Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

by Dave Mustaine, Joe Layden


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New York Times Bestseller

Founding member, singer, and lead guitarist of Metallica and Megadeath shares the ultimate, unvarnished story behind his involvement in the rise of two of the world’s most influential heavy metal bands in history. 

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. From his soul-crushing professional and artistic setbacks to his battle with addiction, Mustaine has hit rock bottom on multiple occasions. April 1983 was his lowest point, when he was unceremoniously fired from Metallica for his hard-partying ways. But, what seemed to be the end of it all was just the beginning for the guitarist.

After parting ways with Metallica, Mustaine went on to become the front man, singer, songwriter, guitarist (and de facto CEO) for Megadeath—one of the most successful metal bands in the world. A pioneer of the thrash metal movement, Megadeath rose to international fame in the 1980s, and has gone on to earn seven consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance.

In this outrageously candid memoir, one of heavy metal’s most iconic figures gives an insider’s look into the loud and sordid world of thrash metal—sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll included.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061714405
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/09/2011
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 146,443
Product dimensions: 8.76(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Dave Mustaine, widely regarded as the "founding father" of Thrash Metal, almost singlehandedly created the enduring multiplatinum style that launched both Megadeth and Metallica into the public's consciousness. From 1985's Killing Is My Business . . . and Business Is Good to the most recent Endgame, with more than twelve album releases with Megadeth, Mustaine has left a legacy of music that has been described as everything from "poignant" to "insightful" to "angry" to "ironic." Megadeth earned eight Grammy nominations and six platinum certifications. Mustaine lives in San Diego County, California.

An award-winning journalist and bestselling author, Joe Layden has written more than thirty books, including The Last Great Fight, which was named one of the best sports books of 2007 by Sports Illustrated and the American Library Association. He is also the co-author of the New York Times bestsellers There and Back Again and The Rock Says. . . . He lives in upstate New York.

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Mustaine 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 127 reviews.
Randy_Patterson More than 1 year ago
Dave Mustaine founder, guitarist and front man for the heavy metal band, Megadeth, typically generate a variety of emotions resulting from his stage banter, interviews and music. Megadeth fans will instantly give the horns sign with one or both hands as they exhibit their sweet air guitar skills. Others who might be fans of a competing bands like, say, Mustaine's first band, Metallica, are likely to pontificate about the finer points of guitar skills between Mustaine and Metallica's Kirk Hammett. And, still others who are aware of Mustaine's conversion to Christianity are keenly interested in the strength or weakness of his walk of faith. As an avid student of celebrities and personalities as well as a Christian, I was eager to dig into the newly released paperback edition of Dave's autobiography, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir. I'll be honest: I wasn't expecting much from the book because, well, I've never read a head banger's autobiography before and really thought I was going to be bored out of my aging mind. Boy, was I wrong. The book is very heavy in personal introspection and transparency. The reader will learn very quickly what make Mustaine tick and what ticks him off. Megadeth and Metallica fans will read lots of inside scoop on the history of both bands and lots of stories behind the songs. Dave also shares a lot of the interpersonal dynamics between him and the various configurations of his heavy metal enterprise. Christians who pick up the book expecting to read something along the lines of B.J. Thomas's Home Where I Belong will be shocked. The language in the book is raw. Very raw. And, while I'm not one who uses the same kind of language as Mustaine chooses to use, I found his transparency and his simple, level-headed approach to his faith actually quite refreshing. For those of you who run, not walk, from all things Christian, don't be such a wuss. Mustaine's book isn't "churchy". Actually, it's far from it. He states his faith in a matter-of-fact manner and doesn't try to jam anything down the reader's throat. He just puts himself out there as he is and you can take him or leave him. Either way, he's just going to keep on doing what he's doing while devoting more time to his family. The reader will get the very clear impression from Dave that he knows he's lucky to still be playing guitar after going through his debilitating affliction with his money-making left hand. He also comes across as one who knows darn well that he shouldn't be alive and is living life as one who is fully enjoying his umpteenth chance at living life to its healthy fullest. If you love reading about talented people - especially those who love a great rags to riches story, you're gonna love Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir. While you're ordering your copy, why not go ahead and get some Christmas shopping done for that head-banger friend or relative by picking up an extra copy or two? Just a thought. Randy Patterson Boomerocity
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book yesterday, and it was so exciting and so interesting that I had to finish it before I went to sleep. Since Dave Mustaine wrote the greatest thrash metal album ever (Peace Sells... But Who's Buying), it's not surprising that he would write the greatest metal biography ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! It is a great read from beginning to end and I could not put it down. Dave has had an amazing life and to hear it told from him is fascinating! You get all the juicy details. I am a huge Megadeth fan and totally appreciate this book! Long live metal \m/
danstar25 More than 1 year ago
I have been a Megadeth fan since there first album was released. It took GUTS for Dave to stand up and tell us his story and not hold back anything from the past...This is a great read and I would suggest that if you have ever been a Megadeth fan, past or present, to pick up this book immediately!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good story about hard work, hard partying, hitting rock bottom and coming out the other side. Definitely an enjoyable read.
sixteendays on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Utterly ridiculous. Highly entertaining. One of the best comedy books I've ever read.
MandaTheStrange on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a long awaited biography for me, Dave Mustaine has long been one of my favourite musicians. When I finally got my hands on a copy I dived in and devoured it! I read it twice and then read my favourite passages all over again. It was amazing to hear in his own words his highs and all time lows, Dave shares with us his troubles with early family life, his short lived career with Metallica...he opens up about his unexpected departure and in all honesty, when he is recounting the day when he is sent home on the bus, and then hearing his songs on Metallica's breakthrough Kill Em' All my heart sank and I cried. Fast forward to the amazing formation of the legendary Megadeth and the genius behind quintessential thrash albums such as 'Rust in Peace', 'Peace Sells But Who's Buying?' and 'Countdown to Extinction', Dave opens up about his problems with addiction, his feud with Metallica as well as the many encountered in the murky music industry. He writes with such honesty and integrity and after reading this biography it has just made me realize how much more this man means to me as one of my idols and ultimately to the fellow devoted droogies out there!
jvalka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dave Mustaine starts out as a small-time drug dealer who answers a want ad looking for a guitarist placed by Lars Ulrich. He becomes a key member of Metallica during their earliest days, but gets kicked out because of drug and alcohol-fueled personality conflicts. Stung by the dismissal and determined to rise again, he forms his own band, Megadeth. He enjoys great success with Megadeth, but falls into full-blown addiction to heroin and cocaine. He goes through rehab several times, and sees a multitude of players join and then leave the band. After a freak injury to his arm he quits the band, told by doctors that he may never be able to play the guitar again. He finally manages to stay clean and sober, converting to Chrisitanity and reconnecting with his wife and kids. He regains the ability to play, puts together a new lineup and returns to the stage.I read this book very quickly - speed metal style, if you will. It's interesting to hear his side of things, but there is a notable lack of depth to his personal analysis. He seems to have no strong idea of why he was kicked out of Metallica, other than the fact that he was a mean, violent drunk while Lars and James were both goofy drunks. His resentment of them drives his own desire to succeed, but he always feels like he comes up short in comparison. I wish there was a comprehensive biography of Metallica that explained exactly what happened, but that book has yet to be written. Mustaine doesn't offer a lot of insight into his creative process either; the primary focus of this book is his struggle with drug addiction and anger management. There are numerous anecdotes about scoring heroin and "getting well" as he puts it. I admire his tenacity and strong, fighting spirit - I just wish he had more insight into the events that shaped his life.
stephenpasquini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I never really listened to Megadeth, but of course grew up with a heavy metal mindset. I thought the book was really well written and a fascinating look int the world of a Thrash metal guitarist/artist. After reading the book I sought out some of his albums and really realized just how great of a musician he was. Funny how that is. I had no idea what a great guitarist he was, something he doesn't rally talk about a whole lot in the book. Anyway, the guy is smart, had a tough and interesting life and has come full circle. His journey was fascinating to me. Made me want to pick up my guitar ans start rocking, like now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
his is a amazing book.I bought it for my older sister last year.She really liked it.I find that Mr.Mustaine,is a great man,and he have had to deal with a lot of stuff.I'm glad he is clean and sober.I just hope he will remain to stay that way.I love Megadeth songs.I have always thought of him as a amazing musician and a very great author.I'm very proud of him.For not only kicking his drug addiction.But,for being a great guy,and trying to stay on the straight and narrow.There were a lot of points in this book that kinda confused me a little.But,in the end I understood where he was coming from.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a gift for my grandson, and he was very happy with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My generation was the "hair band" and "death Rock" and I use to watch him on Headbangers ball. Curious to see the behind the scenes of the of these group. And now as a christian I was curious to know how someone in that lifestyle would find Christ. I wouldn't recomment reading it as a conversion story if you don't wish to wade through ALOT of swearing, but on the human insterest perspective. It was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written? Check. Honest? Check. Entertaining? Check. Worth reading? Check and Check. This book was EXCELLENT, and not because I was a huge Megadeth or Mustaine fan (although I am now, certainly of the latter)... You have just got to read this book, you'll see... and I've read A LOT of biographies. This one stands out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Megadeth 4EVER that is all i can say
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Megadeth fan, and to see the history of it through the eyes of the legend only makes it that much better. Great read for any metal fan, the only thing I didn't like was how little he went into the making of some of the albums, but otherwise an amazing read for any metalhead \m/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sokmunkeez More than 1 year ago
This was not all at what I expected. While full of the details and minutiae of his childhood and rock and roll lifestyle, it was not salacious or overly graphic. The narrative voice is very erudite and full of insight. At times funny, amusing and clever, it was also brutally honest and appropriately self deprecating. I found this a compelling read, and not just for fans of the thrash band Megadeth. I read this the same week after reading another high profile rock and roll memoir. This is hands down one of the best ones I have read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
InDarkPlaces More than 1 year ago
loved how it was very honest and forthcoming. Told the story of his life.. good bad or ugly. Was a enjoyable change from some other biographies where its all pretty and wrapped in a bow and in flowery prose. Loved how this was written as if he were actually talking to you.
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