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Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

Dave Mustaine

Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Dec. 16, 2011

Memoir Suite

Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

by Dave Mustaine, with Joe Layden
It Books, 368 pp., $25.99

The annals of rock autobiography aren't exactly teeming with heavy metal icons, so it's refreshing to see Megadeth's Dave Mustaine joining the ranks of recent confessors Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne. An inside look from the thrash pioneer is long overdue. With clear prose, the guitarist talks about his band and its notorious membership volatility, also dishing on his relationship with Metallica, the rock titan he joined in its infancy and from which he was fired. Yet he divulges little about the music's creation; songs and albums are noted, but hardly mulled over. Anyone hoping for the inspiration behind classics like "Hangar 18" or "Sweating Bullets" (which isn't even mentioned) will be disappointed. Fans looking for tales from the bad ol' days will throw horns, however, thanks to plenty of drugs, sex, and temper tantrums. Mustaine takes pride in none of this, openly and bluntly exposing his addictions (cocaine, heroin, alcohol) and anger issues (the source of which is either childhood trauma or Metallica). Indeed, it's his longtime struggle to manage his personal problems that defines the book, making Mustaine less a musical journey and more an addiction memoir.

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