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4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on May 31, 2015
An excellent read especially the early chapters where he talks about growing up and the formation of Metallica. There are parts that make you laugh out loud and I had to go back and read the lines over again to make sure I read it right. For example he says he supported George Bush and his response to 911. This was shocking to me given all that has been reported about that invasion. Later on he describes his first meeting with Marty Friedman and how he was using "budget" guitars. Did Carvin stop using wood and switch to plasic I thought to myself. Some of the guitars Carvin made in the eighties were gorgeous, just as beautiful as any Dean. I doubt Alan Holdsworth or those of us that play Carvin guitars would agree with Dave. After all this is a good read and I recommend it to fans but be warned the really interesting parts are near the beginning. As talented and tenacious as this man is he still very much human. God bless him.
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on August 4, 2014
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2014
I loved this book because of the back stories Mustaine tells so that all of his stories and situations tied together. I always thought of guys like Dave Mustaine as almost otherworldly and to put a human face on himself and relate to what he is,just a guy that has struggles like millions of others.Fantastic read and hard to put down at night !
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on February 5, 2014
This is a must read for fans of Megadeth and Dave Mustaine. He has lived quite a crazy life and has laid it all out in this book.
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on December 26, 2013
Very convoluted rock star tripe. That being said some interesting insight into the goings on of Mr. Mustaine.
But it's rock n roll so take it for what its worth
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 29, 2013
....but his memoir is exceptional and I like it a lot. It is well written and paced. I am curious to see Ellefsons book and compare the two. As of this writing (Sept 2013) the Ellefson book is on the cusp of being released.
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on June 24, 2012
Wow, what a great story. Dave lets it all out and holds nothing back. Its truly a great read and throughly written. Its a must for metal fans. Buy buy buy it now.
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on February 16, 2012
This is the best autobiography about a rocker yet!! Once I started reading it, I did not want to put it down. I found every page to be entertaining. I have heard people say it was a bit rushed in the end.... but since he has turned christian, and has straightened out his life....what else is there to write about? Happy to say, I will be seeing him in concert in Calgary on the 18 of Feb..... if it wasnt for this book I probly wouldn't have sought out tickets for his sold out show. I have always been a Megadeth fan, and read about some of his struggles, but it is nice to hear his side of the story in more detail. So glad he is still with us today, and continuing to make awesome music. This book is deffinately a must have for any fan.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 9, 2011
Dave Mustaine has long been known as a walking contradiction. His personal feuds with members of Metallica and Slayer notwithstanding, Mustaine blazed a path of self destruction for much of his personal life before finally wrestling control over his demons long enough to stay grounded. To this day, one gets the sense that it might all come apart at the seams if Mustaine strays but a little from his difficult path. Reading 'A Heavy Metal Memoir' reinforces this fact, tenfold.

To those who know of Mustaine's early life and his subsequent rise as a heavy metal icon, most of this is nothing new. The story was told in largely truncated fashion on VH1's "Behind the Music: Megadeth" piece which did a pretty good job of summing up the band's musical career while touching largely on Mustaine's ascension to the throne. His book brings all this up again while adding more layers of complexity to the story that weren't known before this. From his festering anger of being picked on by bullies as a child to his self-admitted problems with alcohol and drug addiction which soiled relationships with friends and family members, Mustaine is being downright honest.

Or is he?

It's no secret that Mustaine has a notorious penchant for contradicting himself, skewing the facts and acting in such a manner as to present himself in the best light. Even self-deprecation is a tool that he has mastered to some great degree. Readers must remember that this is the same man who ridiculed Steve Tyler for being pompous and arrogant enough to call himself "Aerosmith," only to go on and call himself "Megadeth" years later because he was the sole, true contributing member of the band (reference the feud between Mustaine and bandmate David Ellefson). Reading 'A Heavy Metal Memoir' requires a large degree of caution on the part of the reader, for nobody truly knows if Mustaine is painting himself in the best light possible to smear those he talks about. For as vain and egotistical as he comes off, he can also sound quite humble when speaking of the stupidity of mass drug and alcohol use, the latter of which would admittedly put him in a confrontational and aggressive mood. On the flip side, Mustaine displays a surprising amount of callousness and lack of empathy towards those he admitted to wronging; fellows like Ron McGovney, reps from Combat Records, female bedmates that he used for shelter, food and drugs, and (naturally) Metallica. Granted, Mustaine is being straightforward and brutally honest about the way he perceived the world and people at these specific times in his life, but there's not even a hint of regret in his tone most of the time.

Reading the book from cover to cover, one thing becomes very clear: despite reassurances to the contrary, Mustaine is still hung up on his past. Badly. He may have settled enough feuds with musical contemporaries like Slayer and Metallica to have finally made the Big 4 event a reality, but it's clear that he refuses to forgive AND forget. For all his worldly knowledge and experience, Mustaine is still very much an angst-ridden, angry young man trying to solidify his sense of place in the world around him. As such, his views and opinions remain clouded because of that anger and distort the reality of his situation. Even Mustaine's woefully inaccurate and disturbingly skewed opinion of Jehovah's Witnesses seems more like lashing out at the most convenient party, while the blame should actually be placed on the fragmented dysfunction of his family life at the time. That being said, it's one man's opinion, and he isn't asking for a psychologist to sort out the tangled mass of wiring in his head, but...perhaps he should. The book goes on to document the progression of Megadeth's musical career and, once again, Mustaine's problems with band members and industry professionals who were all apparently out to get him. There's a dreadful sense of disrespect that the man displays towards certain key people who, for better or worse, played a great role in Megadeth's rise to the iconic band they are today. Rather than let bygones be bygones as Mustaine has repeatedly promised in the media, the reader gets the sense that he may have been thinking "I still hate you, but I don't want to fight anymore."

They say you cannot judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes, so one must exercise a bit of an open heart. Mustaine's humiliating expulsion from Metallica isn't exactly news, but his recollection of it is heartbreaking. You cannot help but feel a great degree of sympathy for a man who, in the space of a few hours, lost everything he held dear, only to board a bus with absolutely no money in his pocket and have to rely on the courtesy and compassion of complete strangers for donuts and water. Equally admirable is Mustaine's determination to fight back, starting with his penning of the lyrics to what would later become the Megadeth song "Set the World Afire" on the very same bus ride. While reading about Mustaine's powerful determination to become a metal icon and prove that he had what it takes to succeed, one can't really pinpoint if it is personal fortitude or a raging inferiority complex that fueled his stubborn will. Whatever the case, it's admirable that the man didn't stay in the gutter and fade away into nothingness, but rose from the pits of his personal hell to form one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. Unfortunately, I never got the sense that the people who assisted him on this road to success were ever necessary to him, or even mattered. Those who have stuck with Mustaine through the years have always been spoken well of...until they leave the band, at which point Mustaine shows either contempt, or nonchalant indifference. The reader will find much of that here.

If one is to read this book, they should do so with skepticism. I highly doubt Mustaine is a liar, but the brain plays tricks on its host, especially when plagued with a lifetime of psychological issues and a disturbing amount of substance abuse. To call the material in this book "fact" may be unwise and potentially dangerous. Better to think of it as "one side of the story." Droogies will go nuts over the chance to learn more about their favorite idol, but those like me who grew up diehard Megadeth fans, only to finally meet the man in person and see his moody indifference spill over onto both myself and dozens of loyal and loving fans (at the 2005 Gigantour) will take this memoir with a grain of salt, and they would be right to do so.
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on July 2, 2011
The most interesting aspect I found after reading Dave Mustaine's autobiography was how the progression of time combined with the abuse of substances had created in Dave's life a distortion of events that becomes more clear in hindsight. This changing perspective, one of extreem highs and lows(literally), is how the reader and the writer explore Dave Mustaine's life. It is all very dramatic, and far from average as is the excessive life of a metal god if you will. You feel the drama more profoundly I find because of this kind of tone of self exploration Dave uses to describe his experiences that alternate between a 3rd person nararator and 1st person accounts of what happened. The use of this writing style sepparates the book into two stages, appropriate for how Dave's life unfolds. Admitedly, I appreciate the first "stage" of the story more than the second. Dave seems to speak from the first person more in the stages of building Megadeth, and tends to enjoy this part more than the second. His days in Metallica are described as "loud and dangerous", with many accounts of almost fearless wrecklessness with regards to risky behaviour including substance abuse. This first half talks largely about Megadeth in it's stages of inception, in Dave's youth and has many rich detailed stories ranging from the difficulties of finding the perfect band, to girlfriend issues that are often laugh out loud funny, but also are rather deep, and make you reflect about friendships, and what they mean.

The second "stage" begins roughly halfway through the book and reflects an emotional decline in Dave's life that eventually brings the reader back to the scene described in medias-rez style at the very first chapter, describing the disaster that finally caused Dave to turn his life around and make the latest monster of an album, Endgame. I enjoyed reading this part less because Dave seemed to enjoy this part of his life less. Whether adulthood and lost youth was simply taking it's toll or that the continual drug abuse and recovery was the source of pain, there is a marked change of tone that leaves a dark impression on the reader. This is the reason I give the book 4/5, Dave Mustaine is like a hero to me, and reading the stories of relapse, recover, rehab, repeat are a bit unexpected and kind of pathetic. Dave, however is a self-described fighter, and his life is one of significant struggle. One has to give him credit not only for what he's accomplished, but for his ability to take on his "darkes hour" and come out alive. Many who go down that road are much worse off than him.
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