Dave MustaineThere’s one rock bio I’ll be checking out in full, after getting a sneak peek: Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir ($17.15 at Amazon), detailing the life and times of one Dave Mustaine, lead guitarist of the two most successful heavy-metal bands of all time.
Let me be perfectly clear: I really don’t give much of a crap for the music of either Metallica or Megadeth. I’m more of a Glee girl, myself. But call it a fascination or an unhealthy obsession: The long-haired, tortured rockers hold an unholy fascination for me.
Maybe it has to do with the soul-searching documentary Metallica made a few years ago. Maybe it’s the way Mustaine quietly and calmly dominated his appearance on Rock 'n Roll Jeopardy. To me, “more than meets the eye” is like catnip, and Mustaine has oodles of it.
Here are some of the revelations in the new bio, which is pretty much the perfect beach read:
The long and the short of it, if you’ve never heard of Mustaine, in the '80s, he was a founding member of Metallica, but drugs and alcohol led to his ouster just as they became the biggest band in the world. He started his own band, Megadeth, which also had huge success, but was always second-best (in terms of sales) to Metallica. This is Mustaine’s central struggle and heartbreak: He’s colossally successful, yet always second-best.
Written in a straightforward style that acknowledges past hurts without bitterness or (much) anger, Mustaine’s tale is infinitely relatable even if you’ve never done the stuff he does so much of -- played guitar, shot heroin, or done unspeakable things with groupies, which, um, wow, is all I can say about that.
There’s also fashion advice (hair “up” in the style of Kiss is uncool, “down” like Led Zeppelin is very cool), a pep talk from Alice Cooper, and an amusing aside in which Mustaine paid his drug dealer “a few hundred dollars” to attend court-ordered AA meetings … and the dealer ended up getting sober as a result.
Mustaine, too, eventually responds to his repeated visits to rehab and finds true love. He leaves no stone unturned, even meandering off into musings on politics and industry details that might be of interest only to some. And he keeps returning to his relationship with Lars Ulrich of Metallica, in the early days and when they reunited for the documentary, which wasn’t all positive. (See a clip of it below. I’m sorry, I just find his straightforward, introspective style irresistible. [Warning: Adult Language])
Anyway, this guilty pleasure is the celebrity bio of the summer, as far as I’m concerned.
Will you be checking out the Mustaine memoir? Do you like reading about crazy rock adventures even if you're not into the music? Tell us in the comments!
Image via Amazon