Barbarous Book Club



The reason all the hair-metal autobiographies have been disappointing is because the best hair metal band, Motley Crue, did it first, and did a really killer job (treating it like an oral history told from lots of different  perspectives = master stroke), and so there was really no place to go but down. Bret Michaels’ autobiography never actually materialized, Slash’s was good but not great, Steven Adler’s sucked, I only know one person who read Bobby Blotzer’s,  and now all the Motley Crue guys are dipping back into that pool for a second or even third time, only without each other because after thirty fucking years they still haven’t figured out that the unit is stronger than each individual. At this point I think it would take everyone who ever worked on Chinese Democracy, including Axl Rose, all banding together to make a The Dirt-style Roshomon piece if anything is even gonna BEGIN to compete with The Crue’s initial tome.

Now glam’s ugly twin, thrash, has started to catch on that there’s an interest in these books. And they don’t seem to be following the same pattern as cock rock. Sure, Dave Mustaine went first, but no one seems to really believe a word of his book, and it’s certainly not a definitive snap-shot of the time and place the way The Dirt is for the Strip in the 80’s. And I obviously have a lot of faith in Phil Anselmo’s upcoming collaboration with MetalSucks’ own Corey Mitchell, but Pantera weren’t purely thrash, and weren’t around for the Big Four’s heyday.

So. Now Noise Creep says that Kirk Hammett is doing his autobiography. (The news actually originated in an interview with Ultimate-Guitar, but I can’t find it. If anybody does, drop me a line.) There’s no word on which lucky writer will score that coveted “with” credit, but here’s a choice quote from Kirk:

“It feels like I’m making a solo album because it is so much work!”

Yes, Kirk! It is work when you have to dictate your ideas to an underling, instead of being the underling who receives dictations!

So in case you can’t tell from my tone thus far, I don’t have a lot of faith that this book is gonna be any good. The obvious difference between Hammett and Mustaine is that while Mustaine is just completely full of crap, Hammett is an appeaser. I don’t know if he’ll outright lie in his book, but I gonna pretty much guarantee that he’s gonna sugar coat the story so bad you’ll get cavities just from reading it. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that, like I said, thrash seems to be working its way up. Mustaine is creatively superior to Hammett, but Hammett is, at the end of the day, far more famous, and his book will easily outsell Mustaine’s. Publishers will get dollar signs in their eyes and that will spur more books, and hopefully one of those books will be to thrash what The Dirt is to glam. Perhaps we’ll get Book of Fire by all four members of Slayer “with D.X. Ferris.”

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?


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