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Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir Paperback – Aug 9 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; Reprint edition (Aug. 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061714402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061714405
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Entirely awesome.” (Washington Post)

“One hell of a story” (Crawdaddy)

“Dave Mustaine’s memoir is the narrative of a struggling, hard-won music career. It is also a story of survival, redemption and faith... Transcending simple religion and music, Mustaine’s Heavy Metal Memoir will leave you moved and inspired.” (Globe and Mail (Toronto))

“Remorseless.” (Rolling Stone)

“A fascinating and sometimes eye-opening look at Mustaine the man as well as Mustaine the rock star... A must read for Megadeth fans, and highly recommended for metal fans in general.” (

“(Mustaine’s) memoir is honest, certainly - and not without that trademark bite - but there is also considerable maturity in his words.” (The Quietus)

“A must-have for all fans and haters alike” (

“[MUSTAINE] is more tenacious, more introspective, and ultimately more relevant than you’d expect.” (

“A frank and detailed account of the life and times of the infamous vocalist/guitarist/song writer…Mustaine’s account of Megadeth’s early years is told with humor and with real honesty… A riveting read.” (

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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).
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Format: Hardcover
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.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I began to devour this book while waiting in line to meet Dave and have him sign my copy at a book signing in Toronto in July. Very quickly it was evident this memoir is written from a place of candor, humor, humility and honesty that I was both surprised at and appreciative of. After all, the Dave Mustaine of my youth was a balsy mouthpiece with a sneer that could send you running for the hills and melt your heart at once (if you were an impressionable teenaged girl who loved Metal that is).

This memoir is like having a conversation with a friend. The stories shared don't come across from a place of bragging or boasting, but from a place of experience, and sometimes veer into quite emotional and serious areas. Luckily though some tales told can also be both crude and funny at once, and it really feels like the words are falling from Dave's own lips. I found it a very deeply insightful look into both an amazing creature and a flawed man, he's human just like the rest of us. Huh, who knew? In the epic percieved battle of Megadeth vs. Metallica I think everyone will enjoy this look into both Dave's life and his thought process. I was a Metallica fan for many years, with only brief flirts of Megadeth in my musical landscape. Reading this memoir has absolutely made me a bigger fan of Mustaine and his life's work.....Megadeth. I thank God every day he got kicked out of Metallica - because without THAT part of his life we wouldn't have Megadeth.

I've now read the book twice and still adore it. Go get it!
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