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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Big Payback

Two of the three books I bought at the soon-to-close Borders were books I've had my eye on for a while. I've already read one of them and I'm in the middle of reading the other one. (The third book, I should mention, was purchased as a birthday gift for my father.) The two books were Mustaine by Dave Mustaine and The Big Payback by Dan Charnas.

Ever since I saw Dave Mustaine's appearance in Some Kind of Monster, I wondered about the guy. I knew he has said choice words about Metallica ever since he was fired from the band, but after I watched his conversation with Lars Ulrich, I had a lot of questions.

I'm happy to say I got a lot of answers by reading Mustaine. Not only is there a first-hand account of the early (garage) days of Metallica, but plenty behind all those times I saw Megadeth videos on MTV and Dave's various appearances on the channel (including the time he was a political correspondent in the '92 election).

There's very little in the way of sour grapes. More or less, Dave is very blunt about his time as an alcoholic and drug addict. There are plenty of swipes at former bandmates of his, but he blames himself more. Definitely a good, compelling read.

Dan Charnas' The Big Payback is a book that looks at the history of hip-hop as a business. Since I'm convinced modern pop music is sold based on the hip-hop model, I wanted to read all about it. I still scratch my head about hip-hop's appeal with the League of Meh but I've been aware of how it's been sold to a mass audience since the early '90s. From the Sugar Hill Gang to MC Hammer to Dr. Dre, there's something to be said about what was once considered a fad.

I have yet to pass the one-hundred page mark with the book (I just started on Sunday), but I'm quite happy to have this in my library. As great as the Dark Tower series is, I need breaks from it. Specifically, by reading nonfiction. And I'm glad Borders helped get the ball rolling for me in the first place.

1 comment:

Richard of DM said...

Damn, I need to check out that Mustaine book.