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New York Times Bestseller Founding member, singer, and lead guitarist of Metallica and Megadeth shares the ultimate, unvarnished story behind his involvement in the rise of two of the world’s most influential heavy metal bands in history.  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. New York Times Bestseller Founding member, singer, and lead guitarist of Metallica and Megadeth shares the ultimate, unvarnished story behind his involvement in the rise of two of the world’s most influential heavy metal bands in history.  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. From his soul-crushing professional and artistic setbacks to his battle with addiction, Mustaine has hit rock bottom on multiple occasions. April 1983 was his lowest point, when he was unceremoniously fired from Metallica for his hard-partying ways. But, what seemed to be the end of it all was just the beginning for the guitarist. After parting ways with Metallica, Mustaine went on to become the front man, singer, songwriter, guitarist (and de facto CEO) for Megadeth—one of the most successful metal bands in the world. A pioneer of the thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s, and has gone on to earn seven consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance. In this outrageously candid memoir, one of heavy metal’s most iconic figures gives an insider’s look into the loud and sordid world of thrash metal—sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll included.  


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New York Times Bestseller Founding member, singer, and lead guitarist of Metallica and Megadeth shares the ultimate, unvarnished story behind his involvement in the rise of two of the world’s most influential heavy metal bands in history.  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. New York Times Bestseller Founding member, singer, and lead guitarist of Metallica and Megadeth shares the ultimate, unvarnished story behind his involvement in the rise of two of the world’s most influential heavy metal bands in history.  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. From his soul-crushing professional and artistic setbacks to his battle with addiction, Mustaine has hit rock bottom on multiple occasions. April 1983 was his lowest point, when he was unceremoniously fired from Metallica for his hard-partying ways. But, what seemed to be the end of it all was just the beginning for the guitarist. After parting ways with Metallica, Mustaine went on to become the front man, singer, songwriter, guitarist (and de facto CEO) for Megadeth—one of the most successful metal bands in the world. A pioneer of the thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s, and has gone on to earn seven consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance. In this outrageously candid memoir, one of heavy metal’s most iconic figures gives an insider’s look into the loud and sordid world of thrash metal—sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll included.  

30 review for Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Timmel

    The main problem I had with it is the same one I had with both Slash's and Anthony Keidis' memoirs: WE GET IT, YOU WENT TO REHAB A LOT. Instead of taking one chapter and devoting it to the numerous times in and out of sobriety, it's done in "real time." So every time he goes into rehab, he writes about it and everything slows to a grinding halt. The other problem I had is the inability of people who replace their addiction to drugs/alcohol to an addiction to religion to understand that's all the The main problem I had with it is the same one I had with both Slash's and Anthony Keidis' memoirs: WE GET IT, YOU WENT TO REHAB A LOT. Instead of taking one chapter and devoting it to the numerous times in and out of sobriety, it's done in "real time." So every time he goes into rehab, he writes about it and everything slows to a grinding halt. The other problem I had is the inability of people who replace their addiction to drugs/alcohol to an addiction to religion to understand that's all they're doing. Seems that if they recognized unhealthy patterns, they'd catch that one right away, but nope. As religion is a societally sanctioned addiction and drugs aren't, it's somehow acceptable. *shrug* Interesting how almost every memoir I've read from a musician involves them dumbfucking their way into major success. Guess I should have done more drinking and drugs on my path.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    I think there are a lot of positive things that can come from a book like this. There are lessons here, and warnings, more than a few. It takes something to be this candid and open about the mistakes you’ve made, perhaps even more so if you’re Dave Mustaine. If you’ve ever read up about him, or if you’ve followed his career, you’ll know. He owns up to a lot here, generally clearing the water. Let’s face it, there’s only so much you can learn about someone like this on Wikipedia. This is a confes I think there are a lot of positive things that can come from a book like this. There are lessons here, and warnings, more than a few. It takes something to be this candid and open about the mistakes you’ve made, perhaps even more so if you’re Dave Mustaine. If you’ve ever read up about him, or if you’ve followed his career, you’ll know. He owns up to a lot here, generally clearing the water. Let’s face it, there’s only so much you can learn about someone like this on Wikipedia. This is a confessional of sorts, I suppose, and a lot of what you read in here may be unsettling. Dave has led an eventful life, and no mistake. If you thought the old saying “sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll” was just that, a saying, think again. In here you will find sex. You will find substance abuse of a mind-bogglingly excessive nature. Of course, the music is more metal than rock ‘n roll, but still…. Oh, did I mention the drugs? You see, this is a story about survival, and if someone like Dave Mustaine can clean up and straighten out his life to the extent he describes here. Well… it certainly does seem to take away most people’s excuses. I suppose what most readers will be after when they read this, are the sections dealing with the founding of Metallica, Dave’s subsequent, highly publicised by now, dismissal and, of course, the founding of Megadeth. Nothing wrong with that, of course, since I suppose most people will only be reading this book because they’re into Heavy Metal in the first place. But I think that there is much more to it than that. Like I already mentioned, this is a story about survival. About being a man. About coming to the realisation that you have to be accountable for your own life at some point and that you can’t blame others, or your past, for your own shortcomings. On that level, I think many people will be able to identify with Mr Mustaine. This book comes recommended, but there is quite a bit of swearing and quite a bit of “mature” content, since this is, after all, still Dave Mustaine. Also, the writing itself isn’t bad at all, which isn’t too surprising considering Mustaine’s history as songwriter. If you like music history and autobiographies, check it out! If you’re a Megadeth fan, well, I suppose I don’t even have to tell you, ‘cause you’ll have a copy already.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ramakrishnan M

    There was a time when Megadeth was my favorite-est band; Dave Mustaine (founder, leader, composer, singer, everything), personally, was GOD to me. I loved their aggressive music, I was inspired by their lyrics, and I could never stop talking about Megadeth with friends, family, whoever was tolerant to hear me out. Their music went through tumultuous ups and downs, and my personal tastes moved to more aggressive genres and artists. But, I always remained doggedly dedicated to the old era of Megad There was a time when Megadeth was my favorite-est band; Dave Mustaine (founder, leader, composer, singer, everything), personally, was GOD to me. I loved their aggressive music, I was inspired by their lyrics, and I could never stop talking about Megadeth with friends, family, whoever was tolerant to hear me out. Their music went through tumultuous ups and downs, and my personal tastes moved to more aggressive genres and artists. But, I always remained doggedly dedicated to the old era of Megadeth. So, when I chanced upon the autobiography of Mustaine at a book store, I just had to buy it immediately (admitted – I did not pick it up then and there; I came home and ordered it cheaper from an online seller). This book is a must-have for every single fan of Megadeth. Mustaine has covered his entire life …. tumultuous times….the crazy “sex drugs and heavy metal” life… the battles with bands and band members…rehab…et al….with all the gory details. He especially goes into a lot of detail of his early years – how he started playing music and how things evolved (and then fell apart) with Metallica. Anyone who knows even a little bit of Megadeth and Mustaine know about his unceremonious sacking from Metallica and how that left Mustaine angry and competitive for years. You just get lot more details here…straight from the horse’s…ughh... Mustaine’s mouth. Regarding his decadent life (???)-style, gosh it is a miracle he lived to tell the tale. Having dabbled with almost every kind of drugs and alcohol (sometimes doing it even inside a rehab centre), it is quite shocking that his body took it all and survived. Then, of course, there is the most traumatic phase in Mustaine’s life when his left hand suffered a nerve problem and he could not move it properly (leave alone play guitar); how painful it was to recover and re-gain his life, becoming a born-again-Christian, making amends with his wife and children, etc. is very well articulated. Ultimately, this is an in-depth autobiography for the fans of Megadeth – nothing more, nothing less. I have seen lot of this material in interviews and articles and videos earlier. However, to have it all captured in a single book…and that too coming straight from Mustaine is a great experience. A tout le monde (To everybody) A tout mes amis (To all my friends) Je vous aime (I love you) Je dois partir (I must leave) (Megadeth – Youthanasia – “A Tout Le Monde”)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarahjane

    Even I couldn't get behind this. The only thing he admits he failed at in his entire life is bedding Belinda Carlisle.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Darrell Reimer

    It's hard to believe now, but there was a time when Metallica was scary. Not “discomfiting,” “unpleasant,” “grating” or “annoying” — scary. This was a pre-merch era, when kids cut the arms off their jean jackets and used a Bic pen to emblazon that scary band logo on the back. If there was any ink left in that crappy plastic tube, it was applied to the pants. After that, they might add some scary Metallica lyrics to the ink-heavy covers of their notebooks. Today that might be the equivalent of ta It's hard to believe now, but there was a time when Metallica was scary. Not “discomfiting,” “unpleasant,” “grating” or “annoying” — scary. This was a pre-merch era, when kids cut the arms off their jean jackets and used a Bic pen to emblazon that scary band logo on the back. If there was any ink left in that crappy plastic tube, it was applied to the pants. After that, they might add some scary Metallica lyrics to the ink-heavy covers of their notebooks. Today that might be the equivalent of taping a Ziggy cartoon to your locker door. But back then listening to Metallica was enough to send three kids to death row for murders that they clearly had nothing to do with. “Today's noise,” as DEVO once said, “is tomorrow's hootenanny.” As their recent Saucy Jack hoe-down with Lou Reed confirms, Metallica is very much in the hootenanny business. It's been a long and steady descent for the band, but most headbangers would identify the point of egress as being that early morning when Lars and James roused their severely-hungover lead guitarist and co-writer, Dave Mustaine, and sent him packing. A quarter-century later Metallica fetches either critical nods or giggles, while Mustaine's music continues to set off alarm bells. Mustaine readily admits he's not the easiest guy to hang with, and that a long history of substance abuse exacerbated the worst of his many character flaws. But there remain, at least to his way of thinking, many matters on which the record needs to be set straight. This desire fuels the bulk of his music, and makes him an endlessly interesting interview subject. How does it play out in his memoirs? It's a mixed affair. He touches on most of the hot-button topics that fans of his music and story are familiar with, but laces the narrative with considerably less vitriol than he has in interviews. It seems that Mustaine, as he approaches the half-century mark clean and sober, with what appears to be a strong marriage and a healthy family life, has grown somewhat circumspect. While I don't begrudge the poor bastard his contentment, I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the fury he so frequently unleashed in his more wounded state. But until there is a collection of his interviews with Revolver magazine, this memoir will suffice as an account of the many tribulations that served as fodder for his still-disturbing music.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Randolph Lalonde

    I've been a fan of Megadeth since Peace Sells. My love for David Mustaine's sound (he is the lead guitarist, singer, and writer for the band - also the only original member), redoubled when the album "Rust In Peace" came out. I idolized the drummer of that period, Nick Menza, and when the lineup changed again, leaving him out of the band with other members, I found myself asking a lot of questions. Those questions were left mostly unanswered until I read this book. It's carefully written, and whi I've been a fan of Megadeth since Peace Sells. My love for David Mustaine's sound (he is the lead guitarist, singer, and writer for the band - also the only original member), redoubled when the album "Rust In Peace" came out. I idolized the drummer of that period, Nick Menza, and when the lineup changed again, leaving him out of the band with other members, I found myself asking a lot of questions. Those questions were left mostly unanswered until I read this book. It's carefully written, and while David Mustaine's story is driven by his music career, it has been haunted by his struggle with drugs. I've never been a drug addict myself - with the mild exception of cigarettes, but reading this book helped me understand what that reality is like a little more. David Mustaine's story is candid, but he's not telling this story to shock his audience. He lays his life out, especially the hard bits, and I found myself hoping that he could beat his drug problems. This book didn't put me off Mustaine or Megadeth, not at all. I know why Nick Menza didn't continue on with the band now, and have an improved understanding of Mustaine's journey - not a complete one, I'm sure - but a better one. The piece of him that he's given us with this book provides a perfect example of someone who became successful in one aspect while failing in others. It's a story worth learning from, whether you're a Megadeth fan or not, and this book teaches without preaching. The story told by Mustaine is also entertaining in its own right, though that's not the reason why I picked this book up. It's also important to note that there's a very honest look at the early rise of American Heavy Metal, which really got me reading. Randolph Lalonde

  7. 5 out of 5

    John

    Entertaining enough, but not exactly what I was hoping for. What I really wanted was an in-depth look into the creative process behind Megadeth's music; instead, what I mostly got was detailed account of Mustaine's battles with drug addiction and his revolving-door approach to hiring and firing band members. Megadeth has always been one of my all-time favorite bands, but I'm not the kind of person to take my fandom to extremes by joining a fan club, collecting live bootlegs, or arguing with hater Entertaining enough, but not exactly what I was hoping for. What I really wanted was an in-depth look into the creative process behind Megadeth's music; instead, what I mostly got was detailed account of Mustaine's battles with drug addiction and his revolving-door approach to hiring and firing band members. Megadeth has always been one of my all-time favorite bands, but I'm not the kind of person to take my fandom to extremes by joining a fan club, collecting live bootlegs, or arguing with haters on the internet. Therefore, prior to reading this book, I knew next-to-nothing about Dave Mustaine, apart from his songs. This was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was a good thing in that my lack of knowledge meant that everything in the book was new to me, and I didn't get bored reading about events that most die-hard Megadeth fans are already tired of discussing. I only vaguely knew of Mustaine's animosity toward Metallica, and had heard nothing regarding his conversion to Christianity. On the other hand, because I find Megadeth's music to be so smart and innovative, I have always imagined Dave Mustaine as someone I would look up to. This book sent that notion crashing into the ground, in that Mustaine generally comes across as your typically shallow, self-absorbed rock star. I respect his uniqueness in a lot of areas, and his music is simply incredible, but he certainly strikes me as an aggravating person to be around. As with many other books written by rock musicians, MUSTAINE: A HEAVY METAL MEMOIR is a tale of near-constant excess, albeit one that seemingly ends in spiritual fulfillment. If you like reading about rock star shenanigans, then this book is for you. Personally, I was disappointed that the focus wasn't more on the music. It also pained me to hear Mustaine sound so dismissive toward albums like CRYPTIC WRITINGS and RISK, since it was those CDs that got me into Megadeth in the first place. A good book overall, but I was expecting something more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris Reading

    Warts and almost all. Despite his many public whinges, I'm a massive fan of Dave Mustaine. He is one of the most underrated guitarists and song writers out there. The guy has had a difficult and chequered past, through his childhood, to being kicked out of Metallica and rising like a pheonix in the form of Megadeth. The majority of this is covered though this well written and engrossing read. There is much about Dave's childhood and formative years, helping us discover what makes the guy tick. We Warts and almost all. Despite his many public whinges, I'm a massive fan of Dave Mustaine. He is one of the most underrated guitarists and song writers out there. The guy has had a difficult and chequered past, through his childhood, to being kicked out of Metallica and rising like a pheonix in the form of Megadeth. The majority of this is covered though this well written and engrossing read. There is much about Dave's childhood and formative years, helping us discover what makes the guy tick. We get his side of the story on 'Metallicagate', through the formation and ever evolving line up of Megadeth and his numerous trips into rehab. The only mildly frustrating thing is that just as certain stories are building up a head of steam, they stop dead and we move onto another chapter in Dave's life. You can tell this is where the lawyers got the editing shears out. But this does not deter from what is an excellent book. Fantastically written and brutally honest, its what I was hoping for. If there is a ghost writer, you wouldn't know as any fan of Megadeth will tell you, this is definitely the man himself talking!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aurora Dimitre

    Obviously, you know, I love Megadeth. They were the first metal band I listened to (for some reason I had "Sweating Bullets" on my eighth grade iPod? I don't know, it kinda stuck out from the pop-punk/post-grunge shit that was also on there), and I honestly would die for the guitar parts on almost every single one of their songs. Dave Mustaine, as a person, is someone who similarly frightens me, confuses me, and it's like--okay, dude's like, a little crazy. Pretty as hell but crazy. It was inter Obviously, you know, I love Megadeth. They were the first metal band I listened to (for some reason I had "Sweating Bullets" on my eighth grade iPod? I don't know, it kinda stuck out from the pop-punk/post-grunge shit that was also on there), and I honestly would die for the guitar parts on almost every single one of their songs. Dave Mustaine, as a person, is someone who similarly frightens me, confuses me, and it's like--okay, dude's like, a little crazy. Pretty as hell but crazy. It was interesting to see his recollection and his side of his life. Also sad whenever he mentioned Metallica because, this book was published in 2010 and you can tell that like... he's still not over it. He's made peace to the point where he's probably not going to go and murder them, but you can tell reading it that he's not over it? Though I do like that he's pissed almost exclusively at Lars and James and Kirk Hammett is mentioned maybe twice in the entire book, so that's good. But yeah no, it was... interesting. Teared up a couple times, but that's just who I am as a person.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    I was going to just give it three stars, and say "and a half" at the beginning of this review, but I reconsidered, and decided it does actually deserve the fourth star. This is (hopefully) going to be kind of a long review (if anyone is actually reading my reviews, I realise I've left several hanging with "More To Follow" or "I'll write a long review later" or whatever; hopefully that won't be the case this time), and it might take me several tries to finish it... In December of 1985, I had just I was going to just give it three stars, and say "and a half" at the beginning of this review, but I reconsidered, and decided it does actually deserve the fourth star. This is (hopefully) going to be kind of a long review (if anyone is actually reading my reviews, I realise I've left several hanging with "More To Follow" or "I'll write a long review later" or whatever; hopefully that won't be the case this time), and it might take me several tries to finish it... In December of 1985, I had just been thrown out of Michigan Lutheran Seminary, a boarding school in Saginaw, Michigan, where I had gone to start the long, difficult road toward ordination as a priest of God (i.e. a pastor) in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. In the WELS, at least at that time, one of the requirements for ordination was fluency (or at least a passing grade) in several different languages, both ancient and modern. In addition to English, these were: German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and at least one more modern language of the student's choice. The first translation exercise in our Latin textbook was titled "STULTUS ASINUS" which I of course translated colloquially as "Dumb-ass". In addition to that, I got in one of the first of many arguments (in this case with my English teacher, Professor Zeiger) about the purposeful mis-translation of Song of Solomon chapter 7, verse 2 which appears in the Bible (KJV) as follows: "Thy navel is like a round goblet which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies". My understanding is that the translation of the second word in the verse was rendered as "navel" despite the fact that the original Aramaic word referred to a portion of the feminine anatomy located further South... Anyway, that argument ended with me being kicked out of Zeiger's class permanently; several fistfights didn't help either, and my defenestration (a word I learned in Latin class) followed rather quickly. I was soon enrolled in Huron Valley Lutheran High School, in the western suburbs of Detroit, which is where I was when I discovered Megadeth. This was appropriate in a weird sort of way; I only recently discovered that both Dave Mustaine & Megadeth bassist David Ellefson were baptised in the Lutheran faith (Ellefson was raised in and still belongs to the LCMS; I'm not sure about Mustaine- his mother was born & raised in Germany, and so presumably came from an EKD background, but that probably had little bearing on her choice of denomination here in the States)... I don't remember where I got it, or even which publication it was, but I was reading a music magazine one morning while waiting for school to start, and came across an article about this new band formed by the notorious original lead guitarist of Metallica, who had been defenestrated, so to speak, from that band immediately before they recorded their first album. Metallica were already at that time well on their way to becoming one of the most popular & well-known heavy metal bands ever. I had not heard any of the Metallica demos (which featured Dave Mustaine on lead guitar) at that point, only their first two LPs, and unlike many of my contemporaries I had not been particularly impressed. The reason I wasn't all that impressed by Metallica was probably the fact that my musical taste was just like everything else about me, i.e. not like everyone else. I've never consciously tried to be weird & eccentric & not fit in; hell, for roughly the first 13 years of my life it was the reverse. The simple truth is that I really sucked at conforming. I simply couldn't comprehend why everyone else didn't see things the way I did (they call it "high-functioning autism" now, a label with which I'm not exactly thrilled), and by the time I was 13, I figured I had two choices: 1.) continue trying, and spectacularly failing, at being "normal" (or pretending I was, usually failing at that as well); or 2.) make a final decision that my just barely teenage ass was right and everyone else was not only wrong, but totally fucked up in the head, and that the whole fucking world could go take a flying fuck at itself, and I should live by my own fucking rules from then on. I really didn't have much choice at all- option number one was a straight slide to hell, both literally & figuratively. The point of all this, though, is that unlike normal people my age (even most of my fellow musicians), my musical taste didn't go chronologically from oldies/classic rock, and, as I got older, to hard rock/heavy metal, and either stop or go from there to punk/hardcore. Unlike most of my friends' parents, mine didn't really listen to much rock'n'roll at all (not the "normal" kind, at any rate, though with one exception- my mother did turn me on to the Beatles). My father's musical taste was fairly eccentric; his favorite music was that of Leonard Cohen, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, the Clancy Brothers, John Lee Hooker, Mireille Mathieu, Son House and a lot of other blues, folk, doo-wop (like the Platters, the Drifters, Frankie Lymon, Speedo & the Cadillacs) or just bizarre unclassifiable stuff. I ended up loving all of the above just as much as my father did. My mother, God bless her, owned two Miles Davis LPs, which she played for me one day when I was about 4 years old: 'Kind Of Blue' followed by 'Sketches Of Spain'. I was in absolute fucking awe; it was the most beautiful music I had ever heard, and I begged her to play those records again & again & again... When we were in the car, we either listened to a blues station from Chicago, or if that wasn't on, a pop/r & b station that played a ton of Motown artists along with the Impressions, Ike & Tina Turner, the Ronettes, Fats Domino, Mitch Ryder, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, early Beatles & 'Stones, the Chi-lites, the Stylistics etc. During the mid-to-late 1970s, when many kids my age were getting heavily into KISS, I was completely uninterested. Around 1980-81, I discovered funk, punk and the newborn illegitimate child from their miscegenation, rap. Aside from Black Sabbath & Motorhead, both of whom I had been exposed to through punk, I hadn't ever listened to heavy metal per se, or really even much hard rock. One of the reasons a lot of people in the punk scene, myself included, sort of looked down on heavy metal & its fans is that so many people in the metal scene seemed so stupid & ignorant; we were arrogant enough to think that we were far above them in terms of both taste & intelligence, and all the demons & sorcery type lyrics of metal artists like Ronnie James Dio or Cirith Ungol make me roll my eyes in exasperation even now (having said that, one of the few heavy metal albums I still listen to is the first one by German thrash-metal pioneers Kreator, 'Endless Pain'. Yes, the lyrics are hilariously bad, but they are great, too, in a strange sort of way; also, when Mille Petrozza, the band's vocalist/guitarist & leader wrote those lyrics, he couldn't speak English worth a damn. Even nearly a decade later, when I interviewed him during Kreator's 'Extreme Aggression' tour, his English was so bad that I had to use my equally bad German in order to conduct an interview. Somehow, we managed to communicate, but believe me, transcribing that tape was strange to say the least). Also, if you've been listening to Parliament and Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix and so on, the musicianship of even the most technically brilliant heavy metal bands is unlikely to impress you, especially if you do not have any real understanding of how hard it is to play music at that level. Anyway, there I was reading the magazine to kill time before school, and Dave Mustaine was describing Megadeth as "jazz-metal" and talking about how much he loved the band FEAR, who were one of my favorite bands at the time. That was surprising enough, but he also mentioned books he was reading and/or had read, stated that he wanted to inspire his fans to read books, and made a few incisive comments about politics & culture that really impressed me. I found all this enormously intriguing; it was as though someone had designed a thrash-metal band specifically in such a way that it would appeal to me. Later that week, I got some money from my bank account (I was making pretty good money delivering newspapers at the time), and bought a copy of Megadeth's first LP, 'Killing Is My Business... ...And Business Is Good!'. When I got home, and put the record on my father's old stereo (which he had just given to me), I was completely blown away. The funny thing is, I should have suspected as soon as I dropped the needle onto the record that Mustaine, at least, had a Lutheran background. Why? Because the very first section of the opening track, 'Last Rites', is a short instrumental piece that was essentially ripped off from Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Toccata and Fugue in D minor', which is used as "recessional" music by practically every Lutheran church organist in the world. I'm sure I must have heard that music literally thousands of times walking out of church while I was growing up. One of the amusing aspects of this is that I suspect most musicians (at least those of us who were exposed to the European classical tradition as children) have "borrowed", if not outright stolen, bits of music from Bach (or Beethoven, or Mozart, or Handel, or Paganini, or even Palestrina); I certainly did. In my case, I adapted a bit of music in almost exactly the same way Mustaine did, except that the source was one of the piano pieces in Bach's 'The Well-Tempered Clavier'. I haven't found a way to use it yet, but maybe I will some day... Anyway, as I was saying, I was completely blown away when I played the record. The songs were extraordinary, featuring breakneck changes played with blistering speed. Mustaine snarled the vocals like a punk singer, and his style of guitar playing was different from anything I'd ever heard before, absolutely unique and incredibly cool. Chris Poland's playing was brilliant, bluesy and totally unlike the usual metal lead guitar styles. From my perspective, one of the coolest things was David Ellefson's bass playing. One of the key differences between punk & metal is that, with few exceptions (like Black Sabbath & Iron Maiden), most punk is bass-driven, and most heavy metal is guitar-driven. Especially at that time, most metal bass players simply doubled the rhythm guitar part, or even worse simply played the root note of each chord, most often in the simplistic form of quarter notes. That was not the case with Megadeth; Ellefson did play the incredibly fast and complex riffs along with the guitars some of the time, but he also threw in a lot of quick, jazzy, staccato fills that were more reminiscent of Dave Holland or Miroslav Vitous (or even Jaco Pastorius) than anything in metal up to that point. As cool as Ellefson's playing was, however, easily the best thing about the music was Gar Samuelson's drumming. As a bass player, I consider myself to be something of a connoisseur of drumming & drummers, and the late Gar Samuelson (February 18, 1958-July 22, 1999; R.I.P.) is still one of the best drummers I've ever heard, and one of my favorite drummers even now, after more than 30 years. Not only did he play all over the kit with almost unbelievable speed & precision and punctuate the music with absolutely insane, intricate fills & flurries that were always dead-on in terms of timekeeping, but the really amazing thing was that no matter how fast the tempo or how intense & extravagant his playing was, he always managed to give the impression of a relaxed, loping feel- in other words, as formidable as his technical chops were, he had absolutely impeccable swing to match. Like the rest of the band, his playing had only minimal resemblance to anything else in heavy metal; it was much more reminiscent stylistically of Billy Cobham (unsurprisingly, I later learned that Cobham was one of his main influences) or Alphonse Mouzon. I'd like to say something here about the original cover design of that album. Both Mustaine & Ellefson have stated multiple times, including in their respective memoirs, that they always hated it. I find that somewhat amusing, because I've always quite liked it; I particularly like the font used for the band's name on the original cover. It may be due to the fact that my perspective was (and to some extent still is) that of a punk rocker, but the fact that the cover art looks "low budget" not only didn't bother me, but I thought it actually enhanced the band's credibility & "street credentials" to some extent. 'Killing Is My Business... ...And Business Is Good!' is still one of my favorite records all these years later (one of only a tiny handful of heavy metal albums I still listen to regularly), and I was actually disappointed in the re-mixed, re-mastered version which was released in 2002. I thought the more "modern" mix did a disservice to the original recording. I am not a big fan of the "modern" production style in general; my personal view is that placing the vocals way up front in the mix is not only lazy, but in many cases, such as this one, it is inappropriate and even destructive. The version of 'These Boots' with the lyrics beeped out was damned near unlistenable, and as much as I liked their version of the song and regretted its absence from the 1990 cd, including it in that ridiculous form was pointless and infantile. The replacement cover art was also not to my taste; I thought it was considerably worse, and looked even more "low budget" than the original. It was only nine months, but it seemed to my not-quite-16-year-old self that it took a really long time for the second Megadeth LP to be released; in the meantime I read everything I could find about the band (which wasn't much), and tried to find a copy of the Metallica demo, 'No Life Til Leather', which had been recorded in July, 1982 while Dave Mustaine was still the lead guitarist in that band. Eventually I got my hands on a bootleg copy, on vinyl no less (it originally had only existed on cassette), pressed over some weird Euro-metal band's album and with artwork lifted from various legitimate Metallica releases. The sound quality was far from perfect, but it was certainly listenable; by bootleg standards not bad at all. The music itself was something of a revelation- after hearing it, I totally understood why it had made such an enormous impact and become so legendary. For starters, the songs (all of which were re-recorded for the first Metallica LP, 'Kill 'Em All', although several were slightly modified in an apparent attempt to portray Mustaine's contribution as minimal, and to obtain a larger share of publishing for Lars Ulrich & James Hetfield) were played noticeably faster, and even though the band is clearly still rough around the edges, and even with Ron McGovney on bass instead of Cliff Burton, the demos convey far more excitement than the more polished recordings on the LP. In large part, this excitement is due to the fact that Dave Mustaine's spectacular, right on the edge of out-of-control lead guitar work, even though his style was not yet fully developed, is so visceral & wild that it sounds as though the fret-board of his guitar might burst into flames at any moment. I've got nothing against Kirk Hammett; he has developed into an excellent guitarist over the years, with his own unique & interesting way of integrating blues influences into his particular approach to thrash metal lead guitar style. In addition to that, he is by all accounts a genuinely nice guy. However, when he took over the lead guitar chair in Metallica, replacing Mustaine, he was not yet up to the job. If you like Metallica but have never listened to 'No Life Til Leather' (or the other early recordings), take my advice- you ought to rectify that as soon as possible. All the early Metallica recordings are easily available in various places on the internet; do yourself a favor and check them out. (More to follow... This fucking diarrhea of the keyboard has a point, I promise!)

  11. 4 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    I call Dave Mustaine the "Pete Best of Metallica." Just like The Beatles' Pete Best, Dave Mustaine was unceremoniously kicked out of Metallica on the eve of recording their first album. And he has been in mourning about that ever since. At times that becomes a burden to keep reading about. I knew Dave Mustaine had a drinking problem (the primary reason for his Metallica expulsion), but was unaware that he went on to have an even worse drug problem. His relapses and multiple rehabs were a constan I call Dave Mustaine the "Pete Best of Metallica." Just like The Beatles' Pete Best, Dave Mustaine was unceremoniously kicked out of Metallica on the eve of recording their first album. And he has been in mourning about that ever since. At times that becomes a burden to keep reading about. I knew Dave Mustaine had a drinking problem (the primary reason for his Metallica expulsion), but was unaware that he went on to have an even worse drug problem. His relapses and multiple rehabs were a constant throughout the book. I have read almost every biography of Metallica, but was curious about this original Metallica member to learn the full spectrum of his life- not just his short (but legendary) tenure in Metallica. He went on to lead a very successful thrash metal band Megadeth, but never felt satisfied being "number 2" to Metallica. While Metallica has longevity with its core band members, Dave's Megadeth seemed to have a revolving door of bandmates. His only mainstay was bassist Dave "Junior" Ellefson. While this book was well-written, it was the melancholy it left me with that made it hard to finish.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aurélien Thomas

    'When I held a guitar in my hand I felt good about myself. When I played music, I felt a sense of comfort and accomplishment that I'd never know as a child. When I replicated the songs that I loved, I felt an attachment to them and to the musicians who had composed them. And when I started writing songs of my own, I felt like an artist, able to express myself for the very first time.' I am going to piss a lot of people off here, but things have to be asserted: Megadeth is a way better band than M 'When I held a guitar in my hand I felt good about myself. When I played music, I felt a sense of comfort and accomplishment that I'd never know as a child. When I replicated the songs that I loved, I felt an attachment to them and to the musicians who had composed them. And when I started writing songs of my own, I felt like an artist, able to express myself for the very first time.' I am going to piss a lot of people off here, but things have to be asserted: Megadeth is a way better band than Metallica. Full stop. No matter how much I love Metallica (and I do, I really do!) there is no way they could compete with the full-on energy, technicality, and electrifying virtuosity found on such amazing albums like 'Peace Sells... But Who's Buying' or (one of my favourite release ever) 'Rust in Peace'. When it comes to blasting and exhilarating Thrash Metal, Megadeth indeed had it all not least because, burning his fingers and soul on a fret like a demented yet prodigious maniac, there was no other guitarist like Dave Mustaine. No disrespect for James Hetfield or Kirk Hammett (Metallica remains among the greatest!) but, as far as I am concerned, they never had Dave's vibe. In fact, even when both bands decided to kind of soften their music and reach a so-called 'mainstream audience', Megadeth still surpassed Metallica! The 'Black Album' was really good, but nowhere as great as a 'Countdown to Extinction'. In any case, that's what I personally think; which is weird... Weird because, Dave Mustaine himself at times seems to disagree! Go figure. He clearly felt cheated from what could have been a (to him) better career with Metallica. Above all, what's striking is how hurt he was by how they had treated him even decades after he had been sacked. He constantly checked his career against theirs. He also makes it a point to constantly remind (and rightly so!) that he never had been a filler. It makes for a bizarre read -a love/hate type of dual thinking, which in itself says a lot. 'Selling twenty million albums is no minor accomplishment. But it's about half what Metallica has sold, and I was supposed to be part of that.' '...they [Metallica] just figured I'd never amount to anything and thus would not present any sort of a challenge to them. But they were way the fuck wrong.' 'This would be a theme throughout my career. It wasn't enough for Megadeth to do well; I wanted Metallica to fail.' In other words, Metallica takes in here way too much space for a Megadeth's fan as I am! But here's the thing: Dave Mustaine has a reputation for having a shitty personality, egotistic to put it mildly, and, yet, he comes out in this autobiography as more sensitive than we use to see him. I don't mean sensitive as being a self-pitying wimp. I mean sensitive as being raw, genuine, honest, passionate, a driven heart set ablaze and whose intense personality would explode through his outrageous music. His sincerity, in fact, is somehow relatable; and you manage to get the real him a bit better under the bravado and crappy attitude. Growing up fatherless or so (his dad was a useless alcoholic) in a family of Jehovah Witnesses (though very supportive of his ambition) his life is actually full of bizarre moments that makes you want to root for him. Him joining Metallica (yes, Metallica, again!) then a bunch of wealthy bratty kids living in the hype neighbourhood where Dave's mum and sister actually used to work as maids, is one of them... You get the point: here's a guy used to be an underdog for too long, yet who managed to make it to the top through sheer ambition and never giving up. And, damn, it must have been hard! Megadeth always has been a great band, its members all incredibly talented. The dynamic within, though, always let to desire... Yes, he had a deep connection with Dave 'Junior' Ellefson, and, yes, Marty Friedman had been a fantastic henchman by his side. Their meeting, relationship, growing together as an awesome Thrash Metal machine is truly insightful. But tensions, disputes, dissent and clashes all around the stupidest things you can ever conceive (gosh, what an odyssey!) clearly left their toll. He also had to sack a lot of people, something which, for someone like him who had been deeply affected by being fired from a band too, never failed to make a personal impact. Personality differences was bad. Money issues appalling. Drugs and alcohol made it all even worse. Expose it all bluntly as in here, and no matter how great they all were as musicians, here's nevertheless a book outlining why there is no reason to adulate them as people. As a Megadeth fan, I don't know, I find this quite sad... About the addictions... It's no secret: Mustaine was an alcoholic and a druggie. Yet, what you'll find here is a man deeply clued on about his addictions, making no qualm about his problems, never walloping with crappy excuses for his choices and consequences, and, ultimately, it shows in his personal and Megadeth's evolution. In fact, addictions and self-destructive behaviours were so ingrained in Megadeth that I found it striking (touching, for lack of a better term) to see him wondering about the potential impact of sobriety upon his music, in soul-searching passages: 'Anger and ambition had fuelled my art, giving rise to Megadeth's disturbing and frequently nihilistic point of view. Could I write while sober? Could I generate the same sort of ferocious guitar licks without benefit of chemical assistance?' I truly loved this 'A Life in Metal'. It's strikingly honest, from his ambivalent relationship with Metallica to his battle keeping afloat his own band, and, his addictions and drug issues. Here's in fact the autobiography of a man whose reputation is so bad this read makes him actually more likeable than expected! Megadeth... They had a tumultuous career for sure. Discovering how it was behind the scene is frankly disappointing for a fan, but, beyond personalities, here's an insightful and must-read when it comes to see how the band's music ultimately came to be and evolved. Dave Mustaine might be a controversial figure. Metallica certainly is a burdening shadow. But Megadeth will always remain Megadeth: THE best Thrash Metal band that has ever been as far as I am concerned. You might disagree, but you can't take away Mustaine's prodigy guitar in hand. If anything, read this to get his drive.

  13. 5 out of 5

    S

    Okay, so I kind of feel bad for giving this only three stars. I know, I know Dave Mustaine isn't a writer, he had help-- and my issue is not with the writing or the book, as it's pretty standard for random celebrity biography. It's just that Dave Mustaine comes off as overly fucking unmetal, in a bad way. I don't want anyone to think I want my rockstars filling typical male roles... but they don't have to spend over 100 pages convincing me (but not very convincingly) that they aren't egonmaniaca Okay, so I kind of feel bad for giving this only three stars. I know, I know Dave Mustaine isn't a writer, he had help-- and my issue is not with the writing or the book, as it's pretty standard for random celebrity biography. It's just that Dave Mustaine comes off as overly fucking unmetal, in a bad way. I don't want anyone to think I want my rockstars filling typical male roles... but they don't have to spend over 100 pages convincing me (but not very convincingly) that they aren't egonmaniacal dick faces who love fucking and drugs. shit balls, just own it dave mustaine.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Melbie

    Occasionally I like to read about musicians and their "war stories" and this is a very good story. I have always preferred Megadeth over Metallica, for reasons that have to do with the music itself. After reading this book, I am convinced that Metallica made a big mistake firing Mustaine. Of course, Mustaine still managed to gain success without them, so it all worked out. The important aspect of this story is the triumph of the will, surrendering and changing bad habits. Mustaine is a survivor, Occasionally I like to read about musicians and their "war stories" and this is a very good story. I have always preferred Megadeth over Metallica, for reasons that have to do with the music itself. After reading this book, I am convinced that Metallica made a big mistake firing Mustaine. Of course, Mustaine still managed to gain success without them, so it all worked out. The important aspect of this story is the triumph of the will, surrendering and changing bad habits. Mustaine is a survivor, despite his destructive behavior.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mattias

    Mustaine has always been in 2nd place to Metallica both in his head and in mine( well in mine he is much longer down the list). And he deals with that subject a lot through out the book. And tales of drugs and rehab, drugs and rehab and so on. It gets boring after a while and the book isnt very interesting. Its not over the top like "The Dirt" and it doesnt deal much with hte music he has written. Its just bland with a pinch of grey.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Camellia

    Straight to the point, no sugar coating, intense and insane- just what you'd expect from a heavy metal memoir.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    Of course you need to be a Megadeth fan for this book to have any value. But I'm a huge one, so here it is. Dave Mustaine obviously doesn't come across as the most well-spoken of dudes, but he does come across way better than any of his other thrash brethren. Dave was always the geek of the thrash world, he put things into words other guys were too cool or dumb to. I love Dave, but he's also a fucking arrogant child. First off, his goddamn obsession with Metallica. Ok, he was a very important fo Of course you need to be a Megadeth fan for this book to have any value. But I'm a huge one, so here it is. Dave Mustaine obviously doesn't come across as the most well-spoken of dudes, but he does come across way better than any of his other thrash brethren. Dave was always the geek of the thrash world, he put things into words other guys were too cool or dumb to. I love Dave, but he's also a fucking arrogant child. First off, his goddamn obsession with Metallica. Ok, he was a very important founding member of the band, they probably wouldn't have become what they did had he not been there to give them the giant push in that direction. He gets kicked out, and he makes a way way better band (in my opinion) which never would have existed had he stayed in Metallica. Metallica would have been better, for sure, but we would never have had Megadeth, which to me is a waaaaaaaaaay more important, creative, ass-kicking band. But Dave just seems to forget how much better the world is with Megadeth in it when he gets talking about Metallica. Which isn't actually as big a part of this book as I thought it would be anyway. I was HOPING the book would be about all the Megadeth albums, but that's also kind of an aside. This book is mostly about DRUGS. Alcohol, pot, cocaine, and most prominently heroin. Until I read this book, I thought the rumors about Dave's addictions were something created by Metallica to make him look like a loser, but this dude was SERIOUSLY fucked up. And, as a non-drug user, I got bored a little bit by his drug stories. It's like listening to guys talk about cars for me, when I don't give a fuck how cars work. But now it sounds like I'm talking shit about the book, but I'm not. This book kicked ass. It gives you play by play descriptions of every former member, and if you wanted to know what the fuck was up with Marty Friedman, it's here. And Gar and Chris Poland. And even Kerry King. Dave comes across as very arrogant, petty, sometimes as a buffoon (his "martial arts expertise?"), but overall as what I always thought he was: an insanely creative, talented, driven, and tortured musician. It drives me nuts that Dave doesn't see him getting kicked out of Metallica as the best thing that ever happened to thrash. Fuck the money, Dave, you have enough anyway. You created MEGADETH. I'd rather have Megadeth in the world than a Metallica that included Dave. Because that would still include Lars and James.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Teddy M.

    Dave Mustaine is proclaimed as the godfather of Thrash Metal. If you are a fan of Megadeth and the first Metallica album, Kill Em’ All, then this autobiography, Mustaine, is a must read. Dave goes through his life from point A through z listing his incredible journey from being a poor drug dealer to making his name known in the metal scene. Dave grew up in La Mesa, California, with three sisters and an alcoholic, abusive father. As a kid, he moved a lot because his mother was constantly running Dave Mustaine is proclaimed as the godfather of Thrash Metal. If you are a fan of Megadeth and the first Metallica album, Kill Em’ All, then this autobiography, Mustaine, is a must read. Dave goes through his life from point A through z listing his incredible journey from being a poor drug dealer to making his name known in the metal scene. Dave grew up in La Mesa, California, with three sisters and an alcoholic, abusive father. As a kid, he moved a lot because his mother was constantly running from her husband. As the years went by Dave became very interested in music and decided to pick up the guitar. Very soon Dave found himself playing In his first real band called Panic, which later bombed due to band morale and drug related problems. Reading through the newspaper, Dave found an add for a band looking for a guitar player. As he called Dave struck up a new friendship with Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica. As Dave explored the metal scene with Metallica it wasn’t to long before the rest of the band kicked him out and picked up Kirk Hammet, the guitarist in the heavily preferred band Exodus. In the following years Dave, full of hatred, created “the prefect beast”, Megadeth, in order to be faster, louder, and meaner than Metallica. The way Dave words his story is incredible because he talks like a real human being. By this I mean that when something bad in his life happened he doesn’t try to sugarcoat it and make it seem that everything is okay but he comes out and says that it totally sucks to be kicked out of Metallica, and it sucks to have spent a big portion of his life a drug addict. Another thing I liked about this book is that Mustaine’s story is very real. There is a lot of adult content and mature topics, which for me is a breath of fresh air because so many of the books I read in school are all the same. Some kid starts school and then is bullied and then makes a lot of friends the end. No, the happy ending in this book is that Dave actually has a family, after all the years of addiction. In this book the chapters are broken down into important events that happened in Dave’s life. Also the book has pictures to enlighten the mood to a some what dark story. In conclusion Mustaine is a fantastic story and an excellent read whether u are metal head or just looking for an exiting story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve lovell

    With musical tastes ranging from the mainstream through to country, I have little knowledge of metal and had no idea who the 'dude' was whose photo graced the cover of this autobiography. So then why read a book about one of the founding members of Metallica and 'owner' of the Megadeth franchise? With a son-in-law who is heavily in to metal and who has managed to convince my daughter to veer into that territory too, when a respected colleague waved Mustaine under my nose and suggested I might li With musical tastes ranging from the mainstream through to country, I have little knowledge of metal and had no idea who the 'dude' was whose photo graced the cover of this autobiography. So then why read a book about one of the founding members of Metallica and 'owner' of the Megadeth franchise? With a son-in-law who is heavily in to metal and who has managed to convince my daughter to veer into that territory too, when a respected colleague waved Mustaine under my nose and suggested I might like to read it, I thought 'Why not!'. Now on any level Mustaine comes across as a self-centred, thoroughly righteous, vindictive, and somewhat obnoxious prat. That isn't taking anything away from his musical genius - of which I am in no position to judge. Of course his high opinion of his place in the history and 'art' of metal is a recurring theme throughout. But the book is more than a self-indulgent, glorifying ode to his own standing as an icon of the genre - you do have to admire the man. And this was a rollicking journey that I thoroughly enjoyed. Why admiration??? - well any person who could subject his body to the addictions he did (he'd give Keith R a run for his money) and live to tell the tale obviously is a figure not to dismiss lightly. For most of this read he had a gargantuan appetite for sex, drugs and alcohol.It took his genuine conversion to Christianity and the love of a good woman to turn his life around. The latter, as in all stories of 'bad boys made good' is , along with God, the true and under-acknowledged hero of 'Mustaine'. Reading such a book has given me an insight to a music and lifestyle that is foreign to me, and I am also sure that my own particular heroes, Gram Parsons and Townes van Zandt, were similarly 'self-centred,thoroughly righteous, vindictive, and somewhat obnoxious prats.' They significantly failed to survive their addictions For all his failings, writing a book such as 'Mustaine', albeit with a 'ghostie', took some amount of courage as the ugly side is well and truly laid bare. Despite the over-abundance of the 'f-bomb' word this book 'rocks' Thanks Noel

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    From one of my top 5 Thrash/Metal bands!!! This starts out from the middle a "realization" that what's going on HAS TO STOP!!! from there we go into the past of a very troubled Childhood/Teen life, to his now LARGER THEN LIFE self.. He tells the hardships of just starting out playing guitar, to the "Forming of Metallica, to his own FASTER, BETTER STRONGER band that came to be < b > MEGADEATH!!! and is very candid with his life during it all (the good the bad and the Drun From one of my top 5 Thrash/Metal bands!!! <\b> <\i> This starts out from the middle a "realization" that what's going on HAS TO STOP!!! from there we go into the past of a very troubled Childhood/Teen life, to his now LARGER THEN LIFE self.. He tells the hardships of just starting out playing guitar, to the "Forming of Metallica, to his own FASTER, BETTER STRONGER <\i> band that came to be < b > MEGADEATH!!! <\ b > and is very candid with his life during it all (the good the bad and the Drunk and Stoned times..) very upfront about his feelings(from jealously to anger..) drug and alcohol abuse, band-mate changes and everything else. I was VERY HAPPY with the book!!! I have read ALOT about "rock stars" and there books are always "I did this or that, I did drugs/alcohol, I went to rehab 1,000,000 times, I had a bad childhood, 1 BIG PITY PARTY!!! Everyone else is to blame, <\i> (even when they try to accept the blame they say something like I know I messed up BUT...if so and so wasn't.... I wouldn't have don't that... EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE.... TILL YOU HATE THEM!!!!! or... they are books done JUST so they can manipulate how they want you to see them.. (check ANY WELL KNOWN MAINSTREAM/POP BIO!!!!) Like the book pointed out Metallica's Some Kind Of Monster it was basically the band BEGGING THE FANS TO SEE THEM!!! They TOTALY made the movie to be something completely different then it was portrayed... I enjoy Metallica as a band. (OLD STUFF NOT NEW!!! I have to admit Death Magnetic was ok...) But people wise THEY SUCK!!!!i think ALOT of others will agree with me on that.. < spoiler > I know it seems like I'm taking sides because Dave Mustange was in the band... But there a bunch of JERKS,look at any interview and soon as Lars Ulrich opens his mouth you want to drop kick it!!! <\ spoiler > (just really stupid when you think on it... But I was happy for the ending being told how it was. It put a nice touching story that so many people were genuinely rooting FOR!! I am so thankful for opportunities to see him and the band on Gigantour Fest every year in my home state. After this book STILL ONE OF MY TOP 5!!! (Maybe top 4...)

  21. 4 out of 5

    S©aP

    Lo stile è scontato. Così come molto di quanto vi si narra. Tuttavia non è un libro sciatto. Descrive impietosamente, a volte con disgustoso realismo, il cammino di un (ex) ragazzo californiano qualsiasi, con un'infanzia non troppo bella, che ha tratto il massimo dalla sua passione in modo fortunato e fortunoso, sempre camminando a braccetto con una perversa cupio dissolvi; e di come sia infine ... uscito a riveder le stelle. Il racconto ha un pregio di sottofondo: rappresenta in modo involontar Lo stile è scontato. Così come molto di quanto vi si narra. Tuttavia non è un libro sciatto. Descrive impietosamente, a volte con disgustoso realismo, il cammino di un (ex) ragazzo californiano qualsiasi, con un'infanzia non troppo bella, che ha tratto il massimo dalla sua passione in modo fortunato e fortunoso, sempre camminando a braccetto con una perversa cupio dissolvi; e di come sia infine ... uscito a riveder le stelle. Il racconto ha un pregio di sottofondo: rappresenta in modo involontario ma emblematico un certo vuoto etico, sconfinato, tipico di alcune fette della società americana. Ha il difetto capitale (dal mio punto di vista) di parlare poco di musica e di essere ripetitivo, indulgendo su temi di cassetta. The style is granted, as well as much of the story. However, this is not a sloppy book. It describes mercilessly, sometimes with disgusting realism, the path of a (former) any California boy who luckily made the most out of his passion, always walking hand in hand with a perverse and unconscious desire to dissolution; and how finally – rage after rage - he ... came out to see the stars . The story has a valuable background quality: it is, by accident, emblematic of a certain ethical, boundless, void, typical of some slices of American society. On the other hand, it has the capital defect (from my point of view) of talking too little about music, and to be repetitive, indulging on well selling issues.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rod

    I've cheered him on for over 20 years...great musician - but what a retard. And this book is proof. I'm glad the book ended the way it did: Dave is still alive, still making music, still married, still learning about Christianity. Go Dave! I read this biography in 3 days. A fun fast romp through the dark side of the music industry. (is there even a light side?) I've read numerous music biographies: and they're pretty much all the same. Maybe someday Bruce Hornsby will write one; that would be diff I've cheered him on for over 20 years...great musician - but what a retard. And this book is proof. I'm glad the book ended the way it did: Dave is still alive, still making music, still married, still learning about Christianity. Go Dave! I read this biography in 3 days. A fun fast romp through the dark side of the music industry. (is there even a light side?) I've read numerous music biographies: and they're pretty much all the same. Maybe someday Bruce Hornsby will write one; that would be different. But Dave tells us many of the self destructive paths he took to the top. Pretty much the same ones all the rockstars take to get there. It was fun hearing about the band members that came and went though. I really wanted to know more about the music, the guitars, the special moments of musical passion. This stuff seems to get left out of every biography - mostly to make room for the generic sex, drugs and rudeness ("yawwnnnn") I Hope Mustaine and Megadeth are around another twenty years to write another book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charlie McKittrick

    This was a great read. I had trouble putting it down and ended up flying through this book in less than a week; not my typical timeline. It was interesting to hear Dave's side of the story in regard to the early days and this departure from Metallica. He is very open about all of his relationships, alcoholism and drug use and admits as many faults as he does victories. A very exciting, up and down story of a man driven by passion and fired up by music. He definitely lead the Rock and Roll lifest This was a great read. I had trouble putting it down and ended up flying through this book in less than a week; not my typical timeline. It was interesting to hear Dave's side of the story in regard to the early days and this departure from Metallica. He is very open about all of his relationships, alcoholism and drug use and admits as many faults as he does victories. A very exciting, up and down story of a man driven by passion and fired up by music. He definitely lead the Rock and Roll lifestyle of excess in the form of sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. I enjoyed the optimistic end to the book, and personally found it to be somewhat uplifting. This to me is an as honest as can be account of all things Mustaine. A Heavy Metal Memoir indeed! \m/

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pól

    About as addictive as the substances Dave was imbibing through most of the narrative! Megadeth were pretty much my favourite band for 10 years so getting to finally read this account was a great pleasure when placed in the context of his stellar musical output and meeting Dave a few times in the 1990's. For me, Mustaine is a musical genius, up there with the classical composing greats. Tormented with drug and alcohol demons and dogged by regret from the Metallica years, he comes across - in perso About as addictive as the substances Dave was imbibing through most of the narrative! Megadeth were pretty much my favourite band for 10 years so getting to finally read this account was a great pleasure when placed in the context of his stellar musical output and meeting Dave a few times in the 1990's. For me, Mustaine is a musical genius, up there with the classical composing greats. Tormented with drug and alcohol demons and dogged by regret from the Metallica years, he comes across - in person and in the book - as a truly inspirational survivor. The book itself whirls by at great speed with the only grating parts (for me) being the rehab and christian parts near the end. Overall, a must-read for anybody even vaguely interested in metal/music. 100% recommend.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    This was fascinating; Mustaine's an interesting guy with a uniquely furious voice who's lived an incredible, often terrifying & depressing life and written a large chunk of my favorite music. I only wished that someone had been on hand with some follow-up questions! Every time Mustaine gets to some personally important life moment or choice, the camera seems to pan out the window? Maybe they figured metal fans wouldn't want to hear about his marriage and kids and spiritual awakening, etc? So... This was fascinating; Mustaine's an interesting guy with a uniquely furious voice who's lived an incredible, often terrifying & depressing life and written a large chunk of my favorite music. I only wished that someone had been on hand with some follow-up questions! Every time Mustaine gets to some personally important life moment or choice, the camera seems to pan out the window? Maybe they figured metal fans wouldn't want to hear about his marriage and kids and spiritual awakening, etc? So... waiting on Volume 2: The Introspection...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dario

    2.5 / 5 I don’t worship Dave Mustaine. I do like Megadeth though, and I do consider him to be one of the best guitarists in heavy metal history. I also enjoy an entertaining rock 'n' roll biography, and this delivered in that respect. Drugs, alcohol, sex, fighting, driving and taking drugs at the same time, fighting and driving at the same time, awful childhood, Metallica, his fateful exit from Metallica, rehab (countless times), lineup changes (and Megadeth has had plenty), management changes (a 2.5 / 5 I don’t worship Dave Mustaine. I do like Megadeth though, and I do consider him to be one of the best guitarists in heavy metal history. I also enjoy an entertaining rock 'n' roll biography, and this delivered in that respect. Drugs, alcohol, sex, fighting, driving and taking drugs at the same time, fighting and driving at the same time, awful childhood, Metallica, his fateful exit from Metallica, rehab (countless times), lineup changes (and Megadeth has had plenty), management changes (also plenty), fame, money, success, more fighting, love, marriage, children, touring, more drugs, more fighting, more returns to rehab... you get the idea. He eventually finds Jesus (in 2003, during the breakup following his injury) and becomes sober for good. Mustaine comes across as fairly close-minded and borderline homophobic too, but I knew what to expect from him. It won’t stop me from enjoying Megadeth, or seeing them live should the opportunity come up in the future. Overall an entertaining read for what it is, but don’t expect to fall in love with the guy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

    Back in my youth, I fancied myself something of a guitar player. I feel the need to tell you that I wasn’t very good. I knew I wasn’t very good, but I really looked like a guitar player. The kind that were everywhere in the 80’s. You know the rock & roll version of a guitar guy. As such, there was a relatively short list of guitar icons of that era. DaveMustaine was among them. Maybe not the most technically proficient of the era, but revered because of his hand in creating the sub-genre of heav Back in my youth, I fancied myself something of a guitar player. I feel the need to tell you that I wasn’t very good. I knew I wasn’t very good, but I really looked like a guitar player. The kind that were everywhere in the 80’s. You know the rock & roll version of a guitar guy. As such, there was a relatively short list of guitar icons of that era. DaveMustaine was among them. Maybe not the most technically proficient of the era, but revered because of his hand in creating the sub-genre of heavy metal (I used to call it speed-metal, but I believe it could have been used interchangeably with the more popular term: Thrash). The man could shred. No lie. He was rightfully adored for his skills by many. Dave was a founding member of Metallica, and after the small sin of being a bit of an asshat, was kicked out of the band. He then went on to found Megadeth, and spent the next 20 odd years being somewhat incensed that no matter the level of success he personally achieved, Metallica was always just a wee bit more successful than he. They made more money, had more album sales, had more awards (probably, I don’t know on that one), more fans, etc. So, being a wealthy Rockstar was always bittersweet for him. This book, as much as I take issue with some parts of it, is the first tell-all memoir of an aging Rockstar I’ve read. It’s not because I’m a bigger fan of Dave’s than I am anyone else, it’s because after I moved, this book was available for me to read when nothing else was. I was frustrated at Dave’s self-destructive behavior that he described in excruciating detail, I was amused at his general sense of badassery (even if it’s all true, writing down how awesome you are at kicking ass can be difficult to read), and disappointed at the more religious nature of the latter portions of the book.* But despite all that, this wasn’t a novel, so I don’t get to criticize the narrative for taking an unexpected turn (well, I suppose I have, but it’s probably not fair of me). I did find it very readable, and made me feel quite nostalgic for the time. I think I listened to multiple Megadeth albums during the week or so I read this book. Anything that reminds me of my youth is worth my time. *I’m not disappointed that he found solace in his faith, that’s awesome. Life is short and we need to find what makes us fulfilled in life. But I read the portions of the book related to his life post-conversion as a little disconcerting. And it made me feel like the portions about him maybe being a warlock of some talent that went untapped (because he didn’t care to learn the craft? Was scared? I’m unsure) came right out of a Chick Tract. The whole thing felt somewhat bizarre to me. Whatever, the man is a real talent, and I’m not surprised that he has some scars from his youth. We all do. For any complaints I have, the book felt sincere to me. I suppose that’s all I can ask for.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    I had wanted to read this book for some time, but finally got around to buying the Kindle version when I was given an Amazon gift card for Valentines Day (thanks to my beautiful wife!). Since I'm in the middle of reading another book, I had intended to wait until I was done with that one before starting this one. But I decided to read "just one chapter" to get a taste of it, and ended up tearing through the whole book in just 3 days. I'm not a fast reader, so this is quite an accomplishment. For I had wanted to read this book for some time, but finally got around to buying the Kindle version when I was given an Amazon gift card for Valentines Day (thanks to my beautiful wife!). Since I'm in the middle of reading another book, I had intended to wait until I was done with that one before starting this one. But I decided to read "just one chapter" to get a taste of it, and ended up tearing through the whole book in just 3 days. I'm not a fast reader, so this is quite an accomplishment. For anybody who doesn't know, Dave Mustaine is the lead singer and founder of the heavy metal/thrash band Megadeth. He was also a founding member of Metallica, although he was kicked out of the band just before their big break. Metallica's first album uses four songs he wrote while in the band. His anger over being unceremoniously dumped from the band fueled his obsession with creating the baddest, wildest, most aggressive heavy metal band at the time. The goal: To be bigger, better, and more successful than Metallica. This book was published a few years ago, just before the release of Megadeth's 12th studio album, Endgame. In the book, he tells about his childhood, his mostly absent father, his brush with being involved with Jehovah's Witnesses, his legendary drug use and partying, the rise of Megadeth, his stints in rehab (17, I believe), and his eventual acceptance of Christ and becoming a born-again Christian. Dave does not sugar coat any of this. The book is full of drug use, promiscuity, violence and rough language, and he's not apologetic about it (although I know from reading his Facebook page that he is currently working on cleaning up his language, saying that he had watched some videos of concerts and interviews and was appalled at how much profanity he was using). However, the language and graphic descriptions of the depraved rock n roll lifestyle he was living serve to make the final chapters where he embraces Christianity and mends some fences all the more powerful. There were things I wish he had touched on more in the book. He states at one point that an attempt at using voodoo as revenge against a kid who was bullying him as a teenager led to a "very long and disturbing flirtation with the occult", but he doesn't really elaborate on that. He also, rather famously, OD'd on drugs at one point and died, but was resuscitated. I was interested to read about how this event played out from his perspective, but he just sort of off-handedly mentions it and moves on. But all in all, I thought this was a fantastic book. Dave Mustaine and Megadeth have a pretty sordid history, and it's very interesting to read about it from the point of view of the guy who lived it. Even if you're not a fan of the band, it's worth a read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tarotemp

    I had the chance to meet Dave Mustaine (and the other members of Megadeth) at an after-concert gathering back in the later part of 1999 while the band was on the Risk tour. Of the four, I found bassist David Ellefson to be the most approachable (actually, he came over to our little group and introduced himself - virtually unheard of when we're talking about a celebrity!), with Mustaine coming in a close second. Even though my actual interaction time w/Mustaine was short - his "heavies" wanted to I had the chance to meet Dave Mustaine (and the other members of Megadeth) at an after-concert gathering back in the later part of 1999 while the band was on the Risk tour. Of the four, I found bassist David Ellefson to be the most approachable (actually, he came over to our little group and introduced himself - virtually unheard of when we're talking about a celebrity!), with Mustaine coming in a close second. Even though my actual interaction time w/Mustaine was short - his "heavies" wanted to keep the line moving - he came off EXACTLY as he does on camera and in interviews: articulate, thoughtful, politically and socially savvy with a dry sense of humor. A real straight-shooter who has no qualms yelling bulls**t when it needs to be said. Nothing at all like the highly combustible drinking-and-drugging Mustaine of the '80s who shot his mouth off a lot and paid the price over and over for it. Granted, the controlling ego is still very much there, that will never change; but he's more thoughtful now. More prone to naval-gazing as we all do when middle age hits. After reading Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir, many lingering questions and rumors that have been circulating around the metal world for 25-plus years have been answered or at least elaborated on to more fully explain the hows and whys of his actions - especially when involving the long feud with Metallica. Of the two factions, I'm firmly entrenched in the Megadeth camp. Despite their huge success, I always thought certain members of Metallica (Hello James and Lars) were always so smug and smarmy about their fame and when retelling how Mustaine was ousted from the band. Smarmy and rather asshattish about a lot of things, actually. Like it's a big joke you're not in on. Mustaine is none of these things. He's been through the worst (after 17 or so trips to rehab, how is this guy still breathing, anyway?!?) and has found his faith to be one way to remain clean and sober. A solid 4.5 stars despite the obvious passages where editors and/or lawyers muzzled Dave.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I've been an off-and-on Megadeth 'listener' more than fan since the 80s and although I gave this a three-star rating, I definitely have to say that they've gone even lower in my esteemed band list than before reading this. The book (I actually listened to the well-narrated audiobook) was pretty good but, in a way similar to 18 & Life on Skid Row, it portrays the author of this autobiography in a much worse light than I had previously imagined. Whilst we all know that Mustaine was in Metallica's e I've been an off-and-on Megadeth 'listener' more than fan since the 80s and although I gave this a three-star rating, I definitely have to say that they've gone even lower in my esteemed band list than before reading this. The book (I actually listened to the well-narrated audiobook) was pretty good but, in a way similar to 18 & Life on Skid Row, it portrays the author of this autobiography in a much worse light than I had previously imagined. Whilst we all know that Mustaine was in Metallica's early days, the actual 'amount' of time was relatively so little in the scheme of things, and his input so minimal that I really cannot understand how he is still griping about their success, when he was more intent on swapping band members more than socks, getting high and wasted and just not 'letting' things go rather than make a valid contribution to the music industry. When he gets to the God Squad part about an hour from the end, he completely lost my respect The first part of this book read verbatim of the Metallica: Birth, School, Metallica, Death and makes me think that whole parts were taken word for word and can somehow lead us to believe that this is 'actually' what happened. I, personally, laughed out loud everytime Metallica were mentioned, especially when he said that somebody will probably have left a Metallica CD in the player when they're about to play his funeral music. Whilst a good read, don't expect to earn any respect for Dave after getting through this. One consolation is that he didn't narrate the audio book!

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