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Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir Paperback – August 9, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 383 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Entirely awesome.” (Washington Post)

“One hell of a story” (Crawdaddy)

“Dave Mustaine’s memoir is the narrative of a struggling, hard-won music career. It is also a story of survival, redemption and faith... Transcending simple religion and music, Mustaine’s Heavy Metal Memoir will leave you moved and inspired.” (Globe and Mail (Toronto))

“Remorseless.” (Rolling Stone)

“A fascinating and sometimes eye-opening look at Mustaine the man as well as Mustaine the rock star... A must read for Megadeth fans, and highly recommended for metal fans in general.” (About.com)

“(Mustaine’s) memoir is honest, certainly - and not without that trademark bite - but there is also considerable maturity in his words.” (The Quietus)

“A must-have for all fans and haters alike” (Metal-army.com)

“[MUSTAINE] is more tenacious, more introspective, and ultimately more relevant than you’d expect.” (CHARTattack.com)

“A frank and detailed account of the life and times of the infamous vocalist/guitarist/song writer…Mustaine’s account of Megadeth’s early years is told with humor and with real honesty… A riveting read.” (blistering.com)

From the Back Cover

Now with a new chapter

Dave Mustaine is the first to admit that he’s bottomed out a few times in his dark and twisted speed metal version of a Dickensian life.

Impoverished, transient childhood? Check.

Abusive, alcoholic parent? Check.

Mind-f**king religious weirdness (in his case the extremes of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and satanism)? Check.

Alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness? Check, check, Check.

Soul-crushing professional and artistic setbacks? Check.

Rehab? Check (seventeen times, give or take).

Near-death experience? Check that one, too.

James Hetfield, with whom many years ago Mustaine founded a band known as Metallica, once observed, with some incredulity, that Mustaine must have been born with a horseshoe up his ass. That’s how lucky he is to be pulling breath after so many close calls. But here’s the thing about having a horseshoe lodged in your rectum: It also hurts like hell. And you never forget it’s there.

Mustaine has battled it all to achieve dizzying heights. From the early, heady days of Metallica, being unceremoniously let go only to become a world-famous rock star—founder, front man, singer, songwriter, and guitarist (and de facto CEO) for Megadeth, one of the most popular bands in heavy metal—Mustaine’s story will inspire, stun, and terrify.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061714402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061714405
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Perez on August 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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