RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Martin Popoff – Metallica: The Complete Illustrated History
Voyager Press

Rating: A

Okay kiddos…here’s the deal…the scoop, the poop and everything else I can say about the band Metallica.  Don’t like ‘em.  Nope…and after the album Lulu that they did with the late great Lou Reed I gotta admit I am afraid of them.  Something going on in those boys’ heads just ain’t right.

It all started to go bad for me when they did that movie where they had group therapy sessions and cried and whined and showed just how un-rock and roll a band that are supposed to be Metal Gods can be.  I guess I lost respect for them.  Don’t hate all their music…just pretty much everything they made since The Black album…and don’t really get a musical hard on for much they did before that…Okay, I realize I am in the minority in this area and that most consider the Mighty Metallica to be the Sons of Sabbath or something like that.

Oh…I get it, but I just don’t get it…Suffice it to say, and I am sorry to the guys as it is not personal…but I kinda think they are one dimensional, out of any redeeming creative ideas and well…boring. Then again, I like some of the early Little River Band, so what do I know? Now that I have opened up and let my stand on this ‘great’ band be known, I have to justify how in the hell I gave this book an “A” rating.

Well, that part is easy.  For starters this handsome, colorful and for lack of a better description bad-ass looking book was authored by the best looking male rock scribe ever to be found in The Great White North.  Not only do ladies find him to be a rock and roll hunk o’ meat, Mighty Martin Popoff knows his shit.  Not even the great Eddie Trunk can trump Martin’s knowledge of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.  Everything Mighty Martin writes is filled with passion and fueled by an insane desire to put his stamp on the music he loves.

What makes Mighty Martin so into the Mighty Metallica is a mighty neat-o parallel in the Metal tutelage between the rock stars and the guy who writes about rock stars.  Popoff said on this on his website, “Their metal upbringing was so much like mine (and Slagel's and Nalbandian's and that whole group of guys... Monte Conner), except of course, they went away and MADE the new, cutting-edge metal the rest of us only formulated in our brains.”

Martin and I will never come close to agreeing on the merits of what some call Metal’s greatest band.  But, anyone who takes a gander at this behemoth of a book will have to agree it is done up right.  There are more than 300 images included in this thing, from every era of the band’s history.  The stories told in the book cover the back line, the main event and the encore and every tale that needs to be told including tragedies, triumphs, set backs and breakthroughs is discussed in detail.  There are live photos, rare photos, funny photos and even photos of backstage passes and Metallica memorabilia.

Martin didn’t do this alone, however, he called upon many of his peers in the industry (not me, of course, so no money in this one for me…but seeing as I am not a fan I suppose it makes sense…but why was I not invited to partake in the Rush book?  Yeah Popoff..WTF?).  So, while Jeb Wright is not to be found helping put this book together in any fashion whatsoever, Popoff does get some words from journalistic luminaries including Mick Wall, Neil Daniels, Richard Bienstock and Daniel Bukszpan.

Bottom line here: Even if you’re a guy like me, who is not a fan of Metallica…you will think this book is pretty damn cool.  It’s an impressive Slab ‘O Metal that anyone who has ever flashed the maloik will be proud to show off to friends.

By Jeb Wright