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A Heavy Metal Memoir, The Title Says It All
on September 5, 2010
I've read many rock/metal musicians' autobiographies over the years in hopes to learn more about my favorite artists , Megadeth happens to be on the list of bands that I really like and have strong respect for (especially Mustaine) so this was a must read for me. Honestly, Dave Mustaine's autobiography shouldn't be really all that surprising to anyone who's been a fan of his following him for years; a big part of his life has already been covered (addiction, getting kicked out of Metallica, his drug and alcohol abuses and his conversion to Christianity for examples). Megadeth founder and frontman, Mustaine has been in the rock'n'roll business for years, he's been successful and he's been in incredibly dark places in his life. Mustaine : A Heavy Metal Memoir is a great look at the rock'n'roll lifestyle and the excesses that comes with it. It's very much the good, the bad and the ugly, there's no shortage of any of them in Mustaine's memoir (even if the good is a little rarer). To be honest I expected more ink on the subject of his Metallica exit (make no mistake, he does talk about it quite a few times) and I'm glad that he didn't stop there.
Mustaine comes off as a smart person who's well aware of what he's done. He knows the damage he's done to himself with alcohol and drugs while at the same time hurting others around him. In fact he apologizes for hurting so many people over the years and learned to forgive others (yet you still sense he will never let go of Metallica, however he seems angrier at himself for blowing it). It's interesting to read about feuds Mustaine has had with bands such as Metallica, Slayer (Kerry King only it seems) and Pantera, one way or another it always seems to turn out alright (I'm not saying he was right or wrong). Mustaine's conversion to Christianity is a well-known fact in the metal community but reading about how it actually happened and how he found god and changed his life for the best (while still providing metalheads remarkable music, Amen to that!) was inspiring to say the least. I liked to read how even if he's a Christian he doesn't try to change anyone's personal beliefs and how it helped him reach balance and happiness in his life, not to mention that it strongly helped him get rid of his unhealthy addictions. He certainly has no problem acknowledging what he did well and what he did wrong, I'll give him that. Mustaine has very interesting views on things, for instance he disproves of satanic bands and his views on rehab were certainly...well interesting!
The book is filled with emotions, mostly negative ones. From the death of his father to whom he was not very close to his first job (selling substances) , being alone and not much of a family to support him. It seems what really saved Mustaine life was music like many other musicians, he had a passion and a strong will to succeed. I loved that Mustaine went in analysis of each Megadeth album, he talked about the events that lead to it, who played on it and what he or his fans thought. A Heavy Metal Memoir shows the true Dave Mustaine, he tells us the good when there's been good and bad when it was bad, he's very honest about what he says. I was touched by Dave's childhood story and when he talks about what he felt when his father died, I have to admit I cried, it's an intense book. It was nice to read about Metallica's RNR Hall of Fame Ceremony and their invitation to Dave, the answer he gave them said it all and he was not being arrogant or inconsiderate. On another note the pictures that are in the book (thought I must admit I'm not a big fan of the book cover) are very good and there are some very good ones of Mustaine playing live with Megadeth and one of each of his kids. There are some colored pictures in the middle of the book as most bios have and there are also others in black and white that can be found at each beginning of chapters and at many other places throughout the book.
The impression I had after reading the book was that Mustaine was seriously considering retirement, but it's not really a surprise since he's been talking about it for quite some time. He definitely loves the music but he wants to spend more time with his family and the music takes a big portion of his time let's put it that way. Recently Mustaine along with Megadeth performed some concerts celebrating the 20th anniversary of the metal masterpiece Rust In Piece and is still talking about new music, yet still talking about retirement. Enough with the retirement issue, some reviewers have commented that Dave didn't give away enough unknown content but I was rather satisfied with the book's content and how it turned out. It's a really interesting bio and I don't have much to criticize, in my opinion this is stuff fans want to know and want to read. Solid book, 4 ' stars.