Tales Publishing, Inc.
Metal Express Rating: 8.0/10
Release Date: 2012-06-29
by: KRISTIAN NERGÅRD
Author Michael Toney is back with his second published book. This time he has conducted interviews with lots of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal musicians. His first book, Tales From The Cage was written using a similar concept, featuring interviews with experts from the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). In the ’80s Toney played drums for numerous Hard Rock bands in Detroit, Michigan, USA, so even though he comes from the hotel business, his real passion is Hard Rock and Metal music.
The book is an easy read and gives you insight on some of the biggest names from the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal scene of the ’80s and ’90s. The people interviewed are Bruce Kulick (Kiss, Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper), Jay Reynolds (Malice, Metal Church, Megadeth), Herman Rarebell (Scorpions, Herman ze German), Tim “Ripper” Owens (Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Beyond Fear, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, Hail!, Charred Walls Of The Damned, DIO Disciples), Eddie Trunk (host of That Metal Show), Jeff Duncan (Odin, Armored Saint, DC4), Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P., Where Angels Suffer), Oz Fox (Stryper), Steve “Lips” Kudlow (Anvil), Betsy Bitch (Bitch), Ron Keel (Keel, Steeler), Brian Slagel (founder and CEO of Metal Blade Records) and Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner, Pride & Glory, Glenn Hughes, Slash’s Snakepit, Lynch Mob).
Toney asks questions that go to the core of internal band conflicts and gets the answers. But not every question is about the music, and you’ll find out if and what drugs the musicians are using today, who they voted for in the 2012 presidential election, how much money they made during their prime and if they’re set for life, if they’ve ever been afraid for their safety while on stage, what kind of car they drive, and their craziest groupie experiences (some of these stories are really crazy!).
Especially interesting is the interview with Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records. The interview is focused around the 1982 compilation tape The New Heavy Metal Revue Presents Metal Massacre. This compilation featured the first recordings of Ratt, Steeler, Black ‘n Blue, Malice, Avatar, Cirith Ungol, Bitch, and Metallica. Slagel later founded Metal Blade Records, which released Slayer’s two first albums, and is still releasing Heavy Metal music to this day. Some of the other interviews (with members of these bands) also provide insight into what the release meant for the Hard Rock and Metal scene in California at the time.
Though the entire book is more or less a number of thorough Q&A’s with well-known musicians, and contain the occasional typo, the concept works surprisingly well. There are no anecdotes or tedious dissertations here, only straight up questions and straight up answers. You get complete information and no bullshit, and though you might have thought that every shred of information about these musicians and their bands has been revealed earlier, this book contains a lot of new information and crazy stories.
A portion of the proceeds from each book sold are being donated to Ride For Dime, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting music education through America’s youth, so you know that your money is well spent.
Any person who’s interested in Rock and Metal should find something to love about this book. It’s a highly recommended read.
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