“Bang your head! Metal Health’ll drive you mad!”
— Quiet Riot
Like an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on steroids, Bang Your Head is an epic history of every band and every performer that has proudly worn the Heavy Metal badge. Whether headbanging is your guilty pleasure or you firmly believe that this much-maligned genre has never received the respect it deserves, Bang Your Head is a must-read that pays homage to a music that’s impossible to ignore, especially when being blasted through a sixteen-inch woofer.
Charting the genesis of early metal with bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden; the rise of metal to the top of the Billboard charts and heavy MTV rotation featuring the likes of Def Leppard and Metallica; hitting its critical peak with bands like Guns N’ Roses; disgrace during the “hair metal” ’80s; and a demise fueled by the explosion of the Seattle grunge scene and the “alternative” revolution, Bang Your Head is as funny as it is informative and proves once and for all that there is more to metal than sin, sex, and spandex.
To write this exhaustive history, David Konow spent three years interviewing the bands, wives, girlfriends, ex-wives, groupies, managers, record company execs, and anyone who was or is a part of the metal scene, including many of the band guys often better known for their escapades and bad behavior than for their musicianship. Nothing is left unsaid in this jaw-dropping, funny, and entertaining chronicle of power ballads, outrageous outfits, big hair, bigger egos, and testosterone-drenched debauchery.
In a book that never quite gets rolling, Konow, a writer for Guitar World, sets out to give a timeline of heavy metal while answering "three key questions: what went right, what went wrong, and what the hell happened?" He begins in Birmingham, England, which he argues is the birthplace of heavy metal, with its most popular statesman today, Ozzy Osbourne. As a revolt against the hippie movement and in part to save himself from a life of crime, Osbourne formed Black Sabbath. At the same time, Led Zeppelin formed from the "ashes of the Yardbirds," and after finally gathering enough members (Keith Moon of the Who turned them down, quipping that they'd sink "like a lead zeppelin," which is how Jimmy Page decided on the name), held a jam session. Konow continues in a chronological fashion, briefly sketching band bios, triumphs and downfalls. Without exploiting each band's debauchery or disintegration, Konow covers such other metal acts such as Alice Cooper, Kiss, Van Halen, M tley Cr e, Dokken, Def Leppard, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Guns 'n' Roses and many others. The portraits of Alice Cooper and Axl Rose are the most engaging parts of the book. However, the chapters read more like magazine articles than a coherent book. Hardcore metal fans will likely find the book a bit soft and too pop, and they're unlikely to learn any new stories. In the final pages, Konow attempts an analysis of the fall of heavy metal, but by that point, so many bands have risen and fallen that his curt summation is hardly satisfying. This is an inspired personal effort that won't chart.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Days of love and music
Music sets the periods of your life.12-14 figureing what kind you like.15-17 car cruising years.18-25 the partying hard.26-30,finding the love of your life.After that you have responsibilities, you can’t just go to concerts and buy records,your living REAL life (if you’re a responsible parent & spouse).Its nice to hear an old song that takes you back to those carefree days but you can never go back
I am a huge heavy metal fan, especially from the 70's and 80's. This book talks about all of the stuff bands had to go through in their time. I thought I knew a lot about heavy metal bands before, but the amount of information in this book is amazing!