The title is a dangerous one, but then hard rock and metal have always been a bit dangerous, especially if you are backstage at certain gigs. Connoisseurs of the metal and hard rock scene might take exception to some of Eddie’s choices (though to be fair only a handful) for the “full treatment”. For instance, some might wonder why Billy Squire or Tesla, both great bands, got a big write-up but Whitesnake and Ted Nugent did not (making it into the short also-mentioned section). It seems that this has more to do with whether or not Eddie knows a band personally than necessarily their impact. As you might expect from an American metal host, and a New York one at that, it leans towards U.S. groups rather than British ones. And Eddie: A remark about English food being bad? That was funny and accurate circa 1977, but times have changed, man.
The personal touch in this book is both its gift and its curse. Some of Eddie’s personal recollections add to information and some of it just smacks as a name check. Why Mike Piazza, a baseball player, keeps getting mentioned so frequently is beyond me. It also repeats several tales that Eddie has told on VH1′s That Metal Show during its run and there is some repetitive sentences going over information covered previously in the book.
Needless to say this book is not for hard rock and metal savant, unless of course they are a fan of Eddie Trunk. The various efforts by Martin Popoff spring to mind as the book’s more suited to hard-core fans of the genre(s). There is little in here that will be new to anyone who has followed the genre(s) for as long as Eddie (or me for that matter). However, if you are just getting into your metal or hard rock, or are getting into more, then this might be a book worth investing in. It is well written and the pictures are great. This is very much a book to be given as a gift to your favorite younger relative just getting into rock and metal.
It is fun finding out what tracks and albums from a given band Eddie rates. In a sense this is a book version of That Metal Show, which isn’t a bad thing. The forward from Rob Halford is a nice touch. Hardly an essential book on the subject by any means, but a good read nonetheless.
Here is the interview I did with Eddie about the book.
1. For whom did he write this book? Is it aimed at newbie headbangers or is there something for everyone, including the grizzled ole’ leather clad metal masses?
There is something for anyone who was into hard rock & metal in the ’70s and ’80s. There’s a lot of deeper stuff and lots of personal stuff people are learning for the first time, but I also made sure to give some overview of the bands for new fans trying to just get into it. I’ve been told by many that it’s a great balance and a great way for younger fans to learn about this music — and long time rock and metal fans are loving the personal angle and the photos. It’s a hybrid of many things.
2. Why did it take him so long to do this?
I’m coming up on 30 years in the business. My original intent was to write an autobiography and that might come some day, but this was a good way to get into the book world after years of radio and TV and many are asking for a sequel which I would like to do. It’s a time consuming process to do a book of this quality, a lot went into it, and it was also important to wait so that I had decades of experiences to call on. Made for better stories.
3. Why did Eddie become such a star in metal journalist world while others go unheralded?
I can only attribute that to being so consistent and keeping at it. I’ve gotten some breaks but have also worked my ass off to build an audience and reputation. I have literally been working in music just about my entire life. Over the years I have built not only a great audience but also a great trust and relationship with many of the artists that few have. But I never get too high or low and still just consider myself a fan who has fought for the music and bands I love.
4. What sub-genre is due for a comeback? What genre deserves a comeback?
I think GnR-style hard edge street rock would be cool. Thrash is kind of making a comeback with the Big 4 stuff going on and Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer working together and making great new music, but that stuff never really breaks through commercially (except Metallica). I’d love to hear some new old school edgy dirty rock bands. New Aerosmith circa 1976 sounding bands. But the key is always great songs and in this age of talent shows as a path to success, I think many forget writing is the key.
5. Do you think the internet is giving some “cult” and “underrated” bands their well deserved due recognition?
Not really, because there is just so much on the internet and it’s hard to navigate what’s legit and find the diamonds. It’s a great tool to seek out these bands and gives them a platform to connect to people looking for them, but I don’t really think it’s going to break them or make them a big new exposure.
6. Most underrated metal band of the new century, who is a band the MMM hordes need to check out right away?
There’s a band called Black Country Communion that is getting some great coverage but really should be getting more exposure and airplay. Not a metal band, more of a classic sounding hard rock band. But they made two great albums in less than a year and I just saw them live for the first time and they were great!