The Mustaine Memoir: Part II

A

Chapters 1 – 7

  1. Readability: So far, so good… (so what?)The flow of the book is close to the way I imagine Dave verbally telling the story to someone. Ideas and topics flow easily from one topic to another. All ideas are pertinent to what is being read. There are no rabbit trails. The chapters are of digestible length, nothing discouraging to the reader. There are plenty of pictures to offer extra visualization during the stories. I chose to get all the way to chapter 7 because I wanted to review from Dave’s adolescence up until he got kicked out of Metallica and the formation of Megadeth took place. That took me as far as chapter 7, about halfway through the book.
  2. Interesting Facts: Dave is surprisingly honest about his character flaws and links them to his failures along the way, including getting kicked out of Metallica. He is self-described as overaggressive, snarky, confident and hell bent on being the fastest and hardest guitar player on the planet. As far as prowess on the instrument is concerned, Dave makes it clear that in the beginning of his playing days, he had no desire to be a virtuoso type of player. He liked playing guitar because it led him to women and drugs. It goes without saying that along the way Mustaine took the guitar very seriously and practiced relentlessly.The fallout with Metallica doesn’t receive much more detail or clarity other than what most fans already know; They traveled to New York to record. They partied hard one night, fell asleep and Dave was woken up and given a bus ticket back home, was told he was out of the band and was never given a reason. I did draw a few things from his description of the sequence of events. 1) Lars Ulrich (Metallica drummer) was a dick head. 2) James isn’t confrontational at all 3) Dave getting kicked out of Metallica only drove him harder to make Megadeth successful.Mustaine chronologically maps out the major events of thrash metal and makes a very solid fact about his contribution. Obviously he had his imprints on Metallica. He wrote nearly half of the songs on Kill ‘em All as well as the instrumental Call of the Ktulu. Also, a very young Kerry King (Slayer) would play guitar with Mustaine and learn quite a bit from him. Eventually he would develop his own style and perform with Slayer. Obviously Dave had his own band as well. So, out of the “Big 4 of Thrash Metal” (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth), Dave Mustaine has his finger prints on 3 of them. He is indeed the Godfather of thrash metal. He may not have seen the same commercial success as his rivals, Metallica, however, it is my opinion that he is at least a co-author of an entire genre of music. Additionally, since Metallica has become a fringe rock band, Mustaine stands as the last bastion of the Thrash Metal standard.
  3. The Music: There is no argument that Dave is one HELL of a guitar player and song writer. But, he openly admits to learning to play guitar to get laid and get loaded. He does go into detail about the interactions with other musicians, especially with the personality conflicts within Metallica. There are some pretty revealing stories about the other members of Metallica. He also goes into detail about other musicians when he discusses the auditions for Megadeth positions. While the story does delve into other things in Dave’s life, it consistently weaves in and out of the music and his pursuit to prove the world wrong.
  4. Drug Use: Dave goes into detail about his drug escapades, but not in an excruciating way. He gives a brief enough description to create an understanding with the reader, than briefly describes the time, place and event with which the drugs were being used. It sounds like the effects drugs played on the band up to this point are two fold. 1) They determined rehearsal times, because everyone had to be in good enough shape to play. 2) They were the reason for the revolving door of people that came in and out of Dave’s life. I am sure as the book progresses, the drugs will take on a more prominent role, but as of now they are simply in addition to the story.
  5. My Honest Opinion: I held this book in my hand at the local bookstore and I instead chose to buy it on my kindle for mobile access ( I tend to travel quite a bit for work). I am glad I did because I cannot put this book down. Of course, I have immense respect for Dave Mustaine so I was intrigued to begin with. But I loved Kurt Cobain as a kid and have yet to make it through a book about him, so I don’t think that plays too much into it. At the end of the day, the content has to be there and Dave’s book is LOADED (no pun intended) with content. It’s classy, provocative, engaging, unrelenting up to this point. I will disclose my final conclusion of the book after I complete it.
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