Author: Ian Christe
Title: “Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga”
Publisher: Wiley Publishing
Release Date: 8/24/2007
During the final months of 2007 an event that Hard Rock and Metal fans had been waiting for decades to occur finally had come to pass and this of course was the reunion of the brothers Van Halen with their former singer David Lee Roth. I felt it best to begin our commentary with that bit of knowledge for the book itself leaves us wondering if this will indeed happen. “Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga” by Ian Christe is a journey back in time to the beginning of the band and how its members met and while the more noted Van Halen experts might balk at some of its contents there is really a lot of cool information to absorb when it comes down to it. We journey back to Holland and first meet the Van Halen brothers who were young musicians who performed with their Father and we learn first hand about the sparks being lit by budding guitar genius Edward Van Halen. I won’t recant every chapter but it explains how the band met up and jammed at outdoor parties and simply grew and grew during a time when Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music was being forced out the door by the likes of Disco. We meet a young David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony and learn how they joined the group and each of them offered a unique perspective to the mix as the band struggled for scene dominance and eventually secured their recording contact. Had you been a regular reader of the music magazines that saw publication during the bands early years a lot of this information might not surprise you but with the bands continued impact on modern music today there are clearly more than enough readers who will come away with mountains of detail because of what is lined out in its pages.
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Title: “Sound Of The Beast: The Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal”
Author: Ian Christe
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2/17/2004
When you take a visit to the local Barnes and Noble or Borders bookstore nowadays you will see quite a few musical biographies on the shelves. As a fan of the Heavy genres it is quite pleasurable to see that a number of these books focus on the lives and exploits of some of music’s most colorful characters (often in very vivid and frank detail). I have enjoyed and recommended several of these so far with Motley Crue’s “The Dirt”, Lemmy’s “White Line Fever”, and the number of releases by KISS’ Gene Simmons; all of them capable of bringing you deeper into their lives of celebrity. You were able to enjoy their war stories, road tales and excitement, and often heartbreak as well. Different from the various biographies mentioned this book takes us on a very historic journey back in time to the beginnings of Heavy Metal music. Taking key moments from heavy music history beginning around the time of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple; author Ian Christie gives us a highly detailed look inside the way it all began with “Sound Of The Beast: The Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal”. I approached the read of this book with a large amount of enjoyment for having finished a couple of biography pieces I was interested in finding out how a Music History book would be presented. Christie does start out from the beginning and of course references the one and only Black Sabbath, however there might be those that feel this area is not covered as much as it could be. The author does make sure to cover many of the vast and varied aspects of the Heavy Metal genre and all the sub-divisions that had sprouted from the doomy-blues laden beginnings of Sabbath. Coverage is given to the bigwigs of the seventies KISS and Judas Priest among others as well as some insight to the NWOBHM and bands that fell under this acronym. A full chapter is devoted to the Black and Death metal bands and to be honest some of that stuff will creep the reader out when they find just how serious they take their various causes. The tail-end of the book leans a lot towards Metallica and one might find fault in that it seems to close out with their being the “be-all, end-all” Metal band.
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