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Seb’s guilty secret

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Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict
Seb Hunter
(Fourth Estate)

As with a footie match, this is a book of two halves. The first is a rather amusing tale of growing up and discovering one’s self through one’s choice of music. The other is a sneering examination of the hard rock scene in the form of mea culpa from a glam (80s variety) no-hopper. The book contains factual errors and broad generalisations about the genre of heavy rock. One of the most glaring examples is the fact Seb was never a heavy metal addict but a hard/glam rock one. The apologia in the last 1/2 of the book (during tales of his failed attempt to make it in the glam rock world) get quite tedious, and Seb comes across as a bitter failed musician out to settle a few scores. This is certainly a book that is worth the read but not at the full cover price. There are far more informative and less sneering examinations of heavy metal, hard rock, and even glam. A better source of information is Martin Popoff and his series of books on the subject. Instead of a humourous examination of the absurdities and atributes of being a rocker, Seb acts ashamed. It is a pity Mr Hunter let his bitterness and angst get the better of him.

Rating: 3/5

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