a little older than Seb and remember those times from a slightly different viewpoint but can empathise with so much of what he's written.

To be honest, every Metalhead has probably already read this but if you haven't you owe it to yourself to read it. Probably not a suitable present for granny, though.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Being a teenager growing up in Winchester must have been hard for Seb Hunter. Not only because of the location but also because he was unfortunate enough to have been introduced to Heavy Metal at an early age.

However, it wasn't a completely wasted youth, as he has made amends by writing this very funny warts 'n' all confessional account of his formative years, and the dreadful-sounding (in every sense of the term) bands he was in; not only do you learn all about his embarrassing forays into the world of metal 'fashion', but you also get to learn about all those different bands that were around in the '80s, and the different sub-genres that existed in their world.

I can't really do this book justice in a review, but his comic timing is really well-honed; he's probably spent so many years being laughed at that his wit has developed out of necessity. I've always been a bit luke-warm about Nick HORNBY - Seb is everything I wish Nick was, and MORE.

I spent 5 days reading this, and for the majority of that time I was chuckling away. If you know anyone of about 40 years of age who has spent their early years going to gigs, being in a band or just simply getting into music, whatever type - I can thoroughly recommend this book; it rings so many bells and brings things back into my mind that I hoped I had forgotten about. Well done Seb - you made amends.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Heavy metal isn't a genre that one would normally associate with top-drawer writing, but Seb Hunter breaks the mould. If you ever wanted 11 on your amp, sat up all night sewing a patch on a leather jacket that you couldn't get the needle through, or couldn't hear properly after a concert this is the book for you.
It's also a moving account of a son's relationship with his father - Fa- and of finding one's own voice in music. Having long had Giles Smith's Lost In Music as a favourite - a book that can now be called a classic- this will rank alongside it. Seb proves that heavy metal wasn't just the music of choice for the inarticulate, even if 90% of the lyrics - when they existed were incomprehensible.
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I have just finished reading this book. Probably the most embarrassing thing I have read in ages, I just couldn't put it down! At every digression Seb makes, my memories came flooding back. Memories of my own misspent youth, time abused with my spotty mates trying to decipher the hidden meaning to our favourite Judas Priest tracks! It seems at times to be almost spoof like, perhaps as a consequence of extremely honest and upfront writing style.
Seb leads us from his sheltered upbringing to the London stage, the world famous Marquee club. The "swine and swill" he occasionally mixed with, on his way to filling that musical void he felt inside. He mentions places in London I remember so well from my own youth, the sacred shrine that was Shades record store and the Borderline club. He mentions bands, both good and bad, that sadly I must admit to still having in my, now carefully boxed, vinyl collection. The low points of his drug habits and the need to conform, in what is often seen as the most non-conformist genre in music, really hit home. I suppose the most important thing to walk away from the book with is the need to stand back once in a while, seriously try to look at yourself and laugh at how ridiculous we really are when were young.
As it says, this book will work for anyone, metal fan or not. If you really enjoyed that late 80-95 period, spent with our favourite heroes, then buy this book now. I promise you will be laughing out loud and confusing non-metallers, when you try to explain why you couldn't like Winger over WASP and importance of why you had to choose sides in the Van Halen Roth/Hagar spat!
Now a sad 32 year old metal fan, but with wife, kids, mortgage and short hair, I want give thanks to Seb to letting me see what I missed out on, by just not making the serious effort with the bands I failed in!
Cheers Seb!
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