Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict

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9780007161768: Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict

A witty and self-deprecating memoir about headbanging your way through growing up.

Seb Hunter was a Heavy Metal fan and he's not proud. This is the story of his misguided 15-year Heavy Metal mission: from the first guitar (his dad's), to the first gig (conquering Winchester with his riffs), on through groupies and girlfriends and too many drugs to a faltering career in London, where outrageous egos, artistic differences and the dreaded arrival of Grunge (and a much needed haircut) kill the Heavy Metal dream.

Along the way Seb imparts the important distinctions between Thrash Metal and Glam and casts his connoisseur’s eye over the Metal guitar. You’ll learn when to play a drum solo, the correct way to wear Spandex and exactly what to do when you're in the middle of a field at the Donington Festival and you desperately need a piss.

Affectionate, irreverent, and very funny, Hell Bent For Leather is a moving story about growing up, of playing air guitar in your bedroom, of living with parental disapproval and of struggling with the laughter of your friends. It is a memoir about the glorious adolescent obsessions everybody has but no-one will admit to.

Featuring music from: AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Kiss, W.A.S.P., Aerosmith The Scorpians and Guns ‘n’ Roses.

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Review:

Anyone who's ever perused the headbanger press can attest that, when writing about heavy metal, one should not attempt to emulate the music's crushing, extravagant, vehement brutality. No, the excess of metal is best conveyed in more subdued tones, and it would seem that Seb Hunter concurs. Thanks to the first-time London author's light touch, the part primer, part memoir works well. Chronicling his devotion to the genre from his first encounter with an AC/DC record as a 10 year old through stints as a guitarist for a progression of bands with names like Armageddon's Ring, Excalibur, Rag 'n' Bones, the Trash Can Junkies, Cool Hand Luke, Cat Ballou, and Love Knuckle (that last one signaling his split from metal in a post-Nirvana alternative universe), Hunter relies heavily on humor, peppered with pathos and stark realism. Hunter's sad sack telling of his own rags-to-leather story is interrupted periodically for lessons on the fundamentals of metal, like why keyboards suck and how to tell the difference between thrash metal and speed metal. Useful stuff, and, in Hunter's hands, deftly delivered. Metalheads will appreciate Hunter's keen understanding of their beloved music and its attendant folkways, but one needn't know the difference between Stryper and Slayer to get a rush from Hell Bent for Leather. --Steven Stolder

About the Author:

Seb Hunter was born in 1971 and went to a variety of schools in England before throwing it all away to become a rock 'n' roll star, at which he eventually failed. Since then he has worked in the book trade and currently lives in London.

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