Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

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I purchased the Kindle edition of Ian’s biography to read on a seriously ill-fated vacation.  Luckily for me, I didn’t attempt to start reading it on the trip as the Kindle app on my iPad failed to download the book.  Safely back in the confines of the cubby hole I call home, I downloaded the book and couldn’t put it down.  Ian starts things off with a family tree breakdown and tales from his upbringing.  Born in New York to Jewish parents that didn’t love each other, Ian escaped through comic books, baseball, and music.  As with many musicians of the era, seeing KISS live was the driving force in Ian’s desire to be a rock star.  Heavy metal quickly became the common denominator amongst his friends, which included future bandmate Danny Lilker.  With that, the seeds of Anthrax were planted.

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Cannibal Corpse – Bible of Butchery
When this project was announced, I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant about the results. In Bible of Butchery’s favor is Joel McIver. McIver is an excellent author (if you haven’t read To Live is to Die: The Cliff Burton Story, I highly recommend it as it’s the best book I’ve read about Metallica) and attaching his name to the project makes it a win….initially. Announcing the book alongside the surprise announcement of a new Cannibal album, an album, mind you, whose street date was only six week’s away was great cause for concern. I hoped I was overthinking the release and the book would be a tell-all endeavor. The negatives, however, far outweigh McIver’s pedigree.

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Devo

For those too young to remember, Devo – short for De-evolution – proved that geeks could rock just as hard as their “cooler” brethren.  Pretty much everyone knows Whip It, but the whole of Freedom of Choice was a breath of fresh air when it came out in 1980.  Now the 33 1/3rd series is giving the album the full book treatment.  Read on for info on the book, it’s author, and the unexpected celebrity that wrote the forward.

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The-Black-Album-1

The 33 1/3rd book series are fun, interesting, and informative to read.  The series focuses on a single album and chooses an author to write a 120 page-or-so book.  Some authors are more well known than others, but each book carries its own style, with some even choosing to tell the tale of the album through a story rather than through first-hand accounts.  Metallica’s Black Album is the focus of an upcoming book, which should see release sometime next year.  As the publisher does with each installment, a week is dedicated as a preview of the book.  The Author of Black Album, David Mascriota, was interviewed about the book.  Highlights below.

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A month ago I took a trip to the Bay Area for the Oregon vs. Stanford football game.  The game was the impetuous for the trip, but having many friends in San Francisco extended our stay.  One of my many stops was a small, independent bookstore.  I was checking the music section, as I’m want to do, and saw a book titled This Music Leaves Stains.  Not being familiar with it, I pulled it off the shelf.  To my surprise it was the first legitimate book about the Misfits, other than Eerie Von’s Misery Obscura photo book.

Upon returning home I check online reviews, which seemed positive.  Although one had a line that stood out: only two of the Misfits were interviewed for the book.  Now, to me, only three people count as members of the Misfits.  Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only, and Doyle.  Granted, many other members passed though the dungeon doors, but those three WERE the misfits.

I knew something was amiss after tweeting Doyle about the authenticity of the book.  He usually answers my questions in a timely manner, but this time I was met with silence.  Book in hand I soldiered on.  The story reads well and is entertaining throughout, however, the members that were interviewed for the project were minor players with no decision-making ability in the band, much less song writing credits.

Additionally, the book’s page count belies it’s content.  The book itself is a total of 180 pages, but the band’s history chronicled within totals a mere 120 pages.  The remaining 60 pages are a fairly accurate and complete discography and citations.  For the diehard collector, the discography alone is worth the price.  For the general fan, it’s still a great read, but one gets the feeling that much of the early stages of the band’s career are based on legend, hearsay, and innuendo.

Interviewing bands that were active at the same time, especially members of Minor Threat, who give their honest opinions about what went on in the scene, adds to the books integrity, but Danzig’s reclusive nature most likely means that we’ll never know the whole truth.  At best we’ll get a pro wrestlers eye-view of history.  Oh, and did I mention Doyle and Jerry Only’s involvement in World Championship Wrestling?  Yeah, they lay the smack down on that too!