Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera

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The autobiography of the bassist of Pantera, one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time

Few heavy metal acts survived the turmoil of the early 1990s music scene. Pantera, featuring the peerless guitar playing of the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was different. Instead of humoring the market, the band demanded that the audience come to them by releasing a series of fiercely uncompromising platinum albums, including Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven-albums that sold millions of copies despite minimal airplay.

This is the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame, excess, and tragedy.
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About the author

Rex Brown was born in 1964 in Graham, Texas. He joined Pantera in 1982. He has also played with Down and Kill Devil Hill.

Mark Eglinton is a Scottish author, based mostly in the U.S. As well as being a friend of Rex Brown's having spent time on tour with Down in 2010, he's the author of James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica's Door (IMP, 2010) as well as being a frequent and highly acclaimed contributor to The Quietus – a popular culture website voted Best Website by Record Of The Day as well as being hailed by multiple publications including The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, and Chicago Time Out.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Mar 12, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780306821387
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / Individual Composer & Musician
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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But with such enormous success came new challenges, as Metallica ran the risk of alienating their original fan base. They were beset by controversy over musical stylistic shifts, supposed concessions to the mainstream, even their choice of haircuts.

During this transformative era, journalists Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood had unprecedented access to Metallica. They accompanied the band on tour and joined them in the studio, getting exhilarating eyewitness views into the belly of the beast. Together they amassed over 75 hours of interview material, much of it never in print before now.

Through changes both musical and personal, Metallica struggled to maintain their identity and remain a viable creative force. A ferocious battle with the file-sharing company Napster saw the quartet attract the worst PR of their career. Meanwhile, communication breakdowns between James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Jason Newsted (who would leave the band in 2001) led to fierce internal arguments, as laid bare in the controversial documentary Some Kind of Monster.

At the end of the century, Metallica had appeared to be a band teetering on the brink of self-destruction, but through setbacks and struggles they endured and thrived. From Load, Reload, and Garage, Inc. to the stunning return to form in Death Magnetic and the massive tours that accompanied them-including the real story behind the Big Four shows-Into the Black takes readers inside the heart of Metallica and concludes the saga of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
There has never been a hard rock band like Metallica. The California quartet has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammy Awards, and had five consecutive albums hit number one on the Billboard charts. But Metallica's story, epic in scope, is a tale about much more than sales figures and critical acclaim, and their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garages to the world's most storied stadiums has been dramatic and painful, their gigantic successes often shot through with tension, tragedy, loss, and controversy.

Birth School Metallica Death is the definitive story of the most significant rock band since Led Zeppelin. Volume 1 covers the band's formation up to their breakthrough eponymous fifth album, aka “The Black Album.” The intense and sometimes fraught relationship between aloof-yet-simmering singer, chief lyricist, and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and the outspoken and ambitious drummer Lars Ulrich is the saga's emotional core. Their earliest years saw the release of three unimpeachable classics—Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets—genre-defining masterpieces that took hard rock to a new level, both artistically and commercially. During these tumultuous times, the band persevered through line-up changes when guitarist Dave Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammet, and their bass player, the beloved Cliff Burton, was tragically killed in a bus crash while on tour in Europe.

But it was the breakthrough of …And Justice for All that rent the fabric of the mainstream, hitting the top of the charts without benefit of radio airplay or the then-crucial presence on MTV. And finally in 1991, with the release of their fifth studio album, nicknamed “The Black Album,” Metallica hit the next level—five hit singles including their best-known songs “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters”—and their first album atop the Billboard charts.

In Birth School Metallica Death, veteran music journalists and Metallica confidants Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood detail this meteoric rise to international fame in an epic saga of family, community, self-belief, the pursuit of dreams, and music that rocks. Told through first-hand interviews with the band and those closest to them, the story of Metallica's rise to the mainstream has never been so vividly documented.
Acclaimed music writer Robert Hilburn’s “epic” and “definitive” (Rolling Stone) biography of music icon Paul Simon, written with Simon’s full participation—but without his editorial control—that “reminds us how titanic this musician is” (The Washington Post).

For more than fifty years, Paul Simon has spoken to us in songs about alienation, doubt, resilience, and empathy in ways that have established him as one of the most beloved artists in American pop music history. Songs like “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” and “Graceland” have moved beyond the sales charts and into our cultural consciousness. But Simon is a deeply private person who has said he will not write an autobiography or talk to biographers. Finally, however, he has opened up for Robert Hilburn—for more than one hundred hours of interviews—in this “brilliant and entertaining portrait of Simon that will likely be the definitive biography” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Over the course of three years, Hilburn conducted in-depth interviews with scores of Paul Simon’s friends, family, colleagues, and others—including ex-wives Carrie Fisher and Peggy Harper, who spoke for the first time—and even penetrated the inner circle of Simon’s long-reclusive muse, Kathy Chitty. The result is a deeply human account of the challenges and sacrifices of a life in music at the highest level. In the process, Hilburn documents Simon’s search for artistry and his constant struggle to protect that artistry against distractions—fame, marriage, divorce, drugs, record company interference, rejection, and insecurity—that have derailed so many great pop figures.

“As engaging as a lively American tune” (People), Paul Simon is a “straight-shooting tour de force…that does thorough justice to this American prophet and pop star” (USA TODAY, four out of four stars). “Read it if you like Simon; read it if you want to discover how talent unfolds itself” (Stephen King).
"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night.

It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour.

People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time.

A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
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Peter Criscuola had come a long way from the homemade drum set he pounded on nonstop as a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the fifties. He endured lean years, street violence, and the rollercoaster music scene of the sixties, but he always knew he’d make it. Makeup to Breakup is Peter Criss’s eye-opening journey from the pledge to his ma that he’d one day play Madison Square Garden to doing just that. He conquered the rock world—composing and singing his band’s all-time biggest hit, “Beth” (1976)—but he also faced the perils of stardom and his own mortality, including drug abuse, treatment in 1982, near-suicides, two broken marriages, and a hard-won battle with breast cancer.

Criss opens up with a level of honesty and emotion previously unseen in any musician’s memoir. Makeup to Breakup is the definitive and heartfelt account of one of rock’s most iconic figures, and the importance of faith and family. Rock ’n’ roll has been chronicled many times, but never quite like this.
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