Megadeth founder, and former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine is full of contradictions and many of them come out in his memoir.
His band Megadeth, along with other thrash metal founders like Anthrax and Slayer were seen as the antidote to the preening, style-over-substance genre of hair metal that hijacked the 80’s music scene, yet throughout his book, Mustaine talks about band member who did not have the “right look” – either they didn’t dress right or their hair was too short to fit into the image he had for his band. He even details a few makeovers he had to conduct over the years to get members looking just right (a sort of metal eye for the straight guy).
The larger contradiction revealed in A Heavy Metal memoir though is Mustaine’s admission that he is now a Born Again Christian. Yup, the guy evangelists throughout the 80’s and 90’s warned was a devil worshipper who would sacrifice your kids is now totting a Bible. Religion plays heavily in Mustaine’s childhood, raised a Jehovah’s Witness, he does admit to dabbling in Satanism briefly (though not actually coming right out and admitting to being a Satanist).
Contradictions aside, or perhaps because of them, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir is far more interesting than the standard heavy metal bio detailing years of banging groupies and hanging with Aerosmith (don’t believe me, check out the recent memoirs from members of Motley Crue and Guns ‘N Roses – which are pretty hard to tell apart).
He also opens up in great detail about his drug use, his numerous visits to rehab (17 to date), and his brief stint in Metallica, getting kicked out of the band mid-tour, and being asked to participate in the train wreck of the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster.
It’s clear that Mustaine still feels betrayed by his former band and will be competing with them every time he takes the stage, walks into a studio or simply straps on a guitar.
Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir By Dave Mustaine/Paperback/368 pages/It Books/2011