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I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax Hardcover – October 14, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Jewish Telegraph, 9/19/14
Scott writes with real honesty I'm the Man stands up as a great insight into one of metal's leading figures. And you don't have to be a thrash or rock fan to enjoy it.”
Cleveland Music Examiner.com, 10/7/14
Eye-opening The hard-charging head-banger has assembled his best anecdotes into the revealing autobiography For every familiar factoid, Ian introduces two or three new nuggets even diehard Anthrax fans probably didn't know Despite the shenanigans and chicanery of Ian's teens and twenties, the man who emerges here is surprisingly level-headed and articulate.”
Creative Loafing Tampa, 11/7/14
The book chronicles the intensity of metal's commercial explosion in its heyday. That includes plenty of conflicts within the band and in Ian's personal life, and the book is being touted as a brutally honest confessional along the lines of Andre Agassi's Open.”
Dead Rhetoric, 11/9/14
It's pretty honest stuff, especially when Ian details the band's and his personal life's low-points, which there are several, but hardly of the cliché variety I'm the Man is a killer read.”
[Ian] talks straight, never fails to lay blame on himself for certain actions, and comes across as nothing but honest.”
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, 11/21/14
Riveting, top notch Far superior to the glut of rock biographies currently available. In addition to the very revealing nature, this is a visual feast as well This book knows no limits, making it impossible to put down Don't hesitate, just buy! Guaranteed, this is an awesome readand would make a fantastic Christmas present.”
Rock Pages, December 2014
A well-crafted autobiography...Da Capo Press has done an outstanding job in inserting various rare photos from Scott Ian's personal archive while it also added an Ian-penned comic with Lemmy being the protagonist.”
Houston Press, 11/5/14
The book of course tells the complete history of the thrash-metal legends from their hardscrabble beginnings and cult status through the varying lineups, discography and playing huge stadiums with the rest of the Big 4' (Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer). But it's also about how this short Jewish kid from Queens, N.Y. basically got through life with the help of music.”
The book is just as good as you'd expect a book by Scott Ian would be. Often self-deprecating funny and more than a little revealing, I'm the Man is one of the few books about metal that even those unimpressed by the genre can appreciate I'm the Man manages to be one of those unique rock autobiographies that end up being about much more than rock and being in a band.”
A great first hand account of the history of thrash.”
Parade Magazine, 11/16/14
Scott Ian describes what it's like to go from kid with guitar to thrash-metal pioneer.”
[A] compelling memoir Like any good rock bio, I'm the Man abounds with tales of debauchery, fisticuffs, and other insanity on the road The book is also full of revelations All this keeps the pages turning. But I'm the Man is not just a tell-all. It's an inspiring tale of perseverance in the face of endless lineup and label changes, rehearsal room fires, and a fickle music industryand it's also a cautionary tale And Ian pulls no punchesmany, at himselfwhen discussing how the craziness of the touring life makes normal' life almost impossible I'm the Man proves to be the perfect title for the book, because what ultimately crystallizes is a rounded picture of Ian, not as a metal icon, but as a man: one who tried and sometimes failed but always kept trying, and can look back on it all with honesty and clarity.”
Eternal Terror, 10/20/14
An interesting and inspiring read No stone is left unturned in this book when it comes to Anthrax Ian is brutally honest and tells it like it is A fast-paced, funny, revealing and at times tragic account of how a geeky boy from New York made it in the world of music and just how thin the line between devastating and triumphant really is, not just in the world of music, but in life in general. The book strikes a really nice balance between the uplifting aspects of being in a metal band as well as all the bullshit, backstabbing, setbacks and pain that ensue from it all One need not be a fan of Anthrax, S.O.D. or even The Damned Things in order to enjoy this book. It is so well-written, humorous, heart-warming and even downright insane in places that one cannot avoid being moved by it A captivating and fascinating read. Highly recommended!”
My Big Honkin Blog, 10/25/14
It is [Ian's] average Joe-ness that makes his story of struggle, determination and persistence, told in the new bio, I'm the Man, so interesting You can't help but root for the guy. The fact that he didn't go out of his way to screw things up like so many rockers do also tends to make the story unique This one is a great read whether you're a fan or not.”
Fast-paced, funny, and revealing.”
Heavy Metal About.com, 10/13/14
There aren't a lot of bands where the rhythm guitarist is the most high profile member of the band, but Scott Ian has always been the heart of Anthrax [Ian] isn't afraid to say what's on his mind, and the book reflects his willingness to tell it like it is, even if it sometimes doesn't put him in a very flattering light Ian really knows how to tell a story and the book is extremely compelling. It's a great blend of the events that shaped him and Anthrax, his personal life and crazy and hilarious tales from throughout his life. It's a must-read for any fan of Ian and Anthrax.”
One of the best books you will ever read! It's honest, it's entertaining and full of stories of one of the guys to blame for Heavy Music being what it is today Whither you are a veteran musician or you are just starting out, this is a book you must read and absorb as the amount of knowledge and lessons of perseverance that Scott shares will make you a better musician. Hell, this book will inspire any human being to have big goals and to never stop working in order to accomplish those goals.”
John Shelton Ivany Top 21, Issue 445
Ian tells his life story with a clear-eyed honesty that spares no one, least of all himself.”
Oakland Press, 12/19/14
If you've attended or heard any of Ian's spoken-word performances you know he's a natural raconteur, and that also comes through in this book, a memoir that's enriched by Ian's eye for smaller details that can be built into unexpected, captivating complements to the larger story he's telling.”
Not just a chronicle of his band's life and times, the book is also a mix of a coming of age story for Queens' Ian and a look at a historic time in heavy metal This book [sits] comfortably among the best rock biographies to hit the streets in the last few years.”
One of the most outspoken and ubiquitous figures in the heavy metal community, it was inevitable that Ian would someday write an autobiography The guitarist is a gifted storyteller, conveying each memory with an enthralling balance of humor, wit, and self-awareness Along with Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth, Anthrax are part of the "Big 4," and Ian offers up the kind of insider stories behind all the groups that trivia hounds will eat up It doesn't matter if you're a devout Anthrax follower, or just a casual fan of the group, I'm the Man is a fun read, packed with juicy stories from Ian's colorful career on and off stage Just like the song it was named after, I'm the Man is irreverent, hilarious, and, at times, aggressive.”\
Scott Ian has, in his many decades as a touring musician, shared the stage with pretty much everyone who is anyone in hard rock and heavy metal. And he seems to have a photographic memory, as his power of recall has the uncanny ability to virtually bring the reader into the room with him I'm The Man will please Anthrax fans. It will also please music fans who maybe don't know so much about Anthrax. The passion behind his band, perseverance over numerous hardships, and the ability to recount tales gone by with an often humorous stilt makes for an entertaining read.”\
Stereo Embers, 10/13/14
I'm the Man isn't a typical rock star autobiography. Although it has its share of hilarious stories of drugs and partying, the book refreshingly focuses on the guiding light of Scott's life: music and, in particular, the music of Anthrax The book is a thrilling ride through the ups and downs of being in a rock and roll band Moreover, I'm the Man will give you a greater understanding of how the Big 4 thrash bandsAnthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallicasomehow managed to change the course of heavy music, steering it away from the hair metal of the 1980s through sheer hard work, will, and perseverance Scott Ian really is the manand you'd do yourself a disservice by not reading his thrilling autobiography.”
This Is Book's Music, 10/18/14
You might read the book thinking it will be nothing but inside stuff about the band and the recording industry, and it does touch on all of this quite well. It also has Ian looking at the world from a personal perspective, to show how he loves his music but is also someone with a mind and a sense of humor.”
The Real Rene, 10/14/14
Scott Ian is such a cool and down to earth guy that you feel he is right there with you telling you all these stories. This is not a book about drugs or groupies (well maybe some) but rather a compelling story about one of the coolest guys in rock n roll history.”
San Antonio Express-News, 10/26/14
A quick, entertaining read that's often laugh-out-loud funny. Scott Ian is a natural storyteller and he offers a clear-eyed, ground-level view of the harder edge of metal that Anthrax helped pioneer.”
Media Mikes, 10/20/14
I'm the Man is much more than a collection of road stories as Ian delves deep in to his personal experience with love, life and all things Dimebag Darrell Over the book's 316 pages Ian is candid and unabashed A solid read For newer fans and for those who have followed Scott Not' Ian from the early days this book is for you.”
About the Author
Jon Wiederhorn is co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen. He is a senior writer at Revolver and a contributor to Guitar World, Yahoo.com, eMusic, and Niosey.com. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two children.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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(Good grief…..I just read that intro paragraph back to myself. What a windbag I am. There is no way to distill 4+ decades of musical history into a paragraph that makes any sort of sense. And I also forgot to give my brother Gerold enough credit. My mother surely guided my early years, but it was he who opened my eyes to glam and punk and the Stones….)
New York City gave birth to the band Anthrax in 1981. They released their first album, “Fistful of Metal” in 1984. Rather than burden you down with background information that you can easily get on the internet or by reading “I’m the Man”, I will stop there. Scott Ian, the rhythm guitarist for the band as well as principal lyricist, gives us the full story of the band in this book, co-written with author Jon Wiederhorn. It seems pretty obvious that Wiederhorn did a good job of transposing the notes and/or audio recordings that Ian provided for this memoir. Having read and heard enough interviews with Scott Ian over the years I will say that it certainly SEEMS like his genuine voice and reminiscences driving the narrative.
Ian begins the book with his birth and some early familial background. He documents his formative years in school and tells of his early attempts to form cover bands and imitate his idols in KISS and Iron Maiden. From there he expounds upon the formation of Anthrax and the already much-chronicled meetings with first manager Jonny Z. and a bunch of scruffy unknowns from the West Coast who called themselves Metallica. He hurtles headlong into the first few albums and the creation of the thrash metal scene. Then onward through the lineup changes and the record company disputes that always seemed to plague the band. It’s a solid history of Anthrax, especially interesting if you really don’t know much about them. That said, there really isn’t much here that hasn’t already been written elsewhere. It’s a sort of long-form written version of a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode, which is fine I suppose. That’s what most of these rock memoirs end up being, anyway. In that sense they are great for the average fan who might benefit from a detailed look behind the scenes, but for those of us who have followed these bands for decades….well, not so much. Ian carries the story of the band through the low times and on into the current renaissance of the group, through to the “comeback” album, “Worship Music”.
The memoir REALLY bogs down when Ian goes into depth regarding his personal relationships. Between two failed marriages and a lot of dalliances in between, the reader is treated to an exposition of Scott Ian’s love life, which I suppose is fine from an autobiographical standpoint. I personally found all of the relationship material sort of burdensome and a distraction from the meat and potatoes of the book.
The highlight of the book for me was actually a section dropped into the middle, fortunately between chapters. Illustrated comic-book style, this fun part of the book details an adventure that Scott had during his first meeting in England with the mighty Lemmy, of Motorhead fame. It’s bawdy, disgustingly honest, and downright hilarious. I almost wish that the entire book had been done this way. Fortunately there is not an excess of excess in this memoir. There is copious alcohol, and an interesting ingestion of psychedelic mushrooms. The chapter describing Ian’s attempt to become a “professional alcoholic” by trying to keep up with Pantera’s guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, is by turns sad and funny, and it’s as close as this book gets to derailing itself on backstage craziness. Yes, there are the usual groupies, and the usual tales of hotel room demolition, but thankfully they never overshadow the main thrust of the narrative.
Ian usually comes off as something of an overgrown adolescent. His decision-making is often impaired, but he seems to be lucky to eventually recognize his mistakes and take personal responsibility for them. He appears to be a basically honest and stand-up kind of guy. There is no doubt whatsoever that he has an incredible drive and commitment to his band, and that has allowed Anthrax to continue standing some 36 years later as a respected and active originator of one of heavy metal’s most important subgenres.
End result? It’s a fun book if you are a casual fan, where a lot of this material will seem fresh and new to you. If you have been following the band for decades, as I have, it will just feel more like a rehash of stories that you already know. I guess it’s nice to have it all in one place, and I will admit that I enjoyed the two photograph sections. I somehow missed seeing Anthrax in their first heyday, but I was lucky enough to be able to take my daughter to see them last year when they toured with Lamb of God. They tore the stage up and were everything that I expected and needed them to be. That was five-star night for my daughter and I, and “I’m The Man” is a solid three-star effort from Scott Ian. Keep on rocking, guys.
It's an entertaining read, and although it drags on a little at the end, Ian dishes enough not only on the band but other bands of the era, management, record labels, etc to keep it moving. I can see how Ian got his reputation for being a jerk, whether from his cut-throat approach to personnel changes in the band to his marriages, etc. But it does seem like he has mellowed in his middle age and has seen the error of at least some of his ways.
So why read this book? Ian provides another perspective on several important events in the history of thrash, including the Music Building and the Metallica-Mustaine breakup (basically that Mustaine was a mean drunk but that shouldn't have gotten him fired, and that Lars and James were scared of him, which is probably true), the tragic death of Cliff Burton while Antrhax was on tour with Metallica in Europe, to the impact of the 90's alternative wave on metal, comeback attempts, and the band's muddled efforts to stick together and stay relevant. He talks about the music industry and how difficult it was (and still is) to make a living in a band, even a successful band like Anthrax. He even includes a comic strip-style account of his first encounter with Lemmy, which was a funny and unexpected bonus. I was surprised to learn that although Ian is the main rhythm guitar player in the band, he didn't write much of the music in the early days. Overall I'd say it's worth the read, even if it's a bit long and if Ian himself doesn't seem like he was always the nicest guy.
Most recent customer reviews
Such a great read. He's very humble & the way he describes the music industry both up & down is well...Read more