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Mustaine: A Life in Metal Paperback – 9 Jun 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment (9 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007324103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007324101
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Tales of the heavy metal high life' Record Collector

From the Back Cover

Now with a new chapter

Dave Mustaine is the first to admit that he s bottomed out a few times in his dark and twisted speed metal version of a Dickensian life.

Impoverished, transient childhood? Check.

Abusive, alcoholic parent? Check.

Mind-f**king religious weirdness (in his case the extremes of the Jehovah s Witnesses and satanism)? Check.

Alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness? Check, check, Check.

Soul-crushing professional and artistic setbacks? Check.

Rehab? Check (seventeen times, give or take).

Near-death experience? Check that one, too.

James Hetfield, with whom many years ago Mustaine founded a band known as Metallica, once observed, with some incredulity, that Mustaine must have been born with a horseshoe up his ass. That s how lucky he is to be pulling breath after so many close calls. But here s the thing about having a horseshoe lodged in your rectum: It also hurts like hell. And you never forget it s there.

Mustaine has battled it all to achieve dizzying heights. From the early, heady days of Metallica, being unceremoniously let go only to become a world-famous rock star founder, front man, singer, songwriter, and guitarist (and de facto CEO) for Megadeth, one of the most popular bands in heavy metal Mustaine s story will inspire, stun, and terrify." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
If you grew up in the late 80s or early 90s listening to thrash metal, then this will be a nostalgic reminder about everything that was so brilliantly absurd about that scene. As someone who listened to 'Rust In Peace' pretty much constantly, and bought 'Countdown to Extinction' the day it came out, Mustaine was a bit of a hero to me, both in terms of talent and persona.

His unapologetic arrogance still comes through, but there's also wit and intelligence, even if some of the polish is supplied by the co-writer.

Inevitably, the early days are the most entertaining sections, charting the rise of Metallica, then The Firing, and finally the gradual rise of Megadeth as a true competitor to the throne of Metal. The whole adventure is fuelled by drug abuse and conflict, and it's amazing that Mustaine actually managed to produce some classic albums through this period.

I began to lose interest towards the end, where everything seems to have gone wrong: having relapsed and lost the ability to play guitar, Dave is on the verge of losing his wife and kids. 'Finding God' is such a cliché for disgraced celebrities, but it's obvious that Christianity now plays an important part in Mustaine's life. He does try to take an 'each to his own' attitude and 'not shove it down people's throats', but it just seems completely at odds with the rest of the story, and my respect for him began to ebb away.

Last chapter aside however, this is an entertaining and candid autobiography.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a Metallica fan and a Megadeth fan, more so Metallica but I'm very open minded and read this book with no bias at all.

I really enjoyed reading about Dave's life however I find it quite incredible that he can still be so bitter about his departure from Metallica after all of these years. If Dave's recollection of events is accurate and true then I think the way the situation was handled was very unfair, to not even check he had enough money for food for the long journey home was unforgivable, however, I can see why they let him go. Quite frankly in his younger years, and even as recently as the early 2000's, the man was a liability.

He created a massively successful band, earning millions in the process, selling millions of records and had the proper "rock and roll" lifestyle yet I feel all of this is still tainted for him as Metallica's successes outweigh his own. I'd be happy that despite everything I had been through, I managed to pull off what he has!!!

Being so dead against religion as a result of family members being Jehovah's Witnesses and his experiences from that, I was then quite surprised that in the end he turned to Jesus and pretty much states that finding Christ is what saved him in the end. I know this to be true for a lot of people, famous or not, however it's kind of unique (in my eyes) for someone to be set against it and THEN decide to turn towards it. I just found that part a little cliched.

All in all, a very good read but Dave needs to get over whatever happened with Metallica and enjoy the rest of his life with what he has - which is a lot!!
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Format: Paperback
There are way too many pictures in this book. Really, there are only so many times you need to see a photograph of Dave Mustaine holding a guitar. One would do the job. Perhaps two. One to show what he looked like at the start. Then another one to show what he looks like at the end. I can't escape the feeling the book is pitched at people who the publishers don't believe usually read books, and so the pictures are a way of dumbing down and making all those words less scary.

His life has been interesting. Unfortunately he concentrates so much on his sex and drugs lifestyle (with some added religious issues) that the music gets squeezed down into the sidelines. He barely mentions the albums and songs. I really wanted to know about the writing and recording of all those albums. Instead you get about two short pages on each of them. And even then he spends a lot more time discussing his cover versions on the early albums than he does on his own original songs.

He is too vague and rarely goes into any detail on anything musical. His songwriting and recording stories should have made up at least half the book. Instead it probably accounts for only ten percent of it. His touring (drug stories) and band member turnover problems (more drug stories) eats up way, way more space.

If you want to know about his music then the book will disappoint. If you want to know about his drug use then you will learn all you could ever want to know. His (and his co-writer's) writing style is straightforward but due to a lack of colourful detail it comes up short of being anywhere near as compelling as The Dirt by Motley Crew.

The Metallica stuff is covered in a decent amount of detail.
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