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22 Reviews
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3 star:
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2 star:
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Musician book ever!
Wow! I am not a musician, never have been, never will be but have been a huge fan of Testament and all of Heavy music my whole life. Over the years, I have read just about every book/biography/memoirs out there. This is a must read for several reasons:
1- in my opinion this is the best written book out there. It is smart, genuine, detailed, humble and honest. It is a...
Published 17 months ago by Ben G

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My all time favorite guitar player turns out to be as basic as the power chord with his writing and content...Disappointing
This was a book I was looking forward to reading as I've grown up on Testament, and I'm a jazz guitarist that appreciates the amazing talent that is Alex Skolnick. However, this book does not live up to my expectations. He spent way too much of it complaining about his parents and their parental skills only, to of course, make a mends with them at the end when he plays...
Published 4 months ago by Virgos Merlot


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Musician book ever!, March 28, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
Wow! I am not a musician, never have been, never will be but have been a huge fan of Testament and all of Heavy music my whole life. Over the years, I have read just about every book/biography/memoirs out there. This is a must read for several reasons:
1- in my opinion this is the best written book out there. It is smart, genuine, detailed, humble and honest. It is a fantastic read for that alone.
2- you will read about Bay Area stories, anecdotes and insights that are hilarious and new even to die hard metal fans. You will also be taken deep into the Testament story and it is fascinating...I had no idea...
3- the Alex story is incredible. Some of the other folks rating this book already covered it but Alex's story is much bigger than the music story...it is about someone who never quit, never settle for average, defied expectations, struggled, chose the higher path in pursuit of his own happiness. There is a lot to be inspired about in this book...much more than the musical journey and story.
4- this book is not about what most books typically are...grew-up, partied, had drug problems, partied some more etc...the journey that this book takes the reader on is very deep and it is about a journey thru his life, struggles, experiences , choices etc...it is deep.
5- Alex doesn't spare anyone with what he really think about them but always does it in way that is acceptable...but make no mistakes...he has pretty strong opinions from his many encounters, tour and experiences with many big names...
A MUST READ...buy the book, read it...it doesn't disappoint!
*Alex, in the event you read these postings on-line...thanks for an incredible book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metal, Jazz, and Life Lessons that Matter, March 9, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
Alex Skolnick. Metal fans know him as the lead guitarist for the band Testament. Jazz fans know him from his band AST – Alex Skolnick Trio. I first saw and heard him in 2006 when he played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Now we get to know him through his memoirs of growing up in Berkley, California; plunging into the 80s Bay Area metal scene and traveling the world with Testament, discovering a passion for jazz, and finding himself in the midst of it all.

Yes, it’s about the music. Metal fans will get a kick out of the inside scoop on one of California’s hardest hitting rock bands. Guitarists, like myself, will immediately connect with Alex’s love for the guitar and identify with his long journey toward mastering the instrument. There will be moments when they’ll want to put down the book and pick up their guitar to practice. I know I did. But the real take away here for anyone trying to make it in the music business (any genre) is that reality is a far cry from the dreams that put us on that path. Alex paints a sobering picture of the business side of music, as well as life on the road, in the studio, and on the stage. I wish I could have read this book thirty years ago when I still had stars in my eyes. I wouldn’t say Alex’s story is a warning against pursuing one’s dreams–quite the opposite. But like anything in life, the sooner you understand the reality of it, the better you’ll be able to pursue the craft and maybe avoid some pitfalls along the way.

But it’s about more than music. Alex’s story is about the journey of self-discovery and being okay with what you find. It’s about being honest and true and living rightly with other people, even those who haven’t yet figured this out. It’s about going after something, finding that there are good and bad forces out there that will try to shape you, and making the very hard choice to not give in to those voices. Now I’m sounding philosophical, but that’s really what this book is about. Alex Skolnick is obviously a great guitarist. That’s what first caught my attention in 2006. But there’s a lot more to him. He’s intelligent and insightful, and surprisingly stable considering the life he’s lived and those forces I mentioned.

So, there you have it. Geek to Guitar Hero is entertaining, informative, provocative, and inspirational. Thank you, Alex, for sharing your story with the world. It’s a great compliment to the music you’ve already given us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest Biograpy, July 10, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
The title could have been "The Wrath of Alex". I enjoyed reading it from someone who I feel is similar to me that actually has been successful in the music business. I am a fan of the band Testament and have enjoyed their music since the second lp. I play guitar and I have been in a band so I can relate. Possible one of the best things to happen to Alex is taking lessons from Joe Satriana. Yet it doesn't stop there, Alex continues his education going to college studing Jazz guitar. Strange but around 1992 I left metal and studied Jazz, blues and then Country. When the Recession hit hard I started to listen to metal again. One of the interesting things I read was Alex's experiences meeting his idols in rock backstage. I really enjoyed this book and would have given it 5 stars except I wanted to read more about him being in band Savatage, his marriage, auditioning for Ozzy, being like 2 blocks away serving jury duty on 911. Thanks Alex, not only a great guitar player , but a good person as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must read, June 26, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
I've read many biographies, and I was a little reluctant to read this one. Mainly because I view Alex Skolnick as an accomplished musician, and didn't want to know if he was an egomaniac. Especially in the metal genre, sometimes you already get an idea of what the story is going entail not to say it doesn't happen with other famous personalities, but let's face it metal is metal and gravitates to a certain crowd of people and or personalities. I was one of them and I was an early Testament fan. But something said go ahead buy it , you'll have something to read this week, even if it didn't end up that interesting, I figured it would just end up with a novel of a rock musician and stay on my bookshelf never to be read again. Oh I was wrong, I finished reading it in less than 24 hrs and yes I read it again. Phenomenal read. Very personal, mature, and well written by Alex himself, yes I said he wrote it. If you don't think you can pursue your dream, this is inspirational and if it doesn't you weren't paying attention. He speaks of his past with all the emotion that someone who has matured would. Anyone who has had a dysfunctional family and you felt you didn't feel attached to it, and wondered why you felt different, even though everything on the outside looked normal. Why you had dysfunctional relationships as an adult and couldn't understand why, you will relate to this. He speaks of his love and dedication to his craft , the guitar, and what it took to get there regardless of what was cool. Even when he felt there were personal boundaries or outside influences not conducive to his dream and future. Mr. Skolnick thought outside of the box musically and personally and listened to himself. I thought Miles was the only book with a musicians story, in my opinion that speaks to you, it took another 15 years for something like this to come out. Well done. Alex you have a future in writing I hope you continue to do so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, January 22, 2014
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
This was a Christmas gift for my grown son. He absolutely loved the book!! He grew up listening to Alex Skolnick. Very interesting story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Great book for any Musician!!, November 8, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
This is a great insite to who Alex Skolnick is and he is an intelligent Great guy who Loves to Play and keep learning and mastering the guitar..One of the most inspiring books I have read and a book I and anyone else should be able to relate to,from his childhood,to high school to joining his first band he takes you through his life shares his thoughts,gives you info you can use on becoming a better musician and human being..If you have any musicians in your family besides yourself..put this book at the top of your gift list !!! Rock On Alex..Great Book I loved it!..maybe one of these days I will be able to play a third as well as you!! haha
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the Price., October 21, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
This book was really interesting from Alex's point of view. I have always been a TesTamenT fan, and wondered about a lot if the subject material covered in this book, such as line up changes, album details, etc. Very informative and personal. I was moved by Alex' honesty of himself and the rest of the band. Great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest book with a lot of heart and inspiring lessons., September 7, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
What I truly appreciate is Alex's ability, despite his seemingly insecure outlook on being on geek, to study other people and explain all the good and bad things he learned from people who crossed his path in the Berkeley music scene.

I think Alex's ability to think beyond his own self-perceived weaknesses, and be a student of both music and people was instrumental (no pun intended) in him being a true musical hero to a variety of people not just metal or jazz heads!

One of the advantages of Alex being a geek as a kid is that he worked his butt off. Foreigner has a song called "Juke Box Hero," and there certainly would be a metal-jazz version of that when this book becomes a movie! (It could!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geek to Guitar Hero, July 22, 2013
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This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
Alex Skolnick shared with the reader any personal and professional experience, making the narration of his journey to the fame very interesting not only for a musician/axe man.

Well done Alex!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and somewhat unexpected memoir., May 7, 2013
By 
heavy Jane (San Francisco, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Geek to Guitar Hero (Paperback)
I knew very little about Alex but his book is a revealing insight into what must be the mindset of a multitude of young adults. Excellently written, with telling perspective - it's a great window into the world of Testament, as well as all the author's alternate musical endeavors. Highly recommended reading for music and non-music fans in search of meaty, meaningful memoir. Picked up a few of his CDs on the back of reading this also...
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Geek to Guitar Hero
Geek to Guitar Hero by Alex Skolnick (Paperback - January 15, 2013)
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