QUESTION OF THE WEEK: TOME OF THE MUTILATED
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TIP: Dude if u ever have a free wknd, treat yourself to the delightful George Jones autobiography I Lived To Tell It All. Holy shit what a blast! Far from a sanitized showbiz memoir, the ’60s country music maniac’s book more closely resembles a confession before dying, a repercussion-free purge from a man who has already disappointed/angered/flaked on/choked out everyone on earth.
It’s such a funny experience for a reader, too: The end of any chapter finds Jones in some bind, drunk as shit, dodging glares from waiting law enforcement officials, quacking an entire concert in the voice of his “other personality,” a Donald-esque duck. So then u mop your brow, sigh “Wow that’s some incredible drinking,” and assure yourself that this is the embarrassing episode that will spur No-Show Jones to put down the bottle for good. But then u turn the page to where the very next chapter begins: “And that’s when I started the real boozing.” lol Fuck! U serious?!
It’s I Lived To Tell It All to which we can hold up all other memoirs; if Jones had the ballz/lapse in judgement to tell his story warts-and-all (almost), then what artist can step up to match him? If anybody, it’s someone from the world of metal. Someone cool and bearing no fear of crossing friends and partners, no self-preservation or image control, no aspersions or aspirations. That’s this week’s bookish MetalSucks Question Of The Week, in which our staff metalicians sound off on a recent issue that’s putting glasses and a sweater on our metal world.
Fearless. Controversial. Half-baked. We give it to you straight every Friday afternoon. Straight to the stinky part of the bookstore. Here’s this week’s question:
Every metal band/artist has a story. Whose would make an
Wat u think? The MS staff’s expert answers after the jump!
Motley Crue’s The Dirt is the standard of good metal autobiography. It has juicy anecdotes, its chapters transition well, and a reader gets different perspectives of the same events (which is hilarious because you have to figure out which booze-addled idiot remembered it better). So I’d like another book like that: the uncensored but coherently-presented thoughts of a band that went through a lot. Bonus points if they all hate each other now so we can really get the literary shit-flinging going.
So I want to capture the real story of Guns N’ Roses. It might seem like cheating because Slash’s book already exists — but it sucks. It does. And Slash comes from only his point of view (as horribly captured by Anthony Bozza); I demand a comprehensive, firsthand commentary from everyone: Axl Rose and his minions Buckethead, DJ Ashba, Sebastian Bach, and the rest of the real band and those who worked for them. Hell, bring back Shannon Hoon from the dead and we’ll discuss the video for “Don’t Cry.” There are a lot of unofficial GN’R biographies; I want to edit the first autobiography that actually gets Rose to talk.
Hands down, Attila Csihar, the Hungarian artist and one of extreme metal’s most influential, unfuckwithable voices, a genre innovator, black metal pioneer (go ahead, imagine him decked out Oregon Trail-style, I know you want to), and all-around fascinating character. I’d kill to read (or write!) the story of his life in and outside of metal. Attila’s story mirrors black metal’s own: from Tormentor to De Mysteriis Dom Satanas to Sunn 0))) and many points between (not to mention his billions of collaborations and guest appearances with everyone from Ulver to Astarte to Anaal Nathrakh), Attila’s evolution within and beyond the genre’s confines is an instrumental piece of the black metal puzzle. He’s seen it all, and got his fingerprints on half of it. Someone get him on the phone.
Now I’m over at the blackened-death end of the metal rainbow, but I’m still a huge Tool geek. And thus I’d read the story Maynard James Keenan, a fountain of stoner-immolating wisdom and warped humor. How could that make for anything less than the fifth-greatest book ever? Imagine it: Brilliant philosophical musings! Danny Carey stories! A deeper look into Puscifer even though everyone hates them! Opinions on Bill Hicks! Tips for wig shopping! That right there is some literary transcendence. Wow I’ve managed to get myself giddy over this hypothetical book. That’s how you know it’s good.
If he could stop being rad long enough to write it, Fenriz could put together an awesome autobiography. He’s got cred for miles, both as a participant in the first wave of Norwegian black metal and as a champion of the underground, and that alone could carry his memoirs. But he’s also got such distaste for the trappings of fame that his writing would probably be as bullshit-free as he is. In fact, Fenriz might even avoid adjectives entirely, just to keep thing as objective as possible.
Robin Staps. His autobiography wouldn’t contain only a history of his band The Ocean, or a recounting of his crazy stories and crazy travel, or even a detailed philosophical and theological analysis of the world. It would be all of those things, and more importantly, it would show how all of that combined to shape Staps into the person he is now. A good autobiography isn’t just a record of events or the time and space they spanned; it’s a history of an individual, and Staps’s would be the definition of intriguing.
JUSTIN M. NORTON
Well, it’s too late for a memoir from Seth Putnam or G.G. Allin, and this dude‘s not in metal, so … W. Axl Rose. There are a few unauthorized bios, but one with his full cooperation would be fascinating. I wouldn’t co-author it with him because collaborating with Axl takes decades off your life.
Both David Lee Roth and Steven Tyler have written memoirs, but only in the sense that they blabbed their incoherent remembrances into a tape recorder for a transcriber to later parse and arrange. Roth’s Crazy From The Heat is incredibly awesome anyway — Tyler’s quarter-assed Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? not so much — but still each drug-retarded mega stud needs to submit for a real journalimalistic book-length examination. But while we wait, I would train my merciless reporter’s eyes on Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden singer, songwriter, jetliner captain, fencing enthusiast, novelist, businessman, and absurdist. That guy is interesting and honest! In me and Bruce’s Made In Maiden, u would read about his ups and downs with a hugely popular metal band, his voice regimen, the drugz preferred by Jannick Gers, that awesome Skunkworks album, his dalliances with Rob Halford, and the time Ed Force One travelled back in time to defeat Hitler.
Shit who are we kidding about these books? Seems like a lot of work! We’ll just sit back and get loaded while Metal Injection unearths the real story on all these cool metal personalities for another awesome series, Metal Injection’s Brofiles In Brutality. Maybe they’ll let us write the credits lol. Have an awesome wknd!