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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2010
I began to devour this book while waiting in line to meet Dave and have him sign my copy at a book signing in Toronto last week. Very quickly it was evident this memoir is written from a place of candor, humor, humility and honesty that I was both surprised at and appreciative of. After all, the Dave Mustaine of my youth was a balsy mouthpiece with a sneer that could send you running for the hills and melt your heart at once (if you were an impressionable teenaged girl who loved Metal that is).

This memoir is like having a conversation with a friend. The stories shared don't come across from a place of bragging or boasting, but from a place of experience, and sometimes veer into quite emotional and serious areas. Luckily though some tales told can also be both crude and funny at once, and it really feels like the words are falling from Dave's own lips. I found it a very deeply insightful look into both an amazing creature and a flawed man, he's human just like the rest of us. Huh, who knew? In the epic percieved battle of Megadeth vs. Metallica I think everyone will enjoy this look into both Dave's life and his thought process. I was a Metallica fan for many years, with only brief flirts of Megadeth in my musical landscape. Reading this memoir has absolutely made me a bigger fan of Mustaine and his life's work.....Megadeth.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2010
Ignore the review by JD posted here, Apparently, he/she did not read the memoir carefully. Dave Mustaine's self centeredness, bitterness, and immoral ways are commented upon by Dave himself and he does hold himself accountable for his actions/sins. When Dave Mustaine talks about how "he did not care," he's talking about how he felt at the time, about himself in the past, not about how he feels now that he's a changed man and returned to a moral life. His full recovery and return to God are not brought to light until almost the very end of the book. That's the point to show the contrast of who he was with who he is now. Nowhere does Dave Mustaine say he can do no wrong. He lays everything on the line very candidly about all his wrongdoing: the drugs, the relapses, the neglect (for himself and family), his selfishness, etc. Over and over again he points out how he does not blame others but himself. As far as Metallica goes, any bitterness that resides there is demonstrated because (1)they stole/took credit for many of his songs, (2)Lars Ulrch ambushed him into being filmed for the Metallica documentary and after protesting to have his part removed from the film, was ignored,(3)most importantly, he was never given a second chance whereas with Megadeth he gave his bandmates many chances the fix their lives since he too needed to straighten up. Everything Dave Mustaine says here is said in a very matter of fact way. The most touching part of this memoir, for me personally, was the description of how he finally came back to God, how he got his family back, and now understands the most important thing in his life are his family and God.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2010
If you are interested in first hand accounts of the rock and roll lifestyle, stories of personal growth and victory, humorous anecdotes, or all of the above, this book won't disappoint!

Dave Mustaine is someone I've admired for a long, time - about 20 years. And just like everything else changes in life, my reasons for admiring him changed and grew as he changed and grew. As a teenager, I latched on to the intensity and energy of Rust In Peace and I never let go of my admiration for Mustaine. Through changes in musical direction and band members, frequent drug relapses, an ongoing feud with another band I like (Metallica), etc., I continued to follow, and support (by purchasing CDs and concert tickets) Dave Mustaine and Megadeth. You could say I was a loyal fan. Dedicated in my support. Perhaps even tenacious. And tenacity is one big reason why I admire Dave Mustaine so much. He has accumulated a lifetime of reasons to give up, spiral into an empty, bitter life or simply be dead already. But he's not. He's still here and this is his personal story of second chances, third chances, strife, success and redemption.

Being a fan of Megadeth, I was at least generally familiar with Mustaine's history; so I guess not much of the book surprised me. If you want to paint with very broad brush strokes, you sum up his life story as not dissimilar from many other rock stars. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll - right? But throughout the book, you get this feeling that all the sensational and sometimes caricature-like anecdotes are being shared by someone who is in a better place now - someone who is wise only in the way that *he* can be, because he has learned from the experiences that only *he* has lived. Mustaine's story is a personal story that you can relate to. Even if you've never played a guitar or smoked heroin.

I had the opportunity to meet him briefly in 2001 and again for a little bit longer while in the studio in 2003. When he sat down next to me and asked me "so what's up?" All I could think to myself was "what's up is your Dave Frickin' Mustaine and I'm a nervous fan who's more starstruck than I thought I would be in this situation". But I wasn't just starstruck by my admiration for his musical ability, nor his music business savvy, nor the fact that he seemed to have a great, healthy family, nor even exclusively his tenacity. It was the fact that this guy was simultaneously a success and a failure - he knows what it is like to be truly human. He had often been a bad example as a person who wasn't the easiest to get along with, yet he has in him this inherent good side, a humble side - a vulnerable side, even, that is very refreshing. Considering I can't relate to probably 95% of Mustaine's life experiences, I feel that he is still a completely 100% relatable guy. To me, this autobiography reaffirms my conviction in our shared humanity and reaffirms my faith in God.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
If you're a Megadeth fan, than you know most of the stories that are in this book. It is how honest Dave come across that is the most surprising. He doesn't sugarcoat things or try to place the blame on others, he lets things fall where they lie. If you're interested in Dave as a person then this will be a good read, if you're wanting to get into detailed accounts of recording info, look elsewhere. As a guitarist I would have liked to have seen more about his unique style and show he writes songs but it is still a very good book and I highly recommend it. For a guy who is often demonized or portrayed as godly he comes across as rather human in this book.......
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2010
Let me state up front that I am a lifelong Megadeth fan, as well as a Dave Mustaine fan. I was completely looking forward to reading this book, and did so in one day (considering that I rarely make it to Chapter 2 of ANY book these days, that's nothing short of a miracle). In fact, just learning of this book's release helped me rediscover the band and their music in a way that I haven't in years. My review of this book is intended to be as dispassionate as possible.

If I had to summarize this book in one word, that word would be "sanitized". Dave tells his story very non-objectively, and in several instances, certain events feel glossed over, with details that would embarrass Dave or paint him as the bad guy seemingly omitted, or possibly altered. I didn't gather Dave accepting any personal responsibility for some of his past mistakes (a classic behavioral trait for an addict).

Ironically, the one thing that has motivated Dave's musical career is the same thing that has held him back personally, and that is his ousting from Metallica in 1983. As evidenced by this book, he has still not let that incident go, despite his forming and sustaining a heavy metal monster beloved by millions ever since. The writing of this book ebbs and flows from Dave's trademark (and sometimes forced) abrasive humor to introspection of his time here on earth and back again. Different sides of Dave's personality are definitely on display here, for better or for worse. Maybe that alone is evidence that Dave is finally coming to terms with the life that he's lived. I, for one, wish him peace (not to mention health).

One thing that really surprised me is how image-conscious Mustaine is when it comes to his band. He always struck me as someone who didn't care what someone looked like, so long as they played the right notes and walked in lockstep. If anything, what I came away with was the sense that Dave is very seriously considering hanging it up for good. He expressed regret over missing his son Justus grow up, and doesn't want to miss out on his daughter Electra doing the same. That's a pretty powerful motivation, and if that's what Dave is using to contemplate bringing Megadeth to an end, then nobody can fault him for that.

Reading this book didn't make me any less of a fan of Dave or Megadeth. If anything, it has reignited my love for the band and their music. But I would caution those interested in reading this book that it is more a portrait of Dave Mustaine the man, than of Megadeth the band. I hope that he'll pick up the pen again one day to delve deeper into the history of the band itself. Other than a few road stories (I'll never enjoy A1 Steak Sauce again...thanks, Dave), the tales told within 'Mustaine' are common knowledge to most fans of the band. This is a quick, easy read, as well as a very good book...but it's not a great book. I consider this book an appetizer; I look forward to the main course.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2010
This is an odd review for me to write as I usually read and comment on historical subjects and other scholarly works (I'm an historian), but I also happen to love Megadeth. So, I stumbled across Mustaine's autobiography and promptly downloaded it to my iPad. What a read! If it were not for my tendency to sleep and eat at least once a day I would have finished it in one sitting.

Mustaine is obviously a must read for any Metal fan, but it would also be enlightening for anyone else struggling through similar circumstances trying to find meaning in their own life. I have led a very different path than Mustaine, but the parallels are there in enough abundance that his book held a deep personal message for me. I can't imagine anyone reading this book, especially those who have gone through some of the same crap Mustaine has in his own life, not being affected positively in some way. Mustaine does not preach for sure. Neither does he come off as someone who has found the answers for everyone; but he does share intimately the reason for his life having significance beyond profane carnal and egotistical fulfillment, and especially the deadly road that a person's life can take not having found it. This, I believe, is the reason for his goodness as a person and continuing greatness as musician today.

All of us classic Metalheads who have kept touch with the music of Megadeth are in awe of the material Mustaine has produced over the last several years, especially given the apparent decline of Megadeth (and Metal in general) throughout the late 90's and early century. But Mustaine, and with him Megadeth has been resurrected to such astounding heights that even transcend the `classic' Megadeth of the 80s and early 90s. Even the new Metal kids love it. For all of us balding, bulging, aging Metalheads trudging towards (or through) middle-age life, the music of Megadeth gives us hope that some things do get better with age and we can sometimes outdo our younger selves with a sharper edge and greater intensity than ever before. It's all about focus; and that focus must be on that which is greater than oneself.

There is (not shockingly) much in this book about the Metallica-Megadeth rivalry. From the perspective of this aging rocker (me), Metallica has been a grievous disappointment through the later years...and this is coming from someone who was long a member of the Metallica faction. Mustaine had been for most of his career always a step behind the great monster of Metallica; but no more. He has surpassed them. This may not be Mustaine's opinion (he seems to still believe otherwise), but it is my own. This book helps explain why. I sadly doubt that Metallica will ever regain, let alone surpass the great band it once was. Megadeth on the other hand has never been better. Looking at it from their careers as a whole and where they are now there is little doubt amongst those of us that were fans of them both from the very beginning that in the end - Mustaine has finally won!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2011
I have been a Metallica fan for many many years. Their music literally changed me. I have always considered Dave Mustaine a whiny brat who constantly berated James and Lars for firing him from Metallica so many years ago. I always just thought he should move on and stop being such a baby. Now, that said, I am also a closet Megadeth fan. I always sort of felt like I was betraying Metallica by listening to them, but just couldn't help myself. They were that good. I would sneak into music stores, head held down to buy Megadeth CD's and I would be out of that store like the wind. They have been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. A testament to how good they actually are. When I heard Dave was writing an autobiography, I dismissed it as another means of bad talking James and Lars, so I decided to pass on reading it. This year however, I lost the love of my life to a disease related to alcoholism. I decided I wanted to try to read Dave's book to mainly find out about his road to recovery from drugs and alcohol. I have a newfound respect for people who are able to accomplish this having lived through it with someone I loved. I was very surprised by what I learned. Yes, there is definitely a lot of resentment still towards Metallica; however, he didn't really bash them that badly. He was actually much harder on himself. I also found myself empathizing more with how he must have felt all of these years. It has certainly made me realize that we are shaped, good or bad, from our childhoods and every person we meet and experience we have. Dave continuously was knocked down and always, always got up, dusted himself off and persevered. I am actually quite impressed with him and have a deep respect for him. Metallica will always be my number one, however, the next time I go into a music store to buy a Megadeth CD, my head will be held high and I will be proud to be their fan. I may even make some banter with the cashier about how great Dave Mustaine is. Dave, job well done with both this book and your life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
OK, I know, Dave Mustaine had some hard knocks, and I completely respect his work and the beast he has created. I love reading about his exploits (a la Scar Tissue from Anthony Kiedis) and his ever changing band. And I find it very cool that someone like Dave Mustaine, who presumably does not need the money, still takes time to write a book such as this. As a guitar player, I just wish he wrote a little more about actual guitar playing.

Regardless, for all your thrash metal fans out there, this is a very cool trip (and I do mean trip) down memory lane. Dave describes the circumstances and the creation of each Megadeth record, and to be honest, also of Kill 'Em All, of which the best song by far, The Four Horsemen, was essentially written by Dave Mustaine. If you're reading this you probably know this. Lord knows his firing from Metallica has been covered in enough magazines and films, but I still couldn't help but wondering what might have been. This was as if Lennon got separated from McCartney due to the instigation of Ringo (and yes, Mustaine is Lennon in this example for anyone needing further explanation).

But I digress... The book is certainly interesting. It kept me engrossed for a 10 hour plane ride and another day spent idle as I waited to climb Kilimanjaro. You will be surprised at his honesty. I knew part of the story, but it is still unbelievable that an album such as Peace Sells could have been made under such circumstances as the band was enduring at the time and yet still stand up as a classic decades later. And though they might have lost the plot in the late 90's (which Dave admits), they/he came back in force with Endgame (and a new Chris, almost as good as the old Chris). Dave Mustaine is the Keith Richards of heavy metal (and I hope I don't offend either of the two by that analogy).

So, a great read. But I'm still wondering, what happened in the unglamorous years of his teens to make him such a good guitar player? Who did he listen to? How much did he practice? How did he practice and what equipment did he use? Etc. This might not be as titillating as tales of drug excess, but for us guitar players, this would be golden.

Still, I can't fault this book. A worthy read for any fan. You can hear Dave's unique voice throughout, sometimes snarling, sometimes triumphant, but always honest.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2010
Dave is just a man. It comes through loud and clear in this book where he lays bare all his brokenness and mistakes over the years. It has all the drugs, sex, and rock n' roll that such a book should have but the tone is completely unexpected.

Dave tells his story from a place of deep humility, some regret, and a thankfulness that he's still alive. I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated the honesty throughout. Whether or not you are a metal fan, its worth the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2010
I enjoyed reading Dave Mustaine's book and learning more about the man that has often been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and even villanized. I could never understand the consistent changes to the band's line-up or inconsistent quality of their later albums. This book has shed a lot of light on these subjects, and I came away with more respect for the man Dave Mustaine. Unfortunately, his major roadblock to even more unprecedented success was his excessive substance abuse. His story is synonymous with members of other bands, and he is lucky to be alive, just like certain members of Motley Crue, etc. I appreciate his uncompromising commitment to try to be the best musically, and Megadeth certainly has produced some awesome songs. I welcome his candor and his insight into his family life and finally coming to terms with his struggles with religion and finding God. I now understand a lot more about Mustaine and Megadeth, but I wanted to know more about the stories behind his songs, etc; his book is no exception to many biographies that are heavy on details at the start and fade into generalities when it comes to present day. It's like the author is tired of writing and wants to get to just the main points and end the book. I also came away from the reading the book with less respect for Metallica that gave him a raw deal, and continued their antics in their demeaning relationship with bassist Jason Newstead. I can only imagine what Metallica would be like today had Dave stayed and/or Cliff Burton hadn't died. They would be different, but better in the long run I think. However, Dave Mustaine persevered and made a name for himself in heavy metal history. I highly recommend this book. Thanks for sharing it with the public Dave.
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